With time winding down between the top two teams in the Class 4A South Puget Sound League, Puyallup High School forward Katelyn Wood ended up in the right spot at exactly the right time.
In the 74th minute, teammate Katelyn Evans whipped the ball into the box from about 25 yards out. The ball bounced off Olympia goalkeeper Carly Becker and hit a charging Wood in the knee.
The ball trickled into the back of the net, lifting Puyallup to a 1-0 win at Sparks Stadium. The win kept the Vikings (6-0-1) undefeated, and handed Olympia (6-2) its second loss of the season.
“You’ve got to follow the shot, so I followed it in,” Wood said. “The keeper … juggled it out, and I just hit it in.”
The lone score followed an otherwise spotless game by Becker, who recorded 13 saves. Becker was on her way to another shutout — she has five this season — before Wood’s goal.
Puyallup controlled possession most of the way, averaging a scoring opportunity every two to four minutes — though its longest drought was 11 minutes long, the longest this season. Olympia limited the Vikings to their lowest single-game scoring total of the season.
“Overall, I think they played well,” Olympia coach Tamara Liska said. “We’ve been working on movement and possession, and I thought they used the space. They were communicating.”
Puyallup fended off a handful of scoring opportunities by the Bears, who tallied 10 shots. The only other time Olympia has been shut out this season was in its first loss to South Kitsap on Sept. 13.
“We needed to find the back of the net,” Liska said. “We didn’t finish.”
Puyallup coach Matt White said Olympia, which is in its first season in the 4A SPSL, is one of the toughest opponents the Vikings have seen this season.
“We kept getting close,” White said. “We thought, something’s got to happen. We made adjustments at half that made the second half a whole lot of us, and got some opportunities. We’re pleased.”
Puyallup is one of three teams in the restructured 4A SPSL that advanced to the state tournament last year. Curtis and newcomer Bellarmine Prep are the other two.
“We don’t get any breaks,” Wood said. “This was a really tough game.”
“It makes for better games,” Liska said. “It really pushes everybody. It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out in the end.”
Olympia 0 0_0
Puyallup 0 1_1
Goal: Katelyn Wood (P), Assist: Katelyn Evans.