If there is such a thing as a point guard’s mentality in soccer, Taylor Neely possesses it.
Neely, a senior midfielder for the Greenwood girls team, was at her unselfish best again Thursday in the Woodmen’s 7-2 win at Greenwood Christian Academy.
With two assists and two goals of her own, Neely, a four-year starter, helped lead Greenwood to its ninth triumph in 10 matches. The Woodmen still haven’t sampled defeat this season, but were tied by Greenfield-Central 0-0 on Monday.
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“It’s slowing down the game and always looking for passing opportunities,” Neely said. “You don’t want to take the ball if you know that you don’t have the opportunity. You want the best play possible for the team.
“It’s fun to get goals, but it’s more fun to help the team. I want everybody to be able to get goals. I’m more interested in winning the game in general than how many I score.”
Neely now has 14 goals and a team-high 14 assists on the season.
Junior midfielder Kayla Rance produced goals Nos. 20 and 21 of the season in the first half as Greenwood surged to a commanding 5-0 advantage at intermission. Both of Neely’s goals were in the first half.
The Woodmen would eventually build a 7-0 cushion with two goals from sophomore forward Veda Craig and junior Sydney Neely’s shot into the high part of the net over the outstretched hands of Cougars goalkeeper Grace Apgar.
Greenwood Christian averted the shutout in the second half with goals from freshmen Paulyna Gorgievski and Camron Northern.
Second-year Woodmen coach Joe Mushrush with two difficult Mid-State Conference home games coming up — Plainfield on Monday and Franklin Community on Wednesday — knows that how his senior field general plays goes a long way toward determining the outcome.
“Taylor loves the game, so she studies it. Her IQ on the field is the highest on the team,” Mushrush said. “We elected her as the team captain at the beginning of the year because she’s so respected by her teammates.
“She’s got such a competitive edge to her, but she’s a good teammate and a good leader, as well.”