• November 12, 2019

HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: OHS weathers the storm to beat Americas - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: OHS weathers the storm to beat Americas

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Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2019 8:57 pm

ALPINE It was worth the wait.

The Odessa High boys soccer team entered Thursday’s Class 6A bi-district match against El Paso Americas looking to end a playoff winning drought that lasted more than a decade.

Mother Nature intervened to make the wait last longer than the scheduled 80 minutes, but in the end the Bronchos were able to hold on for a 2-1 win over the Trailblazers.

The win is the first in the playoffs for the Odessa High boys soccer program since 2008. The Bronchos (13-6-5) will face the winner of Friday’s match between Euless Trinity and Arlington Lamar next week in the area round.

“It feels really good,” Odessa High head coach Elisio Ortiz said. “It was a very tough team that we played today and they (Americas) never stopped working. I’m just happy that they were able to find a way to win.”

Both teams came out aggressive early, looking to get that opener to seize the momentum.

The Bronchos got on the board thanks to a strong offensive run capped off by Nana Prempeh in the eighth minute to give Odessa High a 1-0 lead.

As both teams looked to get settled in, the weather intervened as thunderstorms rolled into the area. Officials stopped play with 23:39 left in the first half.

After waiting almost an hour and 40 minutes, the teams were able to resume play. Neither could find the back of the net and Odessa High maintained its 1-0 lead at halftime.

At the start of the second half, the Bronchos had to hold off a hard-charging Trailblazers side that was able to get a few shots on goal.

But every time that Americas had a chance in the first 20 minutes of the second half, the Bronchos defense and goalkeeper Gabriel Padilla held strong.

“I don’t think we played as well early in the second half as we did in the first half,” Padilla said. “But I think we did a good job of maintaining our focus and not giving up.”

After battling through the struggles of the second half, the Bronchos were able to get a second goal with nearly 10 minutes remaining. Alan Rubio delivered a corner kick from the right side and Jose Leyva was able to head the ball in to give Odessa High some breathing room.

“I just wanted to make a play,” Leyva said. “I jumped as high and hit as hard as I could in order to put the ball in.”

Americas finally broke through with 27 seconds left as Jesus Narvaez headed in a set piece to put the Trailblazers on the board.

However, it was a case of too little, too late.

“Odessa High is a great team,” Americas head coach Roger Atilano said. “It was a hard fought battle. There are always two or three plays that can change the outcome of the game. They just made one more play than we did. But our kids battled as they have the whole year and I’m proud of them for that.”

As for Odessa High, they get to keep on playing. Oritz credited his team’s resiliency for being able to pull out the win.

“We had to battle through a lot of different things today,” he said. “From everything from the different field to the stoppage and even some guys cramping up. We just found a way and I’m very proud of our team for that.”

Odessa, TX

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