Rarely do the Lions drop league matches, let alone get shut out.
Olympia senior goalkeeper Olivia Brock did it twice — in one season.
That’s how dominating Brock, the Olympian’s All-Area player of the year, was in goal for the Bears.
According to Olympia coach Tessa Effland, Brock could play anywhere on the field and be successful.
She elected to give goalkeeper a try in grade school. She hasn’t moved out of the nets since. It was a natural fit from the start.
“It was just something I’ve always been good at,” Brock said. “Once I started playing the position, that was it — I didn’t want to leave.”
Brock’s stellar play helped the Bears finish second in the highly competitive Narrows League.
Never were her skills more on display than in the two meetings with Bellarmine.
The Lions, who entered the season as the five-time defending league champions, had not been shut out on their home field in a league match since 2009.
Brock, however, turned away everything that came her way, leading the Bears to a 3-0 road victory on Oct. 2.
“The thing was we didn’t just win on some lucky goal,” Brock said. “We just kept gaining confidence as that match went on.”
It marked the fourth shutout for Brock on the season. Four more would follow, including the rematch against Bellarmine on Oct. 25, when Olympia posted a 1-0 victory.
“That was obviously one of the highlights this season,” said Brock about sweeping Bellarmine. “Not too many teams have been able to beat them twice in a year.”
The Bears came up a win shy of advancing to the state tournament for the first time since 2008, losing a winner-to-state district match to Auburn, 1-0.
“We had a lot of fun this year,” Brock said. “The only regret really was not going farther in the playoffs.”
Few goalkeepers can match Brock’s phenomenal goal kicks – high and often times to midfield.
One shot, if any, was all the opposition could usually generate during an attack as Brock’s kicks would usually provide her and her teammates the valuable time to regroup.
Because of her play, it’s easy to understand why Effland deemed Brock the best goalkeeper she’s had during her coaching tenure with the Bears.
Up next for Brock will be Concordia University in Portland.
“It seems like the perfect fit for me,” Brock said. “I loved the campus. It’s a smaller school, and that’s what I was looking for.”
Brock will be trading in one successful soccer program for another: The Cavaliers captured the Cascade Collegiate Conference this season, advancing to the NAIA national championships.
Brock should be right in the thick of things in regard to playing time next season as Concordia graduates two senior goalkeepers this spring.
“I think there’s opportunity to play there early,” Brock said. “It’s going to be a change, but it’s something I’m looking forward to.”
The Olympian’s all-area girls soccer team
GK Olivia Brock, senior, Olympia
Few had success in getting shots past goalkeeper Brock, The Olympian’s all-area player of the year; she was a unanimous pick as the top defender among Narrows League 4A coaches. She anchored a tough Olympia defense and allowed eight goals (just 14 the past two seasons). Brock is labeled the best goalkeeper coach Tessa Effland has had in her tenure at Olympia. Will play at Concordia (Ore.) next season.
D Megan Sparato, sophomore, Olympia
Narrows League 4A coaches labeled Sparato as the second-best defender in the league behind teammate Brock, and her play as the center back was a big reason why Olympia’s defense was so strong. “Her skill, speed, and strength place her as the best defender I have ever coached,” Effland said.
D Loren Switzer, senior, Capital
The 2A Evergreen Conference’s defensive MVP anchored a stingy defense that gave up an average of 1.5 goals a game in 15 regular-season games and had six shutouts, including a 4-0 win over Aberdeen in the 2A District IV tournament.
D Ashley Martinez, sophomore, Timberline
Martinez was instrumental in the Blazers’ seven shutouts and helped kick-start the offense. Finished with four assists and helped Timberline to the district playoffs.
MF Arin Seidlitz, sophomore, Black Hills
The speedy sophomore helps set up plays with her explosive speed and craftiness with the ball. Finished with 20 goals and seven assists. Also had three saves when she was put in goal for a shootout against Aberdeen, then had the winning goal.
MF Allie Amico, senior, North Thurston
Amico was a big reason why the Rams made the postseason for the second consecutive season and were one win shy of earning a 3A state playoff berth. Among the elites in the 3A Narrows, Amico was the team’s assist leader and also had three goals.
MF Emily Barclift, senior, Tumwater
Despite her size – 5-foot-4 – she often went up against bigger and stronger players and held her own. Helped set up the T-Birds’ offense, which put up 36 goals and earned a berth in the 2A state tournament.
MF/F Whitney Lowe, junior, Black Hills
Even though she often was double-teamed, Lowe created a lot of offense and helped set up shots for teammates. Teams often had to game-plan around the Wolves’ crafty junior. She finished with 20 goals and a team-high nine assists.
F Abbey Bergquist, senior, Tumwater
Back after a knee injury that forced her to miss her entire junior season, the Gonzaga commit was a difference-maker with a great feel on and off the ball.
F Camryn Althauser, junior, Rochester
Alhauser’s quickness and fancy footwork helped the Warriors to their first state berth in program history. She earned offensive MVP honors of the 1A Southwest Washington Evergreen Division after scoring 27 goals and handing out 16 assists.
F Krista Jones, junior, Timberline
No matter if she was up front on the attack or in goal – she did both this season – Jones did a bit of everything for the Blazers, including a team-best seven goals. She also had one shutout as goalkeeper.
F Rashelle Fisher, senior, W.F. West
The 2A Evergreen Conference’s offensive MVP put up big numbers all season, including multiple hat-trick games. She guided the Bearcats to the regular-season title and a 2A state berth.
Coach of the year
John Hayes, Rochester
Hayes, a former Timberline boys coach, guided the Warriors to the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs, the first state playoff game in program history. preps.theolympian.com email@example.com