The Olympic Force Ladies faced off against the Washington Timbers last weekend in Vancouver, and going in they knew it was going to be a hard day for them. They were short a few players due to graduations and ceremonies and only had one player to make subs with for the game on the road.
The game started off looking like it was going to be a bad day for the Force when the Timbers hit the post and crossbar in the an 8 second stretch of the first five minutes of the game. The Force back line settled in and went to work after that though. In the first half, the Timbers tried to take on Force right back Amber Voin over and over again. The SMU defender was having a stellar day and when an occasional opportunity snuck through, Kruzner and Olson were there in support.
In the second half, the Timbers decided to try the other side as it was clear that Voin was solid on the other. Midfielder Lacey Stark had other ideas. Seeing the increased pressure coming her way, she traveled the left side of the field relentlessly. Back in support of her defender, pressing high when the ball got cleared, Stark was everywhere on that side and with that earned the vote of her team winning the Cervesa Modelo Woman of the Match award.
The Force did manage a couple of shots, both by sixteen year old Kylie Woodrum, but the shots were few and far between. The Force certainly played this game from their back line but they held and in no small part due to the exploits of Centerback Lauren Kruzner. "Mama Lo" had more than a few crunching and critical tackles and blocks in the game and added a clearance off her own goal line to do her part in saving a big point for the Force on the road. Her performance didn't go unnoticed either. The league named her the Defensive Player of the Week for the work she put in and the point her team earned. "The whole back line and midfield played great but when something didn't go right or when there seemed like they might get a chance, Lo was the one who stopped it. She just always got the last minute tackle or block in", said K-Lee Haynes, last year's Force centerback recovering from an off season ACL injury. The game ended in a scoreless draw but was a huge step forward for the ladies at the midpoint of the season.
You won't want to miss the women this weekend when they take on Twin City Union at Gordon Field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 10th at 3pm. You can get your tickets online by CLICKING HERE.