For a team that started the season 2-5, Norman is getting a lot of late-season attention as a squad that could take home the Class 6A boys soccer state championship.
Friday night, for the second time this season, Norman knocked off Edmond North 1-0. The first win helped the Tigers win their first district title since 2002. Friday’s win, which came via a shootout after a scoreless regulation and two overtime periods, sends Norman to the Class 6A semifinals for the first time since the same year.
Norman keeper Ray Jennings Clark came up big in the shootout to send the Tigers into Tuesday’s match against Jenks and set up the possibility of an all-Norman state final.
The perennial power Tigers, who have four state crowns, last won the title in 1999.
The reasons Norman is being considered such a threat to bag title No. 5 are simple. First, no team is hotter than the Tigers right now. They’ve won eight straight matches to improve to 10-5 on the season. Second, coach Gordon Drummond, the dean of Oklahoma boys soccer, is renowned for his team’s staunch defense. History shows that when Norman has the ability to score goals, the Tigers are as tough of a playoff out as there is.
And with Cal Cornwell and Alec Lee leading the way offensively and keeper Ray Jennings Clark making a case as Oklahoma’s best netminder added to Norman’s always- air tight defense, the Tigers are the team that nobody wants to play.