HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: Odessa High flips the script on Permian

The initial time the Odessa High and Permian boys soccer teams met this season, on a cold, blustery first Friday of February, they couldn’t decide things in regulation and were forced to penalty kicks.

Fast forward to another cold, blustery evening and the Bronchos and Panthers were on the same pitch again.

And, like the first meeting, 80 minutes wasn’t enough time to settle things, so it was one-on-one in penalty kicks for a second straight meeting.

That’s when Odessa High flipped the script.

After tying the game in the 79th minute, the Bronchos went a perfect 5 for 5 in the shootout and then watched goalkeeper Rudy Ramos stop the Panthers’ final penalty kick effort to earn a 2-2 (5-4 in penalty kicks) victory Friday at Ratliff Stadium.

Gio Vasquez and Aidric Rivera scored in regulation for Odessa High, with Permian’s Johnny Cuellar and Emiliano Duran finding the net for the Panthers.

The Bronchos now are 4-10-3 overall, 1-4-1 in District 2-6A play.

Permian dropped to 11-6-1, 2-3-1.

“Great job in penalty kicks and a great save,” Odessa High coach Eliseo Ortiz said. “We got some bounces tonight to go our way and that’s been something that hasn’t happened too much this season.

“They never stopped working, even near the end when time was running out and it paid off.”

Permian won the first meeting, 1-1 (4-2 in penalties) on Feb. 3 at Ratliff Stadium and it looked like they were going to have a chance to win the rematch in regulation after a second-half rally.

After a scoreless first half, Vasquez put the Bronchos on the scoreboard when he collected a bouncing ball at the top of the penalty area, attacked from the left side and then, unmarked, sent a shot in across the face of the goal and inside the right post with 44th minute.

The Panthers netted the equalizer less than a minute later when Cuellar, racing down the right side, ran on to a perfect feed from Adrian Martinez out of the midfield, slashed in toward the net and sent his shot up high inside the right post, scoring from nearly the exact spot as his goal in the first meeting.

Permian took the lead on Duran’s marker in the 69th minute when he was first to pounce on a loose ball in front of the Bronchos’ net, sending it home for the 2-1 lead.

The Panthers then went to defend as the Bronchos upped their pressure and it paid off when they were awarded a free kick from the left side with the clock winding down toward 90 seconds remaining to play.

The service into the six-yard box was knocked to the ground and this time it was Rivera being the first to the ball to push home the tying goal, setting off a celebration by the Bronchos’ players and fans.

A celebration that got louder following Ramos’ save.

“It was a lesson for us that we have to play 80 minutes,” Permian coach Luis Carmona said. “We had plenty of opportunities to win this game and didn’t finish and that’s the way soccer is sometimes.”

>> LADY PANTHERS 2, LADY BRONCHOS 1: Anai Lopez scored twice in the second half to lift Permian to a key District 2-6A victory against Odessa High Friday at Ratliff Stadium.

All three goals were scored after halftime as the Lady Panthers avenged a 1-0 loss to the Lady Bronchos to open district play on Feb. 3

Permian improves to 6-8-3 overall, 3-0-2-1 in district play, good for 10 points and second place in the standings.

Odessa High dropped to 5-8-5, 1-0-3-2, five points.

>> Follow Lee Scheide on Twitter at @OALeeScheide