By Blake Morgan
Oxford forward Morgan O’Connor was a force as an eighth grader last season for the Lady Chargers, but she knew there were facets of her game she needed to improve.
An improved all-around game – and a school-record 55 goals and 18 assists – led to her being named the Daily Journal’s 2017 Player of the Year in soccer.
O’Connor broke her own record of 27 goals, set last season on the way to the program’s first state championship.
“I had much more of a voice throughout the season this year,” O’Connor said.
She didn’t just play like a leader, she acted like it, too.
“She was more mature this season,” Oxford coach Hunter Crane said. “She was more comfortable being the leader of the team.”
No days off
The leading role fit O’Connor well leading the team in goals and fourth in assists while drawing the majority of attention from opposing teams all season.
“She knows everyone is keying on her,” Crane said. “She does a great job of getting everyone involved.
“Mo doesn’t take days off and doesn’t care who care who scores as long as we get the win, she always gives 100 percent.”
Her determination had its effects in the win column for Oxford. The Lady Chargers had a perfect 20-0 season ending with a successful title defense.
Oxford defeated West Harrison 3-0 in the Class 5A champion-ship game in Madison and O’Connor was the one to break the game open.
She scored in the first five minutes of play to calm the nerves of Oxford, something the freshman has made a habit of already in her short stint for the Lady Chargers.
“I don’t think about my age on the team,” she said. “I focus on keeping everyone’s head up.”
O’Connor is already drawing the attention from local colleges, but they’ll be stuck watching what she’ll do next for the next three seasons.