Wauseon girls soccer returns a bevy of talent this year as they look to post a winning mark in 2021. Last year the Indians went 6-9-2, bowing out to Toledo Central Catholic 2-0 in the district semifinal.
“We return 14 letterwinners who have all played valuable minutes,” said head coach Brandon Schroeder. “We were competitive with each team on our schedule last season before bowing out of tournament play to a strong Central Catholic team 0-2. We have been able to bring up another strong 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 taking advantage of this preseason to grow together into a cohesive unit. 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.”
Of those 14 girls returning, six of them received postseason accolades.
Key returnees include Kadence Carroll (first team All-Northwest Ohio Athletic League, second team All-Northwest District), Macy Gerig (first team all-league, second team all-district), Jane Richer (second team all-league, honorable mention all-district), Ellie Rodriguez (second team all-league, honorable mention all-district), Marie Hutchinson (honorable mention all-league) and Rylee Vasvery (honorable mention all-league).
Others back are Kya Foote, Eva Mennetti, Ezra Dixon, Abby Smith, Aariyah Hallett, Ann Spieles, Teagan Rupp and Kasmyn Carroll. The Indians will be adding newcomers Madison Strain, Camryn Rash, Haylie Garner and Aileigh Riegsecker.
“Really, this is just a team that loves playing for one another. They give great effort and have demonstrated an incredible heart for this team,” Schroeder said on the strengths of his group. “We do return letterwinners in several key spots across the field, so I would expect that we can lean on their experience a bit to bring the younger girls up around them to help build our depth a bit as the season progresses. We are especially proud of our senior class. Those girls have each grown into leaders for us and they really look for ways to make the girls around them better each day.”
The Indians lose only one letter winner off last year’s team, Emily Parker.
But in spite of having a loaded roster with much experience, staying healthy will be important for the Indians’ success this season.
“Depth is always a bit of a concern for us. Due to circumstances outside of our control, we weathered a stretch of games last season in which we went 1-5-1, largely due to girls missing from various spots in our lineup. That series made us realize just how vital it is to keep everyone on the field and healthy. Keeping the team healthy is important for us to keep fresh legs rotating on and off the field in order to maintain a high level of play. Unlike many teams on our schedule, we are unable to maintain a JV roster, so we are at a bit of a disadvantage there,” said Schroeder.
The Wauseon coach expects his girls to participate in many tough matches this season, especially in a rugged NWOAL.
“I would expect this to be another strong year for the NWOAL,” he said. “Of course, Archbold bowed out to a tough Eastwood team in the regional tournament last season and they return a lot of talent in key positions. Our league schedule also includes two other district semifinalists in Liberty Center and Evergreen, each with impressive wins last season. Bryan had a strong finish to the season and bowed out in a close contest with a 17-win St. Marys Memorial team. I would look for each of them to remain strong and I do not foresee an easy path for anyone through our league. We have great coaches and players throughout, and northwest Ohio is a good area to take in some quality matches.”
Wauseon opens the season at home on Saturday, Aug. 21 at 11 a.m. as part of a girls and boys doubleheader with Rossford.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.