OHS boys soccer beat Eagles; keeping win streak alive

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee Brahmans boys soccer team defeated the Centennial Eagles 4-3, improving their record to 9-1 and giving Okeechobee its best start since 2013.

Okeechobee has gone on a nine-win streak after losing the season opener against Forest Hill on Nov. 6.

Centennial had trouble maintaining control of the ball early in the game, something Okeechobee took advantage of. The Brahmans threatened to score with two shots on the Eagles goal in the opening minutes, shots that were made possible by Centennial turnovers.

Okeechobee senior Jose Pelayo put the Brahmans on the board first with a goal in the first half.

Another goal came shortly after from OHS junior Enrique Velaspuez to put the Brahmans up 2-0. Even after going up by two points, OHS senior Javier Hernadez could be heard encouraging his defense to wake up and be ready for Centennial’s response.

Almost on cue, the Eagles responded with a goal of their own to bring the score to 2-1.

OHS coach Lonnie Sears wanted to see a better performance from the Brahman defense against the Eagles.

“Our defense has been stout all year,” said Sears. “We’ve said from the beginning that we have to win with our defense and we just weren’t disciplined enough tonight.”

Still, Okeechobee was able to put up another goal before half time to increase their lead 3-1.

After halftime the defensive woes came back to haunt the Brahmans, as Centennial was able to pop the ball into the top of the Brahmans’ goal to pull within one point of tying the game at 3-2.

But the defense was able to fight off the Eagles attackers and maintain their lead.

Okeechobee and Centennial each traded goals before the final whistle blew and the game ended 4-3.

The Brahmans got some praise from Centennial coach Doug Black after the game. Seeing his players show some frustration after losing the game, Black consoled them by saying, “There’s no shame in losing to Okeechobee, that’s a really good team.”

Next the Brahmans will have off for Christmas break before returning to play Vero Beach at Okeechobee High School at 1 p.m. on Jan. 9.

OHS senior Jose Mata sends the ball down field in the Brahmans game against the Centennial Eagles on Dec. 20. Photo Rich Marion.

Okeechobee boys soccer coach Lonnie Sears addresses his team during a water break in the first half of Okeechobee’s game against Centennial on Dec. 20, 2017.

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