ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Eau Claire Memorial Girls Soccer Team

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- The Eau Claire Memorial girls soccer program has been a dominate force in western Wisconsin for quite a few years now. As SportScene 13's Chance Dickman explains, this years senior class is looking to keep the up the winning tradition.

Back to back state appearances and multiple conference championships, it's been an incredible run for the seniors on the Eau Claire Memorial girls soccer team, as they look forward to their last season together.

Senior forward Katy Shiefelbein says, "It's going to be tough to let that go next year for sure. It's been a big part of growing up. We've all grown up together, and played together, so it's been a great journey." Fellow senior Katelyn Fladten adds, "It is so much fun. It's not only about playing but being with your teammates and stuff like that. We just have a blast."

But their team this year looks a bit different from years past, as Scott DeRusha has taken over for Kit Shiefelbein as head coach of the Old Abes.

Coach DeRusha says, "It makes it nice that they have the basics down and everything moving forward where I just go in and do the tactics, and we just keep building on what's already here. It's not like having to come in from scratch. Kit did wonderful here." Fladten adds, "He likes to have fun as much as we do, and he brings new drills that we haven't done before and keeps it fun and interesting."

For Katy Schiefelbein, it's been a different kind of change, as Kit was not only her coach, but is her mom as well. She says, "It hasn't been as tough of a transition as it could have been. Everything has gone really smoothly, and he's doing a great job. We're really happy right now."

Chance Dickman, "The weather has been nothing uncooperative for area schools, including here at Memorial, so the girls soccer team is forced to practice right here in the gymnasium."

DeRusha comments, "The pace in the gym is so much quicker because we don't have the space, so we want to be quick with our feet and get the ball moving across the field." Fladten says, "You can't really shoot, there's no goals inside, so it's hard to work on the tactical stuff." Shiefelbein adds, "We try to make most of our time because it's valuable to us, and we need to be training everyday, so we make it work."

Memorial is off to a strong start and an undefeated conference record this year, and the girls hope to make yet another trip to state to end their career. Reporting in Eau Claire, Chance Dickman, for SportScene13.


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