EAST BREMERTON — Sydney Troy picked her spot and didn’t miss it.
Olympic’s senior captain put her team’s important league match with North Kitsap on ice, sending a rocket into the upper 90 in the fifth round to take the shootout, 5-3, and the game, 2-1.
“[Coach Haggerty] says consistency is key,” Troy said following the game, noting that she often likes to “look one way, but go the other.”
The Trojans went five-for-five in the shootout as Gabby Luty, Kiarra Richards, Melenia Wright and Jayda Day all scored as well.
Karli Taylor made an important save in the second round, diving to her right, on North Kitsap’s Audrey Zinn that put the shootout firmly within Olympic’s control. Charlotte Bond, Mia St. Peter and Alaina Marcotte scored for the Vikings.
Down a goal entering the second half, the Trojans came out fired up and put the pressure back on the North Kitsap defense. Just three minutes in, Luty nearly had the equalizer, but hit the post with a shot. Hanna Troy finally broke through to tie the game in the 59th minute and the two teams played level all the way to the shootout.
“The first 15 minutes we were wheeling and dealing,” Olympic head coach Steve Haggerty said. “Their keeper made some good saves and the post made a good save, and we kept chipping away.”
North Kitsap had assumed command of the match in the final 25 minutes of the first half. Bond scored a pretty goal in the 19th minute getting behind the defense and tucking a shot into the corner of the net. The defense had also done a good job in giving Trojans star Hanna Troy as little room to maneuver as possible.
“Our backline did a really good job,” North Kitsap head coach Greg St. Peter said. “It’s more about what they do after the pass, making sure you follow through with your job. They did a good job, there was a lot of pressure and players to cover, they shifted well. And we have been moving players around that hadn’t been playing back there as much due to injuries.”
After Bond’s goal, the defense tightened up significantly. Olympic lost center back Zoie Matheny just before halftime to an injury, but players such as Alannah Mitchell and Alexis Valenzuela helped fill the void.
“We all stepped up a little bit, we pressed as a unit,” Sydney Troy said. “We moved together so they couldn’t get those through balls in our gaps.”
It was another classic between these two teams. The last eight matches, dating back to Oct. 2014, have now been decided by either one goal or penalty kicks.
The win gives Olympic a 5-0 league record and a distinct advantage in the race for the league title. But it is far from over. Olympic and North Kitsap play one more time on Oct. 18 and the Trojans still have to play Port Angeles twice, including a difficult trip up to the Olympic Peninsula on Sept. 27.
“We go up there in 3-4 weeks and we still have to survive our trip up to Port Angeles,” Haggerty said.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com.