The Odessa High girls soccer team got exactly what it had been hoping for the past 18 days.
The Lady Bronchos hadn’t won a game since Valentine’s Day — but were able to put that aside Saturday afternoon and control the tempo throughout against Amarillo Tascosa.
Odessa High took down the Lady Rebels 5-0 in District 2-6A action at Ratliff’s Turf Field.
In spite of facing a team winless in District 2-6A play, the Lady Bronchos, in need of a victory to move on from weeks without one, still needed to provide a solid all-around performance.
What Odessa High got from the windy match was its largest offensive output in district play so far.
“It could have gone any which way coming off of really two losses,” Odessa High head coach Cecilia Kellar said. “I think we played well in both games and just finding our rhythm and finding the back of the net and coming out with a win was really important today.”
Although the end result looks favorable for the Lady Bronchos, it took them a while to produce offensively.
The first 20 minutes of the game saw Odessa High (14-4-2 overall, 4-0-0-3 District 2-6A, 12 points) struggle to connect passes and get shots on goal.
Luckily, the Lady Rebels also couldn’t find their footing — eventually opening the doors for the Lady Bronchos to take advantage.
The game’s opening goal came 23 minutes in when Candace Mireles found herself open behind the Tascosa’s defense after a pass from Yverika Gonzales. Tascosa’s goalkeeper ran out to try to block any shot from Mireles, but the Lady Bronchos’ senior didn’t hesitate and poked a shot into the back of the net.
“I think we started a little slow and (Tascosa) made it pretty difficult on us,” Kellar said. “They put a lot of pressure on us at first. I think once we were able to control possession and move the ball well, it opened up in the second half of the first half and really gave us a lot more opportunities.”
Once the floodgates opened, Odessa High kept finding the necessary space to keep piling on goals.
Alondra Venegas’ goal gave the Lady Bronchos took a two-goal lead into halftime and she struck again early in the second half to increase Odessa High’s lead over Tascosa (6-10-1, 0-0-1-6, one point) to three.
Zaida Lopez added a tally with 10 minutes remaining in the game on a shot from outside of the penalty box that hit was hit low to the ground — but with a ton of pace — and hit the post and went in the net.
Venegas completed her hat trick with four minutes left in the game, poking a shot just underneath the crossbar and into the net.
“As soon as I saw my opportunity, I just finished it,” Venegas said about her hat trick. “We should stop looking at our failures, but look at our success.
“(This win) was very important. We wanted to get a good lead in order to keep our spot.”
The win keeps Odessa High in third place of District 2-6A, three points back of second-place Midland High.
The win also brings the Lady Bronchos within two points of clinching a playoff spot — meaning a win of any kind the rest of district play would put Odessa High back into the postseason after barely missing out a season ago.
The Lady Bronchos will get that chance when they return to action at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday against Midland Lee at Ratliff Stadium.
Before Saturday, Odessa High’s last win was a 4-1 result against Midland Lee at Grande Communications Stadium.