It’s the call that’s almost never called. Given that, it must have been the right one and the Norman North boys were happy to have it.
In double overtime, both North’s Bostyn Carroll and Northwest Classen goalkeeper Dimsy Cifuentes had a beed on the same ball. As it happened, neither controlled it and Carroll went tumbling on the right side of the penalty box.
Not only did the referee award a penalty kick to the Timberwolves, but handed out a yellow card to Cifuentes, too, which meant reserve keeper Wilmer Cruz had to sub in cold to try and stop it.
North coach Khalil Benalioulhaj selected Carroll to take the shot and neither Cifuentes, nor Cruz, nor anybody else could have stopped it.
The District 6A-1 opener for each team, North prevailed 3-2.
Carroll’s shot was a left-footed screamer into the far right and top corner. It exploded into the net.
Carroll’s only goal of the game, he almost had one 13 minutes into the first half, even though his attempt was never to Cifeuntes’ right or left. Instead, a riser right at him, it was all the Knight keeper could do to deflect it off frame.
Carroll’s penalty try was a lot like that one, but from less than half the distance and well out of reach.
A terrific game, North enjoyed a 12 to 9 shot advantage, while Northwest enjoyed a 7 to 4 corner kick advantage.
The Knights scored first when Juan Deleon won a 50-50 ball from the North defense and beat T-Wolves goalkeeper Will Sutherlin.
North answered six minutes later, 26 minutes before the half, when Owen Whitman knocked home a Luke Wheeler cross, yet only after teammate Angus Oglesby froze the Knight defense by allowing the ball past him to Whitman.
The game’s prettiest goal put North ahead, still in the first half, when Braden Shipman picked the ball out of the air, volleying it toward Nick Dionisio, who also picked it clean, yet with all of his right foot, sending it past Fuentes.
Eight minutes after pinballing a shot off the crossbar and into the ground, Northwest managed to it up with 6:19 left in regulation, when Frederico Palacios beat Sutherlin with his left foot from just inside the top of the box.
It was the Knights’ first loss in seven games. The closest contests they’d played previous to Tuesday was a 4-1 tourney victory over Edmond Memorial and 3-0 triumph over El Reno.
The T-Wolves improved to 6-3, winning a game that could eventually be the difference in a district championship.
North gets six days off before playing host to Crosstown Clash rival Norman High on April 6.
• Norman High boys 2, Putnam City West 0: The Tigers also opened District 6A-1 play with a victory Tuesday, outlasting Putnam City West on the road.
Angel Velasco netted both Tiger goals, scoring on a free kick in the 10th minute and from deep, about 35 yards, in the ninth minute of the second half.
NHS goalkeeper Reece Gibbins contributed four saves to secure the shutout.
• Norman North girls 10, Northwest Classen 0: Northwest’s girls program has yet to catch up to its boys and the T-Wolves needed only the first half and half of the second to post their mercy-rule victory.
Narissa Fultz finished with three goals for the Timberwolves, Presslee Amick, Meredith McAlester and Jada Ryan each finished with two.