Wed., Mar. 7th, 2007 Rebels stay alive with shutout of Midland High
Don't look now, but the Lee boys are still making a run at the playoffs. And they handed Midland High its second-straight loss in the process on Tuesday at Grande Communications Stadium. The Rebels (6-7-1 overall, 3-5 District 3-5A) hounded the Bulldogs (9-6-1, 5-4) for all 80 minutes of their 3-0 victory, coincidentally the same score Midland High won by the first time these teams faced off this season.
It was the beginning of a five-game winning streak and a four-game shutout streak for Midland High then. The Rebels hope the same fate awaits them because they are still on the outside of the playoff picture, a game-and-half out of fourth place.
"Our players are tired of losing. It's sick," Lee forward Montiel Urias said. "We had the inspiration to (blow Midland High out) and laugh in their face like they did to us." Urias just about took the match over by constantly pressuring and challenging Bulldog goalkeeper Mikey Ruiz. Several times throughout the match Urias forced Ruiz to leave the penalty box to try to stop Urias from breaking free behind the Midland High defense. Twice Ruiz failed. Midway through the first half, Urias put the ball under Ruiz near the top of the penalty box on a breakaway for a 1-0 lead. Urias also put the finishing touches on another breakaway in the 72nd minute for the final goal. Price Williams scored the second goal in the 50th minute also on a breakaway. MHS coach Warren Cottle called it "The Montiel Urias Show."
"It's a good victory. We kept telling the guys intensity is the key. We pushed ourselves," Lee coach Matt Bryant said. "We have to play (hard) because if we don't we're out of the playoffs and I think it showed." That sense of desperation and playing after a bye might have helped Lee, but Midland High just never got its act together following a shutout loss to San Angelo Central on Saturday.
"When you come to play, you cannot come unprepared," MHS coach Warren Cottle said. "You cannot allow service into the (penalty) box. You saw it last game (against Lee). We denied service. We got outworked, but this team will respond." Lee took advantage of Midland High's unpreparedness from the start to the finish. And the Rebel defense did an excellent job of never allowing the Midland High offense to get on track. Despite five Bulldog corner kicks in the first half, Midland High got off just two shots on goal in each half.
"The defense shows every game. Sometimes it's luck, we were just ready (today)," Lee goalkeeper Danny Muñoz said. "With the bye, we had some time to think about our next opponent. Coach (Bryant) kept pushing us to work hard and I think it showed on the field."