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  • Val T.

Banks deposits 4 goals for Culver in win over Rochester

Villegas notches hat trick, adds 2 assists


Sports Editor, RTC

Giselle Villegas

Kassidy Banks scored four goals, and Giselle Villegas added three goals and two assists for the visiting Culver girls soccer team in an 8-0 win over Rochester at the Brent Blacketor Memorial Sports Complex Thursday.

Sophomore center midfielder Maddie Hamilton also had a goal and an assist for the Class 1A, No. 17 Lady Cavaliers. Eliana Andrzejewski contributed a pair of assists.

Katie Schouten had one save in goal for the shutout.

Culver improved to 6-2. They have won their last two games over Washington Township and Rochester by a combined score of 15-1 after a 6-1 loss to Jimtown on Monday.

“I thought we played extremely badly at Jimtown,” Culver coach A.J. Neace said. “Playing on turf, it always is weird for our girls. But they scored four of their six goals on corner kicks, and I made sure to emphasize that the last couple games: They do not score off corners anymore. Bouncing back with Washington Township and then tonight was huge for our program.”

Hamilton joked about how Neace has been motivating his players.

“We’ve been trying to get back on the winning track, so he gave us a bribe and stuff, saying if we win we get Texas Roadhouse,” Maddie said. “We’ll buy it. But that’s not the only reason. We work hard, and we deserve to win, so I think that we deserve to win the games that we have won.”

Lilly Watson had Rochester’s only shot on goal. The Lady Zs are 0-6 and have not scored yet this season.

Banks, a junior, has scored 14 goals this season despite wearing a brace on her right knee. She tore her ACL and missed all of the 2022 season.

“I’m so proud of her,” Villegas said of Banks. “I’m so proud of her to just leave the injury from the past and just grow up and build up to it and have confidence.”

Villegas runs the left flank and combines quickness with experience and technical skill.

“Her foot skill is phenomenal,” Rochester coach Chantal Rensberger said. “I mean, I think out of all the teams we’ve played so far this season … that girl’s probably got the best foot skill I’ve seen.”

Meanwhile, Culver lost Kaylee Hamilton to graduation. Hamilton scored 30 goals last season and 75 for her career.

Maddie Hamilton is Kaylee’s younger sister, and she has taken over at Kaylee’s position. She said she and her sister have shared a lot of text messages and phone calls where she has received pointers on playing the position. Kaylee, who is currently playing at Indiana University South Bend, has even seen a few Culver games in person and given her sister advice.

“I’ve had to fill her shoes, and it’s definitely not been the same because she’s definitely a better player, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job, and I’ve handled the ball well and taken good shots,” Maddie said.

Rensberger said she has been making lineup adjustments. She said she has been trying to create scoring opportunities for senior Lilly Watson while also creating a bigger role for Audrey Wagner.

“I think that’s one of the best games we’ve played all season,” Rensberger said. “The score doesn’t really reflect anything to me. We’ve been trying to find the pieces to put in the right spots, and we’ve been moving a lot of girls around, and I think the movement of what I did today is probably where we’re going to keep it. Lilly Watson, I put her at a back half of the field, and I just felt like she’s got more talent than she was giving me back there, and today, I was actually very impressed with her front-half play. I put Wagner back in the center to lead that back half like she did last year, and I think she settled in a little bit.”

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