Morgan Goff, of Dunn, is busy preparing for her senior season on the UNC Tar Heel women’s soccer team.
Goff, who scored a school record 52 goals for Triton as a sophomore in 2014, played in all 74 games over the past three seasons at UNC, including an NCAA Final Four appearance, an NCAA Final, and three ACC finals. She started a total of 16 games, bagged four goals, dished out four assists and is ready to accomplish more.
“Staring my senior season in the face, there is so much I want my team to accomplish in the next four months,” Goff said. “Of course, I am looking forward to the big things, like a trip to Seattle, hopeful ACC and NCAA tournament appearances and wins, and playing the game that I love in the place I love. However, it’s the small details that will be the most memorable; the long trips where everyone starts to go a bit loopy, video sessions that teach us how to hone our skills, and simply spending as much time as possible with my teammates.”
Head coach Anson Dorrance, who is entering his 42nd year of service to the UNC soccer programs, plans on using Goff as a starting defender.
“Morgan Goff’s improvement this past spring is amongst the best on the roster,” Dorrance said. “Last year she played a lot of minutes as a reserve player for Emily Fox or as a substitute for players in the middle of the midfield. Now we’ve decided her best position is somewhere in the back. If we go with a three back she should be one of our starting three backs. If we go with a four back she could also start for us in the defense. She’s very good in the air. She’s probably the team’s best tackler. She’s very aggressive, very hard working, very competitive. Possesses a fabulous mentality.”
Goff additionally earned recognition from the UNC Strength and Conditioning program as most improved, and was named to the 2018 All-ACC Academic Team.
The Tar Heels, who have been chosen as the preseason favorite to win the 2019 Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title and second in the NCAA poll, opened their preseason play Friday with a scrimmage against the French professional club Olympique Lyonnais.
Facing her final season as a Tar Heel, Goff reflected on her college career.
“Playing soccer at UNC, my dream school, for the past three years has been an experience I could never have attained anywhere else,” she said. “From the unique coaches and players, hectic schedules, and tough competition, I have learned to adapt in more ways than one and to find my own confidence on the field. The most important thing I’ve learned is to always have fun doing what you love. If you accomplish that, then you’re already winning no matter the score of the game.”