The Permian boys soccer team talked for the past few days about how now is the time to take care of business.
Hoping to snap their three-game losing streak, the Panthers knew three points against last-place Amarillo Tascosa were a must. Luckily for them after a shaky first half, the Panthers locked in to put away the Rebels.
Permian defeated Amarillo Tascosa 4-2 Tuesday night in District 2-6A action at Ratliff Stadium.
“We’ll take them any way we can at this point,” Permian head coach Luis Carmona said. “I think the attitude adjustment that it had or the confidence level that it gave them, they got a little sparkle in their eye and a little extra hop to their step.”
Permian (10-10-1 overall, 3-4-1-0 district, 11 points) didn’t have to wait long to get on the scoreboard as it did so three minutes into the game on an Angel Esparza goal. Esparza used the heel of his foot to redirect a corner kick into the back of the net from close to the goal line.
The Panthers’ lead was short-lived as less than 30 seconds later the Rebels tied the game on a Biak Lian goal. The tally was a flashback to Friday night, where defensive mistakes cost Permian against Wolfforth Frenship.
The rest of the first half went by with a few more Permian scoring chances going astray.
“We can’t depend on anybody else and we told them that we had to get tonight,” Carmona said. “No matter what happened, tonight was very critical.”
Carmona made a few halftime adjustments, putting more attacking players in the game, which paid off quickly as the Panthers regained the lead for good five minutes into the second half.
After drawing a penalty kick, Permian senior Irving Martinez put his own rebound into the back of the net after Amarillo Tascosa’s goalkeeper stopped the initial spot kick.
Permian took a two-goal lead 12 minutes later on a Luis Ibarra strike assisted by Reese Rivera. Carmona called the tally one of the better executed goals the team has had all season.
“It acts like a pick-me up, you know, and it gives us a little more confidence to finish off the season strong,” Ibarra said about the victory. “There was a little bit more of a comfortable feeling to it tonight, rather than more of an intense and stressful environment we’ve been in the past games.”
The Panthers finished off the Rebels (1-18-2, 0-8-0-0, zero points) on a goal from Chris Arroyo.
“I’m pretty sure it’ll give us an extra boost against OHS,” Rivera said. “I think we can still work a little bit more on passing and controlling our feet. Sometimes the game can go a little too fast and we were just trying to go forward all the time. We just need to slow down, possess it and find the right opening.”
Permian’s victory combined with Odessa High’s penalty-kick loss to Midland Lee on Tuesday sets up a crosstown-rivalry matchup Friday with the teams tied on points in fourth place in the district standings.
Carmona called it one of the biggest games of his Permian coaching career after the Tuesday’s victory.
“This one means a little more to the program, and then being that it’s Odessa High and the situation that both teams are in. I think we have to expect their best shot,” Carmona said. “Obviously we do every time we play them, but it has that little extra meaning of maybe it’s going to be a playoff-elimination game.
“It’s going to be a huge, huge game. I’m going to rank that if not the most important game that I’ve had in my coaching career here, at least top three. We just got to work and get the guys prepared.”
(Overall records in parentheses)
W L SW SL Pts
x-Midland Lee (14-6-1) 5 1 1 1 18
x-Frenship (20-2-0)…… 6 2 0 0 18
Midland High (9-7-2)… 3 2 2 1 14
Odessa High (11-11-1) 3 3 0 2 11
Permian (10-10-1)……. 3 4 1 0 11
Tascosa (1-18-2)…….. 0 8 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
Permian 4, Amarillo Tascosa 2
Midland Lee 3, Odessa High 3 (Midland Lee 5-4 PK)
Wolfforth Frenship 2, Midland High 1
Permian at Odessa High, 7:30 p.m.
Midland Lee at Wolfforth Frenship, 7:30 p.m.
Midland High at Amarillo Tascosa, 2 p.m.