Milford (N.H.) senior forward Morgan Andrews was named the 2012-13 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year. She becomes just the ninth two-time national honoree in the award’s 28-year history, joining superstar athletes like LeBron James (2002-03), Candace Parker (2003-04) and the only three-time winner, Marion Jones (1991-93).
A three-time Gatorade State Player of the Year, the 5-foot-9 Andrews led the Spartans to a 16-3-1 record and the Division II state title this past season. She scored 31 goals and passed for 18 assists, notching both goals in Milford’s 2-1 win over Souhegan in the state final. Andrews served as captain of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Women’s National Team throughout 2012, leading Team USA to the CONCACAF title last spring and an unbeaten record in group play at the 2012 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan last fall. She has signed with the University of Notre Dame.
We sat down with Andrews to better understand how she once again outshined more than 370,000 girls high school soccer players nationwide to win the award.
Q: How seriously did you treat the possibility of winning this award again?
A: I didn’t think it was a realistic possibility. I’ve been following the Gatorade program all year and saw that Cristian Roldan from California won for boys soccer earlier this week. I so did not expect to win again, but I’m so happy I did.
Q: You’ve been through the High School Athlete of the Year ceremony in Los Angeles before. How cool is it going to be to do it again as a veteran?
A: Words can’t explain it. Now that I’m a veteran, maybe I can walk the other athletes through some of it. It’s nothing to be nervous about. You need to enjoy the opportunity. You need to soak up the moment.
Q: There have been Olympic gold medalists and world championship teams that have only walked the red carpet at the ESPYs one time. You’re about to walk for a second time at age 18. Thoughts?
A: I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity when I did it, but I guess I get a second chance. Amazing. I’m so excited to represent my team, my state and my high school.
Q: The FIFA World Cup is coming to North America in 2015 and you have a legitimate chance to play. Have you thought about that?
A: I think about it every day. It’s getting closer and closer and it’s on my mind. What’s even more incredible is that I may have a chance to play with people like (Team USA defender) Ali Krieger and (midfielder) Heather O’Reilly, both of whom have presented me with this award. The chance to make the World Cup team pushes me every day to be better and better.
Q: Speaking of those two national team fixtures, you’ve now brought both Krieger and O’Reilly to your hometown as award presenters. Are you thinking about starting your own National Women’s Soccer League team here in Milford?
A: I’d love to! Can you imagine all those world-class players running around on the Milford High football field?
Q: You’ve said your dream is to be an anchor on ESPN. What would your SportsCenter catch phrase be?
A: I’d probably just talk in a Boston accent the entire time. That’d be a good persona.
Q: There’s some recent history with Gatorade Player of the Year and the University of Notre Dame, including 2006-07 national winner Melissa Henderson, who won a Division I title there. How excited are you to go and why?
A: Notre Dame is a place that really represents where I come from as a person and what my family stands for. Its tradition is about caring for its students and I feel like all the athletic teams have the same stature on campus. I’m super excited.