Kentucky Wesleyan’s Natalie Hinchcliffe, senior from Owensboro, moves the ball up against Transylvania’s defense during game.

Jamie Duvall has been head coach for Kentucky Wesleyan College’s women’s soccer program for 11 years.

During that time Duvall has tried to grow the Panthers women’s program by emphasizing talent in this western Kentucky region.

“What I told them when I interviewed for this job was I’m going to get all the best kids from this region,” Duvall said. “If you draw a circle around this region, Bowling Green, Madisonville, Henderson, I’m going to go for those kids, I know they can play.”

The 3rd Region has been particularly well represented.

A group of sophomores from Daviess County High School have had success and included Elizabeth Collier, Ashlyn Payton, Bree Owen, Chloe Hinchcliffe, along with senior Natalie Hinchcliffe, a senior who went to Daviess County.

These KWC players also were from the 3rd Region, Shelby Taylor, a junior from Apollo. Alyssa Lawrence, a freshman from Apollo. Shelby Boone, a freshman from Apollo. Keeley Addington, a sophomore from Ohio County. Ivy Johnson, a junior from Ohio County. Meg Patton, a senior from Owensboro Catholic. Jasmine Logsdon, a senior who went to Owensboro.

Chloe Hinchcliffe had a big opening to her sophomore season, being named the G-MAC Offensive Player of the Week for the opening week of the 2021 in the first week in September.

Hinchcliffe scored the game winning goal in the Panthers’ first game of the year, a 1-0 victory over Southwest Baptist. Just a few days later, Hinchcliffe saw her sister, Natalie, score a first half goal against Georgetown and decided to go one better with two goals in the final 45 minutes of action to help secure the victory. Hinchcliffe also assisted on a Madisyn Hunt goal in the first half against Georgetown to bring her season point total to seven in just two games.

Hinchcliffe was also named the United Soccer Coaches Division II National Player of the Week.

“In high school she was so much more of a facilitator,” Duvall said. “What I asked her to do was put that to the side, and I’m gonna show what I’ve got. She’s a striker and outside midfield, she can play anywhere, she’s surrounded with talent.”

Hinchcliffe leads the G-MAC in points (14), goals (6), total shots (28). She has been among national leaders in several categories so far this season as well.

She’s adjusted well to the increased offensive load.

“You definitely have to become comfortable, you’re always getting chances,” Chloe said. “I was in the midfield last year, this year I moved forward. We’re working on midfield possession and moving it out wide, so it’s giving our forwards more chances. It’s been a team switch.”

Hunt is a senior teammate who has been a DII All-American at KWC, and leads the G-MAC in shots on goal (16 while Chloe Hinchcliffe is second (13).

Hunt has 25 points overall and four goals. She is from Jasper, Indiana.

While Chloe was tied for second nationally in goals scored, Hunt began working toward getting more goals herself. Duvall said she will likely hold the G-MAC scoring record when she leaves KWC.

Hunt has been known for her speed to get scoring chances.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself, that’s my job to score goals,” Hunt said. I’ve been more comfortable shooting wide the last couple of years, I know I’m man marked, I had to start learning how to shoot out wide.”

KWC started the season 3-1 but lost a couple of close matches to teams that are among the best in NCAA Division II soccer.

KWC lost 2-1 at Trevecca Nazarene on Thursday and followed that with a 3-2 loss at No. 23 Findlay in Ohio on Saturday.

“I thought this spring that this was easily the most talent we’ve had,” Duvall said of the COVID-19 spring season last year. “I have really high expectations, but those can be dashed on the rocks.”

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