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PHS girls soccer forced to forfeit win

PHS junior Rebecca Pratt (left) cuts inside against a Pinedale defender during Saturday morning’s 3-2 overtime win. PHS junior Rebecca Pratt (left) cuts inside against a Pinedale defender during Saturday morning’s 3-2 overtime win. Tribune photo by Dante Geoffrey

A coaching rules violation forced the Powell Panthers girls’ soccer team to forfeit its season-opening 3-2 overtime win against Pinedale.

Head coach Isaac Reyesmejia, who was officially hired on March 11, did not pass a 100-question test on rules prior to the season opener played in Powell Saturday morning.

Wyoming High School Activities Association Commissioner Ron Laird said all coaches must “pass an open-book test before the first contest and that did not happen.”

Reyesmejia failed the test twice prior to the game but passed it on Monday. He will be eligible to coach the Panthers’ next game Saturday at 11 a.m. against Star Valley at Panther Stadium.

“I’ve already retaken the test and passed it,” Reyesmejia said.

PHS Athletics Director Tim Wormald was not immediately available for comment Monday afternoon.

  Kawano scores pair as PHS peppers Pinedale

Aimee Kawano scored two overtime goals, including the would-be game-winner, as the PHS girls’ soccer team impressed in heavy winds at Panther Stadium Saturday morning.

The Panthers wore down the Wranglers with an unrelenting attack and outscored Pinedale 2-1 in the first overtime period to open the 2014 season, the first under Reyesmejia, with a short-lived victory.

“There’s nothing wrong with dramatics sometimes,” Reyesmejia said of taking the game in overtime.

Kawano’s timely goals came after a couple of first-half scoring attempts lacked just enough conviction to put Powell ahead in regulation. Once in overtime, however, the junior found a way to create her own space and get off two shots that would put Powell on top.

“She might not be the fastest player out there, but she knows how to get around defenders,” Reyesmejia said.

On multiple occasions, Wrangler defenders were crossed up and left off balance as they attempted to keep up with Kawano while she cut through seam after seam on her way to the Pinedale net.

Her first goal came off of a powerful right foot from 10 yards out, while her go-ahead goal earlier in the first OT came from about 20 yards away.

Kawano and the Panthers came out in a 4-4-2 formation and peppered the Pinedale net with 34 shots on goal.

“Obviously our goal was to attack,” Reyesmejia said. “We actually put them on the defensive early in the game. By the time we got into overtime they were done.”

Reyesmejia credited senior captains Carly Klein and Haley Wichman for providing the team with a boost of leadership heading into the extra periods.

“When we had to go into overtime and we were tied 2-2, they both just pumped them up,” Reyesmejia said. “They went out there and (the Panthers) took that game from them. That was pretty special.”

Wichman scored Powell’s first goal of the season in the game’s opening minutes.

The coach is anticipating even better things for the offense when seniors Shelby Nicholson (senior trip) and Kelly Vezain (out of town) and sophomore Jordyn Haire (short of practice minimum) return to the lineup.

“I can just imagine what’s to come with the other weapons we’ll have out there,” Reyesmejia said.

The Panthers held the 1-0 lead Wichman gave them until a Pinedale free kick knotted things up late in the first half.

PHS junior goalkeeper Sonya Montanez came out of the goalie box during a goalie kick, and a free kick was awarded to the Wranglers.

The kick sailed just right of the center of the net and above Montanez’s head. The Panther keeper extended her arms in an attempt to bat the ball out of the air and catch it, but was unable to stop its momentum. The ball spun through her grasping hands and landed behind her in the net.

Reyesmejia said Montanez should have punched the ball away, even if it meant giving Pinedale a corner kick.

“She went palms, and when you get a ball that goes a little bit higher, fisting the ball can help,” Reyesmejia said.

The Wranglers nearly took a 2-1 lead soon after when they were awarded a penalty kick that was sent skipping wide right.

The penalty was called after a Wrangler forward entered the box and was about to shoot when a PHS defender slid in front of her and booted the ball cleanly, it seemed, out of bounds.

Seconds later the referee came into the box, and when the Pinedale player didn’t immediately stand up he blew his whistle and pointed at the penalty spot, drawing jeers from Powell fans braving the biting wind.

Reyesmejia said the ref explained to him during halftime that the Powell defender made contact during her follow through with the Wrangler players.

The coach said he didn’t agree with the penalty but admitted he didn’t have a clear view of the play.

“You’re going to get calls like that,” Reyesmejia said.

The JV girls beat Pinedale 4-0 behind two goals from freshman Kayla Atkinson.

“I knew that she was fast, but in the second half of that game she just came unglued,” Reyesmejia said of Atkinson.

The Panthers continue their three-game, season-opening homestand Saturday at 11 a.m. against Star Valley. Friday’s home game against Jackson was rescheduled to April 26 at 11 a.m.

Coach Reyesmejia and the girls will get back to work this week as they enter just their third week together on the pitch.

“I’m starting to see the pieces. They’re there,” Reyesmejia said. “We have an entire season to get ready for state. I believe that this team can do great things.”


PHS girls' soccer schedule
  22   Pinedale   3-2 OT
  29   Star Valley   11 a.m.
  3   Cody   4 p.m.
  4   Worland   3 p.m.
  11   Green River Invite   TBA
  12   Green River Invite   TBA
  22   Cody   4 p.m.
  25   Buffalo   5 p.m.
  26   Jackson   11 a.m.
  29   Worland   4 p.m.
  2   Lander   4 p.m.
  3   Pinedale   11 a.m.
  9   Star Valley   4 p.m.
  10   Jackson   11 a.m.
  22-24   STATE   TBA
  Overall Record: 0-1; Conference: 0-0

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