Senior goaltender talks her beginnings,
MCLA career and what it takes to get through the day
“It was the thing to do,” Wehner said of soccer. “There’s a huge club in town and I joined.”
At age six, Wehner started playing soccer. Eventually thrown into the goal, she quickly adapted to the challenge and pressure of the position.
“I love the thrill of it,” Wehner said.
Every move in the game is pressure on Wehner’s shoulders. Yet instead of dragging her down, that pressure grounds her in her position.
She learned early on how to use this to her advantage. In her junior year at Cooperstown High School, her team advanced to Sectionals. When the game went into overtime, it progressed to penalty kicks.
“Penalty kicks are a lot of pressure,” Wehner said. “A goalie is able to save their team in penalty kicks.”
Wehner’s team went 3 for 3 against the opposing goalie. She made two saves and the third attempt missed the goal by a mile. The two saves were enough to give her team the victory. The pressure, instead of getting to her, gave her the strength to stand above the rest of the competition.
That strength and grounding helped when, in her rookie season as MCLA’s starting goalie, Wehner blew her knee out two games into the season. It gave her a new perspective on the game and a chance to bring her game to a new level.
“I was playing at a whole new level,” Wehner said. “I was playing with better teammates and against quality players.”
At the same time, it led to Wehner being named First Team All MASCAC goalkeeper as a sophomore and again as a junior with over a dozen MASCAC women’s soccer Players of the Week. In her senior year, she already has three shutouts under her belt.
To Wehner, it’s just another part of being a force on the field. A self-described “vocal-leader,” Wehner likes to lead by example by being upbeat and letting her team know she’s behind them 100 percent.
“What I do dictates everyone else on the field,” she said. “I’m the last line of defense, a support for the team.”
In her fourth season as the Women’s Soccer goalie, Wehner is a force and voice in the net. This winter, she’ll be going into her fourth season as one of the leading scorers on the Women’s Basketball team.
“I’m the big tree in the paint,” Wehner joked. “I try to make everyone better.”
Wehner hopes to use that effort to increase her contribution on the court. Not just point-wise, but overall.
“I want to be a play-maker this season,” she said. “I want to step on the court and make something happen.”
Just like her soccer career, Wehner came off the bench in an explosion of record-breaking performances.
Named to the second All MASCAC team her freshman year, Wehner’s level of play increased. Sophomore year, Wehner was the leading scorer in 15 out of the 28 games, as well as being named the MASCAC Tournament MVP.
Her junior year, Wehner joined a select group of women who have scored 1,000 career points as a Trailblazer.
To Wehner, that’s still not her biggest accomplishment on the court.
“My senior year of high school was really memorable,” Wehner said. “My team finished third in New York and we won Sectionals for the first time in 25 years. It was something everyone on the team wanted and we played really well. I hated when the season ended.”
Approaching her senior season, Wehner is faced with that same problem now. Wehner balances soccer, basketball and keeping above a 3.0 GPA.
“It takes a lot of planning,” Wehner said. “Between classes and athletic training hours and practices, sacrifices have to be made. Sometimes I want to sit and rest but I can’t. I have to keep moving forward to succeed.”
Wehner plans on moving forward regardless, following similar paths of her role models.
“Both my coaches are my role models,” Wehner said. “They’ve both been through what I’m going through. Deb Raber was a goalie and Holly McGovern played for a rival Division III school. They know what it takes. I really look up to them.”
After college, she hopes to go to graduate school and get her master’s in athletic training. Following that, she hopes to get a job coaching in a high-level high school or a lower division college, heading up the Athletic Training Department as well.
Though that seems like a pressure-filled life, Wehner looks at her future the same way she handles the pressure of school and sports.
“You just have to laugh sometimes,” Wehner said.
A typical gameday begins with some kind of sandwich, usually chicken salad or a PBJ depending on where we’re playing. I’m usually really superstitious so I’ll wear the same stuff on gameday in class or to the game.
I have a special music mix that consists of a little bit of everything that I listen too. It usually is only like 8-10 songs that I listen to on repeat.
About an hour before warm-up I like to have a little snack of either some fruit, or a few chips or crackers or something like that. To get my mind in the game I like to have some alone time by myself to think about what I’m going to have to do for the game and think about who I’m up against and stuff like that.