Determination and teamwork helped the OCCC soccer team snag a 5-5 tie despite being shorthanded against the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Bulldogs on April 22 in Oklahoma City.
OCCC’s team was put at a disadvantage to start the game, playing with only eight players who showed up for the game.
Player-coach K.B. Yeboah said the team’s strategy had to change because of being shorthanded.
“When you are down players, everybody plays everywhere,” Yeboah said. “Everybody plays spaces, not positions.”
After holding up strong early in the game, the OCCC defense eventually cracked, giving up two goals to the Bulldogs. As the game looked to be getting out of hand, a ninth player for OCCC showed up and jolted life into the team.
Lambe Modeba got a chance on an attack, getting the goalie one-on-one, and easily knocked the ball past the goalie to make the score 1-2. After he released the ball, Modeba ripped off his shirt and ran around in celebration.
“I was so pumped and I knew it was going in right as I got him one-on-one,” Modeba said.
Goalie and Team Captain David Dykes made multiple saves in the final minutes of the first half to keep the score the same going into halftime.
At halftime, the fatigue of the team showed, but OCCC still had hopes of getting a tie or a win.
OCCC started the second half with a quick chance at a goal, but couldn’t capitalize. Then after a foul was called on OCCC in the box, the Bulldogs were awarded a free kick.
A SWOSU player easily knocked the ball in, and pushed the score to 1-3. The Bulldogs then scored another goal quickly after, making the score 1-4.
All the momentum seemed to be on the side of the Bulldogs, and things didn’t look good for OCCC.
Just as the game looked lost, the team got another quick chance at a goal, and Roberto Parado scored, pulling OCCC within two points.
That one goal ignited OCCC and Yeboah quickly scored two goals to tie the score at 4-4.
The momentum was swapped to OCCC’s side, and with a few minutes left, the team looked as if they would at least capture a tie. But then after Dykes again made multiple saves, he eventually had one get past him, and SWOSU led 5-4.
OCCC seemed determined not to let this effort go to waste though.
Modeba received a pass from Yeboah who shot the ball into the back of the net, tying the game with minutes left. The game ended shortly after, with a score of 5-5.
Dykes attributed the good effort to everyone keeping focus through the whole game despite being down two players.
Dykes ended the game with double digit saves, helping his team get the tie.
“I was able to keep us in the game, until our offense was able to get on the board,” Dykes said.
The game was the last of OCCC’s season, and the team finished the year with a record of 1-1-1.
To contact Nathan Harkins, email firstname.lastname@example.org.