Determination among skills as a scorer for Schulte of Oak Harbor

When Hannah Schulte of Oak Harbor was in first grade, she didn’t want to let it show.

As a junior, Schulte feared a knee injury would hold her back. She wanted to be the girl she always was.

She scored a career-high 36 goals as a senior. She continued her career at Division II Wheeling University in West Virginia.

“I was struggling with my confidence after my freshman year,” she said. “My father [Scott Schulte] told me to put a chip on my shoulder. Play as Schulte.”

Hannah Schulte of Oak Harbor celebrates a goal.

Schulte has fond memories of his playoff victory. Oak Harbor qualified for a district semi-final, a regional final, a district final and a regional semi-final.

“The balance between work and pleasure,” she said. “During training we knew when to do things or make a few jokes here and there. It helped in the long run, we were closer and it helped on the pitch.”

Schulte missed the trip to the district final after suffering a knee injury. The Rockets have won the Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Schulte Division Championships the past three years.

She scored two goals, before Haley Lenke netted the game winner in double overtime to advance to the regional Schulte’s second season. Schulte beat a defender and was able to touch the ball away from the goalkeeper after a scrum, before Remi Gregory collected the winner for the district as seniors.

Hannah Schulte of Oak Harbor

Schulte scored 104 goals in his career. She had 30 in her second year and 22 in her first year.

“When I came to first grade, I was afraid of seniors,” she said. “They were older and they were playing. It was easy after the first few weeks. It was a similar level of competition [to club]. I had to learn to stand up with taller girls.”

More than scoring goals to score goals, she wanted to inspire confidence in her teammates to join in the fun.

“Play like we knew how to play so everyone plays like we play,” she said. “I had to play calmly. In difficult situations, like Wauseon in the district final, it was tied 1-1 until 30 seconds. I always told myself to stay calm.

“I was never like, I need to score that much. It was, how can I help us win.”

Hannah Schulte of Oak Harbor

She looked up to Oak Harbor graduate Karis Dewalt and USA’s Alex Morgan on the court. His spirit and confidence comes from his father and older brother, Clay Schulte.

They showed him what it was like to play as Schulte. What he takes away from the field and the preparation of matches.

“Since I was young in the club, it’s kind of love/hate,” she said of Scott. “We’re so stubborn. We’ll discuss what needs to be done, but he knows what’s best. He was in the NFL Draft. Clay broke [football] recorded in high school and went to play in college.

“They know how to work hard. It rubbed off.”

Oak Harbor's Hannah Schulte is determined to get the first touch.

Schulte wasn’t sure what to expect when he visited Wheeling.

“The campus was pretty,” she said. “The atmosphere was cool. It felt like a place where I could see myself the next four years. Coach [Theo Egbele] is rebuilding and super excited to see how well he thinks next season will go.

“The girls he brought in and the girls coming back. I’m excited about the potential.”

She heads to Wheeling as an attacker. His game evolved in high school.

“That can always change,” she said. “I learned to be more versatile. Instead of just scoring the best, I came out to cross the ball. I played in defence. Moving as a player, not just staying in one place.”

She scored 16 goals before her injury as a junior. She promised herself, presumably with her father, that she would leave everything on the pitch when she returned.

First, she had to come back.

“Getting hurt isn’t the end of the world,” she said. “It’s going to suck. You’ll feel like nothing’s going right and you won’t be as strong. Coming back as a senior, I was bottled up all that emotion, you can always come back and fight for whatever you want. “

mhorn@gannett.com

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Twitter: @MatthewHornNH