No. 19 Trinity Greenlawn blanks Rochester in first ever meeting
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Maggie Karban scored four goals, and Tess Curran scored a goal and dished out four assists to lead the Trinity Greenlawn girls soccer team past Rochester 8-0 Saturday afternoon.
Natalie Gabrielse added two goals, and Charis Balsbaugh also scored for Class 1A, No. 19 Trinity Greenlawn (5-0).
The game was the first ever game between the schools. Rochester was originally scheduled to play Oregon-Davis Saturday, but that game was canceled due to Oregon-Davis’ lack of numbers.
So Rochester picked up the Lady Titans, which is noteworthy since they are rivals in Class 1A, Sectional 35. Argos will host the sectional from Oct. 3-8.
“Trinity is a tough, very skilled, tactical team,” Rochester coach Chantal Rensberger said. “They had amazing spacing, great shooting and really dominated with the triangle passing. Overall, I truly feel they were one of the best teams I have ever coached against.”
Rochester fell to 1-2.
The Lady Zs lost goalkeeper Kaillie Woods, Mackie Leslie, Haley Pesak, Kami Burkett and Emily Basham to graduation. Three players transferred, including first-team all-TRC midfielder Lillith Eaton. Six others chose not to play, including first-team all-TRC forward Emma Howdeshell, who broke the school single-season goals record last year but later tore her ACL during basketball season.
Key returnees from last year’s TRC championship team include seniors Kendyll Bradley, Amy Williams and Macie Nelson. Nelson was first-team all-TRC last year while Bradley was honorable mention all-TRC. Bradley was also a member of Rochester’s conference champion cross-country team in the fall and the conference champion track team in the spring.
“Kendyll is still holding her position centrally, but I will admit the pressure is on her to be all over, even more so than last year,” Rensberger said. “I have tried to have her more involved offensively, but that isn’t always the case. Macie and Amy are both playing wings up front, but Amy just recently came back into the midfield to help Kendyll as they work well together being more experienced players. Macie, I will admit, has a lot more pressure to bring the ball more central instead of the bit cross she is used to just because the dynamic of the team has changed a lot.”
Junior Lilly Watson, a member of Rochester’s conference championship track team, also starts on the front line.
“Lilly Watson is starting this season, and we are really trying to use her speed to our advantage. She already has one goal because of it.”
Melody Hisey is a senior but a newcomer to soccer who has taken over at goalkeeper for Woods. Freshman Mylee Heinzmann has also gotten playing time at keeper.
“She has a lot of natural ability, but we are still working with her in just being a loud, controlling boss back there,” Rensberger said. “Kaillie Woods was a force to be reckoned with back there and had a lot of technical and camp training, and that was over a four-year span. I am not expecting that of Melody as I am just ecstatic she wanted to fill the role between the bars. We still have a lot of training and work to do, but overall, I am very happy with her performance and coachability.”
The team’s next two games are a home game against Logansport and a road game against Culver on Thursday. Culver knocked the Lady Zs out of last year’s sectional last year.
The loss to Trinity Greenlawn came after a 3-2 loss to Wabash earlier in the week in which Wabash’s Rylee Yoakum scored the game-winning goal with 4.7 seconds left.
“Losing two in a row stung, but I would rather lose to a good team who controls the ball and the game all 80 minutes than lose in the last 4.7 seconds like we did with Wabash,” Rensberger said.