3A boys' soccer: Park City ousts Cedar City on PKs
Park City • Jesus Valeriano doesn't normally take penalty kicks for the Park City boys' soccer team.
However, the senior took his mark and sent his shot sailing past Cedar City goalie Kaeland Osborne and into the net with the game on the line.
Valeriano, Park City's seventh kicker in the shootout to decide Saturday's Class 3A state quarterfinal against Cedar, was unnaturally cool, calm and collected.
"I was nervous, but I cleared my mind, looked at the ball, picked my spot and shot it," said Valeriano, whose goal helped defeat Cedar 6-5 on penalty kicks after the teams were scoreless through double overtime. "I don't take penalty kicks regularly; that's why I was so nervous. I didn't even look at the goalie."
The Miners (11-5-1) missed a chance to win the game on their fifth attempt when Alejandro Vieyra's kick hit the crossbar. Redemption came when Park City goalie Casey Sederman saved Johnny Brower's attempt, setting up Valeriano for the chance to win the game.
"I can't think right now," Park City coach Jesse Blais said. "I could sit here and tell you who was going to take the shots, but it all comes down to confidence. We had many chances, but like all season, our problem has been finishing. Today we had, just barely, the less amount of mistakes to win the game."
Sederman actually stopped three shots during the shootout, including Cedar's Noah Hill twice. Hill missed his first attempt, but Sederman was called for leaving his line too early. Hill was stopped again on the retry.
"The shots aren't different than any other," Sederman said. "It's all about reading. You have to look at his approach and figure out where it's going. Mostly, I read it based on their approach. I don't like [penalty kicks], but it went well."
Valeriano, Gunnar Stray-Gunderson, Will McFarlane, Giacomo Castellano, Sully Tesch and Brad Muick all had successful conversions for Park City. Brock Shipp, Jeff Rogers, Aaron Heaton, Brenden Angus and Michael Briano had the shootout goals for Cedar (10-7-1), the No. 4 seed from Region 9.
Cedar was attempting to pull off its second consecutive upset in the playoffs, having defeated Region 12 champion Spanish Fork in the first round.
"I don't try to read into scores too much," Blais said. "I looked at who they played and how they played them, and I knew it would be a tough game. We have a legacy of going far in the playoffs, and we'll fight for every game."
The Miners, who will face Desert Hills on Friday at Jordan High, hadn't reached the semifinals since 2009, when they won the 3A championship.
Meanwhile, the loss ended a remarkable season Cedar, which won just four games last season. Cedar proved to be road warriors in the playoffs, traveling nearly 1,000 miles round trip over a three-day span.
Storylines PKs: Park City 6, Cedar City 5
R The Miners reach the Class 3A state semifinals for the first time since 2009.