ELMHURST – The IC Catholic Prep girls soccer roster lists diminutive forward Olivia Hurt as 5-foot-3.
The sophomore said that might be a slight exaggeration.
But there can be no overestimating the impact Hurt has on the field. Though she takes a lot of hits from bigger defenders, Hurt regularly makes opponents feel the pain.
She was at it again April 8, scoring two goals as the host Knights extended their winning streak to five games with a 3-0 victory against Montini at Plunkett Park.
Hurt has nine goals on the season, which puts her on pace to surpass the 22 she tallied as a freshman.
“She’s got the most soccer experience of anyone on our team and it shows on the field,” IC coach Tom Schergen said. “I think that contributes to why she is so confident. She doesn’t panic. She’s comfortable with the ball at her foot, and because of that, it makes her a very good goal scorer.”
Hurt demonstrated her prowess late in the first half against the Broncos (1-4-1), who had controlled play until Tess Langan scored on a breakaway to give the Knights (6-1) the lead.
Receiving the ball on the left wing, Hurt led a 3-on-2 break and suckered a defender into thinking she would pass to open teammate Demitra DelFiacco.
Instead, Hurt cut back inside and drilled a shot inside the left post.
“Grace [Fuller] and Kaitlyn Grady had a lot of good feeds to me and I was able to make the moves around the player and beat the goalie and score that first goal,” Hurt said. “I was going to keep going down the side, but I saw that there was space in the middle and she wasn’t pressuring me, so I decided to just go to the goal.”
Hurt has a nose for the goal and is often in the right spot at the right time, as she was when she bagged her second goal to finish the scoring in the second half. Montini goalkeeper Emily Crotty made a diving stop on Grady, but Hurt buried the short rebound.
“She really knows how to move the ball and she’s really good at looking up and looking at where to go,” IC senior defender Liz Maloney said. “A lot of strikers just go to the goal, but she looks around and goes around the player.
“She takes her time and she’s patient. She’s not stressed out. She knows what she’s doing.”
Indeed, Hurt is adept at using her small size to her advantage. What she lacks in heft, she makes up for in guile.
“Her footwork is phenomenal,” Maloney said. “She knows how to sneak around players, which is nice to get through the little spaces.”
Little spaces are all Hurt usually has to work with now that defenses are targeting her. She’s fine with that and so are the Knights, who have outscored opponents 27-6.
“I usually take a lot of hits in the game, but that opens up space for the other forward because there’s usually two people on me trying to guard me,” Hurt said. “The other forward is open, so that helps.”