Less than a month into his OUA career, Jacob Schroeter is the leading scorer for men’s soccer.
So far this season, the first-year striker has netted four goals in six games, casting him among the top 10 scorers in the OUA.
In his first OUA game with the Gaels, Schroeter tallied two goals against the perennially weak RMC Paladins. He recorded a pair of goals the following weekend, including a game-winner against the Laurentian Voyageurs.
A product of Ottawa Fury FC’s developmental program, Schroeter began training with the Gaels in August. He spent that month living with captain Chris Michael and veteran striker Eric Koskins.
“I got to see Queen’s from a fifth-year perspective,” Schroeter said. “I’ve transitioned pretty quickly and smoothly because of their advice.”
Their on-field success is also something Schroeter said he looks to emulate.
“I definitely look up to Michael,” he said. “He’s our captain, the guy who leads us out there.”
Schroeter and Koskins play the same position up front, but have markedly different styles.
“Eric is a lot stronger than me, he holds the ball well,” he said. “I can become a more well-rounded player by watching him play.
“You see what you can achieve in five years,” he added.
Schroeter has achieved a lot in the past five years. His efforts culminated this July, when he played with Ottawa’s professional North American Soccer League team in an exhibition match against Scottish side Rangers FC.
From there, he moved straight into preparations for this OUA season. Schroeter said that OUA competition is more physical than playing youth soccer for the Fury.
“It’s a different kind of physicality,” he said. “It’s a short season and everyone’s here to win.”
Schroeter recently hurt his quadriceps as a result of this rigorous play and has been practicing light this week. The setback has turned into an opportunity for head coach Christian Hoefler to instill his philosophy in the young striker.
“I want to keep fighting because coach always makes a point that we should love adversity and that overcoming adversity is the best accomplishment you can have,” Schroeter said.
Coaching Schroeter is nothing new to Hoefler, a former coach in the Fury’s academy system that has known Schroeter since the player was 12. He also coached a U-16 Fury developmental team Schroeter played for, progressing all the way to the Canadian championships.
If Schroeter can continue to put up points, he’ll be in contention for the OUA East’s Rookie of the Year award, a personal goal for the season.
Despite what he wants to accomplish individually, team goals come first, Schroeter said, particularly the squad’s post-season success. He said the team’s main goal is to make it to the CIS championships this year.
With his time at Queen’s just kicking off, Schroeter is trying to take his early successes in stride.
“It’s a four-year, five-year experience. Your time comes and you earn your stripes,” he said. “I haven’t earned my stripes yet.”
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