Stolfa and Olson earn Defensive Player of Week awards

Dillan Schorfheide , Women's Soccer Reporter


Kate Olson and Kayla Stolfa were both named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week Tuesday for their performances during the women’s soccer team’s weekend sweep over Fort Wayne and Western Illinois.

Olson was named the Offensive Player of the Week, and Stolfa was named the Defensive Player of the Week.

With the two wins over the weekend, the Panthers are on a three-match winning streak, with an overall record of 5-2-1.

Olson, a defensive midfielder, scored two goals over the weekend, one in Friday’s match against Fort Wayne and one in Sunday’s match against Western Illinois. Her goals turned out to be the decisive goal in both games.

“I am a body that is strong in the air, so when set pieces are given to us, it’s my job to get on the end of a free kick,” Olson said. “That’s where both of my goals came from this past weekend. You have to give credit to my teammates for playing great balls in the box that I can get on the end of.”

In the 103rd minute of Friday’s match, after Fort Wayne tied the game 2-2 late in the second half, sending the game into a double overtime, Itxaso Aguero shot a free kick that bounced off the right post of the goal right to where Olson was standing, so that all she had to do was tap it in for the win.

In Sunday’s match, Olson scored a header in the 53rd minute from Hannah Heinz’ throw-in that bounced off the crossbar. That made Eastern’s lead 2-0 in the match, adding to Sarah DeWolf’s goal earlier in the game, but Olson’s goal was important because it kept the lead for Eastern after Western scored a goal in the 77th minute.

Stolfa, a junior, won the award for Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row, after earning the award last week for getting four assists in one game, an Eastern record, against Chicago State on Sept. 3.

Stolfa added another assist Friday against Fort Wayne after crossing the ball into the box to Heinz, who then scored for her third goal of the season. Stolfa is currently first in the OVC for assists.

“Kayla is a player that plays both sides of the game extremely well,” Olson said. “She does her job stopping players on the defensive side and has also been an offensive threat from making runs up the line that the other team doesn’t know how to handle.”

Olson, also a junior, now has three goals on the year with her two from the weekend. She is tied as the leading scorer on the team with Heinz and DeWolf, both sophomores.

Olson said it was a goal of hers to score more this season, but she did not imagine she would be in the position of one of the leading scorers.

Olson and Stolfa have been important parts of both the Panthers’ defense, which has given up 10 goals in eight games, and the Panthers’ offense, which has scored 16 goals on the season, already six more than last year’s total for the whole season (10).

            Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]