It's one thing to come off a bad loss; it's another to blow multiple leads, lose in a shootout and then have to sit and stew over it for a week. The Lee boys soccer team (5-7-1 overall, 2-5 District 3-5A) all but had its playoff hopes dashed by a 4-3 shootout loss to Odessa High last Tuesday. Each team held two leads but the Bronchos' second lead came at the end of the match, sending them into elation and Lee into devastation. The Rebels have been concentrating on finishing games out during their week off. With fourth-place Abilene High two games up on Lee, and likely to win today against last-place Abilene Cooper, the Rebels must finish out the season on a winning streak. "The importance of this game is to get it done. If you don't win this game, you for sure have to win out," coach Chris Bryant said. "We don't look at it as a cross-town opponent." Midland High (9-5-1, 5-3) left the pitch on Saturday fuming over a 2-0 loss to now first-place San Angelo Central. The intensity of the match was still something that MHS coach Warren Cottle and his team were still talking about on Monday. That added fuel to the fire for the Bulldogs, who fell out of first place with Central because of the loss. Cottle said tonight's match is huge for Midland High even though Lee is near the bottom of the standings. He said he has confidence in his team's ability but said the key to beating the Rebels is coming out mentally prepared. The Bulldogs came out prepared the first time these teams met this year and handily won 3-0. Lee had offensive problems in the early part of the district season, but they have scored five goals in their previous two matches and are playing more as a team. Cottle said Montiel Urias' play has been a great indication of that. "He's a part of the team instead of the focus. And that's a hats off to them," Cottle said.
The Rebels' teamwork still has not translated into a multitude of wins. While they have finished scoring opportunities more often of late, they have not closed the game out when they take a lead. "We just really have to concentrate on finishing. We've been playing as a team the last few games. We just had no luck," midfielder Brandon Hodges said. They did have a spot of luck on Saturday, though, even if they were not playing. MHS midfielder Motor Evans will be out today because of a red card he received late in the Central match.