• Val T.

Shank scores on corner kick, but Lady Zs fall to Manchester in PKs

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Ellie Shank scored on a corner kick in the first half, but the Rochester girls soccer team lost to Manchester 2-1 in penalty kicks at Brent Blacketor Memorial Sports Complex Monday.

The game was tied 1-1 after two 40-minute halves and two seven-minute overtime periods.

Manchester outscored RHS 3-2 in the penalty kick round.

Lainey Shock, Manchester’s fifth shooter, had a chance to end the game, but she missed high over RHS goalkeeper Kaillie Woods’ head.

That gave Macie Nelson a chance to force another round of penalty kicks, but Manchester keeper Kindra Stetzel stopped her shot to end the game.

Shank, a senior defender, and Lilli Eaton, a freshman midfielder, connected on penalty kicks, but Stetzel stopped Mercedes Brown and Tessa Brooks in addition to Nelson.

Alexa Donathan, Ella Clifford and Beletu Stout scored on penalty kicks for Manchester.

Hadley Schanepp scored for the Lady Squires with 24:52 left in regulation. She took a shot that deflected off RHS’ Dallas Holloway and beat Woods with a slow, skidding finish to her left.

The loss frustrated RHS coach Chantal Rensberger. The Lady Zs also lost 2-1 at Manchester last year in the game that decided the TRC title.

This time, RHS’ defensive game plan had Kendyll Bradley and Abbi Richard marking Stout. Meanwhile, Holloway, Brooks and Mackie Leslie shadowed Manchester playmaker Emma Garriott.

Stout and Garriott have 25 goals combined this year, but neither scored on Monday. Rensberger called Woods “wonderful” for several stops on both of them.

“Phenomenal,” Rensberger said of her defenders. “I don't even have words to describe how hard those girls played. You can’t just stand around and watch them play. That’s the problem. So we have six or seven who are really dialed in, and those were the six or seven. And then you have the other four or five that just weren’t as strong playing as those other girls were.”

Since Manchester had suffered an earlier loss in penalty kicks to a Wabash team that the Lady Zs later beat, RHS could have perhaps eliminated Manchester from TRC title contention had they won.

Rensberger did not criticize her team’s effort but said there wasn’t a “mesh” between midfielders and forwards.

“You can’t have an entire defensive line doing all the work and our forwards not scoring goals,” Rensberger said. “There was some opportunity there tonight that we stalled and didn’t rush the ball when we should have. And we had two great opportunities on the right-hand side, and we’re not making wide-open shots. There’s no excuse for that, and that’s got to be dialed in.

“It’s very disheartening, especially because I personally feel like we’re the better team. I feel like we have more talent across the board. It’s just that sometimes they fall and sometimes they don’t. And I think it's a big reality check for some of these girls who may have thought, ‘Oh, we’re going to coast right on in.’ And unfortunately, we didn’t. So it stinks, but lessons learned. We wipe the tears and move on to North Miami (on Wednesday).”


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