Murray downs Park City 2-0 to repeat as region champsMay 09, 2023 10:59PM ● By Travis Barton
Dallin Mabey (left) and Colton Boyd celebrate the opening goal of the Spartans' region clinching win over Park City. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
For senior night, and with the Region 6 title on the line, it made sense for two seniors to help break the deadlock.
With the game scoreless between Murray and Park City in the early stages of the second half, it was a nicely worked combination down the right that ended with Dallin Mabey flicking the ball through to Colton Boyd for a side-footed finish that would prove the game winner.
Mateus Rameuldo would later unleash a screamer into the side netting to make it 2-0 with 11 minutes to play sending the Spartan bench and crowd into euphoria, with fans later rushing the field as time expired.
The win means the Murray boys soccer team repeats as region champs.
“Awesome,” said head coach Bryan DeMann of how he felt after the win. “It’s cool to see the guys win it here with their friends, that’s awful neat to see everyone running out on the field.”
After a first half where the Spartans peppered the Park City goal dangerous chances, Spartan DeMann said there weren’t many adjustments to make for the second half.
“We talked about staying aggressive, reminded them that our strength is moving the ball,” he said. “We tried to take advantage of the fact Park City had a make-up game last night that we didn't. We felt it was imperative to keep moving the ball. The more they had to move, the more they had to adjust, the more it was to our advantage.”
Murray started the game well, controlling the rhythm with its smooth possession and players interchanging all over the field. The right back Boyd made several forays forward which resulted in dangerous opportunities for Mabey and Rameuldo. Freshman Carlos Nieto-Rosales had a dangerous chance as well with Park City keeper Tommy Manwaring up to the task every time.
The Miners slowly gained a foothold as the first half wore on, though without threatening the Spartan goal.
The second half saw Murray increase its tempo as its ball movement, the team’s calling card, began to ask more questions of the Miner defense with quicker combinations centrally as well as more diagonals behind the Park City backline.
“We had to play really well cause Park City is a good team, that's a good team. They don't get scored on very much,” DeMann said. “The pressure they absorb is evident of the type of team they were so I'm extra proud of my boys that they just kept at it. They kept moving, they stayed aggressive. That keeper back there is awesome. It took a team effort to do that.”
The breakthrough came in the 55th minute as Boyd continued his run forward, Mabey’s one-touch decision released Boyd into space for the senior to slot home.
“The boys move the ball well, they're unselfish, they’re not worried about whose dribbling through where for the score. They pass to each other and kept at it and got us a couple,” DeMann said.
While the midfield controlled the tempo, and the backline marshalled any Miner attack (notably freshman center back Axel Lopez), DeMann pointed to the forwards unselfishness in their press in helping keep the game played in their attacking half.
“Which is what I think was the real key, when the ball’s on this half of the field it makes it a whole lot easier,” he said.
Victory means Murray (10-5, 9-3 in region) ends the regular season on a high, after losing to Skyline the week before. It also means the Spartans survived a grueling region slate to emerge as champions. Murray beat Park City twice, who beat Skyline twice, who beat the Spartans twice.
“I’m super proud of that because it’s a tough region all the way up and down,” DeMann said.
Due to weather and perhaps Murray’s location further away from the benches, the Spartans played almost every home game through the first round of region since its field was clear. Senior night was the team’s only home game in the second round of region.
“Another fun thing the boys had to work through,” DeMann said.
Murray can expect a higher seed entering the 5A state tournament next week with a potential bye into the second round, which will take place at home on May 16 at 4 p.m.
“Now we just have to finish make sure the season ends well,” DeMann said.