Wauseon girls soccer will lean on its upperclassmen this season, looking to have another successful season. The Indians finished 14-3-2 a season ago.
“Last year we were able to put together a strong showing in both league and district play, and I would hope that we have something to say about both races again this year,” said head coach Brandon Schroeder. “We are optimistic about our newcomers and their ability to step into some big shoes, and are blessed with the leadership of our juniors and seniors returning. Both of these things have us excited to get our season underway and see just what we can accomplish.”
Returning for the Indians are Rylee Vasvery (second team All-Northwest Ohio Athletic League, honorable mention all-district), Ezra Dixon (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Abby Smith (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Aariyah Hallett, Ann Spieles, Teagan Rupp, Kasmyn Carroll, Madison Strain, Camryn Rash and Haylie Garner.
Macy Gerig would have been another returning letter winner, but she has suffered an injury that will cause her to miss the entire 2022 campaign.
They will be adding newcomers Kaylin Ehrsam, Tagan Pauley, Mylah Medina, Audrey Strader, Aizlynn Coronado and Riana Woodruff as well.
“We return 10 letterwinners from positions across the field, and those players have been instrumental in building up the younger players we are bringing up this season. I think we are as fit and healthy as we have ever been at this point going into the season, so pushing the pace of play with possession on the field will be a focus for us. We did a pretty good job of managing the ball and keeping it at our feet last season, and I hope to continue that trend this year. The leadership qualities of our upperclassmen has been a big strength this summer, most notably their commitment to creating a team environment that fosters a fun, disciplined, and hardworking environment for the girls each day,” said Schroeder of his team’s strengths this year.
However, Wauseon is going to be replacing a handful of letter winners lost to graduation. Notable departures include Kadence Carroll (first team all-league/all-district), Eva Mennetti (first team all-league/all-district), and Ellie Rodriguez (second team all-league, honorable mention all-district).
They also lose Jane Richer (honorable mention all-league), Marie Hutchinson, and Kya Foote.
“Honestly, we lost a lot of starting minutes from our defensive third, so we have had some rebuilding to do there, but some players have filled in nicely there over the summer. Some of those incoming players have yet to be tested in the grind of a varsity season, but they have shown themselves to be eager learners and come to us in great shape, so we are excited to see how they grow into new roles this year,” said Schroeder on potential weaknesses this season.
The Indians went 4-1-1 in the NWOAL in 2021. With how competitive the league was last season, Schroeder says to expect a rigorous fight for the title in 2022.
“The NWOAL has always been a competitive league and that looks to be the case moving into this season. The league title was on the line up to the final week of the regular season (last year) with three teams in contention until the final whistle,” said the Wauseon coach of the league. “We have great coaches across the league and they each know how to get the most out of their teams, so I do not expect one team to run away with it. Looking around the league, Bryan looks to build on their undefeated regular season — and shared league title — from last year, and Archbold was able to put together a nice run to the district finals in tournament play, so you can always count on those two teams to put up a strong showing. Evergreen will look to repeat their first league title, and Swanton will hope to continue building after earning a hard-fought tie with the league champs. Delta capped their regular season with a 4-1 run, and Liberty Center is just a couple years removed from their own league title. All that is to say that we have a lot of quality soccer to be played this season.”
Wauseon opened their season on Saturday at Rossford where they shut out the Bulldogs 3-0. The Indians have a pair of games this week as they are at Liberty Center Thursday to begin NWOAL play, then return home for a date with Defiance on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.