High school soccer roundup: Northwest Classen tops Tulsa Washington in PKs
Northwest Classen goalkeeper Alex Reyes was a bright green streak tearing down the sideline after what he thought was the Knights’ win against Tulsa Booker T. Washington in the Class 5A boys state soccer state semifinal Tuesday.
But as he was dogpiled by teammates, a storm rolled in and lightning flashed on the eastern horizon of Taft Stadium. The drama was only beginning.
Officiating threatened to overtake a 10-9 win for Northwest Classen in penalty kicks against Tulsa Washington, Classen had to overcome two extensions of the shootout after officials waved off not one, but two victorious moments by the Knights.
Northwest Classen looked to have wrapped up the shootout when Tulsa Washington’s Grant King pushed the Hornets’ fifth attempt wide right of the goal. Classen’s team tore down the field in celebration, but officials ruled that Reyes came off his line early and had King return to kick, which he converted.
Classen was still ahead a goal thanks to a Reyes save on Tulsa Washington’s third penalty kick. Rafael Hernandez stepped up coolly and converted the game-winning penalty, but his kick was nixed after the official determined Hernandez stopped his path on his approach to the ball.
“You can even have stutter-steps, but it always has to be in a forward motion,” Classen coach Matt Ross said. “He was saying our player had a backwards stutter-step.”
In the second wave of penalties, Reyes received a second yellow card and ejection by the head official for what was explained to Ross as “dissent.”
“My keeper was trying to understand the rule of encroachment, because he had been called previously for encroachment,” Ross said. “I truly believe my keeper when he told me he was trying to clarify the rule.”
Classen didn’t fluster. Backup goalkeeper Demsy Cifuentes stepped in and he was able to save a penalty to send the Knights to the final.
The officiating extended what was a thrilling 1-1 contest in regulation. King and Classen’s Rafael Jaquez each scored outstanding long-distance goals in the second half from 30 yards out. King’s goal came with eight minutes remaining when Tulsa Washington was scratching for the tying goal.
A title this weekend would be Northwest Classen’s first in boys soccer since 2012. If Classen wins, it’ll have done so against the wildest of circumstances in the semis.
“We have so many quality boys on the roster,” Ross said. “And it just showed as the penalties went on.
“I feel so blessed by God that my boys have that mindset, that no matter what we’re thrown, we’re going to continue to play to the best of our ability.”
Mustang girls heading back to state
For the second consecutive season, the Mustang girls soccer team will play for a state championship.
The Broncos went on the road and defeated Jenks 4-3, netting a late goal to surpass its east side foe.
It will be a west side championship game for Class 6A girls, as Mustang will face Norman North, which defeated Broken Arrow 2-1 in the semifinals.
Southeast boys continue run
The Southeast boys soccer team is one win away from a state title.
Marco Romero tallied two goals, and Ulises Urbina had another as Southeast defeated Holland Hall to advance to the state title game. Southeast (15-1 overall) will face Fort Gibson in the finals.
Harrah girls fall to defending state champ
Verdigris struck first, and Harrah couldn’t counter.
The Harrah girls soccer team fell to defending state champion Verdigris, 4-2. The loss was its first against a Class 4A school this season. The Panthers finished the season 15-4.
Erik Horne and Cameron Jourdan, Staff writers
Erik Horne is in his fourth season on the Thunder beat. Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013 following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The... Read more ›
Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internships with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in... Read more ›