OKLAHOMA CITY — The Norman North girls walked into Bishop McGuinness’ Clement E. Pribil Stadium looking to nail down their first district championship since 2006. Too bad the Timberwolves played like they already had it won.
A bad idea against any team, it’s even more risky away from home against a good team and North paid for it with a 1-0 loss.
It was the third-ranked T-Wolves (10-2-1, 5-1 District 6A-2) first loss against state-wide competition and the goal that made it possible was also the first allowed within Oklahoma’s borders. Not that it made anybody feel any better.
“I thought we were lazy,” North coach Don Rother said. “We didn’t have any intensity.”
That was clear when Nicole Voss scored the game’s only goal 4:47 after the kick.
North turned the ball over a few yards on the McGuinness side of midfield, from which the Irish put about four passes together, any one of which might have been challenged, deflected or picked off by a more aggressive defense.
Instead, McGuinness’ Ryan Maroney had enough space to play the ball from the middle of the field, above the box, to the left side where Voss was closing on a run toward the goal. North keeper Kali Newman didn’t give Voss much of an angle but the Irish forward tucked it past her nonetheless.
Still, the goal wasn’t the T-Wolves biggest problem. Their biggest problem was the next 75 minutes, when the Irish continued to carry most of the action.
In addition to scoring the only goal, the Irish were closer to making it 2-0 or 3-0 than North was to tying it.
Newman stopped one chance diving backward, almost into the goalpost, to stop a ball from rolling into the net. With 10 minutes remaining, Voss found herself all alone with Newman, about 15 yards of daylight between them, only to pop it over the crossbar.