The Odessa High boys soccer team is quickly learning a lot of lessons with its youthful squad.

As certain scenarios come up that are new to a majority of players, the Bronchos don’t have much time to adjust and have to learn on the fly to get the best results possible.

Unfortunately for Odessa High, the most recent lessons have come in losses. Friday night against Midland High, the Bronchos earned a point, but couldn’t get on the scoreboard to deny the Bulldogs the win.

Midland High defeated Odessa High 4-3 on penalty kicks after the game was scoreless in regulation in District 2-6A action at Ratliff Stadium.

Luis Salazar, Chris Ramos and Jose Leyva made penalties for Odessa High, while Brandon Bernal and Alan Rubio’s attempts were saved.

“They’re in first place in district, they’re a good team, they’re there for a reason,” Odessa High head coach Eliseo Ortiz said about Midland High. “Shootouts are hard to win sometimes. There’s no scientific thing to it.”

The shootout loss gives the Bronchos one point from their last three district games.

“They know they can play with anybody,” Ortiz said about his team. “It’s just those tough moments that come from experience and learning how to have some grit. That’s what we’re missing right now.

“I like the way that we play. We play as a team, we play good games, we play good soccer. Honestly it’s really hard to play that way and we’re doing that. Now we just got to finish games and not get scored on at the end of games.”

Odessa High (10-9-1 overall, 2-2-0-1 district, seven points) stopped that trend from happening for a third straight contest, as the Bronchos gave up the game-winning goal to both Permian and Midland Lee in the last six minutes of each game.

The Bronchos didn’t give up a goal to the Bulldogs (8-5-2, 2-0-2-1, 11 points), and did so with their third-string goalkeeper, Nana Prempeh, starting.

Prempeh, a junior who typically plays forward for Odessa High, found out Thursday he was starting in net. Bronchos’ starter Gabriel Padilla was competing for Odessa High at the UIL State Mariachi Festival and back-up Alex Leyva was unfit to play.

“I’m out there trying to do my best,” Prempeh said. “(Thursday) I kept on watching some YouTube videos.”

Along with the online prep, Jordan Peralta, Odessa High’s starting goalkeeper a year ago, caught up with Prempeh this week to make sure his skills were sharp. Prempeh made four saves in the victory and stopped one shot in the penalty shootout.

While the Bronchos were defensively sound in the game, they couldn’t find one goal to earn all three points.

“I think it was one of those tough games where neither of us were going to get a lot of opportunities to score,” Ortiz said. “I believe we had two or three that we should have scored that we missed in front of the goal.”

Odessa High now heads into the mid-district week break four points behind Midland High for the lead.

Outside of Amarillo Tascosa, every other District 2-6A team has a chance in the second half to lift the district trophy. The Bronchos now have a valuable opportunity to reassess what’s transpired during their current three-game losing streak.

“We have 10 days to make our team better — physically, mentally and come back for that second round,” Ortiz said. “We just got to win the games that we should and win the games that we lost in the first round … we just got to get points.”

{{tncms-inline account=”EricBlumOA” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BOYS SOCCER: Here's the full PK shootout between Odessa High and Midland High <a href=""></a></p>— Eric Blum (@EricBlumOA) <a href="">February 24, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”967243014035910656″ type=”twitter”}}

District 2-6A Standings


District Standings

(Overall records in parentheses)

                                     W      L   SW    SL   Pts

Midland High (8-5-2)… 2      0      2      1    11

Midland Lee (11-6-1).. 3      1      0      1    10

Permian (9-8-1)……….. 2      2      1      0      8

Odessa High (10-9-1). 2      2      0      1      7

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


Feb. 23

Midland High 0, Odessa High 0 (Midland High 4-3 PK)

Midland Lee 3, Permian 2

Feb. 24

Amarillo Tascosa at Wolfforth Frenship, 2 p.m.

March 6

Midland High at Permian, 7:30 p.m.

Odessa High at Wolfforth Frenship, 7:30 p.m.

Amarillo Tascosa at Midland Lee, 7:30 p.m.