NORMAN — From the it’s-not-about-where-you-start-but-about-how-you-finish department, Class 6A prep soccer brings you the Norman High girls.
The playoffs are a week away and the Tigers may feel cheated if they don’t score at least one postseason victory, but where the regular season’s concerned, NHS’ transformation may be pretty historic.
The Tigers began the season 0-7, yet Tuesday night, meeting Edmond Santa Fe at Gordon Drummond Field with home field the first night of the playoffs on the line, the Tigers prevailed 1-0.
With that win, NHS completed its regular season with a 5-8 mark, yet a 5-2 mark in District 6A-1.
“Clearly, we turned our season around,” coach Tyler Hardage said.
Tuesday night’s victory wasn’t textbook. For most of the first 40 minutes, the Tigers dominated. Over the last 40, neither team dominated, though more of the game was played in and nearer the NHS penalty box than the Santa Fe box.
Still, it was the Tigers cashing in the only goal, and what a goal it was.
Asha Haile, back in the lineup, played a perfect ball to her left, that allowed Kinsleigh Robb, though marked, to reach it with enough space to control the ball. Yet, rather than control it, Robb decided to let it fly.
From about 24 yards away, above the top right corner of the penalty box as Santa Fe keeper Kaitlin Price looked out from her net, Robb crushed the ball with her left foot, zooming it past Price who couldn’t have expected that kind of velocity.
“It works for me sometimes,” Robb said. “Whenever I get into it and the adrenaline gets going, I can just shoot.”
On the other end of the field, Tiger keeper Hannah Moore had one of her most productive nights, stopping all seven of Santa Fe’s 12 shots that were on frame.