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  • Val T.

Rochester girls soccer shuts out Valley

Nelson, Bradley score twice each, Hisey also scores


Sports Editor, RTC

Kendyll Bradley had two goals and an assist, and Macie Nelson also scored twice to lead the Rochester girls soccer team to a 5-0 win over visiting Tippecanoe Valley at the Brent Blacketor Memorial Sports Complex on Sept. 26.

Melody Hisey also scored for Rochester, who improved to 6-5-1 and finished Three Rivers Conference play 5-2. Amy Williams and Sydney Haughs each contributed an assist.

Mylee Heinzmann stopped both shots she faced in goal for the shutout. Heinzmann left with an apparent head injury with 47.9 seconds left, and Bradley finished the game in goal.

The game marked the return in net for Valley keeper Jetta Hughes, who had been out for three weeks with a knee injury. She had 12 saves.

Valley fell to 2-8-1, 1-3. This marked the second ever girls soccer game between the archrivals and the second matchup between Rochester coach Chantal Rensberger and her father, Valley coach Mark Gordon.

This was senior night at Rochester, and the senior players were honored at halftime.

“Oh my gosh, I asked the girls what was going on at halftime … and they were nervous,” Rensberger said. “They were like, ‘Oh my gosh, there are so many fans.’ And I’m looking over there like when you go to a school like I did in high school, this is nothing. At Argos, everything is filled. So I don’t understand. To me, there are really not that many people here. But for girls soccer, it is a lot. So I think that’s phenomenal that we had this many parents and fans. I know there are some Argos players (Lilly Hines and Lauren McGlothin) over there that are good friends with Kendyll Bradley. I know there are grandparents here, so it’s really nice to see that these girls have appreciation on senior night to have the stands basically filled with fans from both sides. … It was awesome. I’m just really happy with the turnout tonight.”

Nelson opened the scoring, and Bradley later made it 2-0.

A Bradley goal with 3:44 left in the first half made it 3-0.

Hisey made it 4-0 with 36:44 left in the game on a rebound after her first miss was stopped.

Nelson completed the scoring with 32:15 left.

The game was originally scheduled for Sept. 14 but postponed 12 days due to Valley’s lack of numbers. Valley had 12 players available this time.

Gordon noted that his team lost 15-1 to Rochester last year and that a 5-0 loss is a sign of improvement.

“Well, we had one of our starting senior captains that was coming back last night,” Gordon said. “She’s been out of the country. Unfortunately, there was a death in the family, and she had to go back to Mexico. So that’s what’s made it tough because we were trying to figure out what we were going to do on the bus to come back over … We were feeling good about ourselves with 13 and two subs. We just went with experience and we pushed people where we thought. With six, seven girls that have just started this year as their first time in the program for them, we just hope we get some breaks here and there, and Rochester capitalized on us some simple mistakes and everything. … I just think that we went with what we had and did the best we could with what we had today.”

Nelson, Bradley and Williams are four-year seniors, but Rochester also had seniors who might be considered late comers to soccer like Isabella Angeletti, Maddy Brouyette, Hisey and Sydney Haughs, and Rensberger wanted to make sure they were appreciated too.

“Without those girls, we would not have had a season,” Rensberger said. “Without those girls that came in, I think I had eight new players from freshmen, sophomores, all the way up to the senior class. Without them, we wouldn’t have played. So the girls are super grateful for them., and those girls are just natural athletes, and you can teach soccer to girls who have athleticism. And while it’s not maybe as high up as girls like Macie and Amy and Kendyll, they’re filling the roles they need to fill. And the past couple games, we’ve really had a balance.”

Haughs said that Rensberger convinced her to give soccer a try before her junior year.

“She told me that I’m really aggressive and athletic, and that’s pretty much what soccer is,” Haughs said. “I love all my teammates. It’s the team that really got me to like the sport.”

Haughs also plays basketball in the winter and softball in the spring. Soccer introduced some new skills for her.

“I’m not really good with dribbling with my feet, so yes, that was a major difference in the other sports that I play,” Haughs said.

She said it took her about halfway through her first season for her to figure that out.

“I got way more comfortable than what I was at the beginning,” Haughs said.

Seniors on the Rochester girls soccer team and their families were honored at halftime of the team’s Sept. 26 game with Tippecanoe Valley at the Brent Blacketor Memorial Sports Complex. Rochester won 5-0.

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