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March 12, 2014

North girls make most of corner kick in shutout Clash victory

NORMAN — It took nearly 43 minutes before Norman North attempted a corner kick in Tuesday’s Crosstown Clash. But the Lady Timberwolves sure made their first one count.

Senior Sheridan Spelman headed home Lexi Carroll’s centering pass, and North had all the scoring it needed on its way to a 1-0 victory at a wind-blown John Crain Field.

Carroll’s left-foot boot found its way into a crowd in the goal mouth and onto the head of Spelman, who headed it into the top left corner of the net.

It would rank as a

pretty goal in any game, but to score it in a 30-plus mile-per-hour wind against a stingy defense in the biggest rivalry game of the season just added to the moment.

“Our possession and overall effort was good in the first half, but we just didn’t have the urgency of finishing,” said North coach Don Rother. “At halftime, we talked about stressing urgency, and we came out better in the second half.

“And on the corner, (Spelman) just did a great job of making sure she was the one who would win that ball. In a game with this much wind, it’s tough to score goals.”

North had the better of the play in the first half, but wasn’t able to crack the scoreboard. Its best chances came on a near-miss high by Camille Greer in the 21st minute, and a pair of close calls on free kicks by Yazmeen Ryan in the final three minutes, one stopped by NHS keeper Hannah Mohr and the other sailing inches over the crossbar.

But despite going back into the wind, which gusted up to 40 miles per hour at times during the match, North continued to find opportunities after halftime while its defense turned away most of the Lady Tigers’ advances. NHS didn’t get its first shot on goal of the half until about seven minutes to play, when North goalkeeper Kali Newman snatched a long blast by Asha Haile.

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