A seven game winning streak, that started for the Powell Panther boys’ soccer team after an opening season loss to Worland, was snapped on Friday at Panther Stadium after the rival Cody Broncs …
A seven game winning streak, that started for the Powell Panther boys’ soccer team after an opening season loss to Worland, was snapped on Friday at Panther Stadium after the rival Cody Broncs dominated from kickoff en route to a 2-0 victory.
CODY 2, POWELL 0
In the rematch, the No. 2 Panthers (7-2 overall, 7-1 3A West) were looking for the regular season sweep of the No. 3 Broncs (7-3 overall, 6-2 3A West) with the hope of continuing their undefeated conference record.
Previously the Panthers finished with a 2-1 victory in Cody, scoring early and keeping the Broncs on the back foot from the start.
Unfortunately for Powell this time, it was Cody that got things started early.
A well-worked play ended with a pass across the frame of the Panther net, and was tapped in to make it 1-0 just two minutes into the game — the first time the Panthers conceded first this season and the first time they trailed since the opening match.
“We planned on them doing something different this game but getting scored on early was never part of the plan of course,” coach David Gilliatt said. “Honestly, I saw this as a chance to mount a comeback and show some resolve as we’ve not gone down first against any opponents this season. I thought we would bounce back from it but we never really got into a rhythm after that first goal.”
Cody continued to pressure the Panther defense, dominating the midfield and not allowing Powell to get into a rhythm and transition towards the attack.
A majority of the chances continued to flow through the Broncs, but they were unable to add to the lead until just before the halftime whistle.
A late corner was conceded to the Broncs, who took advantage of their height to head home a second goal over the Panthers with just four seconds left.
“(It’s) really frustrating to play right into Cody’s strengths,” Gilliatt said. “They clearly have some tall, athletic guys so you generally want to limit corner kicks against a team like this. To give up a corner without any real pressure was just a communication error between the keeper and back line.”
Powell attempted to come out and make adjustments in the second half but continued to find little success moving forward.
The best chances came from Chance Franks opportunities, on a close left-footed shot that sailed over the crossbar and a quick free kick that was swallowed up by the opposition keeper.
Cody scored another goal late in the second half, but the offside flag was up to prevent the 3-0 victory.
“I think that was the best Cody has looked in three years. Credit to them if they can keep up that form but I think most teams can have their best days and their worst days,” Gilliatt said. “I think that was Cody’s best day and close to one of our worst days. Nothing taken from their performance on Friday. They clearly outplayed us.”
He said he believes that losses can be more valuable than wins, exposing areas where you need to improve — but are difficult to take when they are happening.
“I’m confident my guys will not be content with this result and will not let it define them,” Gilliatt said.
LONG ROAD TRIP
After a quick three game home stand the Panthers head back out on the road this week — starting with a contest at Lyman (1-6 overall, 1-6 3A West) at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
That kicks off a three game road trip, which continues on Friday at 3 p.m. in Mountain View (2-5 overall, 1-5 3A West).
Powell defeated both Lyman and Mountain View 4-0 in the first matchups of the season.
“Away games require focus and discipline,” Gilliatt said. “We treat them like business trips. We take care of the work assignment and head home … Three consecutive games against any opponents presents a challenge but it’s good practice for state.”
Powell then caps off the weekend at noon on Saturday in Pinedale (1-6 overall, 1-6 3A West) — making up a game that was originally scheduled for the opening weekend of the season but was delayed due to weather conditions.
The Panthers beat Pinedale 8-0 in the first matchup just over a week ago.
The Panthers need one win to earn a qualifying spot in the state tournament, and sit atop the 3A West due to holding the head to head tiebreaker with Green River.
Powell will return home next Friday at 6 p.m. to take on Green River in the regular season finale for senior night.
3A WEST STANDINGS
Overall record then conference record
1. Powell 7-2 (21 points) … 7-1 (21 points)
2. Green River 7-1 (21 points) … 7-1 (21 points)
3. Cody 7-3 (21 points) … 6-2 (18 points)
4. Lander 3-5 (4 points) … 3-4 (10 points)
5. Mountain View 2-5 (3 points) … 1-5 (4 points)
6. Pinedale 1-6 (3 points) … 1-6 (3 points)
7. Lyman 1-6 (3 points) … 1-6 (3 points)