The high school soccer season is only three weeks from kicking off.
Here's an overview of three of Morgan County's girls' soccer squads, Martinsville, Mooresville and Monrovia, as well as season predictions, what to expect and key players.
2021 record: 8-9 (4-3, Mid-State).
Last outing: 2-0 loss to Bloomington North, sectional semi-final.
Martinsville's schedule this season isn't going to be easy. Similar to last year, the Artesians are set to play nonconference opponents such as regional champion Bloomington South, Bloomington North, Danville and Edgewood, a group the team went 1-4 against last season.
Starting the season against Mooresville, Bloomington North and Plainfield will be a test for this year's young Artesian squad. However, conference play could be lighter than usual due to many schools losing talent to graduation. The team will once again compete in the Hoosier Cup mid-season.
Key returning players
While losing star scorer Morgan Schrock to graduation hurts, the Artesians have been well prepped for her absence, given the senior had an unfortunate knee injury that ended her 2021 campaign early. Then freshman, now sophomore, Addy Berry stepped up in her place, scoring 12 goals and two assists, and is primed to lead Martinsville in scoring this season.
While the Artesians were fairly senior-laden in 2021, the team has a heap of promising talent ready to show out. Sophomore Olivia Phillips, who had four goals and three assists last year, is one. There are also players like senior Kate Collins and sophomore Cassy Berry, among other up-and-comers.
Going from a primarily senior-led team to one that's headlined by young talent will be an interesting change of pace for the Artesians, but something that should be welcome given the group has plenty of established experience. Moreover, they understand what it takes to win.
Martinsville had one of its best seasons in program history last year, and the core that remains was a major part of that. The schedule is challenging and adjusting to new roles might take some time, but overall, it's fair to expect the momentum the team built last year to translate to 2022.
Record prediction (non-tournament): 8-5 (5-2, MSC).
2021 record: 10-7-1 (5-1-1, Mid-State).
Last outing: 6-0 loss to Plainfield, sectional opener.
The Pioneers season will get off to a tough start, playing Martinsville, Terre Haute North, Tri-West and Plainfield within its first six games. The Patriots topped Mooresville last season, as did Plainfield, but Tri-West is a new addition, and the Bruins are coming off a stellar 15-4 campaign.
After competing in the Hoosier Cup, the Pioneers will battle mostly a conference-based schedule with nonconference opponents like Pike, Terre Haute South and Bloomington North mixed in. In all, the Pioneers will face strong competition to start, but things could get easier as the season progresses.
Key returning players
The key returnee is Camryn Horsley, the team's second leading scorer in 2021 and lead assist artist. With 18 goals and 20 assists, the senior proved to be important to the Pioneers successful season, she'll look to fulfill an even great role in 2022.
Other than Horsley, Mooresville was already a fairly young team last season, so much of the returning talent is already seasoned. A sophomore group of Kennedy Bohr, Delany Harris and Halle Brown will be interesting to watch grow, and seniors Lillian Hanson and Alyssa Kline could see roles increase.
There's no doubting life without the Pioneers' 2021 leading scorer, Chloe Finn, will take some time to get used to. The former Pioneer had a stellar career filled with 59 goals. But the team has the talent to be able to make up for her absence.
While Camryn Horsley wasn't always asked to be the number one person on attack, there's a chance she could have to do so this season. While that could be a lot to put on the shoulders of one person, Horsley's talent is too good not to be able to take on such a role, especially considering she's a senior.
Finding other players who can put the ball in the back of the net will be critical, and something that can assume will be solved. After all, Horsley did a lot of damage to opposing defenses by setting teammates up, so finding a running mate for her should be important. Other than that, the team should be in good shape for another winning season.
Record prediction (non-tournament): 7-6 (3-3, MSC).
2021 record: 7-7-1 (2-4, Indiana Crossroads).
Last outing: 4-3 loss to North Putnam, sectional opener.
Want a brutal way to start a season? Try visiting three consecutive opponents before being able to play on home turf. That's what the Monrovia Bulldogs will be doing. Starting the season, they'll be at Beech Grove, Owen Valley and Southmont, teams they went 2-0-1 against in 2021. Then the Bulldogs get relief in the form of three straight home games for capping off the regular season with six of eight games away from home.
That final stretch of eight games is when Monrovia's schedule hits its most difficult point. Among the opponents are Speedway, Cascade, Edgewood, North Putnam (the team that eliminated them from the tournament), Greencastle, Triton Central, Scecina and Martinsville. Enduring a similar stretch in 2021, the Bulldogs went 2-6. They'll hope to show improvements in 2022.
Key returning players
Monrovia's emerging star in Emery Newlin will be back for her sophomore campaign in 2022 after delivering a multitude of hat tricks in her first season of play. Newlin should be able to step right back into the lead scoring role this season.
Other talent around Newlin includes her sister, Avery, senior Whitney Willett, sophomore Sam Kluemper, Chelsea Wallace and Joslyn Young. While that's a wide group, they all helped Monrovia to its best record since 2016. It's a young group, but one with winning experience.
Considering the upwards direction head coach Betsy McCreary was able to get the team heading in during her first season coaching, the Bulldogs should be in good hands in 2022. The team lost one of its main contributors in Katie Clark but makes up for it elsewhere.
Givin the success Monrovia was able to find last season with its core, the team shouldn't have the same number of growing pains a young team normally would have. Getting past the tough schedule will pose its challenges, and the Bulldogs might take a few bumps along the way, but with talent like Newlin and the rest of the young core, the Bulldogs should be primed for another great season in 2022.
Record prediction (non-tournament): 7-7 (3-4, ICC).
Contact reporter Devin Voss at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @DevinVoss23.
This article originally appeared on The Reporter Times: Season predictions for Martinsville, Mooresville, Monrovia girls soccer