NORMAN — It’s easy to become used to the Norman North boys’ dominance on the soccer field. It’s so easy that it becomes easy to forget the Timberwolves’ season only recently turned dominant, and a lot of good it did them Tuesday night against Norman High, when North had to go 12 kickers deep to finally win a shootout for the ages.
But that’s how the T-Wolves escaped the Tigers, winning by an official count of 2-1, thereby earning the right to play at 7 tonight, against Owasso on the Rams’ home pitch, the winner to meet the winner of Edmond North and Union for the Class 6A state championship.
If North gets there, it will not only be playing for a second straight state title and a third in four seasons, but it will also have continued a season-long storyline of resiliency, for it’s a season that has included obstacles many bunches of former T-Wolves have not had to traverse.
For one (or two or three), there have been losses.
Broken Arrow topped North in a shootout, then NHS did the same in the T-Wolves’ very next game. That required the ship first being righted, and it was, with a huge 4-0 victory over Edmond Memorial, North’s district opener.
Then came at trip to the Southern Soccer Challenge, where North won twice before losing another shootout, to Memphis University Boys Prep School.
The T-Wolves had to respond from there in district play, playing three games in five days after returning from Huntsville, Ala., the first three of an eight-game winning streak that remains ongoing.
Now, facing the Rams, North must deal with the loss of two starters: center midfielder Cole Johnson to a torn ACL, suffered against Norman High, and outside defender Matt Gann to mononucleosis.