BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Argos girls soccer team was once again the top team in our area this year. But it was not always easy.
Of the first six games they played, they won only one. There were also losses to Warsaw, Goshen and Bethany Christian later on.
Then came the IHSAA state tournament. They avenged a regular season loss to Trinity Greenlawn in the sectional quarterfinals, survived a double overtime nailbiter against Bremen in the semifinals and blanked LaVille for their fifth straight sectional title.
Then they avenged that regular season loss to Bethany Christian in the regional semifinals before falling to Andrean in the regional final.
The most consistent force in an up-and-down season was junior Lilly Hines, and for that, she is our RTC Player of the Year for the third straight year.
Hines scored a team-high 14 goals, but like all great players regardless of sport, she makes her teammates better with her own skills. It’s not about scoring goals for Hines; rather, it’s about winning.
And she has done a ton of winning in three years of high school soccer.
What follows is the rest of our All-RTC girls soccer team. We thank area coaches for sending us scores and stats and answering our questions and giving us insights as the season moved along, but this list is ours and ours alone, and we take full responsibility.
Lilly Hines (Argos) (Player of the Year) – Hines is adept with either foot and remains productive even when the opponent packs in its box defensively against the Lady Dragons. It takes a lot of patience to play this way, but Hines is always there.
Giselle Villegas (Culver) – Villegas had 29 goals and 18 assists for the Lady Cavs. She’s quick with a low center of gravity and seems comfortable with both her right and left foot.
Kaylee Hamilton (Culver) – Hamilton had 30 goals and 14 assists to form a deadly scoring duo with Villegas.
Emma Dunlap (Argos) – Her strength and ballhandling skill down the middle of the field was irreplaceable for Argos.
Macie Nelson (Rochester) – Nelson led Rochester with 14 goals and combined athleticism with finishing skills.
Bella Stults (Argos) – Stults had nine goals and was a strong presence around the net for the Lady Dragons.
Kendyll Bradley (Rochester) – Bradley’s constant energy did not change throughout her prep career, but she did become more of an offensive force and more of a vocal leader. This year, she had seven goals and four assists as well as her usual stellar defense from the midfield.
Jessica Brito (Tippecanoe Valley) – Valley made big strides in its second year as a varsity program, and Brito was one of the main reasons why with her five goals and seven assists.
Lauren McGlothin (Argos) – McGlothin was a huge factor in the Argos back line as a sweeper. Her speed kept opponents’ build up of play from ever starting.
Amy Williams (Rochester) – While Nelson was often busy running the right flank, Williams was running the left flank. She had a powerful leg and a team-high seven assists.
Aryanna Allen (Argos) – Allen had five goals and six assists from her forward spot. She was both relentless and clever on the run as well as being fundamentally sound.
Top: Kaylee Hamilton, Kendyll Bradley, Jessica Brito
Bottom: Macie Nelson, Argos Lady Dragons
Kadyn Baughman (Argos)
Kennedy Jackson (Culver)
Sydney Haughs (Rochester)
Baleigh Binkley (Argos)
Audrey Wagner (Rochester)
Samantha Redinger (Argos)
Aubrey Miller (Rochester)
Jetta Hughes (Tippecanoe Valley)
Micah Heckaman (Argos)
Maddy Hamilton (Culver)
Katie Schouten (Culver)