“We were able to get some freshmen their first varsity experience and got both of our back-up goalies into the game in the second half,” said Powell head coach Travis Rapp. “It was a well-played game. We played very balanced and we held control for the whole game.”
Tyler Ouellete set the tone early on with a goal just three minutes after the opening whistle. Dylan Ulmer added another goal three minutes later and the rout was officially on.
Dan Katz and Logan Hartman added first-half scores to put Powell in front 4-0 at halftime. Ethan Landers tallied a pair of goals in the first five minutes of the second half. John Kissner came forward to score a pair of goals three minutes apart. Hartman and Cooper Wise rounded out the scoring for Powell.
“Nine of the 10 goals were assisted and more importantly we were able to hold the whole 80 minutes without a defensive mistake that cost us a goal,” said Rapp.
The same could not be said on Saturday at Jackson, where the Panthers fell by a 2-1 final count.
In a rematch of an earlier non-conference game that ended in controversy after an apparent overtime goal that would have tied the game was disallowed, the Panthers were battling to catch up for much of the game. Jackson scored four minutes in and added a second goal off a penalty kick midway through the first half.
“We limped to halftime,” Rapp said. “We told the boys at the half to be a bit more physical and to pick up their intensity and win more 50-50 balls.”
The Panthers also made it a point to focus on attacking the right side of the field. The strategy paid off as Ulmer planted the ball in the back of the net off a feed from Wise midway through the second half.
The Panthers also saw a back-post attempt from Zac Jones ricochet off the post and had another Ulmer shot cleared from the goal line by a Jackson defender after Ulmer’s shot beat the keeper wide.
“We had our chances, we just couldn’t get them all in,” said Rapp, whose team fell 2-1 to Jackson for the second time this season.
Rapp praised the work of Kissner in net for the Panthers as well.
“He had an amazing second half,” Rapp said, who called his goalie’s performance all-state in nature. “He stopped a breakaway and four or five other shots that could have been goals. He’s improving as the season goes and his intensity level is up.”
Powell wraps up the regular season on Tuesday in Worland. The Panthers are then expected to face Rawlins on Friday in Lander in a 3A play-in game for the state tournament. The winner of Friday’s game advances to a spot on the eight-school state bracket while the loser sees its season come to an end.
The Panthers defeated Rawlins on the opening weekend of the season in a Jamboree game. This is Rawlins’ first season at the varsity level in Class 3A.