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April 13, 2010 3:40 am

Cody shuts out Powell soccer

Written by Tribune Staff

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Senior Jason Rand dribbles the ball in traffic near midfield during Friday's Powell-Cody soccer game. The Panther boys continue their month-long road trip this weekend with conference games at Pinedale and Jackson. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Girls', boys' teams can't find the net vs. county rival

Powell's girls entered play at No. 2 Cody last Thursday ranked fifth in Class 3A according to a statewide poll of coaches and media. They left with a 10-0 loss and a laundry list of things to work on.

“This was probably the worst game we've played in my two years as head coach,” noted Powell head coach Brad Hammond, who watched his team surrender five goals in each half. “Cody scored on us 43 seconds into the game and it went downhill from there.”

To be fair, the Panthers played the contest with four regular starters and one reserve player missing, mostly due to conflicts with other school events. In their absence, a makeshift Powell lineup was unable to match pace with the Fillies, who spent the bulk of the contest pressuring the Panthers' back line defenders and sending shot after shot on goal.

Powell produced an early breakaway opportunity through the Cody defensive zone, but spent nearly the remainder of the first half before producing their second offensive shot attempt as the Fillies' midfielders rarely allowed Powell an opportunity to control the ball in the midzone.

“It was quite apparent that we were missing some folks,” Hammond said. “Our central midfielders worked well together, but we have a lot to work on. This is a tough loss to take, but we'll move on. We'll keep looking to get better and we'll go from there.”

Powell boys' coach Pat D'Alessandro also found himself dealing with a hard-to-swallow loss on Thursday, although for different reasons. The Panthers trailed No. 1 Cody by just one goal at intermission, but watched the Broncs send in two more goals in the second half.

“We had a chance in the second half when Drayson Bratt just drove a shot that Cody's keeper barely got his fingers on, but it was enough to re-direct the ball off the crossbar,” said D'Alessandro. “If that goes in, we're tied 1-1 and with the wind, it might change the complexion of the game. Instead, they go down a short while later and score and it becomes 2-0.”

Cody added a third goal late, taking advantage of a Powell lineup that was pushing players forward in an effort to get on the scoreboard.

“I take credit for that one,” said D'Alessandro. “I'd sent some players forward hoping to make it 2-1 and give us a chance to tie. As a result, our defense was kind of back there by itself.”

To their credit, the Panthers looked competitive against the defending 3A state champions as the team was able to generate pressure in the offensive zone. Cody's possession game, however, enabled the school to maintain the ball for extended periods of time.

“We didn't do a good job of using the width of the field, and that's an area that Cody did very well in,” said D'Alessandro. “As a result, we bogged down offensively at times, and that's something we'll have to continue to work on.”

Late in the contest, the Panthers' Drayson Bratt was hit with a red card and will miss Powell's Friday game against Pinedale as a result. While the call didn't impact the outcome of the Cody game, the Panthers' coach was less than pleased with its impact on Powell's next game.

“To me, a red card should be reserved for something malicious,” said D'Alessandro. “If there's an intent to injure, that's one thing, but to jump straight to a red card without a warning, without a yellow card, that's what I was upset about. It was a hard play, but the call could have gone either way and there wasn't any intent by either player.”

The Panthers are back in action this weekend with conference games at Pinedale on Friday and at Jackson on Saturday.

In junior varsity action on Thursday, the Powell girls lost by a 4-1 final count. Powell's boys lost their JV game by a 4-0 count against Cody.