The Norman Transcript

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March 30, 2014

NHS boys cap Bronco Cup with win after big 2nd half

MUSTANG — With about 5 minutes remaining, the referee walked over to the Norman High coaches and explained that one more infraction from No. 10 would be No. 10’s last. And, if the Tiger brain trust took him at his word, it would have been No. 10’s last for two games because that’s the way red card’s work in high school soccer.

Good thing Theo Ostas had already led the Tigers (3-2) to a 2-0 victory over Owasso (4-1) on the final day of the Bronco Cup.

“He really, really, can get after it,” NHS soccer coach Gordon Drummond said. “There’s a competitive streak in him that sometimes goes over the top and gets him in trouble, but then, at the same time, it also means goals.”

Saturday afternoon, all in the second half, it meant one goal, though it nearly meant three or four. And, much better for the Tigers, Ostas was only the most conspicuous example of the two different halves NHS played against the Rams. About every Tiger was his own example.

“(Coach) told us to come out and prove a point. I thought our attitude was great in the second half,” Ostas said. “And we just put pressure on them. We found space and, I don’t know, we just started working as a team.

All at once, NHS became more aggressive. 

It meant the Tigers more eagerly pressured the ball in their own half of the pitch, and were quick to help teammates when that pressure led to Owasso chances; as well as offensively, where the Tigers were either winning 50-50 balls cleanly or forcing the Rams to commit fouls to prevent them from doing so.

“Best 25 minutes of the season, without question,” Drummond said of the time frame that began with the second-half kickoff.

For Ostas it led to two second-half breakaways, when he grabbed balls that should have been corralled by Owasso defenders, and somehow ended up on the other side of those defenders with the ball on his foot. Both times, Ostas was stoned by Owasso keeper James Contreras. 

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