In a match that may have been between the top two teams in the state, Norman North notched one of its biggest wins in several seasons — which is saying a lot considering the T-Wolves are always in the thick of the Class 6A state title race — in a 1-0 triumph over Putnam City North Friday in Norman.
Will Smith added to what has been as strong of a season as anyone has had in 6A by taking a feed from T-Wolves standout JT Harrison and sending the ball past PC North’s All-American goalkeeper Bryan Byars barely two minutes into the match.
“When we scored that early in the game, it definitely got us all fired up,” said Smith, whose 22 goals leads 6A. “But we didn’t pack it in and try to make that one goal hold up, we went after more.”
In 87-plus minutes the T-Wolves never got another goal, but they never allowed one either, ending a tremendous PC North season that saw the Panthers rise to the No. 1 ranking in the country in the NSCAA/adidas poll. All the while, Norman North extended its season to the semifinals — the sixth time its done so in the past seven seasons, a feat no other school can match.
“Everyone on the back line played a huge part in the win and they deserve a lot of credit,” said Smith, a junior.
PC North, which closed at 13-2, with both losses coming in Norman, pressured the T-Wolves often in the second half and controlled much of the action, but couldn’t get a shot between the pipes.
“This was our best game of the season,” said Smith. “We’ve never played that well and that hard.”
Norman North, 13-3, will face Tulsa Union at home on Tuesday for a chance to play in its second state final in the past three seasons.