By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Neosho High School senior Paige O’Neill, whom soccer coach Steve Schnackenberg has penciled in to start for a fourth season, has signed a letter of intent with Missouri S&T of Rolla.
“Her strengths start with dedication and commitment,” Schnackenberg said of the midfielder on Tuesday.
“She’s spent a lot of time with a soccer ball.
“Paige is very coachable. She has good vision and a good understanding of the game,” Schnackenberg said. “She can play physical, too.
“She’s very unselfish. She needs to shoot the ball more,” Schnackenberg said.
“She always is trying to set up teammates.
“Paige is very intelligent,” Schnackenberg said. “She can handle the load in the classroom as well as on the soccer field.”
Paige, the daughter of Robbin and Mike O’Neill, plans to major in chemical engineering.
The Miners, coached by Joe McCauley, were 6-11 overall and 4-11 in the GLVC in 2012. They opened the season 4-1.
Schnackenberg said Neosho has dropped to Class 2 from Class 3 in a realignment by MSHSAA.
“We graduated three players. We expect to have a good corps of returnees (from a team that lost to Joplin in a Class 3 district final),” he said.
“We’re looking for our first district championship.
“This could be the year,” he said. “We’ll be facing different teams, such as Carl Junction, in the postseason.”
Schnackenberg, a graduate of Neosho (1988) and Missouri Southern, is in his seventh season as the girls head coach.
Neosho graduate Erica Morris was a freshman soccer player last fall at Hannibal-La Grange, Schnackenberg said.