The stat sheet didn’t tell the story.
The Olympia High School girls soccer team was outshot, 18-9, by host Sumner on Tuesday night at Sunset Chev Stadium. The Spartans had 10 corner kicks to the Bears’ seven.
But the Bears’ defense kept Sumner from lining up many strong shots on goal, and goalkeeper Carly Becker turned away any opportunities the Spartans did get to solidify their hold on second place in the 4A SPSL standings with a 1-0 victory.
“It’s a very strong league,” said Olympia coach Tamara Liska, whose team improved to 5-1 in both the SPSL and overall. “There are no easy games. You never get a pass.”
Early, the game looked like it would go in the Spartans’ favor as they kept the ball in the Bears’ defensive end much of the first 10 minutes. Yet it was Olympia that nearly scored first on a potential own goal by Sumner just seven minutes in before Spartan defender Haley Weinkauf hustled to make a last-ditch clearance at the goal line.
In the 22nd minute, Olympia scored the only goal it would need when sophomore defender Keila Kruse corralled a loose ball after a post-corner-kick scramble and bent a 25-yard shot over the head of Sumner goalkeeper Madison Hannenburg.
Usually a stronger kicker with her left leg, Kruse struck the decisive ball with her right.
“I was trying to put it into the corner,” she said. “But it curved over her head.”
Liska added, “We’ve talked a lot about not being afraid to take shots. Keila wasn’t.”
In addition to putting the night’s only goal on the scoreboard, Kruse earned praise from her coach, along with Becker and senior midfielder Bella Hood for anchoring the shutout defense.
“They were pressing us in the second half, overloading the box,” Liska said. “We moved Keila back into more of a defensive mode and she and Bella did a great job, along with Carly.”
“I don’t usually play that position,” Kruse said. “I tried to stay with my mark and make sure we were communicating.”
In the final seven minutes, Sumner (3-2 in both league and overall) had a couple of close chances, but couldn’t convert.
First, Jaycee Phillips fired off a save by Becker but saw it go high and wide. A minute later, Sarah Rowan took a crossing pass from Hannah Rowan and blasted it off the right post.