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  • Val T.

Rochester frosh Heinzmann shines in goal in shutout win over Bremen

Williams scores twice; Nelson, Miller also score


Sports Editor, RTC

Amy Williams scored twice, and freshman Mylee Heinzmann stopped all three shots she saved in goal as the host Rochester girls soccer team blanked sectional rival

Mylee Heinzmann

Bremen 4-0 at the Brent Blacketor Memorial Sports Complex on Sept. 17.

Macie Nelson contributed a goal and two assists, and Aubrey Miller also scored for Rochester, who improved to 3-4-1.

“The biggest thing we’ve been working on isn’t really fundamental,” Rochester coach Chantal Rensberger said. “It’s just being a team. We had some come-to-Jesus moments last week of just expectation of the program as a whole and taking pressure off the seniors that are doing a lot of stuff … and it’s really worked. … This was a huge game for them. … I was not expecting a 4-0 shutout.”

Already leading 1-0 at halftime, the Lady Zs tacked on two goals in the first 9:56 of the second half.

Miller, a freshman, finished off a cross from Nelson from the right flank to make it 2-0 with 35:54 left.

Then came a sprawling save from Heinzmann on Bremen’s Ixa Moncada with 32:05 left.

Barely two minutes later, Rochester scored on a set piece with Nelson putting home a Williams corner kick.

“Yes, we do practice corner kicks,” Nelson said. “We’re supposed to line up and run in, and once she puts her arm up, that’s what we did and it worked. … Because Amy’s kicks are so fast, and there are so many people around you and the ball’s fast, it’s pretty hard to get a foot on it.”

Rochester made it 4-0 on a 25-yard strike from Williams that handcuffed the Bremen goalkeeper with 20:48 left.

Heinzmann added another tough save with 12:05 left. A finger injury to senior Melody Hisey forced Heinzmann to play keeper.

“Mylee is a very aggressive kid,” Rensberger said. “I’ve known her since she was little. She plays sports with my oldest daughter. And so when the season started, she was who I had picked for goalie, and then Melody came out, and as a senior, they had a very similar skill set, so I wanted Melody in the goal as a senior because Mylee plays on the field very well.

“Unfortunately at practice, there was a collision actually between Mylee and Melody, and Melody broke her finger, so she cannot be in the goal. So from there, it was kind of like, ‘Alright, you injured the goalie, now you’re the goalie kind of thing.’ And Melody’s done a great job of working with her, getting her confidence up. Mylee’s an animal when she’s focused.”

Rensberger also called midfielder Kendyll Bradley “phenomenal” and a “beast of an athlete” and praised defenders Audrey Wagner, Lilly Watson and Skyla Mitchell.

This was Rochester’s first game in nine days. Not only has Heinzmann’s development been a priority in practices since then but also improved conditioning. With smaller numbers than last year, Nelson said she has been subbed out only once in eight games, and that was because she was hit in the head with the ball.

She said she has had to step up as a leader as a senior. She wants to take control of her senior season.

“We’ve been working with our new goalie Mylee, and she’s improved a lot, and we’ve been working on endurance and stuff, and you can tell that our team is a lot more prepared to go out and run the whole game,” Nelson said.

Based on an initiative from senior player Maddy Brouyette, Rochester players wore teal and purple ribbons in their hair to raise awareness for suicide prevention. September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

“I think they just wanted to bring to the forefront that we are all survivors of mental health, and we support those that have mental health issues,” Rensberger said. “I thought it was a great thing, and it might have been a precursor to maybe them wearing ribbons every single game. It was definitely the girls’ idea, and I just went with it, and I thought it was real nice thing to do in this day and age.”

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