“Absolutely,” said Cole Johnson, Cichero’s high school teammate. “We’ve all played each other our whole lives. The second half, it definitely picked up. Everybody wanted to give their best effort.”
Fouls were called with frequency. No cards were issued, but a couple could have been.
“I think it’s just how everybody plays,” offered Kali Newman, the Norman North keeper who occupied the West net in the second half of the opener. “We all have a very competitive mindset and we bring it on the field and physicality is definitely a part of that.”
Perhaps nobody should be so surprised. Maybe it’s just an East-West, or a West-East, kind of thing.
“Towards the end it did become really rough,” Moore’s Jordan Cleveland said of the girls game. “I expected it to become pretty feisty, because it’s a big rivalry.”
The locals accounted themselves well.
Playing the back line, North’s Bri Kuestersteffen snuffed out several East threats all by herself. Ostas had chances to score, but couldn’t quite find the net. Newman didn’t have to stand on her head, but was great in traffic off East set pieces.
Johnson was Johnson, playing hard the whole way. Matt Hockett proved he could play more than one position, playing a half in back and half in the midfield. And Cichero made jaws drop, giving the West some insurance less than four minutes after Bishop Kelley’s Daniel Baone made it a one-goal game.
As doubleheaders go, it wasn’t very convenient, taking place more than two hours from Norman.
On the other hand, it was a heck of an evening, with several familiar faces playing some very big roles.
“That was really fun,” Ostas said.
Yes it was.
Follow me @clayhorning
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