For the first 60 minutes of its game Tuesday night, the Odessa High girls soccer team couldn’t find the back of the net.
Facing Amarillo Tascosa in its second District 2-6A contest, Odessa High had more than a dozen chances at goal, but was denied by a bad bounce, a good save or the cross bar time and time again.
However, relief came midway through the second half as the Lady Bronchos netted a pair of goals to down the Lady Rebels 2-0 at Ratliff Stadium.
Scoring the game’s opening goal in the 62nd minute was Odessa High junior Miranda Cardona. After a few passes in the midfield connected, Cardona was fed the ball in the penalty box and didn’t hesitate — slicing her shot from midair into the net.
“I think we were getting frustrated, like we kept shooting and shooting and then we couldn’t get it so when I scored, it lifted everybody up,” Cardona said.
Cardona’s goal reinvigorated Odessa High (10-5-0 overall, 1-1-0-0 district, three points), which kept pressing for a second tally.
After a few more chances, that breakthrough came, as senior Alondra Venegas dribbled the ball around a few Amarillo Tascosa defenders and slotted the ball into the net over the outstretched arms of Lady Rebels’ goalkeeper BK Berryman.
“Those three points are vital,” Odessa High head coach Cecilia Kellar said about the win. “We’re home and we have to take advantage of the time while we’re here.”
The Lady Bronchos got back on the right track after starting district play with a shutout loss against Wolfforth Frenship on Friday. Odessa High plays its first five games in District 2-6A competition at Ratliff Stadium, with one of its final five contests at the venue.
And even with some of their struggles against the Lady Rebels, the Lady Bronchos are more than accepting of taking three points any way they can get them.
“We created a lot of good opportunities for ourselves,” Kellar said about her team’s play. “(Berryman) did a really good job on some of those shots.”
In the first half, Odessa High was timid in attack, testing out how much Amarillo Tascosa (3-6-4, 0-1-0-1, one point) had improved over the last year.
Unlike last March’s 5-0 victory over the Lady Rebels, it took some time for the Lady Bronchos offense to get going.
About 20 minutes into the game, Odessa High’s offense clicked into high gear and started to surround Berryman with shot after shot, but nothing would go in the net.
Amarillo Tascosa seemed to have every answer — whether it was a solid defensive play, an Odessa High error, or the post acting as a 12th Lady Rebels’ defender.
“I think that we took a few a shots that we really made harder on ourselves than we had to,” Kellar said. “That came from frustration that we were just forcing some shots when we had maybe an easy lane, an easy cross or an easy drop in the middle that we could have taken advantage of.”
The Lady Bronchos weren’t intentionally getting in their own way during the 61 minutes without a goal, but they were forced to overcome those obstacles against an opponent which had its last shot on goal in the 13th minute.
After two games, Odessa High sits in third place in the district standings — three points behind Midland High and Wolfforth Frenship, which are tied for first.
The Lady Bronchos have their first crosstown-rivalry matchup Friday, when they face Permian. The Lady Panthers have yet to win a district game.
(Overall records in parentheses)
W L SW SL Pts
Frenship (11-2-1)……… 2 0 0 0 6
Midland High (9-1-3)… 2 0 0 0 6
Odessa High (10-5-0). 1 1 0 0 3
Midland Lee (8-4-1)…. 0 1 1 0 2
Tascosa (3-6-4)………. 0 1 0 1 1
Permian (11-3-1)……… 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 2, Amarillo Tascosa 0
Wolfforth Frenship 3, Permian 0
Midland High 2, Midland Lee 0
Odessa High at Permian, 5:30 p.m.
Midland Lee at Wolfforth Frenship, 5:30 p.m.
Amarillo Tascosa at Midland High, Noon