Highlighting some of Section V’s top performers from the week of October 4th-10th and earlier. This is part of a series and more names will be added in future installments.
By PAUL GOTHAM
CHASE ALEXANDRE Jr. Midfielder Brighton Bruins (Monroe County II) — Physical and skilled while scratching at the surface of his abilities; Alexandre moves effortlessly and consistently outpaces opposing players, makes sound decisions with the ball and has the ability to execute to either side of the field, haven’t yet seen him on an overlapping run along an outer third but there is that potential, possesses a quick release on his shot and needs just the tiniest of openings from 25 yards to get it on frame; a willing defender, uses his speed to stop the ball and give teammates a chance to find shape behind, he routinely wins 50-50 balls because of the challenge he creates trying to knock him off-balance.
PHILIPP BIERMANN Jr. Attacker Greece Olympia Spartans (Monroe County IV) — A skilled creator who plays a variety of roles for the Spartans; Biermann is equally adept playing with his back to the goal as he is winning balls and taking on defenders, equipped with a higher-level first touch, the foreign exchange student from Germany is capable of playing and making decisions at speeds that are uncomfortable for opponents, has the ability to win balls and traffic and maintain possession in the open field; strong defender who willingly moves to the backline when the situation warrants, he checks back when playing up top and allows teammates to regain shape behind him.
CAMI BRESCIA Sr. Midfielder Spencerport Rangers (Monroe County II) — Another in a line of valuable midfield players who have impacted the Spencerport program; don’t be deceived by her statistics (0 goals and 1 assist as of October 12th), Brescia affects the Rangers’ ball movement, a tireless worker she plays sideline to sideline, routinely anticipating flow and movement of opposing offenses and has the ability to disrupt any semblance of rhythm generated by the opposing side, strong to the ball, she consistently wins in 50-50 situations and has an uncanny sense for making the right pass out of traffic; a playmaker who defers to teammates when it comes to finishing.
MAYA IKEWOOD So. Midfield/Forward Palmyra-Macedon Red Raiders (Finger Lakes East) — A dynamic offensive player; she is equally adept at creating space for teammates and running into space created for her, Ikewood visualizes seams around the pitch, she recognizes when the ball needs to go into space and understands how to use pace to put teammates in position to score, at the same time she sees when to use feet as the target and can execute in those situations, separates herself from others with her ability to receive in stride and make decisions on the run, she is a threat to score from any where within 25 yards; it is easy to overlook her defense, she routinely checks back on plays and prevents opponents from gaining an advantage in the defensive third.
— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) October 2, 2021
CARTER KLADSTRUP Sr. Goalkeeper Pittsford Sutherland Knights (Monroe County III) — Combines skill and instincts with athleticism into one package; Kladstrup makes sound decisions along the goal line, reacts well to flow of the game, with deft footwork and a sturdy upper body he takes away shots from post to post, reads the play well and responsibly comes off his line; teammates are comfortable using him as an outlet with the ball back, and he has the ability to not only keep the ball moving but to start the offense.
SARAH KRETCHMER Sr. Outside Back Aquinas Li’l Irish (Private-Parochial) — Patient defender who sees angles and seams well; a willing facilitator, Kretchmer routinely sets up teammates but can recognize when opponents give space and attacks when the situation arises, adept at pushing the ball and being ready to pass, not to be overlooked is her ability to get into stride quickly and distribute at full speed with touch; strong defender, she is comfortable along the outside third against the opponent’s best offensive threat, she understands how to contain first to stop the dribble and then attack for possession.
JAKE LEONE Sr. Defender McQuaid Jesuit Knights (Rochester City Athletic Conference) — A repeat performer on the XI, Leone has evolved from a steady backline contributor into an offensive threat, Leone knows how to pick his spots to advance the ball, equipped with a sturdy frame and higher-level decision-making, he waits for the right moment to push the ball creating pressure on a defense that already has to try and contain and variety of scorers in the McQuaid lineup; his defense is still his strength, he sees one pass ahead and always manages to be in the right spot.
Jake Leone makes use of combos for a rush. Kevin Howse is there for the stop. pic.twitter.com/Bi7wWHPlNp
— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) October 2, 2021
LIAM PHELPS So. Midfielder Marion Black Knights (Wayne County) — Active midfielder who makes plays from sideline to sideline; Phelps recognizes situations well and understands when to become part of the play and when to be a target, possesses a smooth first touch with the ability to advance off the dribble or make a precise pass, stays composed with the ball at his feet in the middle third and sees runs made by teammates along the outer thirds; a relentless defender he is equally as effective when being the point on defense as well as in support, routinely steps into opposing passing lanes.
EMMA ROBINSON Jr. Forward Palmyra-Macedon Red Raiders (Finger Lakes East) — Powerful frontline player who combines strength with finesse; Robinson is a legitimate threat to score from 35 yards out and not just in set pieces, equipped with a quick release (needs one step to generate enough power on her shot), she puts pressure on opposing defenses which must extend to an uncomfortable distance in order to contain her, a willing distributor she takes advantage of the subsequent over-play and fans the ball to either side of the field; a willing defender, she routinely checks back into defensive 18 but is ready in counterattack situations.
IAN SZEMCSAK Sr. Attacker East Rochester Bombers (Wayne County) — A role player the past two seasons, Szemcsak has seamlessly transitioned into becoming East Rochester’s primary offensive threat; as capable as anyone in Section V at changing speeds and changing directions with the ball at his feet, he routinely forces opposing defenders to retreat and makes higher-level decisions while on the move; superior field vision, he understands how to create space for teammates and self; tireless defender, he routinely checks back to the 18 and does it with conviction.
— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) October 7, 2021
JORDAN WALKER Jr. Midfielder Greece Olympia Spartans (Monroe County Division IV) — Steady midfield player who accomplishes much with an economy of touches, possesses a strong first touch and is always thinking one play ahead, realizes when to distribute on first touch and when to move the ball on the dribble, understands pace and how to use it on passes to create opening for teammates; responsible defender who always seems to be in the right place to disrupt opposing offensive flow, consistently in the right place to win 50-50 balls and has the skill set to release from pressure and make sound decisions to maintain possession of the ball.
— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) October 5, 2021