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May 17, 2014

Amazing run, historic win immortalizes Timberwolves

NORMAN — In 2000, the Sooners had Red October. In 2014 the Norman North girls had, what, Magical May?

Honestly, it doesn’t work, not really. It’s too cornball, too forced, too pretentious and there’s nothing worse than that. And still, think about it. This is a group that made history, and not merely in the way sportswriters talk about a team making history every time it wins a championship.

Just step back and look at the body of work, because it’s not entirely clear we’ve ever seen anything like it.

“As soon as we played Southmoore and we didn’t stoop down to their level,” T-Wolves defender Simone Ryan said, “I knew we had a chance.”

The North girls, who first reached the state title game in 1999, but did not do it again until 2014, claimed the program’s first state championship Friday with a 3-0 victory over Edmond Memorial.

And just maybe, for all the state soccer titles won previously in this town — four by the North boys, four by the NHS boys, seven by the NHS girls — none came with as dominant a postseason run as the one North just finished at John Crain Field.

The T-Wolves beat Southmoore 5-0, beat McGuinness 1-0, beat Broken Arrow 1-0, beat Memorial 3-0. 

It’s hard to give up fewer goals than zero and, in the two 1-0 games, the T-Wolves outshot the Irish 7-1 and the Tigers 10-5.

It’s something to think about. And, even if there’s been a better playoff run somewhere in the past, what North did to find its best game, when it really mattered, over and over and over again is still nothing short of inspiring.

“The best part is doing it with this group of girls, honestly,” coach Don Rother said. “When our senior class came in, they kind of year-by-year improved, and kind of turned our program into something that’s really respected and kind of set an example for all the young players who were coming in and set the bar very high … There’s no other group that I would rather be here doing this with than this group and I truly mean it.”

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