Coming into their Wednesday evening road matchup with Juan Diego, the Olympus Titans had only had two games of experience this season due to multiple cancellations.

Juan Diego, on the other hand, had played 10 games, securing a 9-1 record in those games. 

Given the disparity of in-game experience this season, Olympus head coach Zana Spratling, said she and her girls went into the game not sure what they were going to see from themselves — but they certainly left the game pleased with the result.

By a final score of 16-9, the Titans handed the Soaring Eagles their second defeat of the season and picked up their third win to improve to 3-0 on the year. 

The Titans never trailed in the game, but received stiff resistance from Juan Diego throughout the match, as the Soaring Eagle refused to let 5A’s fifth-ranked team put the game away. 

After Olympus picked up an early 3-0 lead, Juan Diego rallied to tie the game at six goals apiece with just over two minutes remaining in the first half. 

Suddenly the Titans, who were cruising through the early portion of the game, realized that they needed to kick things into gear.

“They all saw the scoreboard and went, ‘Oh shoot, we’ve got to start working,’” Spratling said, adding that experiencing that challenge was beneficial for her girls, who had won their first two games by a combined score of 41-4.

The Titans responded with a dominant stretch of play that saw the team score six unanswered goals over the remainder of the first half and beginning of the second half. During the stretch, Olympus held Juan Diego scoreless for nearly 11 minutes of game time. 

Following the scoring run from Olympus, the Soaring Eagles didn’t manage to cut the deficit to less than four goals the remainder of the game. 

“I hope they have the realization that that is how we need to start the game and we don’t stop giving our all until we’re up by 10 (goals),” Spratling said. 

Leading the surge for Olympus was sophomore midfielder Hannah Nelson, who scored four of the team’s six unanswered goals en route to a game-high six goals — more than doubling her season total (five). 

Related
Steward Health Care Week 35 high school star athletes of the week

“I feel bad because I almost feel like we don’t fully recognize how much of a powerhouse she is,” Spratling said of Nelson. “She’s just so reliable. … I feel like we take her for granted a little bit. I feel like I need to buy her dinner or something because she just kills it every game.”

In addition to her showcasing her goal scoring ability, Nelson was dominant on the draw for the Titans.

On the scoresheet, Nelson was followed by sophomore Hazel Baker and freshman Sara Anne, who scored three and two goals, respectively. 

It was an eventful outing for both sides when it came to scoring goals, as 14 different players scored the game’s 25 goals.

Juan Diego’s Kyra Hoffman and Julie Holly led the Soaring Eagles with two goals apiece. 

Despite coming into the game with light preparation, the Titans were well aware of Juan Diego’s electric freshman Olivia Prosper, who had scored 55 goals coming into Wednesday’s game. Olympus found success in slowing down the young goal-scorer, as she only managed one goal for the evening. 

Spratling said that Anne and her twin sister, Lizzie, grew up playing with Prosper, which allowed the Titans to have the success they did.

“Because the twins had played so much lacrosse with her, they knew how to slow her down, so it wasn’t a huge struggle for us as it might have been for other teams,” Spratling said. “She’s really good and I’m excited to see what she accomplishes.”

Though the win ended up being fairly comfortable for the Titans, Spratling said that her team’s performance was far from perfect and she hoped the game makes her players “hungry for more” as they head into a stretch where they will play their final 11 games in just under four weeks (with more likely to be rescheduled due to cancellations earlier in the season). 

“Coming into this game, we hadn’t had enough of a challenge to really see what we needed to work on, and now we see our holes and we can address those in practice,” Spratling said. 

“Going forward we need to work on the little things. … Luckily, my girls are kind of like racehorses, they’ll work on anything I give them. This win felt good, but now we should want more.”