A long trip to the southwest corner of the state proved fruitful for the Powell Panther girls’ soccer team — going 2-1 after a 2-2 tie and 5-4 shootout loss to Lyman on Thursday, a 1-1 …
A long trip to the southwest corner of the state proved fruitful for the Powell Panther girls’ soccer team — going 2-1 after a 2-2 tie and 5-4 shootout loss to Lyman on Thursday, a 1-1 tie and 3-2 shootout win over Mountain View and a 5-0 victory over Pinedale on Saturday to claim the first state tournament berth for the program since 2017.
LYMAN 2 (5), Powell 2 (4)
Starting out the difficult three game stretch, the Panthers (7-5 overall, 7-4 3A West) got off to a rough start against the Eagles (2-7 overall, 2-7 3A West).
Lyman got on the board early, after a shot just inside the 18-yard box found its way just over the outstretched hand of Jaedyn Hampton six minutes into the game to make it 1-0 early for the hosts.
Kenzi Fields nearly equalized for the Panthers seven minutes later but her effort was pushed wide for a corner.
Long efforts were unable to find the back of the net for the Panthers, and Lyman held on to its early goal until the halftime whistle.
In the second half, Powell pressed the Eagle goal early and got a chance off a corner kick.
The kick found its way to Coy Erickson, whose shot to the far post found the hand of an Eagle defender and a penalty for the Panthers.
Ivy Agee stepped up and fired the ball to the keeper’s right and tied the match 1-1 with 35 minutes to play.
Powell nearly took the lead two minutes later on a cross turned shot by Emma Johnson that fell a little too far for Mary Shopa and the score remained tied.
Lyman appeared to take the lead with just under 22 minutes left, but an offside call wiped the score off the board.
The Eagles took the lead with 16 minutes left after a miscommunication at the back, leaving Powell in search of an equalizing goal late.
Powell got its response with just over three minutes remaining on a 35-yard effort from Agee that sailed over the Eagle keeper to tie the game 2-2.
That score remained until the final whistle — sending the game to shots from the mark.
“The game against Lyman was a tough one for sure and I think the biggest thing we learned is that we need to capitalize on our chances,” coach Danny Agee said. “I believe that had we done so then we would have never had to go to a shootout — we simply were not focused enough.”
A new rule was implemented by the Wyoming High School Activities Association this season for 3A teams. That rule states that the two teams will go directly into a penalty shootout, with the winner taking three points and the losing team gaining a point due to the two teams being tied after 80 minutes.
The rule only applies to conference games during the regular season — once the teams reach the state tournament if the two teams are tied after regulation, the teams will play the two extra time halves before going to a penalty shootout.
Lyman made its first two kicks and Powell made one and missed one.
Both teams made the next two kicks to set up an important fifth round.
Hampton came close on multiple kicks prior but couldn’t get a save — she guessed correctly and saved the fifth kick up the middle to give Powell a chance to tie.
Agee stepped up and tied it and sent the kicks into sudden death.
Lyman made its kick and Powell’s effort was saved and the Eagles walked away with the shootout victory.
“The shootout was our first and it was nice to get to experience that prior to a state playoff game,” coach Agee said.
POWELL 1 (3), MOUNTAIN VIEW 1 (2)
Looking to recover from the loss Thursday, the Panthers went into a difficult road contest against a Mountain View (5-5 overall, 4-5 3A West) squad that had won five of its last six games.
Both teams came out and applied pressure from the jump, but it was Mountain View that got on the board first in an end to end contest.
A long run up the left wing wasn’t stopped by the Panthers, and the shot rolled just under Hampton to give the Buffalos a 1-0 lead just past the midway point of the first half.
Both teams applied pressure but were unable to find the back of the net as the Buffalos maintained a 1-0 lead heading into the halftime break.
Powell got its answer just six minutes into the second half.
An Agee corner kick was long, and was switched around by Kenna Cannon and Emily Orr until it found its way back to Agee — whose long shot found its way over the Buffalo keeper to tie the game 1-1.
“We tried to tighten things more for the Mountain View game and even though we still struggled to find the net, it was a much better effort than the day before,” coach Agee said.
Neither team found a winner, and the game once again went to a shootout — the second for both teams this season.
Powell got the first kick and Johnson put it in.
Coach Agee opted to switch Erickson into net, and she saved the first shot from the Buffalos.
Sammi Rivas stepped up for the second kick, but her effort was saved and Mountain View scored to tie it 1-1 after two rounds.
“Putting Coy in as keeper was very last minute and I believe she was as shocked as I was when I said it,” coach Agee said. “I just felt her skills on the basketball court would benefit her in the net for a shootout.”
Erickson stepped up to take her own kick and scored — then saved the next shot to give Powell a 2-1 advantage.
Cannon had her shot stopped and the Buffalos scored to tie it 2-2 heading into the final kicks.
Agee buried it in the bottom left, and the Mountain View shot went wide right to give Powell the 3-2 shootout victory.
That victory gave the Panthers a season sweep over the Buffalos in a tight 3A West Conference.
POWELL 5, PINEDALE 0
After the game on Friday the Panther road trip continued, wrapping up the three games in three days in Pinedale (0-10 overall, 0-10 3A West).
Powell came out and produced a strong half against the Wranglers, building a 2-0 lead after goals from Johnson and Agee.
In the second half the Panthers put the game away with two more goals from Agee, and a goal from Orr helped secure a 5-0 victory.
“Winning the game on Saturday was great but the part I enjoyed the most was that we continued to build ourselves back over the three games,” coach Agee said. “This was the closest we could come to training for state and even though we started off rough I liked seeing the continuous improvement from the first day to the last.”
After the seven points earned over the weekend, the Panthers officially locked up a spot at the state tournament next weekend in Green River for the first time since 2017.
Currently Powell sits in second place with 22 points, alongside Cody who has won the conference as the only two teams to lock up a postseason spot in the West.
“The goal was always to make it to state and the ladies have worked hard toward that goal all season,” coach Agee said. “Like any team, we have had a couple hurdles to get over, but they have improved each and every day and I am glad they will get to have the experience of going to state, especially for the four seniors.”
The season sweep over Mountain View guarantees the Panthers will advance to the postseason with the Buffalos as the lowest team in contention sitting on 13 points with three games remaining — so if Mountain View won all three games this week and Powell lost against Green River then Powell advances due to head to head wins in the event of a tie in the standings.
Lander sits in third with 18 points and has three games, at Cody on Tuesday, home vs. Lyman on Thursday and at Mountain View on Friday.
The Tigers have a chance to leapfrog the Panthers, and will pass Powell if they earn six points and Powell loses on Friday. If Powell wins on Friday then the Tigers will have to earn seven or more points to either tie or surpass the Panthers.
Green River sits in fourth with 17 points, and plays Cody on Thursday before coming to Powell on Friday.
Mountain View has three games to play this week, starting with a home game against Lyman on Tuesday, a home game against Lander on Friday and a road game against Pinedale on Saturday.
Powell can fall anywhere between the No. 2 and 4 seeds heading into next weekend, and most of the scenarios will likely be settled before Friday when the Panthers take the field again.
FINAL HOME GAME
Powell returns home to wrap up the regular season on Friday at 4 p.m. against Green River (5-5 overall, 5-5 3A West).
“It would be great to be able to secure the two seed position, but we are going to have to come out strong and play for a full 80 minutes to beat Green River,” coach Agee said.
Coach Agee said the team will focus on connecting more through passing this week, as he felt they dribbled a little bit too much and became predictable over this past weekend. Powell defeated Green River 5-3 in the teams’ first meeting.
Friday night will be the final home game for the Panther seniors, before heading off to their first state tournament next weekend in Green River.
Overall record then conference record
1. Cody 12-0 (36 points) … 10-0 (30 points)
2. Powell 7-5 (22 points) … 7-4 (22 points)
3. Lander 6-4 (18 points) … 6-3 (18 points)
4. Green River 5-5 (17 points) … 5-5 (17 points)
5. Mountain View 5-5 (16 points) … 4-5 (13 points)
6. Lyman 2-7 (6 points) … 2-7 (6 points)
7. Pinedale 0-10 (0 points) … 0-10 (0 points)