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For the Morgan girls' soccer team, 2013 was considered a successful season as the Huskies finished 6-9-1 and met their primary goal of making the Class S State Tournament. And this year, Morgan didn't wait until the very last game to qualify as it did a year ago, earning its berth with a 1-0 defeat of Hale Ray on Oct. 18.
The Huskies defeated Valley Regional, Westbrook, North Branford, Holy Cross, East Hampton, and Hale Ray before losing in the first round of the state tournament as the 20th seed to 13th-seeded East Hampton by the score of 2-1.
Leading Morgan this fall were captains Ciarra Vanderveen and Kelsey Donaldson. Vanderveen, a senior central defender, "brought power and strength to a young team," according to Coach Megan Kilbride, and Donaldson, a junior goalkeeper, "provided calm confidence that allowed us to keep games close this season." Donaldson was awarded team MVP and All-Shoreline Honorable Mention.
Other seniors included forward Liz Bradley, forward Sarah Cockley, forward Gabby Holveck, and defender Sarah Spotts.
Part of Morgan's success story this year was the ample amount of talented underclassmen the squad had, including that of Second Team All-Shoreline player and sophomore Josie Sullivan and Honorable Mention All-Shoreline player Nola Neri. This duo, along with many others, will contribute to the Huskies' future success.
"We are anticipating a breakout year for this team as we will be returning 10 out of 11 starters and have many other young players that will be expected to add to the productivity," said Kilbride. "I am proud of the way the girls battled several top teams, and am anticipating that we will be competitive in the next couple of years. We will have many players returning that have gained valuable varsity experience, combined with the maturity that upperclassmen bring to a team, which should bring our program to the next level."