Rochester United FC women’s team leans on local – Post Bulletin

The Rochester United FC women’s soccer team kicks off its third season on Saturday. Only this time it will be with a decidedly local flair.

Unlike the first two seasons, when the Matthew Fatehi-owned Rochester United FC team offered a pack of women from around the world, including some Division I collegiate players, this year’s team is predominantly native from a tri-state area – Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

This includes a group of players from the Rochester area, some of whom are about to graduate from high school.

One pair that pops out are Class A state champions Winona Cotter, Olivia Gardner and Sera Speltz. Gardner, who scored 43 goals last high school season, was a four-time All-State selection and this season’s Class A Ms. Soccer and Post Bulletin Player of the Year.

The fast and powerful forward will play at Division II University of Mary (ND) in the fall. Speltz was named an All-State as a junior when she received the Post Bulletin Player of the Year award. She spent much of last season with Cotter, who was recovering from a variety of injuries including a torn cruciate ligament from the final game of their junior season. The midfielder will play at Division II Northern State University (SD) in the fall.

Among other locals are Century Senior twins Kristen and Melanie LaDue. Kristen was a star defenseman for a standout Panthers team last fall, while Melanie was a star midfielder.

Rochester United FC remain in the Women’s Premier Soccer League and play the Maplebrook Fury at Mayo High School at 7pm on Saturday.

Coaches include 37-year-old Christine Bright, a former college player and Division III coach. Bright, in her first season at Rochester United FC, likes the look of this team.

“This group was great,” said Bright. “One of the cool things was that some players trained together over the winter. (Fatehi) focused on nurturing the talent of people who were regionally available. We did a lot of things with them indoors that make people great football players. It’s fun to see the hard work they put in.”

Rochester United FC will play eight games away against Dakota Fusion FC, the last of which will be on July 1st.

ROCHESTER UNITED FC LINEUP

Sheila Sanchez, goaltender; Melanie LaDue, midfield; Kristen LaDue, defense; Ilana Izquierdo, midfielder; Samanth McClanahan, defense; Sharon Fung, midfield; Salem Birkholz, defense; Daniela Ortiz, midfielder; Anna Reinholz, forward; Maya Basnyat, midfielder; Shelby Packard, midfield; Maria Garcia, forward; Brooke Hedin, defense; Elizabeth Harlos, Defense; Sera Speltz, midfielder; Sienna Latta, forward; Lindsey Monnet, midfield; Addy Spaeth, midfield; Tessa Anderson, forward; Sarah Klasse, midfield; Celenka Hommel, goalkeeper; Sarah Evans, defense; Olivia Gardner, forward; Kristin Treichel, midfielder.

ROCHESTER UNITED FC SCHEDULE

(All home games at Mayo High School)

May 28 – Maplebrook Fury, 7pm

June 2 – Minnesota Thunder, 7:45 p.m

June 5th – at Joy AC, 7pm

June 15 – at Manitou FC, 6:30 p.m

June 19 – Sioux Falls City FC, 6 p.m

June 24 – Mankato United Soccer Club, 7 p.m

June 26 – Salve SC, 7 p.m

July 1 – at Dakota Fusion, 4 p.m

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