One of the Best: Mt. Vernon’s Swingle named Daily Reporter Girls Soccer Athlete of the Year

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Mt. Vernon’s Maddie Swingle drives past New Palestine’s McKenzie Davis on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. Swingle has been named the 2021-22 Daily Reporter Girls Soccer Athlete of the Year. (file photo)

FORTVILLE — Regardless where life takes Madison Swingle, Mt. Vernon High School will always be home.

And if by chance the Marauder senior ever forgets her roots, which isn’t likely, she can always stroll the high school gymnasium’s front-entrance, championship foyer where she’ll find several reminders.

A sectional champion as a girls basketball player and tennis competitor in her career — with three team titles netted in 2020-21 alone — Swingle wears black, gold and white proudly.

No more so than on the soccer field where the four-time All-Hoosier Heritage Conference honoree and 2020 sectional champion made an impact from her first day until her last.

“Mt. Vernon soccer is something I’ll always carry with me. I put so much into this school. It’s really not about the wins and the losses. It’s been about building a relationship with the town and the girls. When you have people coming up to you after games that you don’t even know telling you, ‘Hey, good game.’ That’s something I’ll remember forever,” Swingle said.

“You don’t get that when you go to college or when you’re an adult. You don’t have strangers coming up to you saying, ‘Great work.’ That’s the type of thing, small-town Mt. Vernon is all about, showing how much they appreciate you. I’ll always remember that support.”

The Marauders won’t soon forget Swingle either.

Recognized by the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association this season as an all-state honorable mention, Swingle was a unanimous selection for 2021-22 Daily Reporter Girls Soccer Athlete of the Year, as voted upon by Hancock County’s coaches.

In her career, Swingle helped the Marauders seize three HHC girls soccer team titles in the past four years, including this season at a perfect 7-0 in league play, and she concluded her journey with a season-best nine goals and three assists.

At 5-foot-9, Swingle primarily played back for Mt. Vernon where she could utilize her defensive focus, but in actuality, the Marauders captain was an ideal fit anywhere on the pitch.

“Any time we made the change to push her up the field a little bit because we needed more possession or we needed that connection more in the midfield, she could give us that. Any time she was in the midfield, it was pretty cool to see how she could shift her mindset in a different position with different demands and meet all of those demands perfectly,” Mt. Vernon girls soccer coach Aaron Britt said. “She would just go to a different spot, do different things and at a high level. You put her in a different spot, and she takes it over. There aren’t many players that can do that at different levels on the field.”

Swingle honed her skills with FC Pride, while she also competed as a multi-sport athlete at Mt. Vernon, which broke up the monotony, but soccer is her true love. A soccer competitor since elementary school, Swingle will continue her career at the University of Cincinnati this fall.

“I’m super excited. I’m so ready to be at a level where it’s not just extracurricular. It’s your life. If I could play soccer all day, every day, I would be doing it. I’m just ready to see how far I can push myself in that area physically and mentally,” Swingle said.

If her past prep seasons are any indication of her future, then Swingle’s potential is limitless.

With 23 goals in four seasons and seven assists, Swingle’s primary contributions often went unnoticed in the final box scores, but they rippled up to the top with the Marauders finishing 11-4-1 this past season.

In 2020-21, Swingle and the Marauders went 16-3 and reached the regional finals before falling in overtime against Guerin Catholic. The year prior, Mt. Vernon was 13-6 and reached the sectional finals.

In all four of her varsity season’s the Marauders advanced to the sectional finals, winning in 2020, marking the program’s first title since 2015 and third overall.

Swingle and her teammates were aiming for a repeat this fall, but East Central unfortunately scored some revenge after falling to the Marauders during the 2020 sectional semifinals, 3-0. East Central won this season’s sectional championship game at Greenfield-Central High School, 2-0.

“Even though we lost in the tournament, that was my most fun season just because I felt like the group of girls we had, they wanted to get better in soccer and as people,” Swingle said. “They wanted to be led and they wanted to be their best.”

Among those striving to carry on the Marauders’ tradition stride-for-stride with Swingle were her close friends and fellow senior NCAA Division-I recruits Lily Wilson (Bellarmine) and Shay Shipley (Northern Kentucky).

With the trio leading the program, the Marauders logged seven shutouts, scored 63 goals and allowed a mere 13.

“We’re three very defensive-minded people, so it made it much easier defensively and the offense just sort of fell into place because we didn’t have to worry about the defensive side,” Swingle said. “And, it just made it fun. We’d been playing together since elementary school, so it was fun to end with them and to be leaders for the younger girls. I think it was fifth grade when we started playing travel soccer together.”

At the next level, Swingle will venture across the state line where she definitely will fit the mold.

“To have her back there running things is a plus for anybody. As far as physical attributes, she has what you want for my center-back. She’s tall, strong and she’s coordinated and has tremendous athletic ability. Plus, she is super intelligent. She sees things. She knows where people need to be and she’s very vocal. She’s very uplifting and supportive of her teammates,” Britt said. “She’s everything you want in that position. Obviously, being one of our captains, she made sure people were accountable and making sure we didn’t too high or too down. Those will be huge shoes to fill from a captain standpoint.”

2021-22 Daily Reporter All-County Girls Soccer Team

Madison Swingle, Sr., Mt. Vernon

Shay Shipley, Sr., Mt. Vernon

Mattie Isger, So., Mt. Vernon

Anna Luker, Jr., New Palestine

Tylar Whitaker, Fr., New Palestine

Kylie Brandes, Fr., Mt. Vernon

Jessica Merritt, So., Greenfield-Central

Lily Wilson, Sr., Mt. Vernon

Ellie Gawrys, So., Mt. Vernon

Sarah Contrarez, Jr., Greenfield-Central

Courtney Vaughn, Jr., Greenfield-Central

Allie Blum, So., New Palestine

Honorable Mentions: New Palestine — McKenzie Davis, Sydney Miller, Bethany Aldridge, Maddy Potter, Vivian Miller, Abby Lambdin; Mt. Vernon — Riley Britt, Reagan Britt, Lily Muhlenkamp, Bri Hale; Greenfield-Central — Kayln Moss, Cora Bishop, Gladys Rodriguez.

2021-22 High School Girls Soccer Statistical Leaders

Goals

(Min. 2 goals)

Name, School;Games;Goals

McKenzie Davis, NP;15;14

Shay Shipley, MV;16;12

Mattie Isger, MV;15;9

Madison Swingle, MV;16;9

Anna Luker, NP;14;8

Tylar Whitaker, NP;15;8

Kylie Brandes, MV;16;7

Bethany Aldridge, NP;14;7

Lily Wilson, MV;15;7

Allie Blum, NP;11;7

Sarah Contreraz, G-C;16;6

Mariam Konate, MV;16;5

Addy Wong, MV;11;4

Courtney Vaughn, G-C;16;4

Alyssa Deckard, G-C;16;4

Sydney Miller, NP;13;3

Gladys Rodriguez, G-C;16;3

Hannah Monroe, MV;12;3

Cora Bishop, G-C;16;3

Nevaeh Gebhart, NP;12;3

Lily Muhlenkamp, MV;16;2

Callie Means, G-C;16;2

Rylee Hurst, NP;9;2

Maddy Potter, NP;14;2

Assists

(Min. 2 assists)

Name, School;Games;Assists

Kylie Brandes, MV;16;9

Anna Luker, NP;14;8

Shay Shipley, MV;16;8

Tylar Whitaker, NP;15;6

Mattie Isger, MV;15;6

McKenzie Davis, NP;15;6

Bethany Aldridge, NP;14;4

Cora Bishop, G-C;16;4

Sydney Miller, NP;13;4

Lily Muhlenkamp, MV;16;3

Vivian Miller, NP;15;3

Sarah Contrerez, G-C;16;3

Madison Swingle, MV;16;3

Mia Knoop, NP;10;2

Courtney Vaughn, G-C;16;2

Addison Lockwood, MV;16;2

Nevaeh Gebhart, NP;12;2

Goaltending

Name, School;Games;Mins.;SV;W-L;SO

Jessica Merritt, G-C;16;NA;152;NA;NA

Grace Hasenkamp, NP;15;515;70;4-2;2

Riley Britt, MV;10;675;30;8-1;6

Reagan Britt, MV;14;280;21;2-3;1

Jaeda Jeffries, NP;3;55;8;0-1;0

Shay Shipley, MV;16;20;1;0-0;0

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