‘Morgan’s Message’ kicks off girls soccer

Sue Ellen Demato, Staff Reporter

As the winter sports come to an end, girls soccer kicks into gear. 

With 16 returning players, varsity head coach Katie Monteroso has set goals for this upcoming season for her experienced team. 

“It’s almost as if it is going to be a ‘passing of the torch’ to the underclassmen,” Monterosso said. “The seniors will be looking to our underclassmen to start to step into leadership roles and mentor them as much as they can.”

According to some of the players, their greatest strength is their team dynamic. Senior forward Alex Tetteh believes this sets them apart from other teams.

“We all are good friends off the field which helps make our team dynamic better,” Tetteh said.  “We also have a level of comfort with each other where we can take criticism from one another and not let it interfere with the team dynamic.”

On and off the field the girls have their head in the game but a light-hearted attitude. 

“We love to joke around and have fun at practice, but we also know when it’s time to be serious,” Tetteh said. 

Personal goals have been set and are common amongst many of the players. Each player has developed the same drive for this team and how they succeed, along with their coach. 

“We have a really good team this year with high expectations,” senior midfielder Georgia Liapis said. “ I don’t want to jinx it, but hopefully win the state championship.”

The team is also hoping  to get a positive and meaningful message across to all its players by focusing on balancing physical and mental health.

“We are looking forward to putting in a full season of working with our Mental Health Program

called Morgan’s Message,” Monterosso said. “Senior Jessica Stewart is the ambassador for Morgan’s Message. I am excited to see her take on this leadership role and how she is going to implement this into our program’s identity.”

According to its website, Morgan’s Message’s mission is “to amplify stories, resources and expertise to strengthen student-athlete mental health, builds a community by and for athletes through peer-to-peer conversations and provides a platform for advocacy.”

Morgan was a former lacrosse player at Duke University who struggled  with an injury that sidelined her from her season. While fighting to be strong enough to return to her team, she also battled a sense of isolation.  Morgan ended her life on July 11, 2019. 

“Everyone thinks that high level athletes are strong and never feel pressure,” Monterosso said. “But in reality, student athletes feel just as much stress or even more than the average student. They feel they have a voice and want to make discussion about mental health just as important to talking about their physical health.”