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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: Lady Bronchos secure playoff spot in regular season finale - Odessa American: Sports

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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: Lady Bronchos secure playoff spot in regular season finale

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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 11:15 pm

MIDLAND The Odessa High girls soccer team entered Tuesday’s regular season finale looking to take care of business and secure a playoff spot.

The Lady Bronchos were able to do exactly that, defeating Midland Lee 1-0 on a comfortable night at Grande Communications Stadium.

The only goal of the night came on a strike by Cassandra Ramirez in the 22nd minute and that proved to be enough for Odessa High.

Also thanks to that win and Midland High’s loss to Wolfforth Frenship, the Lady Bronchos clinched the No. 3 spot out of District 2-6A.

“I thought we came out with a lot of energy and played well,” Odessa High head coach Cecilia Kellar said. “We understood where we sat coming into tonight needing a win or a draw but we played to try and come out with the win.

“We had a lot of good, quality opportunities in the first half and Cassie came up big finishing there for us.”

Odessa High (10-8-3 overall, 4-4-2 district, 20 points) came out firing to start things off and had a couple of good chances to score quickly as both Jaime Natividad and Ramirez were able to put shots on goal early.

As the Lady Bronchos kept applying the pressure, that same forward combination was able to break through as Ramirez took a shot from the right side of the penalty box and slipped into the left corner of the goal.

“I saw Jamie get the ball and she did what needed to by drawing out the defense towards her,” Ramirez said. “It’s a do-or-die moment when we get that ball and the shot has to be quick and precise. Once it goes in the back of the net, it’s the best feeling ever.”

Odessa High was able to maintain its one goal lead into halftime but it still had to hold on for the final 40 minutes against a Midland Lee squad needing two goals to earn a postseason spot.

The Lady Rebels (6-11-3, 3-6-1) had a number of strong chances, including a corner kick and header that went off the crossbar 10 minutes into the second half.

However, it simply wasn’t meant to be for Midland Lee, who saw its season come to an end.

“It’s been our deal all year to play good defense and keep fighting,” Midland Lee head coach Brandon Allen said. “That gave us a chance to win but our Achilles heel all season is being able to finish.

“We had some good looks but they just didn’t go in.”

The Lady Bronchos are now slated to play El Paso Socorro in the Class 6A bi-district round at a date, time and place still to be determined.

For now, Kellar is simply happy that her team gets to continue playing.

“The girls have worked hard this season and have to deal with a lot of other stuff going on,” Kellar said. “They’ve had to  battle some adversity and it’s really good for them to get an opportunity to continue their season.”

>>Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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