GREENFIELD — Physicality and Hancock County varsity soccer go hand in hand. Monday proved much of the same in the first county matchup of the season between Mt. Vernon and Greenfield-Central.
However, the Marauders’ offense was simply too much to overcome.
Averaging 11 goals per contest entering the game, Mt. Vernon dominated possession in the first half and added just enough offense in the second to seal the win against the Cougars on Monday evening.
Junior Morgan Scruggs added the only goal (33:17) of the first half for either team as the Marauders led 1-0 at the break. Classmate Nicole Ratts also added a goal for Mt. Vernon, which is now 3-0 this season. Her shot sailed in early during the second half to keep Greenfield-Central at a distance.
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“We really controlled the game,” Marauders coach Steve Williams said. “Kudos to Greenfield-Central; their man-on-man marking was really good.
“I thought our defense was lock down. Our midfield owned the game and our defense was solid behind them. Greenfield came to play and worked hard.”
Ratts, junior Alaina Nelson and sophomore Lexi Hardie each added assists in the win.
Last season, Mt. Vernon (3-0, 1-0 Hoosier Heritage Conference) beat Greenfield-Central 6-3 at home. Sophomore Cleo Mills and Ratts each scored two goals while Ratts also added two assists.
Scruggs found the net again in the second half with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. Off a corner kick from the left side, Scruggs received the ball in front of the goal and used one volley before pounding it past Greenfield-Central (0-2, 0-1 HHC) junior goalkeeper Kayla Enochs.
Mt. Vernon finished with 19 shots on goal while the Cougars managed three. The Marauders also tallied five corner kicks.
“Their front is where their power is,” Greenfield-Central coach Erin Clark said. “We tried to put our strength in the back. We moved some players around, and we lost Katie Helgason the first game of the season with an ACL tear. It also forced us to move some people around.
“Defensively, I couldn’t have asked for a better game from my girls. We just didn’t have any connection from our midfield to our forwards.”
Scruggs, who led Mt. Vernon in scoring last season with 20 goals, scored her first goal of the game eight minutes into the contest after breaking free up the middle of the field. Eventually moving towards the right side of the net, Scruggs flicked the ball with her right foot to the left side of the goal for a 1-0 lead.
Scruggs now has six goals this season to lead her team.
In the second half, Ratts cruised along the left side of the field and found the goal with 32:38 remaining in the game to give Mt. Vernon a 2-0 advantage.
“We have enough offensive weapons,” Williams said. “Someone is going to get through. Not all the time, but Morgan was the benefit tonight of Cleo Mills (five goals this season) being smothered.”
Mt. Vernon opened its season with a 14-1 win against Mississinewa and an 8-1 victory against Franklin Community. Greenfield-Central lost its first contest to Franklin Central, 4-1.
Both teams remain in HHC play this week. On Thursday, the Cougars travel to Yorktown while the Marauders will journey to New Castle.
Mt. Vernon 3, Greenfield-Central 0
MV – Morgan Scruggs two goals, Nicole Ratts one goal and assist, Alaina Nelson assist, Lexi Hardie assist