OKLAHOMA CITY —
The Irish (7-2, 4-2) outshot the T-Wolves 8-3, owned the possession battle and were the more aggressively physical of the two teams, committing 13 fouls to North’s eight.
One of those fouls, when Callie Kumler grabbed Bri Kuestersteffen’s jersey, gave North a free kick inches above the Irish penalty box. The T-Wolves, who wanted a penalty kick, got nothing when Lexi Carroll drilled the ball into the Irish wall.
“I think Bishop McGuinness worked really, really hard and brought a lot of pressure,” said Kuestersteffen, who began the game defending but finished it moved forward into an attack that struggled to materialize. “I don’t think we played quickly enough tonight. Everything was two, three, four touches. We need to get back to the two-touch, one-touch passing that we normally do.”
Kuestersteffen, who thought her team entered the game “lackadaisical” believes a wake-up call should do the T-Wolves some good.
“We’ve been kind of going through the motions the last couple of weeks and this is definitely going to set our goals straight,” she said, “and remind us that we have to work super hard to achieve our goals.”
A home-pitch victory over Putnam City on Tuesday still gives North its first district title in eight seasons, but it will take a renewed focus to get the T-Wolves where they ultimately want to go.
“Hopefully, it’s a good learning experience,” Rother said. “If we come out and play like that in the playoffs, we’re not going to go as far as we’re supposed to.”
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