Schlichtig Finding the Mark in Second Collegiate Season
To say that sophomore defender Jessica Schlichtig is a key component to her team’s success would serve as a gross understatement. Not only is Schlichtig a captain and defensive stalwart for the St. Louis Community College women’s soccer team, she also has become a leading offensive threat.
Schlichtig began the year on a roll offensively with six goals in her team’s first four games, including at least one goal in each contest. Schlichtig had carried the team’s offense in the first two games, scoring four goals while her teammates had combined for just one.
“Once we cross that middle-half line, it’s all offense, so I put all my effort into offense at that moment,” Schlichtig said. “But once it heads back out, it’s all defense. It’s just that line that determines it. My thought process completely turns around once I cross that half line.”
Schlichtig’s offensive-minded approach has done much to relieve the burden of scoring from the team’s forwards and midfielders. When sophomore forward Erica Kaiping left the team’s season opener against Allen County Community College with a concussion, Schlichtig picked up the slack, earning her first career hat trick.
The diversified offensive attack Schlichtig provides creates a much more complicated defensive focus for opponents. Defenses typically expect forwards and midfielders to be consistent offensive threats, but rarely is someone from the backfield so active in the offensive game.
“Jessica is a tremendous soccer player,” Archers head coach Juergen Huettner said. “Very skilled, has excellent vision on the field in seeing the field, seeing where to make the field. She has a lot of confidence on the ball. Those things are hard to teach.”
While this production from Schlichtig may appear new to STLCC soccer fans, her offensive mindset has been well-established since her time at Bayless High School in south St. Louis County. As a senior in 2009, Schlichtig led the Bronchos with 10 goals, despite spending the majority of her time in the backfield.
Schlichtig’s college career began much differently.
“It just didn’t happen at all last year,” said Schlichtig, whose freshman year was atypical for her, in that she was not among the team’s scoring leaders. “I guess I just have a different thought process this year.”
That change is one that can only help STLCC as the season progresses.