Motivated Athletes Part Two: Morgan Morse
UMD Freshman plays for the love of hockey.
Morgan Morse has been on skates for 15 years.
“Grew up since i was three playing hockey,” said Morse.
She continued to play into high school where she became the Lakeville South all–time leading goal producer, while leading her team to a state appearance in 2015, and after that she continued giving to the sport.
“I gave back and coached some of the players in my home town and seeing them now be on the high school team and grow. Just building that relationship with people means the world to me,” said Morse.
Just like many Minnesota kids she dreamed of playing beyond high school.
“My family all plays hockey so I’ve never thought about not playing but i feel like now if i stopped i’d be kind of bored. kind of lost without it,” said Morse.
However, Morse didn’t see herself staying in state.
“I basically was looking all around. Out east was my big choice because i kind of wanted to get away from home,” said Morse.
Then UMD made a switch.
“When the new coaching staff came it kind of just clicked. They’re from out east so they kind of bring that east coast here,” said Morse.
The new staff headed by Maura Crowell wanted Morse even if they couldn’t offer her a scholarship.
“We want great teammates mostly, great teammates, great character people that can come here and enhance our program,” said Crowell.
But it would take some effort to get Morse there.
“It wasn’t like she just showed up on campus unannounced. A recruited walk on is a really special position that’s more than just showing up and making it through tryouts that means we’ve had conversations and we’ve seen her play and have a good understanding of what she can bring to the program,” said Crowell.
There would be no scholarship but the fit was perfect.
“The first time i stepped out on the ice i just knew it was the perfect place for me,” said Morse.
The moment players walk in the bulldog locker room. It doesn’t matter if you’re a blue chip recruit, a seasoned veteran, or a walk–on, everyone is equal.
“Everyone competes the same so it’s nice she rotates people in and gives everyone the same chance so it’s nice to see that she followed through with what she said,” said Morse.
There is no hierarchy in our locker room everyone is treated the same way. Playing time is dictated on your skill and your execution and your work ethic. From a walk–on to a full scholarship athlete, there’s no treatment that is different,” said Crowell.
The transition to the higher level was a hard one, not only on the ice but in school.
“I feel overwhelmed sometimes. Especially when i first came here, beginning of school you got so much homework and it was the change of it’s not a set schedule and you’re going from school to hockey and then homework,” said Morse.
She believes it’s worth the time and dedication to play for the storied UMD program though.
“This is one of the best programs in the country. UMD has won five national championships, they are one of two schools to have done that. Coming here and having the ability to wear the bulldog jersey is a very special opportunity and i think players like Morgan understand that and want to be a part of something great,” said Crowell.
However, Morse doesn’t only play for the pride and she doesn’t play for a scholarship.
“I’m just playing because i love hockey,” said Morse.