Panthers’ Koenig ECC Player of Year

Five Panthers on All-ECC first team
by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff

KAYLEE KOENIG KAYLEE KOENIG Five Plymouth Panthers were named to the 2017 All-East Central Conference girls soccer first team, led by senior attacker Kaylee Koenig who was voted the ECC’s Player of the Year.

Koenig, senior defender Brooklin Willoughby and junior attacker Sydney Robinson were named to the first team for the second straight season and are unanimous selections. Last year was the inaugural ECC season.

The other Panthers on the rst team are junior goalkeeper Sam Meyer and junior defender Savannah Wiese. PHS leads the ECC in first-team picks.

PHS has one second-team player in senior attacker Skyler Gosse who was a second-team defender in 2016.

Three Panthers earned honorable mention – senior defender Kaitlyn Heyrman, junior attacker Ellie Welsch and senior attacker Taylor Heyrman.

“Kaylee, a four-year starter, played as one of our three central midfielders. Positioned as our defensive midfielder, she’s an offensive facilitator,” said PHS head coach Brad Feick.

SAM MEYER SAM MEYER “Her communication, passing, and leadership is key in being able to control play within the midfield. Her passing and movement allowed her teammates to excel.”

Koenig scored eight goals and had five assists in ECC play. All of the statistics listed for Plymouth’s All-ECC players are for conference action only.

“ Sydney’s ability to stretch the field, change the point of attack and finish helped make our season. She found a way to score and assist against every conference opponent. Coaches often made adjustments to defend her,” Feick pointed out.

Robinson netted 19 goals to go with nine assists.

“Brooklin’s speed allowed her to recover quickly when beaten and prevents the opposition from creating successful scoring opportunities,” said the coach.

SAVANNAH WIESE SAVANNAH WIESE “Her passing allows us to successfully pass out of the back and not simply clear the ball which also allows us to be able to possess the ball in all the field’s thirds. She has also shown that she is willing to make offensive runs forward from her center-back position.”

Willoughby contributed three goals.

Meyer made 40 saves and surrendered only four goals as the Panthers racked up an impressive 11 shutouts in 14 ECC matches. PHS outscored the conference opposition by a whopping 74-4.

“She made key, game-winning saves over the course of the season. Her ability to field balls cleanly out of the air helped prevent Winneconne from converting dangerous crosses when playing at home and made a difficult save by coming out of the box to prevent Winneconne from increasing their lead when we played away,” Feick noted, referring to the two regular-season matches between the teams.

BROOKLIN WILLOUGHBY BROOKLIN WILLOUGHBY PHS and Winneconne shared the ECC championship with 13-1 records – splitting their two league matches (PHS won the first meeting, 2-1, and lost the second, 2-1).

“Sam is also able to be played back to becoming an 11th player in possession,” said the coach.

“Savannah is a first team defender who is extremely intelligent. She understands the value of playing angles, is technically sound, wins balls out of the air and does not leave the field until the game is at hand,” said the coach.

“In just her first season playing center-back she has become a very talented defender.”

Wiese had one goal and one assist.

Gosse tallied 10 goals and made six assists.

“Skyler is probably the most physical midfielder in our conference and our most improved player from last season to this season,” Feick pointed out.

SYDNEY ROBINSON SYDNEY ROBINSON “Her ability to win balls, hold possession and aggressively move forward when needed has really helped us offensively. She also covers for teammates very well – dropping into the defensive midfield role or even into our back line if a player makes a long run forward.”

Taylor Heyrman, a converted goalie, contributed seven goals and two assists.

“She began the year thinking that she was going to split time at keeper but due to Sam’s emergence and our need for wing play, she became a field player,” recalled Feick.

“Because of her touch, we were able to use her on the outside and move her centrally if we needed someone to support Sydney on top. Her [Taylor’s] sacrifice made us better.”

Welsch scored four goals and earned seven assists.

“Ellie’s vision has allowed her to set her teammates up well. This, though, isn’t always seen on the stat sheet for her pass is what usually sets up the assist delivered by another teammate,” Feick noted.

“Kaitlyn locked the left side of the field down. She held the position for three years.

“Her awareness to be able to support her other defenders and push up aggressively into the attack when working to possess has allowed us to help hold possession and become a strong defensive team.”

The other first-team repeater is junior attacker Meghan Flier of Waupun. The other unanimous first-team picks are freshman defender Claire Gentry from Winneconne; senior attacker Toni Hundertmark, Campbellsport; and sophomore attackers Emily Heyroth and Kaitlin Frierdich of Winneconne.

Heyroth led the ECC in goals for the overall season with an out- standing 39.

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