Geneva’s Kylie Schiemann rises to challenge in WPSL

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Kylie Schiemann
Kylie Schiemann (right) crosses a ball during a Croatia Juniors game on June 12.

Geneva’s Kylie Schiemann loves a good challenge almost as much as she loves playing soccer.

This summer, Schiemann, the reigning Ashtabula County Player of the Year, has been challenged like never before.

As the only current high school player on the roster for the Croatia Juniors, Schiemann has been forced to elevate her effort and intensity to compete at a much higher level.

“I learned you need to be a lot quicker with the ball and making your decisions and that you can play at a high level as a younger player,” Schiemann said. “You just have to have dedication and drive.”

Fortunately, Schiemann isn’t short on either of those attributes.

As a junior at Geneva, she scored 18 goals in leading the Eagles to a 10-7-1 record.

And now, as she prepares for her final season of high school soccer, Schiemann is learning what it will take to realize her dream of playing at the next level.

Croatia Juniors is an expansion team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League, the nation’s oldest active women’s soccer league in the country. The WPSL consists of 141 teams from across the country.

The Juniors roster includes a dozen current Division I college players. The remaining players all compete at the Division II or Division III level.

“It’s really nice seeing how much you need to grow from high school to college and what it takes to be that player,” Schiemann said. “It really shows me how much you need to work to play with the high-level players in college. It’s helping me a lot with my touches and getting more touches on the ball before the season starts and really shows how to be a team leader.”

In addition to her role with Croatia Juniors, Schiemann also is training with her high school team.

“We just had conditioning this morning,” she said. “It’s a lot but I love the work and I’ve always loved doing a lot of soccer all the time. That’s just my life.”

Schiemann also has been active on the recruiting scene. She recently attended ID camps at West Virginia and Ohio State and is looking forward to hearing more from college coaches.

“The (recruiting dead period) just passed so they’re allowed to talk to us now,” Schiemann said of the college coaches. “They’ve been going to games of mine and they have been emailing. I went to West Virginia University’s ID camp on Saturday and I really liked it there. It’s really nice there and it feels like a family community. Everybody was really nice but it was also very competitive. I was at Ohio State’s ID camp last Wednesday and they are very competitive and they push you to your limits.”

Schiemann and the Croatia Juniors travel to Hudson on Thursday for a WPSL matchup against Cleveland Ambassadors.