Carbon kickers end season in swine flu country: Bye turns into loss in a few hours
Just when it looked like the Dinos would have a bye into the second round of play-offs, they had to regroup and change courses.
In the end they ended their season with a 7-1 loss to the defending Miners.
Last Thursday's game between Park City and Carbon was postponed when a student at Park City had a suspected case of the H1N1 virus and their school was closed indefinitely.
Just as the UHSSA was making the ruling that the play-off schedule would not be altered to accommodate the closure, the Utah Health Department ruled that Park City High could reopen.
Because of that the Carbon team only had four hours of notice to gather up what they needed and to assemble to face the defending 3A state soccer champs.
Under intense media coverage because of the closure, then non-closure, the Dinos played for their tournament lives.
The Miners were up 2-0 at the half, but the Dinos fought back and pulled within one point 10 minutes into the second period. The score came from the solid duo of Jose Munoz to Fernando Mendoza.
But Park City loaded their line-up with scorers and finished off as good teams do, with a flurry of goals and a lopsided 7-1 victory.
"We played hard and with class," said Carbon Coach Patrick Clifford after the loss. "Park City is a good team and they played like good teams do. But the final score is not indicative of how well we played. A few foul calls could have gone our way and didn't, but thats how it happens."
Clifford had great words for the play of many of his players, including Mendoza and Munoz, as well as Brandon and Tanner Gagnon, Jacob Butler and Tyler Parry. He also recognized the hard work of his young goalie Adam Bedont.
"He had some really good games (this year)," said the coach. "I hope he doesn't get discouraged because its hard to be a goalie when you don't win many games. You kind of are out there by yourself and under a lot of pressure."
Clifford was also very optimistic about next season.
"I am excited about next season," he said. "At the beginning of this one I was wondering how we would replace this year's seniors; they are the heart of the team. But I have seen some real improvement in our next group and I am excited. Next season is going to be interesting because we will be in the region with Park City and Wasatch, two soccer powerhouses."
But the team will also have the American Leadership Academy and Union that are pretty close to the same level of play that Carbon is at now.
"We will fight it out for position in the (new) region," concluded Clifford.