By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Now, perhaps, the whole state understands the threat posed by Norman North’s Mauro Cichero on the soccer pitch. Or, at least, that sliver of it they saw watching the Cox Game of the Week on Tuesday night, the one that saw the Timberwolves easily blast past Mustang 5-0.
Live and in color, and through the miracle of instant replay too, Cichero scored one goal, set up another and delivered enough magical touches, even when they didn’t amount to anything, to fill up plenty of color commentary.
Also, Jacob Jerles added two goals and the tandem of Ashton Bray and Curtis McRae — both headed to Central Arkansas together to play their college soccer — put the T-Wolves up for good in the middle of the first half, Bray assisting McCrae, with the game’s first goal.
“We had some very nice goals,” North coach Geo Claros said.
Cichero, who had seven goals in his previous two games, may have delivered the nicest, scoring just 15 seconds before the half when, from about 25 yards, he played the ball to himself and let fly with his left foot.
The T-Wolves outshot Mustang 22-2, secured seven corner kicks to the Broncos’ one and made Daniel Taylor a very lonely goalkeeper. He did not face his first shot until deep into the second half.
Basically, North continued what it’s been doing since returning from the Southern Soccer Showcase in Huntsville, Ala.
After exiting with their third shootout loss of the season, the T-Wolves (8-3, 5-0 District 6A-2) have turned around and run off a quartet of district victories, outscoring opponents 19-2 along the way.
“We won 50-50 balls. We did pretty much everything we needed to do,” said Jerles, a sophomore forward, who tallied North’s final two goals. “We created a lot of chances and that’s what we need to do heading into the playoffs.”
Claros believes his team’s time was always coming.
“We always knew it would be night and day,” he said, “from where we were before.”
Lately, it has been.
Norman High boys 2, Yukon 1: On the pitch (and the rink) the official moment in which a goal is scored is expressed in terms of time elapsed. And Tuesday night at Yukon, Theo Ostas produced a decidedly rare time signature.
At 99:44 — 16 seconds remaining in double overtime — after receiving free kick service from Thomas Grzybowski, Ostas trapped the ball with his chest and swung hard with his foot, delivering the Tigers a victory that gives life to whatever chances remain of their winning a district championship.
Fourth-ranked NHS (10-1, 4-1 District 6A-1) got its first goal from Paul Starr with 19 minutes remaining. Yukon answered in the game’s 70th minute.
Norman North girls 1, Mustang 0: The Timberwolves, closing in on a district championship, thought their biggest hurdle had already been cleared at Edmond Memorial. Instead, it came Tuesday night against the Broncos.
North picked up its only goal of the game with less than 14 minutes remaining when Sheridan Spellman’s long ball found Blakely Bynum within a few short yards of the Mustang net.
The T-Wolves (9-1, 5-0 District 6A-1) prevailed despite being outshot 7-5 and out corner-kicked 4-1.
Norman High girls 3, Yukon 0: The Tigers made it look easy against a decent bunch of Millers, scoring early and often to maintain their second spot in the district.
NHS (8-3, 4-1 District 6A-1) picked up a pair of goals and an assist from Lauren Goodman, a goal and an assist from Gracie Koonce and a goal from Tana Stevens.
The Tigers also proved very efficient, turning a 9-5 shot advantage into the final score.
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