Fischer hopes for competitive 2021August 4, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LINCOLN CITY — A lot is gone from last year's 18-2 sectional championship campaign that was Heritage Hills girls soccer.
Gone is Haley Osborne, who is now playing for Indiana University. Kyndall Jordan, Kenley Mulzer, Mallory Garrison and Avery Neff also graduated off a team that had aspirations of making it to state in 2020.
"They were just great players and they always did what I asked," Patriots coach Andy Fischer said. "The good thing is they were great teachers. So, they taught the underclassmen what I expected out of my program, and these girls that are coming in, they're already hitting the ground running. And I think we're going to be pretty competitive this year, I hope."
Yet, Fischer likes the senior leadership that this year's team possesses, too. Hadley Lytton, Ella Schnieders, Kennedy Tate and Madison Begle all return after starting as juniors in 2020. He hailed them for teaching their teammates how drills are supposed to be done and for being good motivators.
The Pats will have spots to fill after graduating some forwards and defenders last year, but it's nice for Fischer that he has midfielders Lytton and Schnieders coming back.
"They kind of orchestrate the team from the middle," he said. "They do a lot of instructing. As the game's going on, they see stuff that I don't see — just from the players' standpoint from being in the middle of the field. They do a really nice job of communicating, and that's the stuff we've got to continue to improve on and have the girls buy into."
Fischer said he might have Begle and fellow senior Abi Wilson in the back, along with junior Xia Peters and sophomore MaKenize Smith. Defense is something the Pats take a like of pride in, as Fischer is a defensive-minded coach.
They have a couple of names who could potentially take Garrison's spot in goal this year. Fischer named junior Chelsea Tempel as somebody who might play there if she isn't a defender. Sophomore Ally Schipp is also a candidate. He hailed both of them for being quick, athletic and strong. Fischer noted Tempel is more of the defender type, while Schipp is cognizant of everything around her.
"I want them to be very vocal," Fischer said of whomever his keeper will be. "I want them to kind of be like a catcher on a baseball field and see everything developing. And that's a big part — being able to communicate and tell the defense. So, it's the kind of stuff that's off the ball that helps the girls stand out."
The Pats will have some younger players play bigger roles in 2021, with Fischer touting some of his sophomore class. Sidney Ayer and Rylie Schipp both got playing time last year as freshmen, and Fischer expects Molly Schnieders to contribute for the team in the midfield this year. He also lauded Rylie Kelley for being a nice defender and likes what he sees out of Nadia Eisenhauser as somebody who could play on the wing.
Heritage Hills could be looking to a number of options to attack and provide the scoring in 2021.
"We'll be rotating a lot, but Kennedy Tate will be up top," he said. "I expect Ella and Hadley to be getting more shots on goal. I think Rylie Schipp will be getting a lot more opportunities to score this year, along with Sidney Ayer and (senior) Macey (Toler)."
Fischer has asked his players this summer who their biggest competitors are. They said themselves, and he told them they were absolutely right about that.
Heritage Hills is set to have an Aug. 14 scrimmage at home against Forest Park, and open the season Aug. 17 at Boonville.
"I think we'll be in the mix for the conference, but the conference is tough," Fischer said. "Since it's expanded, it's even gotten stronger, and the sectional is going to be hard, too. We just got to focus on what we can right now, and whenever that time comes — get a gameplan and hopefully be able to execute."
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