Okeechobee fell 10-0 to Suncoast and will now get ready for the regional tournament.
Suncoast is one of the powerhouse teams from the coast and have always been a tough match for the Lady Brahmans. One of their strengths is that many of the girls on the team play year round in club ball and have been together for years.
OHS assistant coach Bernardo Cornejo started a local travel team, Chobee F.C. to help keep the Okeechobee girls involved year round as well. And that investment has paid off with the Lady Brahmans making back-to-back appearances in the district championship.
“My goal is to make sure these girls stay in touch with soccer,” explained Cornejo during Chobee F.C.’s inaugural season. “When the new season starts I want them to be focused. Before, when we went to play a big team they would go in thinking they were going to lose. I want them to feel like they can beat those teams and that they play with anybody.”
Eventually taking down Suncoast will be a tough hill to climb for the Lady Brahmans, but steps like establishing Chobee F.C. can go a long way to even the odds between the two teams.
Okeechobee was in the district final thanks to a big win 5-1 win over Boyd Anderson in the semifinal on Feb. 3.
With districts out of the way teams are now preparing for the regional tournament. Regional quarterfinals around the state are set to start on Feb. 16. Thirty two teams from Okeechobee’s 5A region will take the field on a quest towards the regional final and state tournament.
Last year it was Suncoast, again, that knocked the Lady Brahmans out of the regional tournament. But in regionals Suncoast’s level of talent will be the norm, not the exception. Girls soccer in Florida is hyper-competitive and there will always be a better, more intimidating team around the corner in the upcoming bracket.
Okeechobee will try to slay a few soccer powerhouses in the regional tournament starting on Feb. 16.