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.