EAST BREMERTON — Olympic had just given up a 2-0 lead to Kingston early in the second half and looked to be lacking a spark when one of the team’s senior midfielders came to the rescue.
Speedy winger Midori Carrier scored three goals over the next 15 minutes to lift her team to a 5-2 league victory over the Buccaneers, improving her team to 3-3 on the season.
Seven starters graduated from last year’s state championship team, leaving Carrier as one of the few experienced players left. And she looked the part of a seasoned veteran Thursday night as she took over the match.
“It’s been kind of hard season so far trying to fill in all of those holes and gaps,” Carrier said. “But the girls are really stepping up. A lot of freshmen are coming in and they’re probably taking on more responsibility than they though they would at the start of the season.”
Carrier struck for the first time in the 53rd minute on a fantastic individual effort mere moments after Kingston scored to tie the game. She dribbled through the left side and took a terrific shot that beat the keeper.
Two minutes later, Carrier made a creative run that took her defender wide before suddenly bursting to the middle just as Kiarra Richard’s pass arrived on her foot. She then blasted a shot to the upper far corner to give her team a two-goal lead. In the 64th minute, Alyssa Smith’s free kick skipped into the penalty area and Carrier tucked it home for the hat trick.
“Midori decided to take the game into her hands,” said Olympic head coach Steve Haggerty.
Carrier’s heroics would not have been necessary were it not for a spirited comeback by the Bucs.
Down 2-0 early in the second half, Anastasia Horne found herself surprisingly wide open in the middle of the field on a throw in. An Olympic center-back had moved up to handle the throw and no one compensated, leaving Horne room to dribble in on goal and score to cut the lead in half.
In the 51st minute, it was junior Amanda Dormaier who started and finished the play to tie the game. Dormaier drove a pass into Horne and, after a short battle for a loose ball, Cora Caldis was able to corral the ball and tee it up for Dormaier, who got off a clean strike and hit the back of the net. It was a huge sequence for a Kingston team that has struggled to score this season.
“We’ve got a lot to talk about, but it’s all constructive,” said Kingston head coach Craig Smith. “It was something to build upon.”
The Buccaneers have already been hit with some bad luck and injuries. Their starting keeper is currently out with a concussion, leaving their captain Kaylee Dressler, normally a midfielder, to take on the role. There weren’t many subs available for the match against Olympic either and Smith had to constantly sub players in and out to keep them fresh, but the team persevered through and turned what could have been a blowout into an exciting game.
“The interesting thing about playing with intensity and spirit is it can inspire the opponent,” Smith said. “They picked their game up too after our goals.”
Lina Domroese opened the scoring in the 11th minute, catching a pass up the seam from Richards that put her behind the defense for an easy breakaway on the keeper. Ten minutes later, Kaleia Sandbeck’s long cross found its way through the middle to Richards, who knocked the ball home.
The Trojans have typically been a veteran-laden team in years past, but this year they are in a different position as they bring along a high number of younger players.
“It’s been a long time,” Haggerty said. “We had five freshmen out there playing tonight. Actually, at the end of the game, all five were on the field at the same time.”