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Panthers fall to Rawlins, Torrington at state tournament

Powell's Steven Shopa battles for the ball against a group of Rawlins opponents during a Thursday game at the Class 3A State Soccer Tournament in Jackson. Rawlins prevailed, 6-0. Powell's Steven Shopa battles for the ball against a group of Rawlins opponents during a Thursday game at the Class 3A State Soccer Tournament in Jackson. Rawlins prevailed, 6-0. Tribune photo by Mark Davis
The Powell High School boys soccer team opened the Class 3A State Soccer Tournament Thursday with a lopsided 6-0 loss to Rawlins, then fell to Torrington on Friday, 4-0. That concluded the Panthers' season.
Powell came out lethargic to open Thursday's game and Rawlins took advantage, scoring three goals in the first 20 minutes of play. Freshman keeper Ashton Brewer was peppered with shots the entire first half, and the Outlaws held a 5-0 lead at the break. The Panthers were able to create a few scoring opportunities, but unable to find the back of the net.

“Same old story: first half we weren’t there like we should be; the second half, we finally woke up and played,” said Powell head coach Jeff Dent. “We weren’t finishing. We had opportunities that first half to make scores, we just weren’t getting them in again. We work on it and work on it, and it works great in practice. We just can’t get it to translate in the game.”

The Panthers were able to regroup a bit at halftime, coming out for the second half with a much-needed spark. The defense began working with each other as a unit, pushing the ball up to the midfielders and controlling the action. Though they never quite found their groove, Powell didn’t play badly, holding Rawlins scoreless until the final three minutes.

“Overall, I was happy with the team, they played the whole game,” Dent said. “We didn’t play bad, we were controlling the field, mostly. But then they would make their breaks, split our defense. Trying to fix things back there just wasn’t happening.”

That pitted Powell against Torrington on Friday, which gave top-ranked Worland all they could handle on Thursday before losing in an overtime shootout, 5-4.

“We’ll relax a bit tonight, come down from this one,” Dent said Thursday. “We just need to make sure the boys are there mentally and ready to keep going tomorrow.”

Torrington's Trailblazers bested the Panthers 4-0 in the loser-out contest.

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