Statistical data can’t possibly reveal every contribution Kelli Hippenmeyer makes to the Center Grove girls soccer team.
One of three Trojans captains, the senior midfielder’s words and actions are every bit as valued as her goals and assists.
“I would say Kelli is a strong leader,” Trojans coach Mike Bishop said. “She always had that quality since I’ve known her, but she really gets the team communicating as much as they can. She’s strong in the locker room, and is a good presence to have.”
Hippenmeyer leads her team in goals with eight and also has four assists entering the Trojans’ MIC showdown at Carmel on Wednesday. She shares captain duties with senior midfielder Emily Jansen and sophomore goalkeeper Ella Thompson.
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All three have their own methods of making the overall product better, leading by both example and the manner in which they communicate with teammates.
A two-year varsity starter, Hippenmeyer scored at least one goal in six of Center Grove’s first 10 matches. She tallied two in both her team’s 7-0 victory over Warren Central and its 5-0 shutout of Ben Davis.
“I think we’ve had a pretty successful season starting out, and now we’re starting to play more of the tougher teams,” Hippenmeyer said. “I feel like I’ve been a good team leader, and have been pretty successful statistically.
“On the field, as soon as I see something I’ll try to say something to someone. Or be the first to say something at practice. I think everyone has their own sense of leadership, especially the seniors. I would say we all have a leadership role.”
Bishop paid close attention to his captains’ actions during the waning moments of last Wednesday’s 5-1 loss at Brebeuf Jesuit, the No. 4 team in Class 2A.
“I love the adversity of it,” he said. “It shows you what your captains are all about when things aren’t going well. Kelli was frustrated, as we all were, but she held her composure well.
“She competes and will always take what the other team gives her and give it right back. Kelli hustles in all phases of the game. You never have to look at her and say, ‘Well, she’s not playing hard.’ ”
Name: Kelli Hippenmeyer
Family: Parents, Andy and Jill; sisters, Lauren and Rachel; brothers, Mitch and Jaden
Favorite TV show: “Criminal Minds”
Favorite food: (Warm) cookies
Favorite movies: “World War Z” and “The Lorax”
Favorite athlete: Sydney Leroux
Favorite team: United States women’s soccer team