BOLINGBROOK — The dreaded ACL injury strikes again.
Just as Bolingbrook’s girls soccer team was hitting its stride with Rachel Schneider at the top of the attack as a striker, Schneider tore her ACL and will miss the rest of the season.
“We’ve been trying to figure out how to replace her and trying to figure out how our offense is going to look without her,” coach Martin Uscila said.
Through five games, Schneider had five goals and five assists as the Raiders raced out to a 4-1 record. Facing Minooka March 30 in their first game without Scheider, the Raiders tallied a 4-2 win. Last Thursday they played to a scoreless draw with Lincoln-Way West in the second game without Schneider.
“Neither team could get it going. It was a very defensive game,” Uscila said of the Lincoln-Way West game. “We limited their chances, but there were a couple of chances we didn’t finish that we could have. I like the shutout, but I’d like to put a couple in the net.”
With Schneider out, Uscila said he will continue to tinker with the lineup and formation until he strikes the right balance between offense and defense. That could mean moving Northwestern-recruit Nikia Smith from outside defender to middle defender.
“That way we still have her on defense and the middle is OK while we get her in the mix offensively because she can move forward from there,” Uscila said. “Regardless of where Nikia plays, even though we have three new players on defense, our defense this year is better than last year. Some of the problems we had last year we’re not seeing this year.”
Freshman defender Tyler Holmes has provided more than expected so far this season, while attacking midfielder Jamie Gutierrez and sophomore outside mid Caroline Harvey have been able to help in the attacking third of the field.
No matter how the rest of the season shakes out in terms of results or who plays what positions, Uscila knows he will get the best effort from his players.
“The biggest thing about this team is they like each other, they play hard for each other and they have the right attitude,” Uscila said. “We haven’t had any attitude issues after we found out the news about Rachel.”