OLYMPIA, Wash. – Returning for the first time from an off-season injury, Oly Town Artesians goalkeeper JJ Olson made 26 saves and held the high-powered Bellingham offense to just two goals over the first three quarters on Saturday night, and was voted Western Indoor Soccer League Defensive Player Of The Week for week 10 by league coaches and club operators.
The Saint Martin’s grad played a game for the ages. On The Pavilion’s small field that traditionally yields high scores and against the #2 team in the league both in record and in scoring who scored 14 goals on the Artesians earlier in the season, Olson held Bellingham to just one goal at even strength in a 5-4 loss. He made 26 saves despite facing constant pressure while Oly Town’s offense struggled to keep possession in the second half. Eventually, the Hammers took advantage and scored two power play goals and scored once with a man advantage after pulling their goalkeeper to add a sixth attacker.
This is Olson’s second WISL Player Of The Week award. The Lakeville, Minnesota native took home the prize last season with a big 7-5 win over the Tacoma Stars Reserves. In his fourth season with the Artesians, Olson has started the most games at goalkeeper and has the most wins of any goalkeeper in club history but was only able to play in one game this season. Injuries beset Oly Town keepers this season. Ryan Perkins and Bradley Hanson both suffered season ending injuries early on. Defender Ryan Fakkema was converted into a keeper and played admirably in five games.
This was the third Player Of The Week award for the Artesians this season. Eli Boatright was named Offensive POTW for his game tying goal in a 4-4 week nine draw in Snohomish. And Chris Pugh was also named Offensive POTW last week for his hat trick against the Oly-Pen Force.
The Oly Town Artesians wrapped up their league schedule with Olson’s grand performance, but they will host one more game this Saturday night with Austin Kelley Night, an annual celebration of soccer in memory of friend and teammate Austin Kelley. First kick in the friendly between the Artesians and the Oly Legends is set for 6:30 at The Pavilion at The Evergreen State College.