The senior forward broke the school record for goals scored in a single season with a game-winner on Senior Night Oct. 12. She also holds the Harriton girls’ soccer career goals record (47 as of Monday Oct. 16). A second team All-Central League selection the past two years, she also received second team All-Main Line honors last fall. As a sophomore, she scored a key goal in the Rams’ first district win. She has committed to Drexel University for soccer.
Q: What does it mean to you to hold the Harriton girls’ soccer single-season record for goals scored that was held by Samantha Bigham?
A: It means a lot to me that I now hold the record. Last year I was one goal away from tying it, which made me want to have a personal goal of beating the record this year. It also shows how much I have grown as a player, and to see every season a higher number of goals.
Q: Can you describe for us the play in which you scored the goal that broke the single-season scoring record – how did the play develop and what was your role in it?
A: For the whole game, up until over time I was thinking about beating the record during the Springfield game and my Senior Night, but once overtime started all I cared about was helping the team win in any way possible because I knew it was ideal to help us make it to playoffs. The goal was a corner kick played by Sophie Edelbult and I saw it coming in right to where I was and I just headed it in. After it happened I realized that it was the perfect ending to my Senior Night and it will be a game I never forget.
Q: Against Haverford, you scored twice in the last 3:21 to win the game. What (in your opinion) was the key to your late-game scoring spree? What is your most vivid memory of that game – can you share it with us?
A: Coming off a disappointing loss against Lower Merion the whole team was really eager to win and it was one of the best games we have played as a team. I know that I felt that we could win the game even after they scored within the last 30 seconds of the first half. During the whole second half, I just kept having good opportunity’s and coach [Jeffrey] Rhodes just kept yelling “it’s coming” and “you’ll get one” which helped me to realize that one of these times something had to go in. Once I scored the first one I knew there was no way I was going to let that game end in a tie and the second goal just came naturally. A vivid memory was when I scored that second goal and we realized how much time was left and knew that we were going to win a game that we were the underdogs in.
Q: You moved from midfielder to forward in your junior year. What do you think are the most important attributes for a forward to possess?
A: I think it’s definitely important to possess speed because that’s something that helps me a lot and that I use to my advantage. You also need to be able to anticipate and read what’s going on before it happens to know what sort of run to make, because with certain runs you dictate certain plays. It’s also important to be calm and think quickly when under pressure because there are times when it’s just you and the goalie, so you need to not get nervous so that you can actually focus on finishing the ball.
Q: As a sophomore, you scored a key goal in the Rams’ first district win. Can you share with us your memory of the play, how it developed and your role in it?
A: When I made the run to the ball as it was kicked from a free kick and I was completely alone and didn’t know where I was in front of the goal so when I headed it I thought I had missed the goal but then I turned around to see where it was going and realized it had gone in. I just remember the feeling of being a sophomore and being able to say that I had the game winning goal in a playoff game, which felt really cool.
Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What are you working on most at the present time?
A: I think the strongest part of my game is being able to step up when I need to and just taking a shot every chance I get. I’m always looking to score so anytime I see an opportunity I am going to take it. What I’m working on now is probably more technical-based and fitness-based, to be able to perform at high levels and get ready to play at the next level in college.
Q: What attracted you to Drexel? What other schools were in the running?
A: I didn’t really want to stay close to home but ended up looking at schools that were all really close to home. LaSalle and Seton Hall were too other schools that were also in the running. I really liked the co-op program that Drexel has and I liked the fact that it was in the city. I was also really liked the coaches and I watched how the team has grown and gotten a lot better through these 2 years I have been looking there.
Q: What do you think you might like to major in at Drexel? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: Physical therapy and athletic training are two things that interest me, because I have been injured and I know what it’s like to be in both of those places. I also thought it was interesting and learned a lot from being in both those places.
Q: You wear No. 10 for Harriton soccer. Was there a reason you chose this number – does it have any significance to you?
A: I choose No. 10 when I first started playing travel soccer for Lower Merion Soccer Club. When I first picked it I remember telling everyone it was my lucky number, but in reality I think I just picked it because it was a cool number and I have not worn a different number since.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: I’m not superstitious so I don’t do any one particular thing before every game, except jam to my game day playlist. Music is one thing that gets me in the zone to play and get hyped up to play in every way. I listen to the playlist on the way to the game and during our warm-up because it’s fun to dance to and gets me really pumped up.
Q: Who have been your biggest soccer mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you?
A: Some of my biggest soccer mentors have been my club coach Pete Gangl and the president of Lower Merion Soccer Club, Biff Sturla. Pete has taught me literally everything I know and has made me the leader and player than I am today. He has been my coach since I started playing travel soccer about 10 years ago. He knows exactly how to push me to become a better player and is always looking to do what is best for me and the team. Biff has never been my coach but he has always been very supportive and has taught me some very valuable lessons on and off the field and isn’t afraid to be honest with me. I can trust that he will always tell me his true opinion and I always know that he can put a smile on my face anytime I talk to him.
Q: Do you play any other sports at Harriton?
A: My club soccer team takes up pretty much most of my team for the rest of the year other than the fall season, but I’m planning on doing winter and spring track this year. I wanted to do track to help me get in shape during my club season and into the summer where I will need to get in the best shape for Drexel’s pre-season.
Fun facts – Morgan Rees
Favorite TV show: Criminal Minds.
Favorite movie: The Goonies.
Favorite athlete: Mallory Pugh.
Favorite pre-game pump-up songs: Wins & Losses by Meek Mill, War Ready by Vince Staples.
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles.
Favorite place to visit: “Any type of beach, when it’s warm.”
Favorite pre-game meal: “Pretty much any type of food.”
Favorite color: Blue.
Person I most admire, and why: “My friend Addie because after all she’s been through she still my best friend that I know and love and is still as strong as ever.”
Family members: parents Bill and Amy, brothers Connor (13) and Aaron (7).
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)