HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: Permian-OHS ready to begin the second half of district play

The start of the second half of District 2-6A action will begin just like the first half did- with a crosstown rivalry between the Odessa High and Permian boys soccer teams.

More than bragging rights will be on the line for the squads as both the Bronchos and the Panthers have plenty to play for.

Both teams will meet again for the second time this season at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Ratliff Stadium.

Permian (11-5-2 overall and 3-0-2-0-2 in district) currently sits in a tie for first place with Midland High in the 2-6A standings with 11 points.

The Panthers are coming off a 9-8 penalty shootout loss to Midland High last Friday at Astound Broadband Stadium in Midland after a scoreless draw in regulation.

“I think everything that we have talked about with the guys at the beginning of the year about it being a tight and close district has been true,” Permian head coach Luis Carmona said. “We’ve gotten some good breaks in some games and some bad breaks in others. But overall, I think we’re pleased with where we sit right now … It’ll come down to whoever makes the fewest mistakes but our guys are ready and we’ll see what happens.”

Odessa High (7-8-3, 1-2-2-2) is currently in a playoff spot as the Bronchos sit in fourth with seven points in a tight race with just one point ahead of fifth place Wolfforth Frenship.

“I think the district has been extremely competitive,” Odessa High head coach Eliseo Ortiz said. “I think I’ve seen different opponents beat each other and I would say that this year has been competitive. These standings are close. Everyone is within a game of each other. That’s made for some interesting stuff in the first half of district.”

Permian won its last meeting against Odessa High in a 1-0 victory back on Feb. 1 at Ratliff Stadium.

Both teams know not a lot separates them from each other as the teams are evenly-matched.

“It’s always a competitive game, regardless of the skill level or record of either team,” Ortiz said. “That hasn’t changed. It just makes the rivalry filled with more unknowns.”

Carmona echoed those thoughts.

“Like any other year, it’s going to be tight and competitive,” Carmona said. “Momentum swings here and there. When momentum swings towards us, we have to take advantage of it. When momentum goes to their side, we have to minimize their scoring opportunities. OHS is quick and physical and hungry but so are our guys.”

Odessa High is coming off a 2-0 win over Midland Legacy from last Friday at Ratliff Stadium.

Unlike Permian, Odessa High has been on the winning side of penalty shootouts this season as the Bronchos recorded a 5-4 win over co-district leader Midland High back on Feb. 9 at Astound Broadband Stadium in Midland.

“I think those games including the Midland High one, the boys had played really well and then there have been moments where we haven’t,” Ortiz said. “We’re trying to find our true identity. We know we have a talented team. We’re just trying to find where our team is. The boys are playing well. You can play well but the other team has been practicing well. The coaches in this district are very talented and it makes it difficult for us to find out how good we are. You really don’t know until the end of the season.”

District play will finish up on March 8 when Odessa High faces Midland Legacy on the road while Permian will be at home against Midland High.