High school soccer playoffs: Late turnaround nets home playoff opener for Norman

The Tigers won five of their last six games to finish second in District 6A-1. The remarkable turnaround means Norman High (5-8) will open the Class 6A playoffs at home against Bishop McGuinness (10-3) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
by Trent Shadid Modified: May 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm •  Published: May 5, 2014

— When the Norman High girls’ soccer team dropped its first seven games of the season, hosting a playoff game seemed highly unlikely.

But the Tigers recovered, winning five of their last six games to finish second in District 6A-1.

The remarkable turnaround means Norman High (5-8) will open the Class 6A playoffs at home against Bishop McGuinness (10-3) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

“The girls have had a really good attitude all season,” said Norman coach Tyler Hardage. “When you look at the teams that we’ve lost to, it’s some really good teams. I think the girls always had a good head on their shoulders about it and were always thinking we’re almost where we need to be to start winning some games.”

Like Hardage says, the early struggles were in large part due to playing tough competition. Three of the seven losses came by one goal to top-10 teams Norman North, Tulsa Kelley, and Broken Arrow.

“I hate to say it didn’t matter, because every game matters, but I think they felt the weight of losing every game,” Hardage said. “That stung a little bit, but at the same time they were able to realize those (non-district) games don’t really have an impact on how the end of our season is going to go.”

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by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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