Wed., Feb. 8th, 2006 Lee girls rout Odessa, stay unbeaten in league
By Len Hayward
Scoring was inevitable for the Lee girls soccer team Tuesday afternoon against an overmatched Odessa High squad. The only questions were when and how many. After scoring a lone goal in the opening 40 minutes, the Lady Rebels found a solution to the Lady Bronchos defensive-oriented system and scored three in the second half to roll to a 4-0 District 3-5A victory at Grande Communications Stadium. Senior midfielder Tiffany Richter scored two goals, including the icebreaker late in the first half, as the Lady Rebels head into Saturday morning's clash with rival Midland High with a 9-2-1 overall record and a 2-0 mark in league play. "Their system was different," Richter said. "It seemed like they were using five up top and five in the back and we'd never seen that before. It seemed like everytime we were on offense everybody was back there. We had to get used to it and adjust." From the game's first touch at midfield, the Lady Bronchos used a defensive style that gave Lee little room to maneuver. Odessa High forced the Lady Rebels to go through as many red jerseys as possible for a chance at a shot, making it tough for a team that is used to having space to use its speed and quickness to create scoring opportunities. Lee still controlled the pace of play, and the Lady Rebels scoring chances stacked up as the clock wound down in the first half. But Lee could never find a way to finish. The Lady Rebels had six shots on goal in the opening half and it was their last one that finally yielded a result. Richter, a senior midfielder, took an errant pass from an Odessa High defender after one of Lee's six corner kicks and blasted a shot from about 20 yards out that went out of reach of the Odessa High goalkeeper.
Lee took a 1-0 lead into the second half and more importantly some confidence that they can adjust to something different on the fly.
"Coach (Amanda Melchor) just told us to play on the ground and use as many through balls as we could," Richter said. "They weren't marking us, they were just trying to get us to go offside." The Lady Rebels looked more comfortable in the second half and it showed on the scoreboard. Halee Hamm scored within the first three minutes off a nice assist from Kelsey Byars. It took another 20 minutes for the Lady Rebels to score again but added two more in the game's final 11 minutes. Richter blasted a shot from about 40 yards out for the game's third goal in the 64th minute, and Allison Weimer finished the scoring with a goal from an assist by Jocelyn Rascon five minutes later. "We had to adjust our game plan," Lee coach Amanda Melchor said. "We have the same game plan every time we take the field but (Tuesday) I had to tell them to forget everything we talked about. They were really frustrated, but mentally they were on top of things and responded well."