May 22, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second consecutive year, Notre Dame incoming freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, N.H./Milford) has been selected as the Gatorade National High School Girls Soccer Player of the Year, it was announced Wednesday by Gatorade and USA Today High School Sports.
Andrews is the first soccer player of either gender, as well as the ninth student-athlete in any sport, to be chosen as a two-time recipient of the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year during the award’s 28-year history. The only other student-athletes to earn the honor in their sport twice in their prep careers have been: LeBron James (boys basketball – 2002-03), Candace Parker (girls basketball – 2003-04), Marion Jones (track & field – 1991-93), Greg Oden (boys basketball – 2005-06), Brandon Knight (boys basketball – 2009-10), Kenzie Fowler (softball – 2008-09), Cynthia Barboza (volleyball – 2004-05) and Lukas Verzbicas (boys cross country – 2010-11).
In addition, Andrews is the first incoming Notre Dame student-athlete to receive two Gatorade National High School Player of the Year honors, and eighth to garner the award once (second female soccer player). The other future Fighting Irish student-athlete who were Gatorade national selections during their prep tenures were: Ron Powlus (football – 1993), Denise Boylan (volleyball – 1997), Greg Dalby (boys soccer – 2003), Melissa Henderson (girls soccer – 2007), Skylar Diggins (girls basketball – 2009), Dillon Powers (boys soccer – 2009) and Molly Seidel (girls cross country – 2012).
The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. As was the case last year, Andrews now is a finalist for the Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, which will be presented July 17 at the ESPY Awards from Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles (9 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPNHD). Diggins is the lone incoming Notre Dame student-athlete to earn the Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year trophy, doing so in 2009.
“I had no idea this was coming,” Andrews told USA Today High School Sports on Wednesday. “There are so many great players out there — some of them I’ve been teammates with — that I didn’t expect to win this again. I’m so grateful to so many people. I would never be in this position without each and every one of them.”
“I’m so proud of Morgan and all of the hard work she has put into developing her game,” Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. “It speaks volumes about the person and player that we are getting here at the University of Notre Dame. As you can see, the list of two-time recipients of this award is quite impressive, and to join that elite group is a tremendous honor. I can’t wait to start coaching her during preseason training this August, and look forward to four fantastic years with the Irish!”
Andrews is the nation’s No. 1-ranked high school player in the Class of 2013 and was a three-time Gatorade New Hampshire High School Player of the Year, as well as the 2012 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) High School Player of the Year. What’s more, she was a three-time NSCAA Youth All-America selection and a two-time NSCAA High School All-America choice after piling up 114 goals and 53 assists (both school and conference records) during her four-year career at Milford High School.
When she was chosen for her first Gatorade High School Player of the Year award in 2012, she became one of only 20 student-athletes to be chosen for the honor in her sport as a non-senior, joining an elite club that counts Henderson among its distinguished alumni. She also is the only prep athlete in any sport from the state of New Hampshire to earn Gatorade national honors.
Andrews has been a regular member of the U.S. Soccer youth national team program for the past five years, having recently been invited to the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team camp, in addition to her role as a mainstay on the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team (for which she has been a teammate with current Fighting Irish sophomores Katie Naughton and Cari Roccaro).
Andrews moved up to the U-20 and U-23 player pools after serving as captain of the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team during the 2011 and 2012 cycles and leading the Americans to the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Guatemala, as well as a spot in the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan (the United States tied for first in its group but was eliminated on goal differential). During that two-year period with the U-17s, Andrews started 19 times (15 in international play), collecting two goals and two assists.
“I can talk to you about Morgan Andrews all day,” former U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team coach Albertin Montoya told USA Today High School Sports. “I think the world of this kid. She’s an incredible leader. She’s humble, driven, she’s a captain. She’s separate from the pack. On the field, she’s as good as it gets. Technique, vision, she’s special. Her understanding, her capability to control the game. Special. She’s driven to be the best. Andrews is the most complete player I’ve encountered at her age.”
In addition to her achievements on the soccer pitch, Andrews was a standout placekicker for the Milford High School football team, earning Division II all-state honors in 2011, and she has maintained a 3.16 GPA in the classroom.
She also has been a significant contributor in her community, founding and directing the Kicks for Cans charitable initiative, helping to train area youth soccer players at clinics where attendees bring canned goods for area food banks as the admission fee. Andrews also has served as a community-outreach volunteer for Share Barn, providing clothing and moral support to area needy.
Furthermore, Andrews donates her time as a coach for the Nashua World Cup Soccer Club and the Inti Soccer Academy for disadvantaged youth. Last winter, she spearheaded collaboration with American Red Cross on a “Holiday Cards for Heroes” campaign, coordinating mailing of more than 1,700 encouraging holiday messages to troops deployed overseas.
Andrews and her Notre Dame teammates will kick off the 2013 season at 1 p.m. (ET) Aug. 14 with an exhibition match against Xavier at the Notre Dame Practice Field (east of Eck Baseball Stadium). The Fighting Irish open the regular season at 5:30 p.m. (ET) Aug. 23, playing host to Illinois at Alumni Stadium.
Ticket packages for the 2013 Notre Dame women’s soccer season may be purchased through the University’s Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office by calling (574) 631-7356 or visiting the ticket windows at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET). Tickets also can be ordered on-line 24 hours a day with a major credit card through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets. Groups wishing to attend Fighting Irish soccer matches also can receive a discounted ticket rate — contact Rita Baxter in the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office to learn more.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccer or @NDsoccernews), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
— ND —