OKEECHOBEE — Jose Jaimes had three goals and Gustavo Mireles had three assists to lead Okeechobee to a 4-1 victory in their home opener Thursday against Fort Pierce Central.
It was a tough physical battle with lots of contact and a few yellow cards were issued by the referees.
Coach Lonnie Sears said it definitely was a physical game but also a fun game and a good matchup for his team.
“It is nice to have an experienced group this year. Tonight we were without our top goal scorer, but the juniors and seniors knew how to step up and take control,” he added.
Sears said he still battles with his team over long passes and not possessing the ball enough. His plan is to use transition soccer at times but also to be a good passing team that is patient and moves the ball around.
“We didn’t do that enough in the beginning. We became calmer and got more confident with the ball as the match went on,” he noted.
Gabriel Hernandez had an assist and Alberto Diaz had a goal for Okeechobee. Goal keeper Tyler Selph had three saves in net.
Mireles said his goal is to always hustle and when you do that you will score goals.
“I feel this win was very well deserved. We played our hearts out, we passed the ball, and had more intensity. We talked more on the field and did our thing. I feel we deserved that win,” he added.
Mireles said the team continues to progress and he feels they can become even more powerful as a team.
“I also thank God for the win and keeping us safe out here. Without him we could do nothing.”
Coach Sears said he wants to continue to work on the passing game and patience and not rely so much on the teams speed.
“Speed kills and it’s definitely something you need, but we can’t become too reliant on it. Tonight what impressed me was our midfielder had three assists. The midfield gave the forwards some nice opportunities.”
The Brahman junior varsity rallied in the 60th minute for a 2-1 victory over Fort Pierce Central in their season opener.
Coach Omar Alvarado said the team has lacked practice time and they have a lot of things to work on.
“Overall they played well. We had straight hustle because we conditioned for two weeks, they didn’t want to lose at home and they deserved this win.”
Miguel Raya and Luis Rodriguez scored goals. Jose Mata had an assist.
Enrique Luviano had four saves in net and David Solarzano had two saves.
Coach Alvarado said the team had a lot of intensity and he also thanked all the fans who showed up to support the JV team.
Future matches for the varsity soccer team included a match on Nov. 23 at Martin County at 7 p.m., and home against Suncoast on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m.
Future matches for the junior varsity team included a match on Nov. 23 at Martin County, and a home match with South Fork on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News