Rattlers' fast start fuels optimism
JANESVILLE UW-Rock County co-ed soccer coach Grant McNall sees good things for the Rattlers.
McNall, with the help of six second-year players, thinks the Rattlers have the punch to improve on last season's 7-4 mark.
McNall opened the season banking on the Rattlers' scoring average to improve over last season. Through the first four games, the Rattlers have posted 23 goals.
"It's pretty nice," McNall said of the Rattlers' scoring en route to a 4-0 overall start. "If you look at it, not one player has dominated.''
Isaac Mendoza from Walworth Big Foot has tied the season scoring record with five goals and eight assists. Grant Jahns has six goals and four assists, and Jon Martinez has five goals and an assist.
The Rattlers' second-year players are Jahns and Jordan Stone from Janesville Parker, Joe Benson and Mike Arnold of Oakhill Christian, A.J. Weisensel from Milton and Martinez of Whitewater. Benson, Weisensel and Jahns are team captains.
Cinthia Tellez and Rachel O'Leary from Parker, Jasmin Bonilla from Janesville Craig and Brooke Courtney from Milton are the first women on the roster since 2004.
"What is nice is they can play," said McNall, who is in his eighth year as the Rock County coach. "Other teams, unfortunately, tend to look past a female player. These girls can play, and if other teams are not going to try and defend them, we have another weapon.''
McNall thinks the Rattlers are equal to the competition in the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference.
"UW-Washington is a good team, but we'll take our chances with them," McNall said. The Rattlers host UW-Washington at noon Saturday, Sept. 24.
This Saturday, the UW-Rock visits UW-Fox Valley, a team that has put the Rattlers out of the playoffs and the denied them the WCC championship through the last four seasons.
"We have 'Fox' circled on the schedule," McNall said.
UW-Rock County's remaining schedule:
SEPTEMBER: 17—At UW Fox Valley, 1 p.m. 19—UW-Fond du Lac, 4:30 p.m. 24—UW-Washington, noon. 29—At UW-Waukesha, 4:30 p.m.
OCTOBER: 1—At UW-Marathon, 1 p.m. 10—Silver Lake College, 4 p.m. 17—WCC playoffs. 19—WCC playoffs. 22—WCC championship.