Resorters’ Schmitz BEC Player of Year

Four Tigers on All-BEC first team
by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


KATIE GUSE (6) of Howards Grove is an All-BEC soccer first-team midfielder. – Photo by Terry Schaller KATIE GUSE (6) of Howards Grove is an All-BEC soccer first-team midfielder. – Photo by Terry Schaller Senior forward Camrie Schmitz of Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah was voted the Big East Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year in girls soccer for the 2017 season by the BEC coaches.

Schmitz led the conference in goals with an impressive 44 and points with 99 (two points per goal and one per assist) in BEC action. Schmitz, a unanimous first-team pick for the second straight season, made 11 assists.

The Howards Grove Tigers have four first team picks – senior forward Kaitlynn Near, senior midfielders Brittany Schaller and Katie Guse, and senior goalkeeper Olivia Stauss. Near is a unanimous first-team selection.

Junior sweeper Sierra Thein of BEC champion Oostburg was voted the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Near, Schaller and Stauss were named to the All-BEC first team for the second straight year. Last year was the inaugural BEC season. Schaller was also named to the All-Central Lakeshore Conference first team as a freshman and sophomore. Guse was on the second team last year.


BRITTANY SCHALLER of Howards Grove, pictured executing a header, is an All-BEC soccer first-team midfielder. – Photo by Terry Schaller BRITTANY SCHALLER of Howards Grove, pictured executing a header, is an All-BEC soccer first-team midfielder. – Photo by Terry Schaller The other first-team repeaters are senior forward Abby Wisneski of St. Mary Catholic (Neenah) and junior midfielder Meghan Batzner of Oostburg. Wisneski and Oostburg junior forward Olivia Meerdink are the other unanimous first-team players.

The Tigers are represented on the second team by senior defender Emily Schmid. HG’s other All-BEC players include senior defender Ashley Reinemann and senior midfielder Malayna Mc- Daniel on the honorable-mention team. Schmid and Reinemann were second-team picks in 2016.

The EL-G Resorters’ other all conference selections are senior defender Paige Nelson on the second unit, and senior midfielder Lauren Boos, senior defender Shynaia Higgins and freshman forward Sofie Sutcliffe.


KAITLYNN NEAR (18) of Howards Grove is an All-BEC soccer first-team forward. – Photo by Terry Schaller KAITLYNN NEAR (18) of Howards Grove is an All-BEC soccer first-team forward. – Photo by Terry Schaller “Camrie had an outstanding year. She is the most dynamic player in the conference and has the ability to change the flow of the game on her own,” said Resorter head coach Kevin Ruh.

“She does not have an off switch. She brings everything she has to every game and leaves it on the field.

“She became a complete player this year by helping set up others and not feel the need to do everything. She actually slowed her game down a little and set up defenders rather than simply attack, attack, attack,” Ruh pointed out.

“Kaitlynn again led our team in scoring and was always a player that needed to be accounted for by opponents,” said Tiger head coach David Kisiolek.


CAMRIE SCHMITZ (11) of Elkhart Lake was named the BEC’s Offensive Player of the Year in girls soccer this past season. – Photo by Mike McGill CAMRIE SCHMITZ (11) of Elkhart Lake was named the BEC’s Offensive Player of the Year in girls soccer this past season. – Photo by Mike McGill “Her determination to succeed on the playing field is unmatched. Kate would do whatever it takes to lead her team to victory,”

Near, who also led HG in goals last year, ranked fourth in the BEC in scoring with 24 goals and fifth in points at 53 this past season. For the overall season, Near led HG in goals with 25 (through 20 games).

“Brittany was the best athlete on our team. The leader of our team not by words but by the way she played. When Howards Grove has an all-time athletic ‘wall of fame’ Brittany will be the first person on the wall,” said Kisiolek who was the Tigers’ new head coach this year.


OLIVIA STAUSS of Howards Grove, shown making a save, was selected the All- BEC first-team goalkeeper. – Photo by Terry Schaller OLIVIA STAUSS of Howards Grove, shown making a save, was selected the All- BEC first-team goalkeeper. – Photo by Terry Schaller Schaller also earned All-BEC first-team honors in volleyball and basketball this past school year. Overall, she tallied 10 goals and 10 assists this past season.

“Katie is a quiet and unassuming but a gifted soccer player. She scored both goals in the sectional final win [2-1] over Oostburg – sending us to our first appearance at state,” said the Tiger coach.

“She was dangerous when she had the ball, no matter where she was on the field. She is a skilled ball handler and accurate passer, and had the unique ability to make her teammates look better.”

Stauss surrendered only 18 goals in 17 conference matches – an average of 1.06 per game. She made 73 saves.

“We asked Olivia to do things that many collegiate goalkeepers have a hard time mastering. She not only was the heart of our defense but she was talented enough to be the initiator of our offense,” said Kisiolek.

“Olivia has the talent, skill and opportunity to play at the collegiate level, however at this time she has chosen to concentrate on her studies in the field of nursing.

“Emily and Ashley were our two center-backs. It is difficult for defensive players to receive all- conference recognition in that they don’t have the stats to support their nomination. If you watched the two of them play you know that we would not have had the team success we had without their contributions,” Kisiolek pointed out.

“Malayna began the year at defense. Moved to midfield shortly before mid-season. She ended up at forward in our run to state. She is dedicated and determined, and a pleasure to coach.”

McDaniel contributed eight goals and assists each overall.

Nelson scored three goals and had one assist in BEC play.

“Paige is the most solid player we had on the team. Paige’s play and selflessness this season showed why she was selected as captain this year,” said Ruh.

“Most people did not know but Paige played the season with a very painful lower-leg strain. We would hold her back in practice to give her rest. In games you would not know she was in pain the entire game.

Boos, an attacking midfielder, tallied two goals in conference action.

“She was able to control the opposing team’s best ball handler – forcing them to move the ball away from their attack,” the Resorter coach noted.

“She played a physical game when she needed but also was able to play a finesse as her ball handling skills improved as she worked hard in practice to be a well-rounded player.

“Shynaia played sweeper this year and covered a lot of ground this year. Shynaia went one on one with the opposing team’s fastest player. She shut them down every game and played every game as if it was her last,” Ruh said.

Sutcliffe scored nine goals and had one assist in BEC matches.

“Sofie was dynamic in the freshman year. She has the speed to keep close to Camrie and be there for the cross. Sofie played the weak side to perfection this year,” said Ruh.

“With her [Sutcliffe’s] speed and aggressive play she forced teams to respect her. She is a player that is harder on herself than other players on the field. From start to finish she grew as a player and pushed herself to be better each game.”

Sophomore midfielder Sydney Andersen of St. Mary Catholic (Neenah) paced the BEC in assists with 20.


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