The Odessa High boys soccer team didn’t wait to pounce Tuesday night.
Facing Amarillo Tascosa, the Bronchos potent attack made the Rebels’ backline uncomfortable from the first whistle with plenty of scoring chances.
Odessa High used that momentum to score three first-half goals and defeat Amarillo Tascosa 3-0 in District 2-6A action at Ratliff Stadium.
The game’s first goal was scored in the seventh minute, when an Odessa High attack down the wing sent a cross into the penalty box, where Cain Cordova was waiting and easily slotted the ball into the net.
“They started playing hard and aggressive and looked for opportunities … The boys found those openings and they took their chances,” Odessa High head coach Eliseo Ortiz said.
Odessa High (10-6-1 overall, 2-0-0-0 district, six points) scored its second goal in the 30th minute when a few midfield passes opened a running lane for right back Luis Ortega.
Ortega came forward from the backline and sprinted toward the penalty box after Bronchos’ midfielder Chris Ramos fed him a pass in stride.
Amarillo Tascosa goalkeeper Josue Torres didn’t come out to challenge Ortega on the breakaway until it was too late, as the Bronchos’ defender picked out his spot in the net and easily finished to give Odessa High a two-goal lead.
Less than 30 seconds later, the Bronchos attacked the Rebels (1-12-1, 0-2-0-0, zero points) backline again, with Cordova getting open as he received a pass as he entered the penalty box.
Cordova was pushed to the ground and drew a penalty kick. Odessa High co-captain Luis Salazar took the PK and slotted it down the center of the net out of the reach of Torres to score the game’s final goal.
Having matched Friday’s score in its win over Wolfforth Frenship to open district play by halftime against the Rebels, the Bronchos regressed in the second half a bit.
That’s not just because it went without a goal — Odessa High came close to scoring for the fourth time on a few occasions. It’s because Odessa High molded its game to fit the style of the one-win Tascosa squad.
“The boys were a little bit over-ambitious and everyone’s trying to score,” Ortiz said about his team’s play in the second half. “I think they got a little over-anxious instead of taking it whenever it came. We were forcing too many things.”
That’s something Odessa High will have to fix with plenty of stiff competition looking to knock the Bronchos off the rest of the season.
Odessa High now sits alone atop District 2-6A as the only team yet to drop any points. It’s two points clear of second-place Midland Lee.
“We have to keep winning if we want to accomplish something this year,” Ortega said. “It’s given the boys more motivation. Nothing’s for sure, so we got to keep working hard.”
Odessa High faces Permian on Friday in the teams’ first of two crosstown-rivalry games this season.
“We’re not going to change much,” Ortiz said heading into Friday’s collision. “Just keep doing what we’re doing.”
(Overall records in parentheses)
W L SW SL Pts
Odessa High (10-6-1). 2 0 0 0 6
Midland Lee (9-5-1)…. 1 0 0 1 4
Frenship (15-1-0)……… 1 1 0 0 3
Midland High (5-5-2)… 0 0 1 1 3
Permian (7-7-1)……….. 0 1 1 0 2
Tascosa (1-12-1)…….. 0 2 0 0 0
Standings note: Regulation wins (W) worth three points; shootout wins (SW) worth two points); shootout losses (SL) worth one point;
regulation losses (L) worth zero points.
d-Clinched District 2-6A title
x-Clinched playoff berth
Odessa High 3, Amarillo Tascosa 0
Wolfforth Frenship 6, Permian 0
Midland High 2, Midland Lee 2 (Midland High 5-4 PK)
Odessa High at Permian, 7:30 p.m.
Midland Lee at Wolfforth Frenship, 7:30 p.m.
Amarillo Tascosa at Midland High, 2 p.m.