NOBLE — The challenge, now, for the Norman North boys, whose soccer season ended in a 2-1 Class 6A state championship game loss to Edmond North Saturday afternoon at Noble Stadium, will be separating the game from the season.
Because the season was terrific, full of overcoming adversity and obstacles, from a Crosstown Clash regular season loss to a Crosstown Clash playoff victory that kept the Timberwolves moving toward their third state title game in four seasons.
The game, though, wasn’t.
North entered halftime up 1-0 despite having a goal taken away on an offsides call and a couple of other opportunities that were plenty promising but netted nothing.
The T-Wolves outshot the Huskies 6-2 in the first half and kept Edmond North keeper David Atkins busy making three saves.
But the second half was a debacle.
Before North had put another shot toward the Husky goal, the Huskies had forged the final score. But for one mad scramble in front of the Edmond North net, the Huskies were hardly even made to hold off a desperate bunch of T-Wolves.
North coach Geo Claros had seen a similar thing happen against NHS and Owasso the previous two playoff rounds. Only this time, it cost North the game.
“It’s been an issue throughout the playoffs,” he said. “We talked about it at halftime; if we’re going to win this thing we can’t give up a goal. We’d given up a goal in the second half of every playoff game, pretty much, and if it happened today, we were going to be in trouble.”
Already, Edmond North had owned second-half possession and already, the T-Wolves had escaped a couple of Husky chances by the skin of their teeth when they were then made to defend a corner kick with 19 minutes remaining.