Switzerland County senior Matty Anderson, the 2019 Madison Courier Girls Soccer Player of the Year. (Photo by Nina Campbell Photography)
Switzerland County senior Matty Anderson, the 2019 Madison Courier Girls Soccer Player of the Year. (Photo by Nina Campbell Photography)
Matty Anderson had played soccer nearly her entire life. For as long as she could remember, the Switzerland County senior had a ball on her foot, rain or shine, nearly 12 months a year.

So it wasn’t surprising that just before her junior season, Anderson decided to call it quits. After playing soccer for more than 10 years, she was ready for something else.

“The night before voluntaries started in June, she came up to me and said ‘Dad, I don’t want to play soccer,’ and I was OK with it,’’ said Tully Anderson, Switzerland County’s head girls soccer coach and Matty’s father. “She wanted to run cross country and she did very well. I think it gave her a little time to think and she missed her friends. She had played club since she was eight and she was just burned out.”

The year away did wonders for Matty. After earning all-Ohio River Valley Conference honors in cross country as a junior, she returned to soccer for her senior year and put on an offensive show, scoring 13 goals and dishing out six assists to lead the Pacers to the ORVC title and sectional runner-up finish. As a result, she was the easy choice as The Madison Courier’s Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

“I wasn’t enjoying the sport and it wasn’t putting me in a good place mentally, so I took a break and tried a new sport for a season,” Matty Anderson said. “A lot of the people on the team I’m friends with all season so they convinced me to come to a few practices over the summer and I just kept coming. I’m glad that I did.”

Matty’s influence on the Pacers this season was quickly noticeable. A defender during her first two seasons, Matty was moved up front by her father to take advantage of her tremendous athleticism and the move paid instant dividends.

Teaming with sophomore Raylinn Kappes, the Pacers had a dangerous 1-2 combination. Along with Matty’s 13 goals and six assists, Kappes had eight goals and eight assists of her own. Often, the two speedsters would work in tandem as they raced down the field, attacking opposing defenses.

“Her and Raylinn are best friends and one is just as fast as the other,” Tully Anderson said. “Raylinn was smart enough to get the ball to Matty and when teams started marking Matty, she’d do the same for Raylinn. We haven’t had that before, so it was a real nice advantage to know that we could dominate on either side of the field if need be.”

That combination allowed the Pacers to win nine games and reach the sectional championship where they lost 3-0 to 13th-ranked Oldenburg Academy. The Twisters reached the regional final before bowing out to Evansville Day.

“Considering that they were 13th in the state and we are a smaller school that doesn’t have many club players, I think we played pretty well,” Matty said of the sectional loss.

While Matty’s soccer career is over, she will begin track & field in the spring and then, on July 1, she will head into the Air Force where she plans to pursue cybersecurity training.

For Matty, the decision to enlist in the Air Force was a no-brainer. She comes from a long line of Air Force veterans, including her father.

“I knew it was a good field to get into and it was going to be needed in the future so I decided to get a head start into that field,” Matty said of cybersecurity.

Tully Anderson, who played soccer in the Air Force, not only supported his daughter’s decision, he knows that she will tackle the service with the same enthusiasm that she has brought to everything in her life.

“She is an honor student, carries a 4.0 and could have done anything she wanted, but she chose the Air Force and we’re awfully proud of her,” Tully said. “We know that whatever she does, just like always, she’s going to be successful at. She’s got a great head on her shoulders, she’s very grounded and she’ll make everybody from Switzerland County proud, no matter what she does.”