The Edmond Sun
The Edmond Memorial Lady Bulldogs soccer squad lost by just a mere point in overtime to Norman North in the regular season.
In Friday’s Class 6A state championship, the Lady Timberwolves had more 1-on-1s with the goalie and powered the ball through seams en route to a 3-0 state title victory over Memorial at the University of Oklahoma.
“Of course we’re disappointed,” said Memorial head coach Randy Bohuslavicky after receiving the state runner-up trophy with a 14-3 record. “They just won more balls that us. Normally, we have more looks, but Norman North had a lot to do with that.
“They (Memorial) got to fully experience what it is like to be here. We’re disappointed, but all in all, we played hard and had a great season.”
With 35:40 to play in the first half, T-Wolf Lexi Carroll swooped in for a ball that bounded off a Memorial player’s back. She scored from 30 yards out for the only goal needed.
The Bulldogs’ only attempt in the opening half was a Laramie Hall shot that had the goalkeeper take a dive, but Hall wasn’t able to get much steam on the kick.
In the second half, freshman goalie Courtney Glenn really kept the ‘Dogs in the contest trailing 1-0. With 36 minutes to play, Glenn faced a tough 1-on-1 at full speed and made an outstretched save. At 30:52, she was banged around in the box and still stopped a goal and deflected the ball out of bounds.
But on the ensuing corner kick, Norman North headed the ball in for an insurance goal a 2-0 lead.
Just over a minute later, Glenn faced another aggressive 1-on-1 but she came out with her head down to put a halt to the threatening drive.
In the second, the Lady Bulldogs had a hard time getting any clean looks. With 22:15 left, Carly Albright got loose, but a Timberwolf kicked the ball away near the box. Nearly three minutes later, Hall pooched a ball over the defenders, but the goalkeeper was waiting.
Hall also used a nifty dribble to get free with 3:14 left in regulation. She scooted 60 yards before dishing right to teammate Amanda Dial, but Dial couldn’t connect off the tough angle and a defender hanging on her.
Memorial hands Union first loss (Tuesday)
Top-rated and undefeated Tulsa Union jumped out on top early and were on the offensive in all 14 wins this season against zero losses, many times building up lopsided scores.
After Edmond Memorial skimmed crosstown rival Edmond North 3-2 in overtime May 9 to earn a date with the mighty Redskins at home in Tuesday’s state semis, Bohuslavicky said they were doing everything they could to “solve the Union riddle.”
When Tulsa Union came into Edmond, the Lady Bulldogs turned the plight into their favor by jumping on top 2-0 before intermission. They continued to pour it on throughout the contest to survive a 2-1 battle and reach the Class 6A soccer state championship for the first time since 2004.
“The girls were really focused in,” Memorial head coach Randy Bohuslavicky said. “That’s what is neat about this group. They just didn’t want to get farther than they got before, they want to win the thing.”
The loss for Union drops the ‘Skins to 14-1 and the win elevates the Bulldogs to 14-2.
“(assistant) Yolanda Odenyo-Thomas really gave us some upbeat practices and helped us out a lot,” Bohuslavicky lauded. “Her practices get us so focused with the intensity of the practices she sets up.”
The magnitude of the drilling seemed to take the Lady Redskins by surprise as Memorial hit both of its scores with more that 15 minutes to spare before halfime for a 2-0 cushion.
‘Dog Hannah Molone was initially assisted by Jessica Craig and then Lana Duke ensued with a header off of a pass from Annabeth Fouts.
“They (Tulsa Union) never had to come from behind,” Bohuslavicky said. “We put them in a position they weren’t used to and it was to our advantage.
“Our girls kept the pressure on.”
For a span of nearly 10 minutes in the latter half, the Lady Bulldogs went on the attack and kept the ball on the Redskin side of the field.
When Union got into a offensive threatening position, goalkeeper Courtney Glenn came away with some promising saves.
“Lana Duke, a senior leader and Annabeth Fouts — those two really directed our defense on the field,” said Bohuslavicky. “Halle Ginsberg and Olivia Edwards continued to have some big-time stops with steals and deflections causing problems throughout the game.”
Bohuslavicky noted that Hall, Amanda Dial and Reagan Ballard all were very offensively sound in the critical victory over the Redskins.
Memorial faced off Friday night with the Timberwolves of Norman North for the top hardware. The Bulldogs took second to Norman North in district and the two teams have been the top-ranked teams on the west side of the state.
The Lady T-Wolves slipped by Broken Arrow 1-0 in the semifinals.