Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski Jr.
It was just a matter of who was going to push back harder.
Charleston, motivated by a late first-half goal by sophomore Mia Hinds, gathered itself at halftime and defeated Olney, 3-2, on Tuesday afternoon.
“Honestly, a lot of the discussion came from them,” Charleston varsity soccer coach Ali Gowan said of the changes made at the break. “They took accountability within themselves and had to come out with energy.”
The Trojans pressed advantageously during the first eight minutes of the match, but allowed Olney to take possession and press for most of the first half. The Tigers pressed inside the box, drawing a foul off a free kick that resulted in a penalty kick. Freshman Reyse Klier took a direct kick and put the Tigers ahead 1-0.
Charleston senior Delaney Meister spoiled a potential second goal opportunity 10 minutes later by stepping in front of a centering pass and heading it out from the top of the box.
Charleston had a potential game-tying score waved off midway through the first half. Senior Jordyn Kieffer, awarded a penalty kick, drilled a shot that hit the cross bar. The ball, untouched by the goalkeeper, landed back at her feet. Kieffer instinctively blasted the ball into the net for what appeared to be the Trojans’ first goal.
By rule, the kicker cannot be the next player to touch the ball. As such, it was waved off, and the score remained 1-0 until Hinds’ fancy footwork.
“After that PK we were feeling that urge to get one even more,” Hinds said.
The sophomore got the momentum swinging back into the Trojans’ favor heading into halftime. Meister threw the ball into the box, bouncing it off Olney freshman Abbi Mitchell toward Hinds. Hinds waved off Kieffer and blasted the ball past Olney goalkeeper senior Emeline Odgers with just 57 seconds remaining, tying the match at 1.
“She (Meister) threw it into the box and there was a cluster of people there,” Hinds said. “Communication with Jordyn (Kieffer) was strong and I told her to leave, and I took some touches around a few people and blasted a shot.”
Meister said the plan was to put the ball in the box for either Hinds or Webb to make a play.
“We planned to throw it into the box and, hopefully, someone gets in there and finishes,” Meister said. “Usually, its Mia or Hadley. They’re good at finishing and connecting stuff.”
The Trojans came out in the second half by pressuring Olney thanks, in part, to Webb continuously advancing the ball down midfield. Kieffer put the Trojans ahead 2-1.
A scrum in front of junior goalkeeper Ally Logsdon resulted in the Tigers scoring to tie the game. An Olney player managed to poke the ball past Logsdon
Undeterred, the Trojans would seal the victory with authority.
Kieffer took the ball in clear space 18 yards out and fired on goal. The ball deflected off a Tigers defenseman to Webb, who lifted her right foot and redirected it into the goal to put the Trojans ahead for good. The ball bounced past the keeper into the bottom right corner of the net.
“I think we knew we were in our heads a little bit in the first half,” Hinds said. “We knew we had the skills and needed to finish. It just translated in the second half. We put what was in our brains onto the field.”
“After a little bit of the attempts of it not going our way, we let up and got defeated,” Meister said. “It was a wakeup call that we have to work and connect and it finally clicked.”
Olney Reyse Klier 1 (PK) 13:00
Charleston Mia Hinds 1 (Delaney Meister, 1) 39:00
Charleston Jordan Kieffer 1 (Shelby Herrington, 1) 14:00
Olney Allyson Mitchell 15:00 (unassisted)
Charleston Hadley Webb 1 (unassisted) 34:00