The sophomore came through, scoring in the 69th minute to lift the Truckers to a 3-2 Sandusky Bay Conference Lake division win over Perkins on Wednesday night. Norwalk is yet to lose a Lake division match since the SBC went to the division format last year, and is now alone in first place.
"We knew Perkins was a great matchup for us and we were excited for this game," Norwalk coach Michelle Sandor said. "I told the girls we had to play hard every minute and if we didn’t, Perkins would score on us and come back."
Norwalk (5-2-1 overall, 4-0 SBC) led, 2-0 in the first half, but saw its lead sliced in half when Emilia Andrews scored with just 1:23 left in the first half for the Pirates (4-2-1, 2-1-1).
The momentum for Perkins continued into the second half and the Pirates tied the game just a shade over five minutes in when Kylie Dorsey took a centered pass and pushed it past Norwalk goalie Makaila White to tie the game.
Each team had opportunities, but White and Perkins goalie Allie Schuster proved too tough until Olcott scored with 11:01 left in the game.
"I was proud of the girls for battling," Perkins coach Steven Schuster said. "To be down 2-0 against a team as talented as Norwalk and to be able to tie it back up shows grit and competitiveness. I am happy with the girls' effort."
Schuster said he felt his team was in control, but it just was not enough on this night.
"I honestly felt like we had the momentum for the last 50 minutes," he said. "I told them we had it for the last 10 minutes of the first half and thought we had it in the second half. It just did not show up on the scoreboard."
The first half belonged to Norwalk freshman Nyah Daniel. She nearly scored in the 13th minute, but was denied by Schuster. She got the Truckers on the scoreboard though, first, in the 26th minute when she retreated on a ball and scored from about 20 yards out for a 1-0 lead.
"I scouted Norwalk twice and did not catch her," Steve Schuster said. "Then I heard she scored five goals against Clyde, so we had a heads-up. She is rapid. My back line is pretty fast, but she had a step on them."
Daniel added a second goal in the 35th minute, pushing the score to the right of Schuster.
"She is developing a lot. She is so quick with the ball at her feet," Sandor said. "She is making a lot of freshman mistakes, but that is going to happen. She is going to improve into a great player in the coming years. Every game, she steps up and tries something new."
Dorsey had a great shot to cut into the Norwalk lead in the 38th minute, but the shot went off the side of the net.
"We let up a bit and they got a few goals on us," Sandor said. "I am glad we kept fighting. It was a fun game to coach and a fun game to watch."
Perkins 3, Norwalk 1
In the boys game, Perkins topped Norwalk, 3-1, behind two first-half goals from freshmen and a late goal to fend off the Truckers.
"The first half was exactly what we have been practicing," Perkins coach Paul Lea said. "We performed really, really well in the first half. We fell off in the second half and that is due to fatigue."
Mark Zokle scored just over three minutes into the game for the Pirates (5-1 overall, 3-1 SBC).
"He has been practicing really well and he scores all the time in practice," Lea said. "It was a matter of time before he was going to get goals on the varsity team."
That score remained for most of the rest of the first half. Brian Morales and Gavin Shutt each had scoring opportunities for the Truckers (2-5, 2-2) while Perkins' best chances came on two shots from Anthony Schaefer and one from Sam Myers. Norwalk coach Jon Kijowski just did not like the way his team came out of the gate.
"Our lack of energy stood out," Kijowski said. "We did not come out the way we probably should have and we paid for it when they scored three minutes into the game. We have been preaching that all year."
Perkins added to its lead in the 38th minute. Myers had a great opportunity on a breakaway, but was denied by Norwalk goalie Tyler Clark. However, freshman Evan Terry corralled the rebound and scored.
"Evan did really well and he really only played about 10 minutes," Lea said. "He has the technical ability. He gets pushed around a bit because of his size, but in a year or so, that won't be a problem."
Both teams played tight defense over the first 20 minutes of the second half. Norwalk finally broke through past Pirates goalie Gavin Knupke in the 63rd minute when Garrison Smith scored.
"Our soccer is where it needs to be," Kijowski said. "We just have to focus on coming out ready to play. I think we are still young and we have to go through some growing pains."
The Truckers seemingly were constantly knocking on the door for the next 15 minutes in an attempt to tie the game, but Knupke and Perkins held strong. The Pirates put the game away when Zack Morehart scored with 1:19 left, securing the win.
"The second half, I thought, was our game," Kijowski said. "I thought we were attacking and we created a lot of chances. We just did not finish what we needed to do."