Mt. Vernon school buses are in for a busy Saturday.
If the soccer sectional draw plays out to the favorites, the MV boys team will compete for a championship Saturday at 2 p.m. at New Palestine and the Marauders will contend for a girls soccer title a few hours later at Greenfield-Central at 7 p.m.
The Marauders have never claimed dual soccer sectional titles in the same season. The MV girls won their lone championship in 1996 while the boys claimed the first of 10 sectional trophies in 1997.
But the Fortville squads coached by Aaron Britt (boys) and Casey Dodd (girls) went a combined 6-0 by a total score of 24-1 against sectional foes G-C, New Palestine and Shelbyville this season to put MV on the verge of program history.
With boys semifinals on Wednesday and the girls playing on Thursday, here’s how things shake out:
Why Mt. Vernon will win the sectional
BOYS: Britt’s team received a favorable sectional draw. The Marauders (11-3-3) will face Shelbyville (2-11-1) on Wednesday in the first semifinal in a rematch of MV’s 6-0 regular season win over the struggling Golden Bears.
New Palestine (9-7) and Greenfield-Central (9-7) are left to duke it out in the other semifinal.
Class 2A No. 18-ranked MV has to win only one tough game to snare its second straight sectional title, and it will be led by Mouhamed Konate — Hancock County’s all-time leading scorer — and a defense that is giving up only 1.2 goals per match.
This is a Mt. Vernon 11 with few weaknesses.
GIRLS: Olivia Coleman is Sectional 23’s premier goalkeeper, and she suits up for Mt. Vernon (12-4).
Not including a 9-0 blasting at the feet of 2A No. 4 Hamilton Southeastern, Coleman and her back line have allowed 10 goals in 15 matches. Besides HSE, the only club to get more than three scores past the 5-foot-8 long-limbed Coleman was Class A No. 2 Heritage Christian (a 4-1 MV loss).
The Marauders’ other two losses this season were to Warren Central (7-5-2) by a 1-0 count and Class A No. 7 Hamilton Heights (14-2), also 1-0.
Only elite teams have dented the MV defense this season, and at this point in the evolution of a young New Palestine program (7-7-2) and an injury-riddled G-C unit (6-10), Coleman and Co. are the dominant force of this sectional field.
And opposing squads have little room for error. MV’s Claudia Brown scored twice Saturday in a 2-1 win over Franklin to take over the county scoring lead with 13 goals.