September 27, 2013

College Connections: Keepsake moments for Morrell

By Steve Craig scraig@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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.

(Continued on page 2)

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