USA TODAY High School Sports is launching a series called “60 for ’16” to highlight 60 members of the Class of 2016 who we will be watching in the coming 12 months. The athletes were selected by the USA TODAY HSS staff.
Name: Madison Morano
School: Eastern (Voorhees, N.J.)
Sport: Field hockey
What we’ve seen: Morano was named to the 2014 Harrow Sports/National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-American first team, one of four players from New Jersey to land a spot on the top team. She shared first-team honors with Eastern teammate Austyn Cuneo.
In November, Morano helped give national power Eastern its 16th consecutive Group 4A state title with a 7-0 win against Bridgewater-Raritan, its 10th consecutive victory against Bridgewater in the state final.
Morano chipped in with three assists and a goal in the final, and was named player of the game.
“Obviously, our goal all year was the Sweet 16 and we finally have it,” Morano told Gannett partner the Courier-Journal. “It is such a great feeling, not just for ourselves, but for the girls that played before us. It’s just great to keep it going. It’s just an awesome feeling. We want to keep it going for our program, for the players that played before us that worked so hard. It’s exciting.”
The victory extended Eastern’s winning streak to 25 on the season and 104 games overall. That streak reached 27 and 106, respectively, when the Vikings took down the Oak Knoll (Summit, N.J.) School, 3-2, in the Tournament of Champions.
Moran finished with 26 goals and 23 assists on the season and has 51 goals and 50 assists in her three-year career.
Why we’re watching: Morano was a member of the USA Field Hockey U19 Junior National team and participated last week in the U21 Junior National Camp in Pennsylvania despite her age. Her sister, Kasey, a rising sophomore at Penn State, also was selected for the U21 camp.
Come fall, Morano has one high school season left to polish her craft before joining Kasey with the Nittany Lions. PSU went 16-6, with a 5-3 Big Ten record last year, losing to eventual national runner-up Syracuse in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Morano should get a greater opportunity to showcase her offensive skills at Eastern now that the North Carolina-bound Cuneo, who set a national career record for goals scored, has graduated.
Morano also batted .365 and made the All-South Jersey softball team as an outfielder.