Sandy • Paula Garcia’s commitment not to give up on the play was the difference in a gritty, intense and physical game.
Ogden forward Avery Calton beat Park City keeper Sky Mooney and chipped the ball into an empty net in the closing minutes of Friday’s Class 3A state semifinal. As the ball slowly rolled toward the goal, Garcia sprinted from the left and kicked it out of bounds.
"Paula saved our lives," Mooney said. "That’s our whole team committing to everyone and never giving up on the ball."
Garcia’s save secured Park City’s 1-0 victory over Ogden to send the Miners onto the state championship game at Rio Tinto. The Miners were able to stop the Tigers in a physical game that saw both teams served yellow cards for aggressive play.
"This has been a great team all year," Park City coach Chip Cook said. "They’ve never given up."
Park City scored in the 16th minute on a breakaway. Junior Jessica Dancy broke through the defense and was able to power the ball past Ogden’s Kelsey East.
"I’m so proud of our team," Mooney said. "Jessie makes the big shots."
Mooney sacrificed her body and made seven dramatic saves to help secure the win.
"It’s nice to know that you can depend on Skye when we have a miscommunication," Cook said.
The physical game was a rematch of last year’s semifinals that saw Ogden advance and eventually win the state title. Garcia, a sophomore, said that the entire season was about getting past the Tigers and securing the championship.
"This was the rematch we’ve been waiting for all year," Garcia said. "We were totally going to get them this year."
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.