Wauseon girls soccer coach Brandon Schroeder has been encouraged by his team’s attitude in preparation for the coming season, hoping it will lead to a more successful 2020 campaign.
“We return 10 letterwinners who have all played extensive minutes. We were competitive with each team on our schedule last season before bowing out of tournament play to a strong Central Catholic team, 2-0. We have been able to bring up another dynamic class of freshmen, many of whom will provide depth that we lacked in key positions last season, who will contribute quality minutes. Our team has been responding well to the adversity caused by the current situation, and I believe they have grown together as leaders as the school year kicks off. I expect for us to compete for a spot as one of the top tier teams in the league and to put up a strong showing in tournament play,” Schroeder said of his outlook for the season ahead.
The Indians finished with a 5-13 mark a season ago. But, they do have back five girls who received honors after the season.
Returning are Kadence Carroll who was first team All-NWOAL and second team All-Northwest District; Macy Gerig, second team all-league and honorable all-district; Jane Richer, second team all-league; Marie Hutchinson, honorable mention all-league; and Rylee Vasvery, honorable mention all-league.
They also return Ava Manz, Kya Foote, Eva Mennetti, Ellie Rodriguez and Ezra Dixon. Newcomers for the Indians are senior Emily Parker; sophomore Megan Newland; and freshmen Abby Smith, Aariyah Hallett, Ann Spieles, Teagan Rupp, Kasmyn Carroll, Maria Shema, Nicole Stein and Hannah Pilch.
“This group has grown through adversity,” said Schroeder. “I am proud of their response to the uncertainty swirling around the current situation and they have learned to stick together and take ownership of those things they can control so that they are better prepared for those things that are out of their control. This maturity, paired with their dynamic playmaking ability, will prove a strong foundation for the success of our team.”
Many of his girls are having to learn multiple positions with having just 21 players on the roster. However, they will look to overcome this potential issue.
“While we return a good number of letterwinners, we will still struggle with depth at some levels on the field,” explained Schroeder. “Some programs are able to run two and three deep across their entire roster, which allows them to do some more things creatively in practices, but these girls are learning to work together and learn role responsibilities across the whole field. They are responding well to this situation.”
Wauseon was 2-4 in the NWOAL last season, earning road wins over Bryan and Delta. The league should prove difficult again in 2020.
“Provided the season goes as planned, this is looking to be another strong year for the NWOAL. Of course, Archbold made a run to the regional finals last season and returns a lot of talent in key positions. On their way through the post-season, they achieved victories over tough league opponents: Swanton and Evergreen. Bryan had a strong finish to the season, and Liberty Center finished with 12 wins. I would look for each of them to remain strong and I do not foresee an easy path through our league,” said Schroeder.
Wauseon travels to the Glenwood Athletic Complex on Friday to face Rossford as part of a boys/girls doubleheader. The girls contest is first beginning at 5 p.m.