By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
The fact the Morgan Green didn’t see it coming, perhaps shows why she was so deserving.
The senior co-captain of the Snohomish girls soccer team is The Herald’s 2012 Girls Soccer Player of the Year. When Panthers coach April VanAssche called to give Green the news, she was overcome with emotions.
“I was shocked,” Green said. “When April told me over the phone, I started crying because that’s an amazing honor. I feel very fortunate and blessed to have been voted for such a prestigious award.”
There are plenty of local players with more goals and more assists, more shutouts and more numbers. Green even trailed teammate Ellie Otteson for the Snohomish lead in goals 13 to 12.
If this award was based on the score sheet, Green wouldn’t have come out on top and she wouldn’t be close. The award might have gone to Archbishop Murphy’s Shelby Koch who netted 20 goals and 13 assists.
Koch, a senior co-captain for the Wildcats and led her team to an undefeated regular season might be an easy pick in any year when she wasn’t up against someone like Green for the honor.
“She wasn’t a standout on stats and that has to do with what kind of a player she is on the field,” VanAssche said of her four-year varsity starter. “Always putting her teammates first, worrying more about them than herself and she’s done that all four years. She’s such a humble person and a humble player. She’s very quick to give someone else credit and rarely gets that chance to receive the honors.”
Green helped take what likely would have been just an ordinary team that graduated nine seniors in 2011 with only two this year and lead them to the district championship game and the state tournament. She may not have won the award based on stats — though she led the team in assists with 12 — but anyone who saw her play would agree that she was the area’s best.
“On the field if anybody watched, you’d see the kind of special player she is with her skills and her vision, but the things that we got to see everyday as coaches and her teammates is the leader that she is.”
Her leadership is compressed inside a smallish 5-foot-2 frame that is anything but intimidating physically. However, she is gigantic compared to the tiny 5-foot nothing freshman that made the varsity in 2009.
“I think people definitely were surprised when they saw me,” Green said of her first year at the school. “April told me I couldn’t play center mid(field) because I wasn’t big enough to bang with the older girls.”
Green is also the point guard and four-year member of the Panther basketball team. During her freshman hoops season, a referee asked her if she was a middle schooler. The jokes, slights and doubts never got to her and have partially made Green the player she is today.
“It just adds fuel to my fire,” Green said. “It makes it even more great when I accomplish my goals. It just makes me want to prove them wrong even more.”
As is often the case with the area player of the year, Green would love to continue soccer at the college level, but it appears that based on her academic goals and her top choice’s tepid interest that may not be likely.
“It amazes me still that she hasn’t been picked up by a college,” said VanAssche in her fifth year as a head coach and 14th overall at Snohomish. “I know she would love to play somewhere and I think that she deserves to. I’m hoping that some coach out there still has a spot and is willing to give her a chance because they would not regret it for sure.”
Green has narrowed her choices to Seattle Pacific, Gonzaga and University of Portland, electing to make a decision in the spring, but none have made any soccer offers or hinted that they would be forthcoming.
“The type of person she is, is to not stand on the rooftop and shout how good she is,” Van Assche said. “I know that if coaches could see what we see, that they would be itching to get her. I know that it just comes down to the fact that she’s one of the good girls with amazing talent that hasn’t been noticed yet.”
Perhaps this recognition from area coaches and staff will make schools take notice and Green will begin again at the next level, leading and making everyone around her better.