Morgan primed and ready to head back to the pitch

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OSU defender Charme Morgan prepares for a throw in during the Oklahoma State soccer team match against SMU at Neal Patterson Stadium on March 30, 2019.

Football is not the only thing returning this fall. 

The Oklahoma State soccer team will have a healthy roster ahead of its first preseason game against Tulsa on Friday. Last season, however, a flurry of unfortunate injuries hindered the Cowgirls towards the end of the season, The Cowgirls failed to make the postseason for the first time since 2005.

OSU coach Colin Carmichael said his team suffered through the worst injury bug he had ever seen as a coach. 

“The injuries we had last year were bizarre,” Carmichael said. “It was all individual injuries as opposed to overtraining. We have not changed a whole lot. I think our trainers and strength and conditioning coaches do a great job making sure our kids make the proper recovery. We’re just hoping for better luck.” 

Charmé Morgan was one of the many players who was injured last season. Morgan missed the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL. The year before, Morgan nabbed 21 starts in 22 matches. Despite a lengthy recovery, Morgan feels like she can make a huge impact in her return this season. 

“I’m feeling great,” Morgan said. “I’m feel incredibly blessed to be back. It’s hard to sit on the sidelines and watch. I am really motivated and ready to get back there.”  

Morgan is a dynamic defender who can be just as dangerous offensively as she is defensively. In 2017, Morgan stockpiled four goals and a game-winning assist. She was also a part of the 2016 Cowgirl defense that recorded seven shutouts.

Carmichael said her style of play of constantly moving up and down the field matches, which is exactly what he likes to see out of his wingbacks. In addition, Morgan has a veteran presence that will be added to a backline with Mexican international player Kim Rodriguez and senior Elise Hawn. 

“She just makes her team better,” Carmichael said. “Her ability to get up and down the flank is amazing. She has an engine that just never stops. In the shape we play, It’s crucial that your wingbacks can get up and down the flank. We missed that with Charmé. I’m just happy to have her back there.”  

Morgan, along with nine other returning starters, are motivated to make a statement this season. The Big 12 preseason poll has OSU finishing seventh. That being said, a ranking that low does not faze Morgan. Morgan was a key contributor for the 2017 Cowgirl team that won the Big 12 championship after being picked to finish sixth by the same poll.

“I think that we want to bounce back,” Morgan said. “It was definitely a hard season last season with injuries and with how we came out. I think we all have a chip on her shoulder, especially with the preseason rankings that they came out with. The last time that happened, we ended up winning the Big 12. We want to prove that we are a lot better than what they say on paper.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com