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Juan Diego Pulls Off Tough Win Against Park City In First Round of Playoffs

2012 Juan Diego v. Park City Playoff GameThe Soaring Eagle of Juan Diego defeated the Park City Miners on Wednesday in Draper. Both teams played hard throughout the entire game, but Juan Diego was able to hold their lead and beat Park City 8 to 7.
From the very first face-off down to the last seconds of the game, both teams showed that they wanted this win. They fought hard on both ends of the field. Juan Diego scored the first goal of the game as attackmen Tommy Maddox wrapped around from behind the goal. Park City answered in a man-up situation as midfielder Jake Gutman dished the ball to attackmen Kolton Atkinson who quickly scored. Juan Diego scored once more in transition, putting them up 2-1 after the first quarter.
The second quarter was a lot like the first. Both teams put away two goals each, but the game was far from slow. As the game progressed, players began to be more and more physical. Defense tightened, while offense made smarter plays. Each goalie played hard, making important saves. The half ended with Juan Diego up 4-3.
Face-offs continued to be a highlight for both teams. They were an indicator of how much each team wanted to advance to the next round of playoffs. Juan Diego was consistent, scoring two points again in the third. The number of shots increased and shots were getting faster and faster, but many were off target. The Soaring Eagle also struggled to get the ball past Miner Goalie Peter Hoburg. Each goal was hard to come by, but they were demonstrations of smart game play. Juan Diego’s second goal of the third came when they made an extra pass to midfielder Mitchell Rall, catching the goalie on the opposite side of the goal. Juan Diego maintained their lead with the score of 6-4 after the third.
At this point, neither team was willing to admit defeat. Shots got even faster. Defense and rides got more aggressive and goalies were making more and more saves. At one point in the fourth, Hoburg took a head shot save so hard that his face mask broke free from the rest of the helmet. Park City started shooting more, and they were able to convert more often. Their highlight goal of the quarter came when Park City Midfielder Ben Harries drew a penalty and passed the ball to attackmen Christian Pompoco who quick-sticked it for a goal.
Juan Diego scored their final goal with just a few minutes left in the game, putting them up 8-6. They did their best to keep the ball out of Park City’s reach, but when they lost it, the Miners were able to score again. The clock was running low with Juan Diego up one. Park City possessed the ball during the last minute, desperate to tie. They were able to make a few good plays, including a shot with just two seconds on the clock, but were unable to score.
Juan Diego, who are the number two seed in the Sandy conference, will go on to play Timpanogos, the number one seed from the South conference, in the quarterfinal round of playoffs on Saturday, May 12th.
Juan Diego Key of the Game: Ball control. Although, the Soaring Eagle had several opportunities to attempt shots on fast breaks, their strategy was not to shoot when they were not sure they could make it. They controlled the ball and passed it quickly and often. Most of their goals and good shots came as a result of skillfully working the ball around the restraining box and getting one step ahead of the defense.
Park City Key of the Game: Tight defense. Park City’s defense was almost impenetrable. They communicated well and stayed tight around the goal. They forced many outside shots that were not on target and they fought hard for ground balls.
Picture courtesy of ShootingStar Photography

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