Home News Rookie Sophia Wollenberg stars for St. Charles East

Rookie Sophia Wollenberg stars for St. Charles East

12
0


Freshman midfielder Sophia Wollenberg has been good to go as a rookie for St. Charles East.

And in the first two weeks of her varsity career, she has caught on quickly and decisively.

“I came into the season ready to give it my all and show how all the work that I put in during the preseason has worked out,” Wollenberg said. “I’m proud to say I’ve done that.”

Wollenberg got things done on a rainy and cold Tuesday afternoon for the host Saints, with her offensive performance being a highlight during a 0-0 tie against Burlington Central.

This spring, Wollenberg has three goals and an assist for St. Charles East (4-1-2). Her goal total matches the team-best mark of senior midfielder Alli Saviano, a Southeast Missouri State recruit.

Junior goalkeeper Sidney Lazenby made four saves in posting the shutout Tuesday for the Saints. Sophomore goalkeeper Mackenzie Lorkowski also had four saves for Burlington Central (1-5-2).

Wollenberg has been the early breakout story for St. Charles East. She scored the winning goal Saturday in a 1-0 victory over Hersey.

“I mean, she has been everything for us,” Saviano said. “She keeps up the pace, and she is always making the right play. She is always looking forward to the next play.

“It means a lot to us for an incoming freshman to provide that because we’ve always been a powerhouse forward-dominant team, and this year has been a little bit different so far.”

St. Charles East's Sophia Wollenberg beats Burlington Central's Ellie Elders to the ball. St. Charles East played Burlington Central to a 0-0 tie in girls soccer, Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in St. Charles, Illinois. (Jon Langham/for the Beacon-News)
St. Charles East’s Sophia Wollenberg (12) beats Burlington Central’s Ellie Elders to the ball during a nonconference game in St. Charles on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (Jon Langham / The Beacon-News)

At a young age, Wollenberg demonstrated a steely competitive edge.

“I was most definitely born with my competitive nature,” she said. “When I was a kid, I would get so mad over losing something as simple as a board game.

“I am happy that It has stuck with me over the years.”

Growing up, however, Wollenberg’s first love was actually softball. In the second grade, her softball coach suggested she make the switch to soccer.

The game has been her passion ever since.

“My mom was a runner and my dad a cyclist,” she said. “The choice was random in some sense.

“I really love the culture of this team, how everybody picks each other up, whether we win or lose.”

St. Charles East's Sophia Wollenberg battles for the ball with Burlington Central's Mekenzie Rogers. St. Charles East played Burlington Central to a 0-0 tie in girls soccer, Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in St. Charles, Illinois. (Jon Langham/for the Beacon-News)
St. Charles East’s Sophia Wollenberg, left, cuts off Burlington Central’s Mekenzie Rogers during a nonconference game in St. Charles on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (Jon Langham / The Beacon-News)

Wollenberg, who plays with a heady and open style, has shown a flair for getting to the goal.

She toggles between the middle attack on the wide side or playing up top. That versatility has been a crucial part of optimizing offense, according to senior defender Mackenzie Loomis.

“Sophia has made an instant impact on our team with her ability to move the ball in order to create chances in the final third,” said Loomis, an Eastern Michigan recruit. “Even being a freshman, she is such a versatile player who has made a positive impact since the beginning of the season.”

The first part of playing varsity as a freshman is navigating the emotional stakes.

She has passed that test with flying colors.

”Sophia plays the game with confidence,” St. Charles East coach Vince DiNuzzo said. “She’s fearless when taking players on and going toward the goal.

“She’s very coachable and humble, a very creative talent, and plays the game with an edge.”

St. Charles East's Alli Saviano kicks the ball away from Burlington Central's Emerson Fry. St. Charles East played Burlington Central to a 0-0 tie in girls soccer, Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in St. Charles, Illinois.
St. Charles East’s Alli Saviano (13) kicks the ball away from Burlington Central’s Emerson Fry during a nonconference game in St. Charles on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (Jon Langham / The Beacon-News)

Wollenberg is not alone for St. Charles East as one of six freshmen playing varsity.

Presley Kannaka and Averie Foulkes, two other first-year players, also started at defender against Burlington Central.

“The freshmen have played with each other since we were young,” Wollenberg said. “It’s a healthy competitive environment. We want to see each other succeed.”

Wollenberg likes to listen to music to prepare herself for the games. By her own admission, she has an easygoing manner.

“My style is what I call cheeky,” she said. “I play with aggression and confidence, knowing I have the trust of all the other people around me.

“It’s been a huge confidence booster knowing all of my work is paying off.”

Patrick Z. McGavin is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here