Edmond North’s Clay Collier was camped out just off the far post. The ball came right to him and all he had to do was deflect it with his head. North keeper Daniel Taylor had no chance to get in the way.
Just 3 1/2 minutes later, as North continued living in its defensive zone, Edmond North’s Trevor Moore sent a knee-high rocket at Taylor, who stopped it but couldn’t corral it. All alone, the Huskies’ Sam Brown found the ball at his feet and easily tucked it inside the net.
“We played a great first half and got a goal and we didn’t come out with the same intensity in the second half,” North senior forward Jonathan Newton said. “They came out with more intensity and beat us.”
Claros gave credit to the Huskies, while wishing his team hadn’t fallen into a familiar trap.
“They were able to find another gear and we sat on our heels and tried to hope our way across the finish line,” he said. “It may have worked once, twice, but it’s not going to work three times.”
North scored its goal with 7:08 remaining in the first half on the strength of three strong individual plays.
First, Mauro Cichero, surrounded by Huskies, controlled the ball out of a pile and expertly tapped it back to Ryan Johnson. Next, with a single touch, Johnson served it into the box while Cichero and other T-Wolves sprinted toward the net hoping to make a play on it. Finally, one of those sprinters, Carson Cacciatori, headed the ball past Atkins.
North’s only strong chance of the second half materialized inside of 5 minutes remaining when Ashton Bray played a free kick into the box to the head of Cichero.
Cichero’s header was deflected short of the net, but a scramble ensued and the ball eventually found the foot of Newton near the top of the box. Newton got the shot off. Atkins stopped it.