By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — There will be a Crosstown Clash, but only one. Each bunch of Tigers and Timberwolves had to win to set up a doubleheader Clash at Norman North Friday, but the Mustang girls got in the way.
The female Broncos took down Norman High 1-0 Tuesday night at Gordon Drummond Field despite the best efforts of Tiger keeper Hannah Mohr, who put together a highlight reel before Mustang scored 1:17 before overtime would have begun.
The NHS boys came through with their own 1-0 victory over Bishop McGuinness and, though very quite sharp for about 65 of the 80 minutes, they still would have been nowhere without Theo Ostas, who scored the game’s only goal on one end before turning around and heading an Irish shot out of the North net on the other.
Mustang girls 1, Norman High 0: Mohr, just a freshman, took the loss hard.
It was the rebound off her save of a long free kick from Mustang’s Alexandria Jones that Alina Magruder put away for the game’s only goal.
“Hannah was phenomenal,” NHS coach Tyler Hardage said. “She kept us in the game.”
The Tigers managed six shots, but only two in the second half and neither one requiring a save out of Mustang keeper Abby Karbs. Meanwhile, the Broncos put 14 shots toward NHS’ net and the vast majority on frame. Mohr finished the night with nine saves, about four of them fantastic.
The Tigers might have played the length of the second half with the lead, but Lauren Goodman, taking a penalty kick awarded after Asha Haile was pulled down in the box, pinged the left post with a right-footed strike, from which the ball popped directly into Karbs’ hands.
It was a good game, but a tough loss on the first night of the playoffs.
“If I were a spectator, that would have been a great game to watch. It was entertaining, it was back and forth the whole way,” Hardage said. “There were times when we had the best of the attack and times when they had the best of the attack.”
Losing 11 seniors, the Tigers will be rebuilding next season. At the very least, they have a keeper in their keeper.
“She’s only a freshman, so it’s exciting to see her make those big saves and know she’s going to be here for three more years,” Hardage said. “She did a great job. I can’t speak highly enough of Hannah tonight.”
Norman High boys 1, Bishop McGuinness 0: The story may have been the Tigers’ dominance. They outshot the Irish 13-3. Their keeper, Drew Arledge, made one save, while McGuinness’ David Brown made five, robbing several Tigers of goals and Matt Tidwell of about three assists.
Yet another one-goal victory for NHS in a season full of them, it still had more in common with the Tigers’ resounding 2-0 victory over Edmond Santa Fe the last night of the regular season than any number of previous narrow victories. And still, without Ostas, it might have turned out very differently.
He got the goal with 5 minutes remaining in the first half, taking a pass in the penalty box from J.P. Pelletier, who took a pass from Billy Norlin. He corralled it like a high post at the free-throw line, then wheeled and tucked it inside the right post like a sniper who knew where it was going.
“J.P. played it right to my feet,” Ostas said. “I didn’t even look to shoot, I just kind of turned and hit it back post.”
Then, 11 minutes into the second half, during the game’s only stretch in which the Irish had the best of it, Alex Berney let go with 25-yard free kick to Arledge’s left. From a harsh angle, Berney had the ball bending over and around the Tiger keeper, but not past Ostas, who headed it out of the goal mouth.
“I could tell it was going to go over Drew’s hands,” Ostas said. “I was just lucky I was there.”
Lucky enough to put a Crosstown Clash on Friday’s schedule.
Follow me @clayhorning
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