Peter Morrell knows his time as a soccer goalie is rapidly coming to a close.
“I think this is probably the last rodeo for me,” Morrell said. “It’s been fun and I hope to extend the season as long as we possibly can, but after this I’ll be ready to move on.”
The former Brunswick High star is in his senior season at Williams College. This season he’s been elevated to two important posts: co-captain and full-time keeper for the Ephs.
“I’ve had a lot of good captains since I’ve been here and it really is something that’s taken seriously on our team,” Morrell said. “Hopefully I can live up to those expectations and meet the standards of the captains who have come before me.”
As a junior, Morrell split time during the regular season with senior Thad Finan of Williamstown, Mass. After Morrell was in net for a NESCAC quarterfinal win to raise his record to 7-0-0, Finan made the rest of the postseason starts. Williams earned an at-large NCAA bid and made a run to the Division III Final Four in San Antonio.
“I went back and forth with this kid all season and during playoffs he got the nod,” Morrell said. “It was tough, probably one of the most disappointing things in my athletic career because you never know when you’re going to be back at that stage.”
Williams started the season ranked No. 2 in national preseason polls. The Ephs (3-2) are now unranked after overtime losses to NESCAC foes Trinity and No. 4 Amherst.
“This year we do have a shot at returning (to the NCAAs) but there are a lot of variables,” Morrell said, noting that last year Williams was 0-1-1 against Amherst in NESCAC games, but beat Amherst in penalty kicks in the NCAA quarterfinal game.
As a Brunswick native, Morrell said he seriously considered staying home and attending Bowdoin College. His older sister Lucy was already at Bowdoin (she played soccer for the Polar Bears for two seasons).
“My sister is just a year older than me. I kind of wanted to get out on my own and also to give (Lucy) her own space,” Morrell said.
Now as a NESCAC opponent, one of his personal goals is to finish his soccer career with a winning record against his hometown team. Williams is at Bowdoin on Oct. 13.
“We’re 2-1 in my tenure here against (Bowdoin) and I’ve been fortunate enough to play in all three of the games so this year’s the big one,” Morrell said.
Morrell cut his goalkeeper chops playing for his hometown Coastal Soccer Club through his junior year of high school and then one year with the Seacoast Soccer Club’s premier team based in Hampton, N.H.
Interestingly, for his final two seasons at Brunswick High he split goalie duties with Nate MacMillan (now a lacrosse player at Norwich University). When not in goal, Morrell played forward. Morrell said since Brunswick was such a strong team — the Dragons were Eastern A champs his sophomore and senior seasons — “playing in the field was fun for me because there were some games where playing goalie was pretty boring.”
The field experience has also added to his goalie skills. Morrell is considered an above-average distributor of the ball, giving Ephs’ defenders a reliable outlet.
One of those defenders is junior Luke Pierce of Yarmouth.
“Luke’s probably the toughest kid on our team and I’m very glad he plays right in front of me,” Morrell said.
Massachusetts Maritime freshman Konnor Scarponi of Brunswick was named the men’s soccer Rookie of the Week in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference. His first two collegiate goals were both game-winners as Mass Maritime got off to a 2-0 start.
• Bryant University sophomore goalie Chris Knaub of Yarmouth stopped a season-high nine shots in a 4-1 loss to Holy Cross on Saturday. Knaub has started all seven games for the Bulldogs (2-5).
Babson College junior midfielder/forward Jessica DiPhilippo of Falmouth has gotten off to a strong start. Earlier in September she was named the NEWMAC Player of the Week after scoring two goals in a win against the University of New England. DiPhilippo leads Babson in scoring with three goals and two assists. A two-time second-team all-conference pick, DiPhilippo was the league’s Rookie of the Year as a freshman.
• Wheaton College sophomore Alex Leonardi of Kennebunkport (Kennebunk) scored her first goal of the season and sophomore keeper Lauren Thacker of Brunswick had a two-save shutout as the Lyons (4-3-1) beat SUNY-New Paltz, 5-0.
• University of Maine sophomore Addie Labonte of York, who appeared in two games as a freshman, has started the last six games at defense for the Black Bears (3-3-3).
Bentley University sophomore Jeff Amell of Bar Mills (Bonny Eagle) recorded two quarterback sacks and was in on five tackles in a 38-24 win against LIU Post. Amell had been credited with one assisted tackle in the first two games for Bentley (2-1).
Endicott College junior Emily Sawchuck of Cumberland (Cheverus) helped ignite a rally from two goals down by scoring her team’s first goal in a 3-2 overtime win against Nichols. Sawchuck has four goals and two assists for the Gulls (5-3 overall, 2-0 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference). Endicott has several Mainers on its roster including junior defender Alyssa Clark of Gorham who has started all eight games and has scored one goal with one assist.
• Plymouth State College senior Jackie Morin of Scarborough scored the first goal and freshman Allison Lemay of Westbrook got the final tally in a 5-0 win against Western Connecticut State.
• Simmons College first-year player Hailey Bruno-Moulton of South Berwick (Marshwood) scored a goal in a 4-1 win against Wheaton College. Bruno-Moulton leads the Sharks (5-3) in scoring with four goals and three assists.
• University of Maine junior Hannah Keating of York has appeared in six of the Black Bears’ first eight games, scoring one assist. Maine is 4-4 on the season.
University of Maine junior Monique Boutin of York was the Black Bears’ third runner in a 16-45 loss to visiting UNH in the team’s most recent meet. Rachel Wilkinson, a junior from South Portland (Gorham), ran fourth for Maine. In two earlier meets, Wilkinson was Maine’s third runner with Boutin fourth.
• St. Michael’s College sophomore Catherine Tierney was the Purple Knights’ seventh runner and 28th overall in a recent three-team meet with Middlebury and Norwich.
St. Michael’s College sophomore Charlie Merry of Kennebunkport (Kennebunk) lost his third singles match in the Purple Knights’ 2013-14 season opener.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: