Sammie McCoy, G-C forward
If replacing 10 seniors wasn’t difficult enough, the Cougars lost their top returning goal scorer from a year ago (Emily Koers, 11 goals) in the second game of the season. Enter McCoy, who has virtually come out of nowhere — she did score five goals last season — to lead Hancock County with 18 scores, twice as many as runner-ups Lauren Joray of New Palestine and Chelsea Thomas of Mt. Vernon. McCoy, a junior forward, has accounted half of her squad’s goals (18 of 36).
“I knew she would be an asset speed-wise, I didn’t know she had such a nose for the goal. But after the first couple of games, I figured out that she’s hungry to score,” said first-year G-C coach Amanda Eid. “She’s one of the hardest-working kids around, both athletically and academically. She took it personally when it Emily got hurt.”
Lauren Joray, NP midfielder
The 2011 victor of this award hasn’t put up the goal totals she did last season (19 in 2011, nine this season), but she co-leads the county in assists (nine) after finishing with seven helpers a year ago. The emergence of Alyssa Mouzin (eight goals), Madison Parish (six goals) and Kristin Wagner (five goals) has allowed for the senior midfielder to be more of a distributor than a producer.
“She understands her role,” NP coach Bobby Holden said. “She’s been focusing on playing positions that we need her to play as opposed to scoring goals, and it’s allowed other players to step up.”
Chelsea Thomas, MV forward
The junior forward has compiled her nine goals — the second-highest tally in the county — on the heels of four two-goal games, including one Wednesday night at Rushville. She’s also tied for first on Mt. Vernon with four helpers.
“Her work ethic is the biggest thing. One of the goals she scored against Rushville was a complete hustle play,” MV coach Casey Dodd said. “When the other girls see someone working that hard, it inspries them to work hard too.”
Alyssa Mouzin, NP midfielder
After registering two goals and two assists in limited playing time last season, Mouzin has nearly quadrupled her totals in both categories with eight goals and seven assists this season. The senior has been a steady force all year, and notched a hat trick recently against Franklin.
“She’s been one of the girls that’s stepped up for us,” Holden said.
Breaking Down the HHC Race
By virtue of its 3-0 win at Pendleton Heights Wednesday night, New Palestine clinched a share of its third straight Hoosier Heritage Conference crown. With a victory Monday at Shelbyville, the Dragons (6-0 HHC) will claim the outright title ahead of the Arabians (5-1 HHC) and increase their conference win streak to 24 in a row.
Sept. 24: Hamilton Southeastern at Greenfield-Central. An upset against 2A No. 2 HSE would do wonders for the young Cougars’ confidence.
Sept. 26: Guerin Catholic at New Palestine: With a victory against 2A No. 15 Guerin, the Dragons would likely enter the postseason with eight straight wins.
Sept. 27: Pendleton Heights at Mt. Vernon. A chance for the Marauders to gain momentum entering the sectional.
Where: Mt. Vernon
When: Semifinals: Oct. 4 at 5:30, 7:15 p.m.; Championship: Oct. 6 at 5 p.m.
What: Winner advances to Shelbyville regional to be played Oct. 10 (semifinals) and Oct. 13 (championship).