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  • Val T.

‘Young, nervous’ Lady Zs fall to Wabash, remain scoreless on the season


Sports Editor, RTC

Audrey Wagner

The Rochester girls soccer team has 16 players, and 13 of them are either freshmen or sophomores.

Coach Chantal Rensberger has called this a “rebuilding year” but also acknowledges a five-year run where the team went 23-5 in Three Rivers Conference games.

The rebuilding process has started with three straight losses to start the season.

Kait Honeycutt and Logan Wright scored goals in the first half as visiting Wabash claimed a 2-0 win at the Brent Blacketor Memorial Sports Complex Tuesday.

Rochester had a season-high six shots on goal, including three from Audrey Wagner, two from Bria Rensberger and one from Trinity Collins, but Wabash goalkeeper Olivia Braun stopped all of them for the shutout.

Mylee Heinzmann stopped 15 of the 17 shots she faced in goal.

However, they have been outscored 11-0 in starting the season 0-3.

“I think the frustration level is high just because I’m super competitive, and I like to win,” coach Rensberger said. “But I’m also encouraged because this is a super young team, and I have probably six girls that came out that have never even played before, and from Game One to Game Three, it’s improvement. We’ve got to figure something out in the first half of every single game. 7-0 Victory Christian Academy, 0-0 second half. 2-0 Maconaquah, 0-0 second half. 2-0 Wabash, 0-0 second half.”

She described Audrey Wagner, Skyla Mitchell, Bria Rensberger and Aubrey Miller as “skilled on the ball.”

“There are girls with skill and ability,” coach Rensberger said. “It’s just we’ve got to figure out how to work at it together. The first game we played, I think we had one shot on goal. The last game, we had two shots on goal. This game, we had six shots on goal. So that is improving.

“And our corner kicks, Bria’s got a phenomenal cross on the outside. We just can’t finish it, and I just think that’s inexperience. So I am excited for the future. It’s 100,000 percent a rebuilding year. I thought I’d come in with 12 players; I have 17 or 18 now, and I’m losing only two of those players next year, so I have a lot of promise.”

Coach Rensberger also encouraged her defenders to move up the pitch, and it resulted in more possession time in Wabash’s half of the field in the second half.

“I’m trying to make them understand, the less space you have between each part of the field, the more we can push up offensively,” coach Rensberger said. “They are staying so far back, like in a zone, like they think I can’t come past the 18(-yard-line), when in reality, the more you push up, the more offsides you are for the other team. They’re all three (Wagner, Watson and Mitchell) very fast. They can get back just fine.

“Closing that gap defensively, they’re just not quite understanding that and understanding, Why do you want us to move up? Because I want everyone to move together.”

Played in 90-degree heat, the game featured water breaks with approximately 20 minutes left in each half.

One of the water breaks occurred right after Braun stopped Bria Rensberger who had a shot from the right side of the box.

“We’ve just got to keep shooting at practice,” coach Rensberger said. “I mean, I think once one goal happens … it takes one goal to get people going. And it stinks because I feel like there are a couple girls who could be all-conference just for their athletic ability and what they can bring me, but until they start getting some stats on the board, nobody’s going to really care that number 12 (Bria Rensberger) can move the ball and cut the ball and shoot the ball, but she doesn’t have any goals. Do you know what I mean? They’ve got to get hungry to win, and right now, they’re just young and nervous, I feel like.”

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