Windy conditions and a strong attack from Green River in the first half did not stop the Powell Panthers from securing the No. 2 seed at home on Friday — breaking away in the second half en …
Windy conditions and a strong attack from Green River in the first half did not stop the Powell Panthers from securing the No. 2 seed at home on Friday — breaking away in the second half en route to a 7-3 victory over the visiting Wolves.
POWELL 7, GREEN RIVER 3
It was a must win game for both teams for different reasons on Friday, with the Panthers (8-5 overall, 8-4 3A West) needing a victory to secure the No. 2 seed while Green River (5-7 overall, 5-7 3A West) was battling for a chance at the postseason.
Green River came out strong with the wind and struck first.
A corner kick nine minutes into the game bounced around the box, and was eventually tapped past the Panther defense to make it 1-0.
Powell answered four minutes later when a perfectly placed through ball by Coy Erickson found Ivy Agee behind the defense, who rounded the keeper and tapped it in to tie the game 1-1.
Green River reclaimed the lead with just under 24 minutes left after a strong solo run finished just inside the 18-yard box to make it 2-1.
“The wind is an asset for sure and I feel if we can limit their attack and keep it close, like we did with Lander, then I believe we can always come back when we have the wind,” coach Danny Agee said. “So, we weren’t really too worried, just didn’t want the ladies to put their heads down. I felt they handled it well.”
Agee answered again just minutes later, scoring from 20 yards out to make it 2-2.
She completed the hat trick with 10 minutes left after a steal, and weaved her way into the box and just got it over the outstretched hands of the Wolves’ keeper to make it 3-2.
That scoreline held going into the break, and the wind shifted in favor of the Panthers in the second half.
Powell’s advantage grew, when Jordyn Dearcorn was dragged down in the box and won a penalty for the Panthers.
Agee stepped up and slotted it in to grow the advantage to 4-2.
Knowing that the lead might not be enough to stop the state’s leading scorer Isabel Vasco who has more than 30 goals, the Panthers continued to add to the lead.
A foul was won near midfield, and a 44-yard free kick by Emily Orr bounced high over the Green River keeper’s head to make it 5-2 with 28 minutes remaining.
“I have enough respect for Vasco to know that a one goal lead is not enough, so we weren’t going to pull back until we had a few extras on the board,” coach Agee said.
A Patricia Christensen hustle play near midfield won the ball and found its way to Agee, who raced her way down the field and scored again to make it 6-2.
Green River got one back with just under 18 minutes left to make it 6-3.
Agee capped off the scoring with 8:38 left in the game, making it 7-3 and giving her six goals.
After the win on Friday the Panthers guaranteed they will be the No. 2 seed at the state tournament — also locking up the first winning season in the program’s 21 year history.
The victory also matched the most in a season in program history, matching the eight won in 2013 as that team finished with an 8-10-1 record.
Powell’s reward for the first state tournament berth in six years is a 9 a.m. matchup in Green River with the most common quarterfinal opponent the Panthers have faced in eight previous berths — Buffalo.
“Earlier in the year we wrote our team goals and individual goals on construction paper,” coach Agee said. “We looked back at those last week and it was amazing to see how many of them had been met this year already. One goal was to simply qualify for state. The ladies have worked hard all season and have stayed focused on the goals we made, and they surpassed many of them. The year has already been a tremendous success.”
Buffalo (6-6 overall, 6-4 3A East) comes in as the No. 3 seed from the east, the first time the two teams will match up in the state quarterfinals and the Panthers will be the higher seed.
In five matchups the Bison have outscored Powell 24-0, as the Panthers will seek their first quarterfinal victory in program history — adding to the one program victory at the state tournament which was over Torrington in the consolation semifinal in 2013.
Powell is on the same side of the bracket as the east No. 1 seed Worland (11-2-1 overall, 10-0 3A East) and west No. 4 seed Mountain View (7-6 overall, 6-6 3A West).
“Being the No. 2 seed keeps us from playing Worland first and keeps us away from Cody unless we make it to the final,” coach Agee said. “It really was the best thing we could have hoped for and I am very proud of the ladies for making it happen.”
Coach Agee said he looks at it as three potential games, and the game does not change in any way — with the team that capitalizes on the most chances winning.
“We have proven that we can play with most any team out there,” coach Agee said. “As long as we show up and do what we have been doing I know we will be in the game at the end.”
If Powell wins it will move to the semifinals to match up with Worland or Mountain View on Friday at 2 p.m. — a loss will drop Powell to another 9 a.m. matchup on Friday with the loser of Worland and Mountain View.
Games will be played at Lincoln Middle School and Green River High School in Green River.
All games in Green River, games on Thursday are at Lincoln Middle School, games on Friday are at Green River High School, games on Saturday are at both locations dependent on results.
G1: No. 2W Powell vs. No. 3E Buffalo at 9 a.m.
G2: No. 1E Worland vs. No. 4W Mountain View at 11 a.m.
G3: No. 2E Douglas vs. No. 3W Lander at 2 p.m.
G4: No. 1W Cody vs. No. 4E Rawlins at 4 p.m.
G8: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 at 9 a.m. (loser out)
G9: Lost G3 vs. Loser G4 at 11 a.m. (loser out)
G5: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 at 2 p.m.
G6: Winner G3 vs. Winner G4 at 4 p.m.
Consolation final: Winner G8 vs. Winner G9 at 11 a.m. at GRHS
Third place: Loser G5 vs. Loser G6 at 9 a.m. at LMS
Championship: Winner G5 vs. Winner G6 at 1 p.m. at LMS