The Panthers, by contrast, had two in uniform for the game as two of the team’s starters were unable to attend due to other commitments. Powell also started three freshmen in the contest.
“Experience made a big difference,” Hanlin said. “They’re a really tough team, but it was good for our girls to see that and play against it.”
And in large part, the Panthers’ first-year head coach was pleased with what he saw from his side. The Panthers fell behind 3-0 in the first half and surrendered four more goals during the final half of action.
“We knew they had a couple star players, and we did a good job of guarding them and slowing them down,” Hanlin said. “Overall, the girls played hard.”
Buffalo’s experience wasn’t the only difficulty the Panthers battled in the contest. The weather conditions proved equally hostile, starting with a howling wind and progressing to rain and snow as play continued.
The Panthers also played the second half with just one substitution after exhausting its supply of available halves. Wyoming soccer regulations state that a player may appear in no more than three halves of soccer each day, a rule that prevented many of the Panthers’ JV players, who played a full game earlier in the day, from substituting in both halves of the varsity contest.
“Tough conditions against a tough team, but at the end we were running hard still,” Hanlin said.
In the junior varsity contest, Powell fell by a more-respectable 1-0 final score. Buffalo’s lone goal came off a penalty kick following a hand ball in the box.
“They out-shot us by probably a two-to-one margin over the course of the game, but that one unfortunate mental error was the only goal,” Hanlin said.
Buffalo took over the No. 1 ranking in the state this week following wins over Powell and Cody last weekend.
Things get no easier for the Panther girls this week. The team travels to Lander today (Thursday) for a game against the No. 4 Tigers. Powell returns home on Saturday to play its first conference game against No. 3 Cody.
“It is not going to be an easy week,” said Hanlin. “The nice thing is we will have everyone available and healthy, so we’ll be able to put our best team out on the field for the first time this season.”
Powell carries a 1-2-1 record into those games.
Three score against Rawlins
Hanlin was also able to release the names of his goal scorers from the team’s 4-0 victory over Rawlins in a game played the previous week at the Cody Jamboree.
Molly McCray netted two of the Panthers’ goals in that game. Maddy Jones added a third strike and Taylor Swenson rounded out the afternoon with the Panthers’ fourth goal.