Manchester senior defender Rachel Brandenburg (R) keeps the ball away from Wawasee junior forward Jannette Schmidt during Tuesday’s match at Good Fields in North Manchester. Photo by Anthony Gadson, Times-Union
Manchester senior defender Rachel Brandenburg (R) keeps the ball away from Wawasee junior forward Jannette Schmidt during Tuesday’s match at Good Fields in North Manchester. Photo by Anthony Gadson, Times-Union
NORTH MANCHESTER — Playing in a light drizzle Tuesday evening, the Wawasee and Manchester girls soccer teams looked like squads going through early-season adjustments.
Trying to replace 11 girls from last season’s 10-7-1 team, the Manchester Lady Squires (1-1-1) recorded win No. 1 Tuesday at home, shutting out Wawasee (1-3) by a 1-0 count.
In the win, Manchester controlled possession and took 15 shots to Wawasee’s three.
“Our communication has been a lot better, and we’ve also been passing to space instead of just to a player,” Manchester coach Jacqui Erny said. “Our offense is coming along really well.”
Sophomore Tahnee Fuentes netted the game’s lone goal, taking a pass from senior Morgan McKee, then skipping it past Wawasee junior goalkeeper Charity Parker.
Despite Manchester’s eight shots on goal, Wawasee coach Doug Heinisch was pleased with his team’s defense, which didn’t give away too many great shots.
“I think we did pretty well,” he said. “The goal kind of skipped on the wet grass, which is going to happen sometimes. So, that really wasn’t a great opportunity. They had one really good opportunity late in the first half, but that was it. I thought we contained much better (than we have in the past). They didn’t have a lot of high-quality looks.”
Wawasee actually had more dangerous opportunities, including a cross from senior Caitlin Clevenger to junior Sarah Lancaster just outside the 5 with 12:40 remaining in the first half, but Lancaster couldn’t settle it before Manchester freshman goalkeeper Kiera Stacy got on top of the ball.
Then, sophomore Leigh-Ann Shrack had an open shot in the 36th minute, but her attempt to the upper left-hand corner was knocked away by Stacy, who had two saves in the win.
Shrack had two more chances in the second half, but had trouble corralling the ball on one opportunity, then had a shot sail high on a one-on-one attempt in the 60th minute.
Along with missing out on the chances it got, Wawasee also struggled to stay onside, getting whistled three times for offsides.
“We run the offsides trap, and it’s based on communication,” Erny said. “I think we do that well.”
It did work well against Wawasee, slowing the Lady Warriors down.
“We were just a little bit impatient,” Heinisch said. “We pressed. We went for the home run every time, instead of working it up. We’ll learn and get better.”
Making the win even sweeter for Erny was the fact it was done without three sophomore starters – Bethany Collett, Olivia Docktor and Melissa Saucedo.
“Hopefully we’ll have them back soon,” Erny said. “That definitely played a factor, especially with our attack – not having that team chemistry up front.”
With so many girls gone from last season, the Lady Squires are learning chemistry on the go, but Erny likes the progress being made three matches in.
“We have a lot of first-year players, which is great, but it’s going to take all the way up to the sectional to build team chemistry,” she said. “But it’s coming along pretty quickly.”
For Wawasee, Heinisch is just trying to install some core fundamentals.
“It’s the basics,” he said. “It’s making sure we trap, we move to the ball, we contain. We just need to keep working on Soccer 101.”
Manchester is at Oak Hill Thursday, while Wawasee hosts Concord Saturday.

MANCHESTER 1, WAWASEE 0
M – Tahnee Fuentes (Morgan McKee) 37th min.
Shots – Manchester 15, Wawasee 3; Shots on Goal – Manchester 8, Wawasee 2; Saves – Manchester (Kiera Stacy) 2, Wawasee (Charity Parker) 7; Corner Kicks – Manchester 7, Wawasee 1; Offsides – Manchester 0, Wawasee 3.
Records: Manchester 1-1-1, Wawasee 1-3.