NORMAN — The Norman North boys weren’t the only soccer program in the city celebrating a senior night that included 11 honorees. So, too, were the Norman High girls, who made sure the special night was a good one on the field, too, by coming on strong to stop Edmond Santa Fe 2-0.
The Tigers (9-3, 6-1 District 6A-1) entered the night in a position to finish first, second or third in district play. By topping the Wolves, they did what they could to give themselves a shot at the crown, though Edmond North claimed it instead by topping Putnam City North 2-1.
That aside, it was still a very good night for the Tigers, who will host a playoff game, an honor they failed to secure a year ago.
“We came out in the first half just not playing up to our ability,” coach Tyler Hardage said. “In the second half, we really picked up our play.”
Hardage asked for improved effort at intermission and got it. The Tigers spent the second half on the Wolves’ end of the field, taking the lead when Lauren Goodman fired home a free kick from 23 yards in the 62nd minute. As time was running out on the Wolves, NHS picked up some insurance when Gracie Koonce set up Tana Stevens for a tally deep inside Santa Fe’s penalty box.
Hardage saluted his seniors — Goodman, Stevens, Kalyn Dabney, Courtney Koepp, Shelby Heath, Marissa Landes, Maggie Rahhal, Shiloh Farris, Rylie Carter, Allie Berry, Sola Somade — after the game.
“The girls are just great, they work hard every day in practice, they don’t complain,” he said. “They’re just a great group of girls and it’s going to be sad to see them go.”
And, he thinks, they’re the right group of girls to do some damage in the playoffs.