PHS scores weekend whitewash

Posted 3/31/09

The victories lift Powell to a 4-0-1 mark for the young season.

“This is a great group of kids,” Panther head coach Pat D'Alessandro said of the weekend action. “Both games were very similar. We were able to possess the ball and …

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PHS scores weekend whitewash


{gallery}03_31_09/boyssoccer{/gallery}Powell senior Jordan Brown plays a ball off his chest during the Panthers' 8-0 shutout of Torrington on Saturday. Powell improved to 4-0-1 on the year with the win. Tribune photo by Don AmendPanther boys score 6-0, 8-0 wins to stay unbeaten There will be challenges this season for the Powell High School boys' soccer team. This past weekend simply wasn't that time. The Panthers blasted Newcastle 6-0 on Friday, then followed it up with an 8-0 shutout of Torrington on Saturday.

The victories lift Powell to a 4-0-1 mark for the young season.

“This is a great group of kids,” Panther head coach Pat D'Alessandro said of the weekend action. “Both games were very similar. We were able to possess the ball and transition to the offensive third of the field.”

Once there, the Panthers demonstrated ample knowledge of what to do.

Powell peppered Newcastle keeper Kameron Aipperspach early and often in Friday's match. Only some point-blank saves by the sophomore and an offside call negating an apparent Gianluca Giarrizzo goal kept the contest scoreless in the early going.

The Panther senior didn't have to wait long for another opportunity. Minutes later, Giarrizzo found himself at the right place at the right time to tap home a carom off a Newcastle defender near the mouth of the goal and get Powell on the board.

The goal threw the floodgates open. Senior Mitch Barker scored on a breakaway less than two minutes later.

Junior Drayson Bratt added a shot on goal to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead at intermission.

Newcastle managed just one first-half shot on goal.

The Panthers' dominance continued into the second half, which resembled an offensive shooting drill for the first several minutes. Powell saw six point-blank shot attempts turned away by the Dogies' back line before Giarrizzo broke through on a touch shot that hit off the inside of the left post before crossing the goal line.

Bratt followed with a shot that beat the diving Newcastle keeper to his left. Giarrizzo wrapped up the scoring on a good centering pass from the right wing for a hat trick. Senior Mitch Barker accounted for a pair of assists.

As dominating as the victory was, it could have been worse. Panther fans saw four goals — two in each half — get waved off by offside calls.

“In a closer game, it may have played a role,” D'Alessandro said of the Panthers' multiple offside violations. “At the same time, you like the aggressiveness it shows. I think part of it is that we have some kids that are so quick, that if you're not watching they look like they're offside because their first couple steps are so fast.”

Saturday's game followed a similar script. The Panthers scored in the fourth minute to begin an onslaught that saw Torrington surrender eight goals.

Of that count, Bratt was responsible for half of the Panthers' points. Barker added a hat trick with three goals and Giarrizzo rounded out the scoring with a lone strike.

“Our defense wasn't tested much, but when they did touch the ball, it was great to see the way they handled the transition game,” said D'Alessandro. “They're really able to avoid the initial pressure and get the ball upfield and allow us to trigger our possession game.”

“Our defense and our outside midfielders don't get much of the glory, because they're not scoring goals very often in the formation we use,” D'Alessandro said. “But their play is so important to getting us in position to score.”

In junior varsity action, Powell scored a 5-0 win over Newcastle before settling for a 4-4 draw against Torrington.

“We gave up a couple goals in the Torrington game and trailed 3-1 at the half,” said D'Alessandro. “It was a good test to keep our composure and fight back.”

Powell fought back to tie the game, then took the lead on a penalty kick in the waning minutes. Torrington escaped with the tie after converting a penalty kick at the final whistle.

Powell hosts Pinedale on Saturday. Boys JV action starts at 11 a.m. with the varsity contest to follow at 1 p.m.