PARK CITY — Becoming a playmaker as a freshman felt like a foreign concept to Park City forward Jessica Dancy at the start of the season.
Dancy counted on her role being limited at best and just wanted to make an impact in whatever small way she could.
"I thought I would be really happy if I got one goal the whole season, and I ended up scoring a couple goals a game," said Dancy. "It makes me feel really proud I can make a difference on the team."
Dancy certainly made a difference for the Miners on Saturday afternoon. She scored a goal in each half to lift Park City to a 3-0 victory over Cedar in the quarterfinal round of the 3A girls soccer tournament.
The Miners (12-3-2) advance to the 3A semifinals at Woods Cross High on Friday afternoon where they'll play Bear River.
The freshman struck first when less than a minute of stoppage time remained in the first half. Maggie Reigelsperger served up a corner kick to Dancy inside the six-yard box and she headed into the right corner for a 1-0 halftime lead.
It was a major momentum changer for Park City, which appeared destined to be locked in a scoreless tie with a scrappy Cedar team going into the second half.
"We just came off the half and we were really happy," Dancy said. "Everyone was smiling."
Those good vibes continued for the Miners after halftime.
Park City staked out a 2-0 advantage a goal from Julia Kranstover in the 46th minute. Miners goalkeeper Bethany Kanten set the scoring play in motion when she dropped a free kick deep into the area and the ball spit out to Kranstover just up from the left post. From there, the senior midfielder curled a shot inside the post.
Park City coach Chip Cook made a strategic decision to use Kanten on free kicks behind the midfield line because she figured the senior would do a good job of setting the team up in scoring position.
"She could kick a 50-yard field goal," Cook said. "She's really strong mentally and physically. She knows where to put the ball and it's great when you have a weapon like that that can create some opportunities."
Dancy provided the final goal after scoring on a breakaway in the 79th minute. She had just Cedar goalkeeper Tara Shipp to beat and sent a volley that bounced off Shipp's gloves and dropped down the back of the net.
The Lady Reds (6-7-3) had some occasional chances to score in each half. Their best shot came in the 72nd minute when sophomore forward Brindley Oldroyd sent a free kick over a three-player defensive wall and bounced the ball off the upper corner of the left post.
Park City did a good job through the final 40 minutes of making sure Cedar never could dig itself out once the Miners excavated a hole for the Lady Reds.
"Our defense played incredibly strong," Cook said. "They limited their opportunities. They passed the ball up so that we could maintain possession. It's always crucial. The offense starts from the back."