Green Bay East senior midfielder Chayce Cornette doesn’t remember the first time she saw teammate Morgan Nohr play in a soccer game.
What she does remember is how the junior forward was a bit better than everybody else.
“Her talent stood out among other girls in the program,” Cornette said. “Morgan clearly has solid ball control and the ability to see the field, but her speed with and without the ball is what really stood out to me. She has the whole package.”
Nohr has been difficult to stop since breaking into the lineup as a freshman.
She arrived at East as a fullback on defense but was moved to forward in order to give the Red Devils a scoring threat.
Although the responsibility of a fullback is to shut down attacks coming down the sides, the position also can be a key component of the offense on a certain side.
“Sometimes a very skilled fullback with good speed can also play up front,” East coach Mike Bootz said. “Likewise a strong forward who plays physical and aggressive can also move to the back line and be an effective defender.”
There never was a concern that Nohr wouldn’t take the position switch in stride. Those who know her, including Bootz, say she is too much a team player and far too unselfish to not go along with what is asked of her.
Besides, Nohr didn’t view the switch to be that daunting of a task.
“If you think about it, if I’m a defender going to a forward, I have an idea of what the defenders are thinking since I was a defender,” Nohr said. “I’m willing to play any position. I’ll try it.”
She started 18 games at the new spot during her freshman season. She scored four goals, including a game-winner against Wausau East in her first career game.
Nohr’s breakout came last year when she established herself as one of the top players in the area.
She scored 13 goals and had 30 points and was a first-team pick in the Fox River Classic Conference for an East team that finished in the middle of the pack in league play.
Nohr has surpassed that output this season, including a particularly dominating stretch toward the end of last month and into early May.
She scored the game-winning goal in a win over Wrightstown on April 27 and followed with two goals each against Pulaski and Ashwaubenon.
Her best day might have come during a doubleheader on May 4, when she recorded a hat trick in a win against Manitowoc Roncalli and finished her scoring binge with a goal against Lakeland later in the day.
She has a career-high 14 goals and five assists, and that’s with her missing her first career game Thursday against Sheboygan North with a minor injury that’s not expected to force her to miss much time.
Nohr has been a leader more by example than with her words in her young career, although she doesn’t need to be a vocal leader yet with the senior leadership on East.
Bootz points to players like Cornette and fellow seniors Alyson Reum and Alysha Kallas as the heart and souls of the team, and they are all players Nohr can look to for guidance.
Reum arguably has been the team’s MVP, and Kallas not only is set to break several of East’s goaltending records but also will play at the collegiate level next year when she attends Marian University, an NCAA Division III school.
Cornette doesn’t think Nohr will have any problems stepping up and being a vocal leader as a senior, and like Kallas, Nohr is a good bet to play at the collegiate level in a few years.
She is generating interest from several schools — Bootz has heard from three or four, and she is visiting Winona State next week — but the one that would interest her the most is the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Nohr will have an opportunity to impress UWGB coaches this summer after she recently was one of 18 players to be named to the Wisconsin State Soccer Olympic Development team.
She will train and play in front of regional and college coaches during the Region II tournament in July. It not only could lead to scholarship offers, but also perhaps a future spot on the United States Olympic team in the next decade.
Nohr’s coaches on the team just happen to be UWGB head coach Trevor Warren and assistant coach Niki Brooks.
“They know my playing style,” Nohr said. “And they know I want them to be interested in me.”
Nohr would be the latest Red Devil to play for UWGB, a list that includes Amanda Stinson and Kari Olsen, who many feel is the best player in East history.
Nohr hasn’t reached her full potential. Bootz thinks his forward can reach another level, and her teammates aren’t worried she is going to stop working to get better any time soon.
“In Morgan’s situation, it would be very easy to let her talent go to her head,” Cornette said. “She never demands the spotlight. She’s a very humble player. On and off the field, she never makes it all about her. She is always looking for the best options to help the team succeed.”