Three Oxford soccer standouts sign to play at the collegiate level
● By Steven Hoffman
The Oxford girls' soccer program has come a long way in a short time.
Perhaps the best illustration of the progress that the program has made came on Feb. 10 when three senior players—Rachel Rogevich, Tayler Kidder, and Erin Oechsle—signed their letters of intent to play at the collegiate level.
Kevin Lentz, the head coach of the Oxford soccer team, said that the talented trio played significant roles in helping the soccer team turn around its fortunes. Before Lentz arrived as head coach five years ago, the girls' soccer program had suffered through several straight years of winless seasons. That all changed with the arrival of players like Rogevich, Oechsle, Cora Boughman, Mackenzie Ehrhart, Heather Burnett, and Rachel Andrews. Kidder came to the program two years ago as a transfer.
According to Lentz, before the arrival of the talented group of players, Oxford’s standout star was Rachel Boohar, who graduated from Oxford in 2014 and went on to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. While at Oxford, she was one of the top goalkeepers in the area, earning all-league honors.
Lentz and assistant coach Paul Oechsle had the challenge of assembling talent around Boohar, and developing the players into a cohesive unit.
“When we took over,” Lentz explained, “we had a tremendous goalkeeper, and that's what evverybody knew about Oxford. But these other players built us into a stronger unit.”
The soccer team has improved each season over the last five years, reaching a .500 winning percent two years ago when the squad posted an 8-8 record with two ties. This past season, Oxford was 9-8-1. The team was also able to reduce its goals-against total significantly from year to year.
“The defenders who started as freshman have really turned things around,” Lentz explained.
Oechsle played center-back and started for all four seasons at Oxford. She also earned all-league accolades for each of those four years.
“She's been a solid contributor for us for all four years,” Lentz explained. “She's really one of the major reasons that Oxford soccer has made a turnaround.”
Rogevich overcame an injury during her freshman year to have a stellar career at Oxford.
“Like Erin, she has been a solid contributor all four years,” Lentz explained.
Rogevich is a very versatile player, and she was effective as a striker, as a mid-fielder, and as a back. The versatility really helped Oxford at times.
“We can have strong players at certain positions, but gaps at other positions,” Lentz said, explaining that Rogevich was able to fill some of those gaps depending on Oxford's needs at the time.
Kidder transferred to Oxford in time for her junior season and she made an immediate impact, becoming one of the team's best offensive weapons.
“She was an instant impact player,” Lentz said. “In her first year, she tied for the team lead in goals and assists.”
In one game during her senior season, Kidder scored both of her team's goals in a 2-0 win over Octorara.
“She's great in the air,” Lentz explained, “which is something that the team lacked. She probably covered more ground than any other player—she would go box to box.”
This is the first time that the Oxford girls' soccer team has had three seniors go on to play at the collegiate level in one year.
“It wouldn't surprise me if all three are starters as freshman,” Lentz predicted. “They will all start or see significant playing time.”
Paul Oechsle said that he was proud of all the players who helped turn the girls' soccer program around. One of the players was his daughter, Erin.
“It's very exciting to watch them grow as players and as people,” Paul Oechsle said. “I'm very proud of all the players.”
Michael Price, the Oxford Area High School athletic director, was pleased that three players from one team were going to have the opportunity to play at the collegiate level.
“That really says something about what Kevin Lentz and Paul Oechsle have done for the program,” Price said. “It's nice to have three student-athletes who will have these opportunities. It's a testament to the work that they've done.”