High school soccer: Northwest Classen remains a team to beat

Class 5A state champ a year ago, Northwest Classen is again making noise in the playoffs
by Ed Godfrey Published: May 6, 2013
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photo - CLASS 5A HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER / STATE TOURNAMENT / CELEBRATION: Northwest Classen celebrates their win in the boys 5A soccer state championship game over Cascia Hall at Edmond North High School in Edmond, Okla., Saturday, May 12, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
CLASS 5A HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER / STATE TOURNAMENT / CELEBRATION: Northwest Classen celebrates their win in the boys 5A soccer state championship game over Cascia Hall at Edmond North High School in Edmond, Okla., Saturday, May 12, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Last season, Northwest Classen won the Class 5A boys' state soccer championship, the first team title for the school in any sport since 1985.

The Knights only have three starters back from last year's title squad, but they are knocking on the door of a second straight state championship game.

Northwest Classen (10-5) defeated previously unbeaten Western Heights 2-1 on Friday night in the 5A quarterfinals, setting up a date with Tulsa Washington on Tuesday night in the semifinals. Game time is 7:30 at Taft Stadium.

Northwest coach Daniel Desouza said his young club doubted at the beginning of the season that they could repeat as champs.

“The first day of practice I talked about trying to repeat,” he said. “Several of them were afraid. It was such a big task to ask of them. They were very young. Some fear creeped in. They just didn't think they could do what the guys did last year.”

But the Knights played their best game of the season in beating Western Heights, in double overtime as Jonathan Flores scored the game-winning goal. Now everyone on the team is a believer.

“I am not the one saying it,” Desouza said. “The coaching staff is not saying it. They are saying it now. We are focused on winning it.

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by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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