Mollie Rebuck keeps the goals coming for St. Maria Goretti girls soccer team

When Mollie Rebuck joined the St. Maria Goretti girls soccer team as a freshman in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, she was used to preventing goals, not producing them.

“When Mollie came in, she was a defender. She was not a striker at all,” said Gaels coach Terri Mutchler. “At the time we needed a striker, and she seemed to have the skill and ability, and she also had a beautiful kick from outside the 18-yard box. We put her up at striker and at first it was a hard adjustment for her.

“But over time and doing it more and more, she became more accustomed to taking charge of the ball on the front line, bringing it down and getting shots off. We practice quite a bit on her shooting from the high-angle boxes, right and left side, and she’s just mastered it.”

St. Maria Goretti senior Mollie Rebuck, a two-time Herald-Mail all-county girls soccer first-team honoree, has scored 16 goals in the Gaels’ first five games.

As a sophomore in 2021, Rebuck earned Herald-Mail all-county first-team honors after scoring 14 goals in 14 games.

As a junior in 2022, she doubled her output with 28 goals — breaking the Goretti single-season record of 23 set by Makayla Solomon in 2016 — and added 15 assists in 17 games, earning all-county first-team honors again and getting consideration for the player of the year award.

Through the first six games of Rebuck’s senior season, she has tallied 17 of the Gaels’ 24 goals.

“I want to exceed the amount of goals I scored last year and just keep progressing,” said Rebuck following a three-goal performance in Friday’s 6-2 victory over Saint James.

“She’s trying to improve herself every year and I’m pretty sure she can do it,” Mutchler said.

St. Maria Goretti senior Mollie Rebuck gets control of the ball in front of teammate Danielle Fish during Friday's game against Saint James at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown.

St. Maria Goretti senior Mollie Rebuck gets control of the ball in front of teammate Danielle Fish during Friday’s game against Saint James at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown.

Rebuck, who lives in Hedgesville, W.Va., began her soccer journey at age 3. “I think at maybe 5 or 6, I started rec league and I played on a boys team and then a girls team,” she said. “At 7, I started playing travel soccer … and when I was 10 or 11, I went to EPIC Soccer Club and I’ve been with them ever since. … I developed a lot in club thanks to coach Aric (Canonico).”

Rebuck also credited her participation in the Olympic Development Program for her improvement.

“Being able to do ODP and getting out of my comfort zone … and playing against girls who are better has helped me grow,” Rebuck said.

Against Saint James, Rebuck scored her first goal on a long-range free kick with her stronger right foot. She notched her second goal after a quick burst to get free. Later in the game, she executed a turn and struck a left-footed shot for her third goal.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized I need to be able to play with my left foot, so I’ve worked on it and it’s gotten better,” Rebuck said.

St. Maria Goretti's Mollie Rebuck, right, battles Saint James' Molly Pentony for possession during Friday's game at Fairgrounds Park.

St. Maria Goretti’s Mollie Rebuck, right, battles Saint James’ Molly Pentony for possession during Friday’s game at Fairgrounds Park.

Rebuck doesn’t have to do it all up front for the Gaels. Teammates Peyton Miller, Danielle Fish and Jayden Murray all earned all-county honors a year ago, Miller on the first team and Fish and Murray on the second team. Rebuck and Miller have played together for a decade.

“(Rebuck) and Peyton do an excellent job distributing the ball to each other as well as to everyone else,” Mutchler said. “Everybody has an opportunity to score or get shots in. … It’s a well-rounded team. Mollie has the higher stats, but if they double-team Mollie we have a lot of other players who can find the goal.”

In April, Rebuck verbally committed to continue her career at Division II Frostburg State.

“I’m looking forward to going out there,” she said. “The coach (Brian Parker) is really nice and I’m looking forward to continuing to grow as a player at the college level.”

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: Mollie Rebuck fills up the net as striker for St. Maria Goretti girls

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