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March 22, 2011 7:17 am

Panther girls go 1-1-1 to begin

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Team defeats Rawlins, ties Star Valley

Courage.

New Powell girls’ soccer coach Brett Hanlin asked his Panthers to play with it on Saturday at the Cody Jamboree. On the pitch, his players responded to post a 4-0 victory over Rawlins and a 0-0 draw with Class 4A’s Star Valley.

Powell also fell by a 3-0 count against Rock Springs for the day’s only loss. All three games were played under shortened time controls with 25-minute halves.

“Overall, the girls played very well,” Hanlin said of the weekend. “The loss to Rock Springs was closer than it sounds and should have been 1-0. We made some fundamental errors.”

Against Star Valley, the Panthers kept much of the first-half action in the midfield as both teams struggled to break through into the offensive zone. Star Valley took two shots on goal in the first half. The Panthers forced the Braves’ keeper to come out of the box once to make a save.

Both sides made midgame adjustments that created more free-flowing action in the second half. Powell dodged a bullet midway through the period, clearing a freely bouncing ball in the goal box after both sides missed a chance to make a play on it initially.

The Panthers got their best opportunities late in the contest, sending one shot from the left wing just wide of the near post. Another ball long pass from midfield narrowly missed bounding over the Star Valley keeper’s head as she came off the line to make a play for it near the top of the 18-yard box. A fingertip save in the face of an onrushing Panther forward maintained the scoreless draw.

The game was costly to the Panthers in a sense, however. After beginning the day with just 14 players in uniform — like the boys’ team, the Panther girls were also limited due to commitments to other activities over the weekend — Hanlin watched as two players were hobbled by injuries in the initial contest.

Those mishaps were felt in the day’s second contest as Powell fell by three goals against a bigger and deeper Rock Springs side. The Panthers recovered from that loss to score their first goals of the season against Rawlins.

Scoring information from that game was not available at press time today.

“We worked a lot on defense,” Hanlin said of his team’s early practices. “They did a good job of communicating and talking. This week, we need to work a bit on our counterattack.”

Powell travels to Buffalo on Friday for its first full-length game of the year.

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