Prep boys soccer: Casey Sederman rediscovers passion for sport
There is a science in facing a penalty kick.
With the ball dead-center 12 yards out, the goalkeeper is alone.
It's exactly where Park City's Casey Sederman wants to be.
The senior takes the moments before the PK to collect himself. He feels the weight of his team on his shoulders and shelves the pressure by studying his opposition.
How the attacker is lined up on the ball determines how Sederman is going to react. He looks to see the shooter's approach: set up wide or directly on the ball? Countless hours of practice prepare him to see how his foe will swing his leg. Does he open his hips or stutter on his run?
"I try not to guess but react to the shot," Sederman said. "Most forwards are not concerned with the goalie. Therefore, I just have to read them right to make the save."
Taking the theoretical and applying these lessons in practice was on display in Park City's run toward the 3A championship game. Sederman's Miners played to draw and went to a shootout against Cedar City in the state quarterfinals.
The first kicker was Cedar's Noah Hill. Even though Hill's kick went wide, Sederman was called for leaving the line early, which gave Hill another shot on goal. Frustrated, Sederman set up again, determined not to make the same mistake. He inspected Hill's body language and made the diving stop.
"I was nervous but confident," Sederman said. "After saving the first one twice, I knew I could do it. It turned out to be the best feeling ever."
With another block, Sederman and the Miners advanced to the semifinals, where they defeated Desert Hills for a shot at the championship. But the Miners came up short 1-0 against region rival Wasatch.
Park City coach Jesse Blais was impressed with the improvements Sederman made in his game and the leadership he demonstrated on the field.
"Casey stepped up all around," Blais said. "Fundamentally, he is solid. His kick is great, but he is really smart with distributing the ball. He is able to start the counterattack any time he has the ball."
Sederman's approach to the game has changed since joining the Miners. Blais, a transfer to Park City from New Jersey his sophomore year, noticed a dramatic change in his attitude since his sophomore year. He took off his junior year before returning this season ready to learn and contribute to the team.
"This year was different he had such a great enthusiasm for the game," Blais said. "He could lead the team this year when things were going tough on the field. He kept on the guys and was a big part of our success."
The time off reinvigorated Sederman's passion for the game. He plans to try walking on to the Loyola Marymount team next year.
Casey Sederman plans to attend Loyola Marymount University next year to study economics. He intends to try out for the soccer team.
Sederman had four shutouts to help the Miners advance to the Class 3A championship game this season.