Milford's Morgan Andrews is October Athlete of the MonthHer fields of dreams
After all, who was the captain of the U.S. Under-17 Women's World Cup team? That would be Morgan Andrews.
And who kicked a game-winning field goal to help a Division III high school football team beat a Division I team? Again, that would be Morgan Andrews.
And, who scored the only two goals for her team in a state high school championship soccer game to lift it past its biggest rival? You got it. That would be Morgan Andrews.
But even for Andrews, who was named the October Athlete of the Month as voted on by the New Hampshire Union Leader Board of Judges, what she did on Oct. 5 is as far from typical as you can get.
She helped beat two different teams in two different sports in two different towns on the same day, scoring five goals for the Milford girls' soccer team in an 8-0 win at Manchester West before joining the Milford football team in Nashua that night and kicking three PATs and the game-winning 33-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of a 24-21 upset win over Nashua North.
The senior ended her day sitting in front of the glowing fireplace at home with a bowl of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked ice cream.
"That was a real nice day. It was a lot of fun," Andrews said. "It was great for our team (beating Nashua North) and it was great for our town."
Andrews topped a ballot that included three-time state high school golf champion Chelso Barrett of Keene, record-setting field hockey player Lauren Geer of North Hampton (Middlebury College) and Rachel Hill of Somersworth, who recently set the state high school scoring record in girls' soccer.
Others receiving votes were UNH hockey goaltender Casey DeSmith of Rochester, Manchester Central cross country runner Elizabeth Conway, Manchester Central boys' soccer player Keegan LaBerge, UNH kicker Mike MacArthur of North Hampton, Bedford boys' soccer player Erik Martel and Derryfield Academy of Manchester field hockey player Colbie Vaillancourt.
Andrews, 17, is headed to Notre Dame next year to play soccer and she showed why in October, scoring 19 goals in nine games and setting the game-winner with one minute left in regulation as fourth-seeded Milford beat top-seeded Oyster River, 1-0, in the semifinals.
She scored both of her team's goals three days later as the Spartans pulled out a 2-1 win over second-seeded and defending champion Souhegan of Amherst. It was the Spartans' first title since the Amherst students split from the Milford school district 20 years ago. The team bus had a police and fire escort when it came back through town, and people were lined along the town oval to cheer on the players and coaches.
"It was a great feeling to be able to do that for our town," Andrews said.
To submit a nomination for future Athlete of the Month consideration, email the Union Leader Sports Department at firstname.lastname@example.org and enter "Athlete of the Month" in the subject line.
Previous 2012 winners: January, Drew Ledwith, Keene (swimming); February, Zach Bridson, Sandown (wrestling); March, Curtis Arsenault, Berlin (basketball); April, Peter Williamson, Hanover (golf); May, Morgan Andrews, Milford (soccer); June, Hillary Holmes, Exeter (track); July, Lauren Thibodeau, Hampstead (golf); August, Sarah Groff, Hanover (triathlon); September, Victoria Arlen, Exeter (swimming).