DEER CREEK — Three of Norman’s high school soccer teams were at the Deer Creek Invitational for the first of two days of action, each one of them doubling up on the event’s first day.
Of the six games played, the only victory was delivered by the Norman North boys, and that one, by a 2-0 count over Class 5A Bishop McGuinness, was primarily delivered by the Timberwolves junior varsity squad.
Also Friday, the Norman High girls fell twice, 2-1 to Deer Creek and 2-1 to Piedmont, while the Norman High boys, despite not winning, still came up with two fairly strong results, a 0-0 tie with Westmoore and a 1-1 tie with Edmond North.
A measure of the not-so-serious state of the tournament may be the fact that the NHS boys did not participate in an overtime or a shootout, despite finishing two different games deadlocked in regulation.
That, as well as the fact that in the North boys final game of the day, a 1-0 loss to Deer Creek, coach Khalil Benalioulhaj and his Deer Creek counterpart were calling the game themselves because there were no referees or linesmen there to do it for them.
They weren’t really scrimmages, but … “Honestly, all the teams out there are kind of seeing it like that,” Benalioulhaj said. “District starts next week and everybody out there is kind of like, ‘Hey, let’s just get ready for district, let’s see what our subs can do, who’s going to be coming off the bench of us next week.”
The T-Wolves might have found some help they can take with them from their second unit.
Sebastian Maruri, not a starter, scored both North goals against McGuinness.
In the T-Wolves’ second game, against the host Antlers, a contest mostly contested by each school’s varsity starters, though North fell 1-0, it actually might have gotten its two best scoring opportunities from reserves, trying to tie the game up late.
Mason Tucker was the fastest player on the field for either team in the final minutes and very nearly won a race for the ball with a Deer Creek defender who began the race much closer to it and just tapped it away to prevent a breakaway for Tucker.
North’s last best chance was delivered by Parker Seybolt, who deftly created space for a clear shot from about 18 yards from the Deer Creek goal, though it was unfortunately directed right at the Antler keeper.
The North boys takes on Westmoore at 9 this morning back at Deer Creek.
• NHS boys: The Tigers didn’t win, nor did they lose. Also, their results may well be good signs.
Among the Class 6A girls and boys, many seem to like both Deer Creek squads postseason chances; even though the Deer Creek boys have a couple of losses, one of them to Westmoore, which the Tigers were able to keep from scoring on Friday.
On Thursday, Edmond North slipped past Norman North in a shootout. Yet, Friday, the Tigers were able to play the Huskies to a deadlock, too.
NHS got its goal against Edmond North from Asa Bonner, assisted by Zach Lopez.
“The boys played well,” Tiger coach Gordon Drummond said.
Today, NHS wraps the tourney meeting meeting Deer Creek at 12:30 p.m.
• NHS girls: The Tigers’ loss to Deer Creek only happened thanks to an Antler goal, coming off a corner kick, in the final minute.
NHS got its goal from Chloe Almond.
Against Piedmont, the Tigers got their goal from Maddie Reinke.