Stansbury and Park City both exploded into play at the SHS soccer field yesterday afternoon, with a goal each in the first minutes of action. But, by the final whistle, the Miners had hit the back of the net two more times to hold off the Stallions 3-1.
McCall Littlefield fed the ball to Stansbury’s forward Mackenzie Landward in the first 30 seconds of the game. Landward drove the ball into the net for the initial goal.
“We went up 1-0,” SHS coach Jeremy Alverson said. “Two minutes later they scored to tie it 1-1. So, there were two goals within the first 5 minutes of the game.
“When we put that first one in, I thought, ‘here we go. Let’s see how we can respond to that,’” he added. “When you score that early, your hopes are high.”
The girls continued playing pretty evenly through the midpoint of the first half. Then, the Miners’ Casey Crawford got a breakaway and hit the net to take Park City up 2-1.
Immediately following that goal, the Miners’ Stephanie Burnham tried to stab in another goal, but SHS goalie Kirsten Gaillard jumped on the ball. Unfortunately the ball squeezed out from under her and shot back out of bounds and Park City got a corner kick. But the Miners came up scoreless.
Soon after, Stansbury got a couple of corner kicks as well, but neither kick was within the range of SHS to drive in a goal. Not long after those two corner kicks, SHS fielded another corner kick that came close, as Chloe Corbett fed the ball to Reagan Didericksen, but Didericksen’s kick flew above the net.
Maddy Graber followed with a boot, but it was wide left. Shortly afterward, Landward crossed to Littlefield with a resulting kick that was just a hair over the net.
Graber was awarded a penalty kick in the second half when she tangled with a Miner over an errant ball. She booted the penalty kick hard and on target, but the Park City goalie was able to pull it in.
Soon after, the Miners were also given a PK for a foul on Stansbury. PCHS player Kaitilyn Esquivel also missed her attempt as the boot soared above mark. Not long after, Park City’s Megan Guetschow aimed well to pull the Miners up 3-1.
In the final five minutes, Landward took an offensive drive toward goal and struck, but the ball bounced off the right goal post. The final attempt on goal for the Stallions was from Sammy Howa, but it was far right.
Alverson said his girls were pressing hard at the end, trying to find their equalizing shot, but came up short of their mark. For both Stansbury and Park City teams, there have been many injuries marking their midseason. For the game, SHS had six girls on their injured list, while Park City had five.
Stansbury had quite a few younger girls step up to play in the game, Alverson said.
“We were missing key girls in key spots. But, the younger girls came in and played well,” he said.
On defense, he added, one of the “unsung heroes” was Kass Loertscher. He said she has maintained solid pressure and play in the backfield and brought strength “in leadership to the team back there.”
On Monday, the Stallions will meet Ben Lomond in Ogden at 7 p.m. on the BLHS football field. The Stallions will have a bye following that game, but the next game after that will be with Tooele on the SHS field on Monday, Oct. 2. That game will be the Stallions’ senior night.