Morgan Weaver has accomplished more on a soccer field her first two years at Curtis High School than most do before they graduate.
Just by her accomplishments, it’s easy to assume she’s a mature, soft-spoken senior leader who spends her time at home opening mail full of NCAA Division I college scholarship offers.
But those who observe the sophomore during one of the Curtis High girls soccer team’s movie nights, relentlessly talking, giggling or reciting almost every line of “She’s the Man” know differently.
She’s definitely still a kid.
“She’ll be just, ‘Talk and talk and talk,’ and then she’ll finally hit a wall,” Vikings teammate Lexsi Manning said. “Then, ‘Bam!’ There goes Mo. Just out.
“On the field, she is such a mature player, and she knows the game so well. Then off the field she is this goofy, nonstop energy girl. She is almost constantly giggling.”
For navigating her team through the deep and rugged South Puget Sound League South Division to the league title, Weaver has been selected The News Tribune’s All-Area girls soccer player of the year for 2013.
The accomplishments in her first two seasons — a pair of near-20-goal seasons, and back-to-back Class 4A state tournament appearances — include a bevy of big-time moments. The biggest one arguably was her two left-footed goals against Redmond as a ninth-grader that propelled Curtis to the 2012 state quarterfinals.
Her technique with both feet and her speed make Weaver a deadly threat with the ball. She is so fast, teammates like to call her “Baby Deer.”
But beyond her serious abilities on the soccer field is a person who enjoys being not so serious off it.
“My dad would get on me and say, ‘Stop laughing!’ when he was my (youth soccer) coach,” Weaver said. “Then he told me and (teammate) Megan (Talley) to run because we wouldn’t stop laughing one time.
“We started to run, but we went and hid behind the backstop because we didn’t want him to find us and we just kept laughing.”
She says her love of soccer comes from moments like those — laughing behind backstops with a teammate, running frantically to solve a team scavenger hunt at Curtis coach Frank Hankel’s house so they could stuff a whip-cream pie in his face, or chanting a spinoff of Channing Tatum’s lines (“Who’s gonna bring that blood and pain”) from “She’s the Man” in the team huddle before a state tournament match.
“Sometimes at our practice, you’ll just hear little giggles coming from all over,” Weaver said. “It can get crazy.”
Curtis didn’t even allow ninth-graders to play varsity girls soccer until last season.
It happened to be the same year Weaver entered its halls. She responded by ending the season as the only freshman to earn first-team All-Area honors when she led the Vikings with 17 goals.
She scored 19 this year and added eight assists. The Vikings lost their opening 4A tournament match, 2-0, to Skyline — which has won four of the past five state titles.
Skyline placed such an emphasis on Weaver that she was constantly checked by at least two players — sometimes three, Hankel said.
Hankel hopes Weaver can take her game to an even higher level the next two years.
“She is so unselfish, but there are times when we need her to be selfish because, hey, you’re our goal-scorer, we need you to score goals,” Hankel said. “Sometimes, like a basketball player, we need you to put it on your shoulder and go out and score 30 or 40 points. We just need you to.
“Can she say, ‘Hey, I’m going to have that composure, put the team on my back and take this to the next level’? Which, that is asking a lot of a player. Shoot, that is asking a ton of a player.”
But Weaver is up for the task. Not so she can add to her already stuffed résumé, but to continue to enjoy experiences with her teammates and win a couple of state titles with them.
“The first time I came in here, Hankel said, ‘It’s going to go by fast,’” Weaver said. “Now I’m going to be a junior. It’s hard to think about. Feels like I was just a freshman yesterday.”TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
THE NEWS TRIBUNE’s 2013 ALL-AREA GIRLS SOCCER TEAM
ForwardMia CorbinTahomaSophomore Very composed, never rattled — SPSL North co-Most Valuable Player (17 goals) fueled the Bears’ attack.
ForwardMachaela GraddyEatonvilleSenior Area’s leading scorer (38 goals, 15 assists) topped 100 career goals; also named Nisqually 1A Most Valuable Player.
ForwardLeah MageeTimberlineSophomore Tireless attacker from the top; Narrows 3A co-Most Valuable Player (11 goals, seven assists) was a handful.
ForwardGabriela PelogiFederal WayJunior Strong post-up striker, and also fast enough to go wide — a complete goal-scorer (23 goals).
MidfielderMadi AdamsBonney LakeSenior Didn’t score a ton of goals in the regular season (eight), but SPSL 3A MVP struck plenty of fear into opponents with her play.
MidfielderMadi GaleFifeSenior Sidelined in 2012 with a bad knee, she gave her team some much-needed firepower (17 goals, eight assists).
MidfielderLiz GriffithPuyallupJunior Washington State University commit was a relentless worker who set up everything; her 11 assists led the SPSL 4A.
MidfielderLexi KlinkenbergKentridgeSenior Speedy yet methodical, the co-SPSL North Most Valuable Player was always in control (13 goals, four assists).
DefenderAmanda EllinghausCurtisJunior One South Puget Sound League coach dubbed her “tall tree”; opponents could not attack the middle with her around.
DefenderAlyssa MurraySumnerJunior Savvy, technical defender and SPSL 2A defensive Most Valuable Player also led her team with 11 assists.
DefenderMegan SpataroOlympiaJunior All this imposing Narrows 4A Most Valuable Player does is win headers and save goals; Bears in 4A state semifinals.
DefenderSophia WagnerAuburn MountainviewSenior Three-time SPSL 3A first team honoree plays everywhere; signed to attend the University of Chicago.
GoalkeeperAubrey LindbergGig HarborSenior Incredible hand-eye coordination (seven shutouts), plays soccer like she does shortstop for the Tides.
Player of the year: Morgan Weaver, Curtis
Coach of the year: Cary Davidson, Auburn Mountainview
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
Forwards: Megan Chambers, Wilson, jr.; Whitney Lowe, Black Hills, sr.; Jennifer Oak, Kentwood, jr.
Midfielders: Ameera Hussen, Beamer, fr.; Kaylee Kebba, Bellarmine Prep, jr.; Brooke Lancaster, Sumner, jr.
Defender: Ally Carrigan, Kentridge, jr.; Tyffani Chin, Foss, sr.; Emily Seelbach, Auburn Riverside, sr.; Emily Wallerich, Gig Harbor, jr.
Goalkeeper: Carly Wilson, Rogers, sr.
Todd Milles, firstname.lastname@example.org