U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan sells out Lyman
Jessica Guerrucci — Managing Editor
For the Owl’s women’s soccer team captain, Mikaela Magee, she said meeting two-time World Cup champion and cocaptain of the U.S National Team, Alex Morgan, was a surreal experience.
“She’s a huge inspiration,” said Magee, a graduate student.
“I mean her work ethic alone, her ability to score goals; I’m a midfielder, she’s a forward, but still, her leadership on the field is something that I aspire to.”
On Sept. 21, the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts was packed with soccer fans, both young and old, for the sold out show, “An Evening with World Cup Winner Alex Morgan.”
The soccer star spoke with soccer commentator, JP Dellacamera, about her life, her career, the obstacles she has faced and the lawsuit she is involved in surrounding the issue of gender equality and equal pay.
Before the main event began at 7 p.m., Morgan took the time to meet with Southern’s women’s soccer team and answered several of their questions and gave them some advice.
During that time, Magee said she learned about how Morgan prepares mentally before games by meditating and said she thinks it could be beneficial for Southern’s players as well.
“She likes to kind of keep it calm and everything,” said Magee, “and I think that’s something we try to do as a team and I think if people start implementing things like that individually it could even help us even more.”
Defender Paula Nunez Escobar, a graduate student, said that Morgan is an inspiration for her and her team and that she looks up to her.
After hearing her talk, she said she loves the fact
that she is pushing others for change in regards to the topic of equal pay.
“We need to keep fighting for that equal treatment,” said Escobar. “As women we need to advocate for ourselves and find people to advocate as well, and she’s a really good person in the right position to do so.”
Being a social justice university, President Joe
Bertolino said he thought Morgan’s message was in line with the university’s values and thought having her come to campus sends a positive message to the women in the community in terms of the value of women’s athletics.
“Her message also rolls into and connects with our social justice mission and our social justice message,” said Bertolino.
“So while the athletic component is impressive, that’s really a platform for her to be front and center to talk about the issues of equity, inclusion, pay equality, etcetera.”
In addition to Morgan meeting with the women’s soccer team, Bertolino said not only were students thrilled to meet her, but it was a great opportunity that several young women from the surrounding community got to meet her as well.
At the event, Dellacamera started with Morgan’s first memory of playing soccer and ended with looking to what is next for her in the 2020 Olympics.
Afterwards, questions were opened up to the audience, with one asking what advice she has for a young female soccer player.
“It really takes hard work,” said Morgan. “It takes self-belief, it takes support from your family, and your parents, and siblings, and that means way more than talent and or skill.”
Morgan, who said she did not start playing soccer until she was 14-years-old, also talked about the biggest lessons that she has learned from soccer.
As a co-captain, she said it taught her about knowing and understanding her role, feeling more confident in a leadership role, as well as knowing when to take a backseat and when to step up. “Soccer has definitely taught me to be more vocal, and [to] be able to listen and understand someone else’s point of view before wanting to speak up and talk about what you think and what your opinion is,”
“So, I think just having the patience and just being able to listen that’s important.”
Despite it being a packed year for Morgan, with the World Cup, her current knee injury that has her out for the rest of the season for Orlando Pride, and preparing for the 2020 Olympics, she has not let any obstacles get in her way.
“Not only am I living out my dream,” said Morgan “but I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”
Photo credit: Izzy Manzo