OHS girls soccer team defeated Palm Beach Lakes; boys soccer team ties

OHS girls soccer team defeated Palm Beach Lakes

One girl was the difference Friday as Palm Beach Lakes defeated Okeechobee (4-0) in a District 13-4A girls soccer match at Brahman Stadium.

Leanza Wright scored all four goals for the Rams (6-7-1) which included one in the first minute of the match that got Palm Beach Lakes off to a good start.

“I was glad that we won,” Wright said afterward. “We have not won a district game this year. It is not the most goals I’ve scored in a game, but it’s the most in a district game.”

Wright, only a freshman, has scored over 20 goals this year for the Rams.

Palm Beach Lakes got off to an aggressive start with a goal in the first minute and three more corner kicks in the first 10 minutes of the match. Okeechobee held off the storm for the entire first half as they trailed only 1-0 at the half.

Rams Coach Gregory Nimchan said the team wanted to improve this year and this victory means they won’t finish in the district basement this year.

“We are happy. This made us real happy. We had lost five matches in a row before a tie with Forest Hill. Hopefully this win will take us to where we are looking for.”

Josie Griffin played outstanding for Okeechobee in goal in the first half. The Brahman offense continued to struggle. They did get a few opportunities near the Rams net but couldn’t get good shots off.

Wright took control of the match in the second half as she scored on a breakaway at the three minute mark of the second half, a third goal at the 10-minute mark and on a penalty kick midway through the second half.

“I didn’t know what corner to shoot at so I looked at one end and shot at the other,” Wright said.

Wright said she has played soccer since she was five years old. She said she saw other kids playing soccer and knew she had found the sport for her.

Okeechobee’s best chance to score came on a free kick by Karina Diaz-Argueta that just missed high of the goal. The Lady Brahmans fell to (5-11-1) on the season.

Coach Nimchan said he felt, other than Wright, both teams were very competitive.

“Besides her the teams were on the same level. We have someone to put the ball in the back of the net. She is doing well. She is a nice team player, still young and still learning with a few things to work on. The main thing is she has goal scoring ability.”

Okeechobee played at John Carroll on Monday and will host Lake Placid on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m.

OHS boys soccer team ties Palm Beach Lakes

Okeechobee could not hold a 2-0 halftime lead as they battled to a 2-2 tie with Palm Beach Lakes on Friday.

Wilson Barahona and Jose Jaimes scored goals in the first half and Jesus Garcia added an assist for the Brahmans (4-1-2).

Palm Beach Lakes is now 7-1-1 on the season.

Okeechobee jumped out when Barahona took a corner kick and redirected it into the goal with his head after 13 minutes of play. Jose Jaimes goal came a few minutes later.

Coach Lonnie Sears said the Brahmans did a nice job in the first half but changed to their old style of soccer in the second half.

“They made adjustments in the second half and we didn’t do what we did in the first half. We play a style where we try to hold the ball and not let it get away from us. We started to play kickball like they did when they were younger — that isn’t how you play soccer. You have to control the ball and do something with it.”

Sears said his defense played at a high level in the first half but digressed in the second half. Instead of defending the man, and competing for the ball, they kept backing up and being tentative.

“Palm Beach Lakes was on offense the entire second half. They had five shots on goal and we had only one shot. That shows you how poorly we played in the second half.”

Lakes scored on a free kick near the goal at the 12-minute mark of the second half. The second goal came after an interception of a Brahman pass near the Okeechobee goal with about one minute to play.

Coach Sears said he would have liked to have seen his team continue to possess the ball in the second half.

“We played soccer the way it’s supposed to be played in our last home match with South Fork. When you turn the ball over near your own net you have gaps in the defense. Lakes had a guy run through that gap and he scored a goal.”

There were two yellow cards issued on Okeechobee and one on Palm Beach Lakes for aggressive fouls in the game.

Tyler Selph had several nice saves for the Brahmans.

Coach Sears said the tie is better than a loss but it probably means the team won’t be the #1 seed in the district tournament this year.

“We have a very confident squad here. I think we’ll be fine and these guys have won before. They know how to win tight games,” he said.

The Brahmans visit Jensen Beach on Wednesday and Forest Hill on Friday.

Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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