Courtney Dike walked off the field after last year's state championship soccer game with an unusual feeling.
For the first time in her three years as a starter for Edmond North, the Lady Huskies had lost in the title game.
“I was so used to winning,” said Dike (pronounced DEE-KAY). “It made me realize, ‘you can lose.' It was pretty sad.”
Now a senior, Dike will try to lead Edmond North to its third girls state soccer title in four years as the Lady Huskies begin the 6A playoffs Tuesday night at home against Bishop McGuinness.
Dike is widely considered the best girls high school player in the state. She has signed with Oklahoma State University to play soccer.
“I think she is hands down the best player in the state,” said Edmond North coach Meagan Anderson, who is in her fourth year with the Lady Huskies but first as head coach.
“She is just so dynamic. She can change a game. She has two different goals this year going from one end to the other in less than 15 seconds.
“She is definitely the offensive player of the year for us. She is a game changer. She wants the ball in her hands. She wants the ball in the last minute of the game. She is that type of player.”
Dike made a big splash in high school soccer her freshmen season, scoring 27 goals for Edmond North and leading the Lady Huskies to the state championship.
Her goal scoring has declined each year, in part because Edmond North's opponents game plan more and more against her.
“It's always been tough (to score) but now there is a lot more pressure on me,” Dike said. “It just makes me work harder to get to the goal. If I get double teamed that's OK. It just means someone else is open.”
Dike has scored 15 goals this season with eight assists. Edmond North finished the season 11-2 and 7-0 in district play.
“With 91 career goals in high school, you are going to get people's attention,” Anderson said. “I know this sounds odd, but she is a better scorer now than she was as a freshman. This year we've had a harder time getting her the ball.”
Dike is not the only soccer star in her family. Her older brother, Bright, was a standout at Edmond North, played collegiately at Notre Dame and now plays professional soccer for the Portland Timbers. He also played on the Nigerian national team because their parents are natives of Nigeria.
Courtney also was a two-year starter for the Lady Huskies' basketball team.
“She is physically a beast whether on the basketball court or the soccer field,” Anderson said. “You are not going to push her around. She stands in there and takes it. You are not going to knock her off the ball.”
The Lady Huskies have their youngest soccer team as a whole in four years. Dike is only one of four seniors on the team.
Even so, Dike doesn't think she has to carry Edmond North to victory, but she is the player the Lady Huskies depend on the most.
“Some way or another she is involved in every goal, whether it shows up in the stats or not,” Anderson said.