Wed., Feb. 28th, 2007 Big 2nd half lifts Lady Rebels past OHS
After a scoreless first half, the Lee girls pounced all over Odessa High for a 4-0 victory on Tuesday at Grande Communications Stadium. The match followed a trend that has plagued and uplifted the Lady Rebels (7-5-1 overall, 3-4 District 3-5A) all season long: they do not step their game up until the second half. But a more intense than usual first half kept Lee in the match until the offense could wake up in the second. "Even though the first half was slow, it was probably the best first half they've had this year in terms of intensity," Lee coach Amanda Melchor said. "I don't know, we always liven up in the second half." Rachael Solari made sure of that by stealing a Lady Broncho goal kick in the 52nd minute and put the ball in the right side of the net. It was the first of three goals in a seven-minute stretch. Jillian Stigall scored off a pass from junior varsity call-up Shelby Morrow on a 2-on-1 breakaway two minutes later. And in the 59th minute, Chelsea Taylor's cross into the penalty box was headed by Whitney Smith to Kaitlin Willis, who kicked it home for the 3-0 lead. Stigall scored the fourth goal, her second of the match, with four minutes remaining on an assist from Kelsey Byars.
"It was the first time we came out with intense pressure in both the first and second halves," goalkeeper Katie Stewart proudly asserted. Odessa High (3-7-4, 0-7) gave itself a fighting chance in the first half by keeping the pressure on Stewart, a freshman, with four shots on goal. But ultimately, it was shut out for the seventh time in this district season. "We were working the ball hard. We had some chances, we had some opportunities. It's just the little mistakes," OHS coach Jessie McCartney said. "Once the second (goal) went in, it was like the nail in the coffin." The Lady Bronchos could not duplicate their first half attack in the second, forcing Stewart to make only one save. It was the first time Stewart had played an entire game this season. "I had a lump in my throat," Stewart said of finding out just prior to the game she would play the whole match. "I think I did pretty good."
The Lady Rebels are now on a two-game winning streak after losing the previous four.