When she was younger, Lucy Cooper played soccer in a Seymour recreational league.
So when the girls program started at Trinity Lutheran High School, she said she wanted to join the team.
“My sister (Flossie) played travel soccer all her years, so we were a soccer family,” she said. “I picked it up as a sophomore without playing for quite a while. I had a lot of influence from my mom and my sister.
“I had known our coach previously, and I knew he was really putting his heart into it and trying to build this program, and so I unwillingly decided to give it a shot and came to a few practices,” she said. “I wasn’t on board at first, but soon enough, I was having a lot of fun, and I just really fell in love with the sport and the game of soccer. And with my sister playing soccer, it was a good thing for us to share. It’s definitely made a big difference in my high school years.”
She has spent a lot of time in the middle of the field playing for the Cougars.
“All three years, I’ve played mostly midfield,” she said. “I prefer to play wide, so right or left mid, but occasionally I do play in the center. My coach says there are not set plays in soccer. It’s a game of reaction. Being a midfielder is a little bit of both, taking it from the defender and then setting up a play for the offense to score.”
Cooper said she definitely likes the offensive side more than the defensive side.
“I did score as a sophomore, but I like to cross the ball into the 18 and allow the forwards to score most of the time,” she said. “I have a few assists this year, and last year, I definitely had quite a few.”
She is serving in her third season as a captain and tries to be a leader on the field.
“I definitely talk a lot on the field,” Cooper said. “I’m one of the few people you can hear all across the field, and I think that’s really important because without talking to your teammates, you can’t really help them out and let them know where to go or where to play the next ball, so I think that makes the team play better as a whole.
“Being a senior I try to lead by example, just to show them that no matter the game or what’s going on in practice, it’s important to be positive, and that’s something I’ve always focused on no matter how good we are or the circumstances. It’s just important to be positive and build each other up because we are a team.”
Cooper said teamwork is important.
“You can’t play soccer as just a defensive team or just an offensive team. You’ve really got to work together and play both sides,” she said. “I wouldn’t say scoring the first goal is the most important thing, but for our team, it’s important for us to score the first one since it’s a confidence booster. We definitely need that to play the rest of the game.
“We lack in our confidence sometimes, especially when we see the other team attacking the goal right away, so it’s good for us to have that advantage. Ideally, you want to play hard all the way through, but there are times when the last few minutes are more important, especially when we have the lead. That is when it really becomes a game of holding them where they are to keep the advantage.”
Practice also is key, she said.
“I would say practices are pretty important for our team,” Cooper said. “A lot of our practices are focused on fundamentals, not so much scrimmaging, and working on that to get better. We break it down and focus on the basic things that are going to help us improve.”
When it comes to games, Cooper said she prefers to play at home.
“I love the home matches just because of the obvious home-field advantage, but it’s just a lot more comfortable to be on our own field and have our fans here supporting us, especially seeing classmates and teachers here. That makes a big difference,” she said.
In order for the Cougars to have a winning record this fall, Cooper said they need to play as a unit.
“We have a strong offense and a strong defense, and sometimes, we just need to connect,” she said. “A lot of times, we just need to find our foot and put it in the goal, so hopefully, we can score some more.”
It’s all about having the right mentality, she said.
“I think mental is one of the most important parts, even if you’re not the one to score the goal,” Cooper said. “It’s definitely a rush, especially in soccer when there’s not many goals scored, when one of your teammates does score. It’s very exciting, and it’s one of those things you get to celebrate as a team.”
Cooper said she likes having the opportunity to play with her sister this season.
“My sister’s a defender, and she’s a center back,” Cooper said. “We’re normally a good ways away from each other, but we have our own little way of communicating, making it important to work together. It’s one of my favorite parts this year. I love seeing her play. I love being able to play with her.”
Cooper said she made a good decision to attend Trinity.
“It has been a fast four years, but it has been filled with all kinds of different things, and it really has strengthened me and my faith coming here,” she said. “It has made a huge difference in academics and my religion. All of the teachers and coaches have been more than great. It has been a lot of fun to go to school with my sister this year.”
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Name: Lucy Cooper
High school: Trinity Lutheran
Parents: Chad and Kimberly Cooper
Sports: Soccer, three years; cheerleading, three years
Athletic awards: Cougar Award twice and all-county team for soccer
Organizations: Student Ambassadors, Trinity events team
Plans after high school: Attend Purdue University and study psychology
Favorite food: Ice cream
Favorite TV show: “Friends”
Favorite musician: Tim McGraw
Favorite movie: “The Princess and the Frog”