POWELL – All season long, boys on the Pinedale High School varsity soccer team have worked hard in both practice and during matches to get to this point. Last week served as the final pair of games on the regular season schedule, consisting of tough games against Cody and Powell.
The team hit the road last Friday, May 5, to take on the Cody Broncs. Pinedale got off to a slow start, which gave Cody the opportunity to quickly earn four goals in the opening half to go up 4-0 at the break.
“We started very slow, but near the end of the first half, we figured it out a little bit and created some opportunities,” Pinedale coach JD Dudrey said.
Pinedale continued to struggle in the second half, allowing Cody to put up an additional 5 goals to earn a big 9-0 victory.
“We did not play well this game and the score showed that,” Dudrey said.
Pinedale looked to pick up the pace and finish the regular season on a high note when the team traveled to Powell the following day.
The Wranglers gave up a quick goal early in the match to give Powell the 1-0 advantage.
“We gave up one goal fairly early in the game but then we really picked up our play,” Dudrey said. “Powell had very few chances after they scored.”
Despite having numerous looks at the goal in the first half, Pinedale was unable to capitalize, bringing the first half to a close with Powell in the lead, 1-0.
Scoring opportunities continued for Pinedale throughout the second half, and the team was able to secure some goals. The first goal for the Wranglers came midway through the second half when sophomore Senddey Gutierrez picked up a goal on a ball that bounced around in the box, tying the game 1-1.
“We had a couple more chances near the end of the game but we were either stopped by good keeper play or we put the ball off the posts,” Dudrey said.
As the game came to a close, neither team was able to secure a goal to earn a win in regulation, moving the game into overtime.
Pinedale continued to put the pressure on Powell, dominating much of the overtime period. The team had several chances to sneak in a goal, but the team was unable to find the back of the net for most of the period.
With only a few minutes remaining, the Wranglers received a free kick in an attacking position, according to Dudrey. With that, Gutierrez played a ball to the far post that sophomore Sammy White was able to run to and volley into the goal, giving Pinedale the 2-1 victory.
The Pinedale coach said his team did a nice job passing the ball and creating scoring opportunities the entire game, along with the team putting together a solid effort of 100 minutes of solid soccer, he said.
In terms of what he would like to see improved upon before entering the playoffs this weekend, Dudrey said his team still has trouble scoring.
“Hopefully, this win will give us the confidence we need for regionals,” he said. “We are still working on attacking and putting the ball in the back of the net.”
The coach noted the performances of White, Gutierrez, senior Adam Walker and junior Vicente Acosta in the breakout victory.
The team looks to take the success found against Powell in its opening game in the playoffs this weekend, where the Wranglers are slated to take on Torrington in Worland today. A full recap on the playoffs will be in next Friday’s Roundup.