HEIDELBERG, Germany — Heidelberg forward Rebeccah Drennan, arguably the most talented girls soccer player in DODDS-Europe, could be going places on the pitch.

“Several people have told us that she’s Division I [college] material,” Heidelberg coach Jim McCauley said.

“She has good speed and the ability to go with the ball at that speed, to make the cut with that speed. She needs more development — she’s just a sophomore — but if she continues to improve as she has in the last two years, we’ll hear about her again.”

Unfortunately for McCauley and Heidelberg, one of the places Drennan is going is Colorado. Drennan’s family has been reassigned to Fort Carson, so her days with the two-time defending Division I champion Lady Lions (6-0, 5-0 in Div. I) will end at next week’s European tournament in Kaiserslautern.

It’s a double blow for Heidelberg: Drennan’s talented older sister, Shannon, will be leaving, too.

Rebeccah, though, is upbeat about the move.

“I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “I think it’ll be fun.

“I’m going to start running as soon as I get there,” she said of the task of acclimatizing to the altitude in Colorado Springs. “I’m going to go to some mini-soccer camps, run by college coaches and hope to get into an [Olympic Development] program there.”

The nationwide Olympic Development Program grooms America’s most talented soccer prospects. ODP players attend camps at various locations in the United States, where college coaches teach and evaluate their charges.

“She went to a camp last year, and they put her in the top group,” McCauley said. “She was sent back down a day later, but she was only a freshman. She needs to keep playing year-round.”

Drennan does just that in Germany, playing for an adult women’s team in the Heidelberg suburb of Rohrbach.

“Here,” she said, indicating her home field at Patrick Henry Village, “I play forward. I don’t play defense. It’s not as intense as the German league. I play midfield for my German team and there’s a lot more running. The Germans play a zone defense, and because I play midfield, I have to go on defense, too.”

Drennan’s club experience was so beneficial to her that McCauley recommends she find a new club when she gets to Colorado.

“That’s where players develop,” he said, citing a new aspect of Drennan’s play this season. “This year, she’s become very patient when she runs in at the goalkeeper. Instead of just blasting away, she waits for the keeper to make a move, then dumps the ball into the net. ... She’s not intimidated by anybody and it makes her a well-rounded player.”

Drennan’s development has led to an average of better than two goals per game, compiled in contests where her scoring often has been curtailed by her own and her team’s superiority.

Last Saturday, Drennan scored two goals, giving her 13 in six games, and an assist in the first 50 minutes of Heidelberg’s 6-0 victory over Kaiserlautern. With Heidelberg up 4-0, McCauley brought his impenetrable back line to the front and sent his forwards to man the back for the rest of the game.

Such moves are terrific for team morale and great sportsmanship, but they tend to suppress the kind of numbers Drennan could amass.

“You’ve got to kind of temper things,” said McCauley, who won’t be challenged to do that with Drennan for much longer.

To his regret.

“She leaves some big cleats to fill,” he said.

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