Odessa High desperately wanted to get back into the win column.
After Friday’s loss to rival Permian, the Bronchos hosted Midland Lee in District 2-6A play Tuesday and on this night, Odessa High’s defense bent one too many times.
Odessa High had its chances to get back on track, but allowed the Rebels to dictate the pace of the game and watched another victory slip away.
Midland Lee’s Luis Aranda scored his second goal of the game with five minutes, 36 seconds remaining to play to lift the Rebels to a 3-2 victory inside blustery Ratliff Stadium.
“We’re just not showing up, we just don’t want it enough … We have quality, we have everything, we’re just not showing up,” Odessa High Eliseo Ortiz said. “We’re doing something wrong. We just got to get up tomorrow and try and fix it.”
After a calm warm-up, the wind began picking up at the start of the contest, allowing Odessa High to play with it at its back in the first half, but it didn’t help.
The Bronchos (10-8-1 overall, 2-2-0-0 district, six points) dug themselves an early hole. By the time the game was 13 minutes old, the Bronchos trailed, 2-0, on goals from Esau Soto and Aranda.
After Midland Lee’s second goal, the Bronchos finally started to mount some offense by testing the Rebels’ backline with shots and possession.
The breakthrough came with seven minutes left in the first half when Odessa High put a few passes together.
Around the corner flag, Luis Salazar got possession and sliced the ball into the penalty box where it found Alan Rubio, who didn’t hesitate and powered the ball into the net.
Four minutes later, the Rebels (10-6-1, 2-1-0-1, seven points) couldn’t fend off of a Bronchos’ corner kick and Salazar tied the game.
Then at halftime, Midland Lee head coach Scott Hicks challenged his team by asking his players how much they wanted to win.
After not much separation between the teams in the second half, a counterattack handed Midland Lee the victory.
After an Odessa High chance didn’t pan out, Midland Lee midfielder Tyler Irwin started the rush and got the ball to Aranda, who did the rest by getting around the Bronchos’ defense and scoring the decisive goal.
“We gave ourselves a chance tonight against a very good OHS team who’s scrappy and dangerous,” Hicks said. “We just found a way.”
The painful loss was evident after the game as many Bronchos players stood in the cold wondering what could have been.
“(Midland Lee) just kind of backed up and we couldn’t find any spaces after a while,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz added that after Odessa High’s stellar district opener against Wolfforth Frenship, the team hasn’t been consistent enough in the three games since. The Bronchos will look to turn the tide Friday against district-leading Midland High.
(Overall records in parentheses)
W L SW SL Pts
Midland High (7-5-2)… 2 0 1 1 9
Permian (9-7-1)……….. 2 1 1 0 8
Midland Lee (10-6-1).. 2 1 0 1 7
Odessa High (10-8-1). 2 2 0 0 6
Frenship (16-2-0)……… 2 2 0 0 6
Tascosa (1-14-1)…….. 0 4 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
Midland Lee 3, Odessa High 2
Permian 4, Amarillo Tascosa 0
Midland High 2, Wolfforth Frenship 1
Midland High at Odessa High, 7:30 p.m.
Permian at Midland Lee, 7:30 p.m.
Amarillo Tascosa at Wolfforth Frenship, 2 p.m.