PARK CITY — Ever since opening region play last week by beating defending 3A champion Judge Memorial, Park City has felt like its offense was on the upswing. The Miners were communicating better and mastering the sort of possession game vital to their scoring attack.

Still, it wasn't supposed to look this easy against archrival Wasatch.

Park City toyed with the Wasps, racking up goals like they were points in a video game to secure a 5-0 victory on Wednesday afternoon. It didn't seem to matter who shot the ball or where they shot it. The ball kept going in.

"It was a weird game today," senior Hannah Terry said. "Even though we weren't playing as fast as we would have liked to, we were connecting really well."

Weird described Park City's initial goal perfectly. The Miners scored in the fifth minute when Lauren Reich volleyed the ball right at Wasatch keeper Sierra Wardle. It bounced off Wardle's fingertips as she tried to clear the ball over the crossbar and rolled over the end line in anticlimactic fashion.

It took Park City a few seconds to realize they even scored.

"It was dead quiet," senior Lindsi Lisonbee said. "Then Lauren was the first one to scream because she knew it was going in."

Once the ice had been broken, it took little time for it to fragment and dissolve completely. Goals came at a fast and furious pace for the Miners throughout the half.

Lisonbee made it 2-0 in the 15th minute when she scooted around Natalie Pennington, while going one-on-one, and rocketed the ball past Wardle as she dove for it. Terry made it a three-goal lead in the 20th minute when she dribbled around Katrina Baird and bent the ball around the near post.

Margaret Vallejo capped off the first-half frenzy in the 36th minute by rifling the ball from the far side of the penalty area to the opposite post. The ball clanked off the top portion of the post and took a wicked hop into the net.

The Wasps showed some conservative tendencies on defense an allowed the Miners too much space to operate. They wasted no time taking full advantage of the situation.

"It didn't take us long to realize we had that much space behind us," Lisonbee said. "No one was really putting a ton of pressure on us. Just the fact they were staying that far back helped us to hold the ball longer and find open players."

Park City is finally cultivating some rewards from a ragged preseason schedule that left the team with three losses and one tie in its first five games. The Miners are 4-0 in region play and definitely resemble a region title contender more than they did a couple of weeks ago.

"I just think all of our players are becoming a little bit more comfortable with each other," Park City coach Chip Cook said. "We're just getting more comfortable as a team (and) creating a lot of opportunities. Today, we were able to finish off on a lot of opportunities."


E-mail: jcoon@desnews.com