OKLAHOMA CITY — If the Norman High boys, playing the first of a rare district back-to-back, were looking for an easy night on the pitch, they didn’t get it. But if they were looking to win a different way, well, that they got.
“I think it was a good rebound performance. I think it shows that adversity doesn’t really affect us,” junior midfielder Matt Hockett said, referencing last Friday’s 1-0 loss to Edmond North. ‘’It was good that we came out and scored some goals and showed other teams that we don’t just win shootouts and close games.”
The Tigers prevailed 4-1 at Putnam City West, securing just their second victory of the season by multiple tallies.
It came in a flourish, into the wind, after the Patriots had played them to a 1-1 deadlock after 40 minutes.
Hockett nabbed a pair of goals and probably the only showstopper, the first one, coming with 9:11 remaining in the first half from 33 yards away to PCW goalkeeper David DeLeon’s left. Hockett crushed it, top shelf and near-corner pocket where DeLeon, though diving, could only wave at it.
“I just wanted to hit it pretty hard and keep it on frame,” Hockett said. “Just test the keeper.”
The rest of NHS’ scores were borne of dominance. They outshot the Patriots 16-6 and received five corner kicks to PCW’s zero.
Theo Ostas made it 2-1 on one of those corner. Ostas actually took the corner, making the ball dive hard, down and right to left like an old-fashioned overhand curve ball. DeLeon wasn’t ready for the ball at his feet.
Thomas Gryzbowski made it 3-1, whacking in a rebound off another corner kick and Hockett made it 4-1, cleaning up the mess DeLeon left after stopping Paul Starr from near point-blank range.
Before any of the second-half goals, DeLeon robbed Matt Tidwell, Ostas and Starr. Without their keeper’s heroics, PCW might have fallen 7-1.
“In the first half, I thought we moved the ball pretty well, but we just couldn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” NHS coach Gordon Drummond said. “In the second half, we really did. We did a lot of good things.”
The victory sets up a huge district game for the second-ranked Tigers (9-1, 3-1 District 6A-1) at Yukon tonight. Simultaneously, Edmond Santa Fe and Edmond North, both with unbeaten district marks, will be playing on the Huskies’ home field.
The Tigers will be rooting for Santa Fe, but they can only look out for themselves.
“I don’t think we’ll be tired because most of the game was played on one half of the field,” Drummond said. “I don’t think anybody’s tired or beaten down. I think we should be in good shape.”
Norman North girls 3, Putnam City West 0: It was only a question of how many and the NHS girls settled for three tallies despite dominating the Patriots from start to finish.
Coming off a loss to Edmond North and with a trip to Yukon coming up tonight, the Tigers (7-3, 3-1 District 6A-1) outshot the Patriots 26-0 and secured all six of the game’s corner kicks.
“It was a little frustrating,” NHS coach Tyler Hardage said. “But I’m not going to complain about a win. The girls worked really hard.”
It took Lauren Goodman 36 minutes to put the Tigers up for good, scoring off an assist from Mady Bowman.
Asha Haile made it 2-0 off an assist from Rylie Carter 17 minutes into the second half. Bowman assisted Tana Stevens for the game’s final goal just 3 minutes after Haile found the mark.
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