UA soccer's Morgan McGarry bounces back

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Steven Spooner | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona midfielder Morgan McGarry winds up to take a shot against Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 8.

While on a recruiting trip in northern California, Arizona women’s head soccer coach Tony Amato chose to attend an event hosted by the Player Development Program (PDP) where the top prospects in the area train and play with and against each other. 

“Who’s that?” Amato said. 

Amato recalls asking about 5-foot-7 Morgan McGarry out of San Ramona Valley High School, in Danville, Ca. 

“I just asked a few coaches in that area…she stands out are my eyes correct?” Amato said. “’Oh yeah, she’s a good one’. From that point on we started looking into recruiting her.”

McGarry, a red-shirt sophomore stood out to Amato as one of the better players amongst other top talent. While at San Ramona Valley, McGarry was named second-team All-Conference as well as the Eastbay Player of the Week both accomplishments coming in her junior year. Receiving offers from local schools in California, McGarry chose Arizona thanks in large part to what she describes as Amato’s “drive.”

“He had just taken over the program when I got here,” McGarry said. “Just his drive and how he wanted to turn the program around is what really drew me in.”

Unfortunately, all did not end well for what would be McGarry’s senior year of high school. McGarry tore her ACL while playing for her club team Mustang S.C.

“I just remember running and hearing my knee pop,” McGarry said. 

Amato and his staff had made an offer to McGarry before her injury. If there was any silver lining to an unfortunate situation it was McGarry coming in as a freshman ready to contribute as much as she can despite her injury. McGarry wasn’t worried about the physical part of rehab she was more concerned about the mental aspect.

“The physical part wasn’t a issue,” McGarry said. “Training and all that wasn’t the problem it was more the mental part of it.”

Amato echoed McGarry’s statement pointing out how her teammates began to see the work Mcgarry put in last spring and praised her for it. 

“She committed herself...she was one of the most fit, one of the most agile in all our testing, one of the fastest,” Amato said. “She started to get patted on the back so she started to feel good.”

McGarry played in four games her freshman year as a student-athlete, but the amount of playing time can help make a player feel less confident about themselves. Amato, wasn’t worried so much knowing McGarry was coming off her ACL tear but more importantly, she was no different than any other young player going into their first year of college.

“All the things we go through with our freshman, their confidence and their fitness level tie all those things together and her year looked like most freshman,” Amato said.

To say McGarry has bounced back is an understatement, she is a large piece to what Amato and his staff like to do game in and game out. She has logged in 664’ so far, the fourth highest on the Wildcats. More importantly than her playing time and something you won’t find on a stat sheet is McGarry’s versatility.  Opposing team’s have taken notice of how well McGarry has played thus far.

“We’ve had a lot of people comment. Other coaches we’ve played against have said ‘your No.11 is big time,’” Amato said following a victory over Texas Tech. “She can defend hard, she’s attacking out of the back, super fit she’s doing a really good job.” 

McGarry’s confidence is at an all time high. 

“I don’t even think about the injury anymore,” McGarry said. “I want to be an influential part of this team I want to be able to help our team out on the field.”


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