Young PCHS boys’ soccer team continues to grow
The early part of the 2016 season has been tough for the Park City High School boys’ soccer team.
After a narrow 3-2 loss at Judge Memorial to start the season, the Miners were shut out by former rival Wasatch 4-0. Following a 4-1 loss against former Region 10 foe Juan Diego, the Miners headed south for a tournament in St. George over the weekend.
In three games in St. George, the Miners went 0-3, falling 4-3 to Pine View, 4-0 against Cedar and 4-1 against Dixie.
Despite the early-season struggles, Park City Coach Tom Merchant said he believes the team will reverse its fortunes soon.
"Basically, it’s a very young team and we’re getting our feet underneath us," he said. "The opposition we met in St. George was very good. That made it clear what we need to work on. I really think it’s going to come around. I feel confident of that. The boys are young and they’re learning."
The biggest positive to come from the St. George tournament was the game against Pine View, Merchant said.
"Our best thing mentally for our team was against Pine View where we got down 2-0 and then came back and tied it and then got down 3-2 and tied it," he said.
Though the team lost on a late goal, Merchant said it was good to see the Miners fight their way back twice.
"I was encouraged that they found the heart to play their way back instead of giving up on it," he said.
The Miners hosted their first home game on Tuesday afternoon, after this issue went to press. Other than that game, though, Park City has the rest of the week to practice. Merchant said that will be important in order to fix some of the things the team struggled with in St. George.
"Defensively, we’re a little over-aggressive at times," he said. "We need to be able to slow another team down so we can get help from our teammates. On the attack, we’re very direct. We need to get more movement up front. We need time together on the training field to work on that and gain an identity. We have a lot of work to do, but I think they’re willing to do it."
Tuesday’s game against Bear River was the Miners’ last non-region game of the season. Merchant said he’d be looking for a strong effort against the Bears and wants the defense to shut down Bear River’s best player. He said that other teams’ best players have hurt the Miners too often this year.
"We’re going to hope to play our game and see what they bring," he said. "But we need to learn to contain that star early in the game so that they don’t hurt us."
The Miners (0-6-0 overall) return to the field on March 29 at Grantsville. They’ll continue their Region 10 schedule on Friday, April 1, against Union. That game is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. at Dozier Field.
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