As a two-time All-Metro first-team midfielder, Severna Park's Morgan Torggler excelled on both ends of the field and will conclude her high school career in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic on Saturday at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Torggler learned the game from her father, Matt, an All-American on four Division III national championship teams at Hobart in the late 1980s. She will be in good position to add another national title to the family resume when she plays next year for Maryland, which reached this year's final but fell, 13-12, to North Carolina in triple overtime.
At Severna Park, Torggler led the Falcons to state titles as a sophomore and junior. She helped a young team finish 11-4 this spring. She also played soccer, ran indoor track and had a 3.8 GPA.
How did you get started playing lacrosse?
We moved here from Seattle, where lacrosse is not very popular (laughs). My dad played, and that's pretty much what got me started. He was my coach early on, and he's taught me everything I pretty much know. He's a big influence.
Did you get a lacrosse stick when you were little?
No, not until we moved here. He was a great lacrosse player in college and he understood the game, and because he was my coach so early, that's been a strength of mine.
Why did lacrosse become your passion?
Not just because my dad played it, but because he coached me and I do understand the game. When you understand something, it becomes more fun and easier for you. And I'm a very competitive person, so I like to play sports.
What was the highlight of your high school career?
Winning two state championships.
Did one stand out more than the other?
The first one was my sophomore year and I don't remember that one as much, only because last year we had a tragedy on the team and that brought our team so much closer. I feel like that championship meant so much more to our team. We wanted to win it for our teammate (Tracy Vander Kolk, who died of undisclosed causes two weeks before the state final and whose twin sister, Rachel, remained with the team, playing a key role as a goalie). We wanted to win as a team, and we got so much closer.
Why did you chose Maryland?
I chose it one, because academically it was probably the best fit for me; two, location — close to home; three, was the team. The coaches and the team were so inviting, and I felt like a part of the team when I went up to visit. And also the style of play, I think, matches mine, and I think I can fit in.
Did you go to the Maryland-North Carolina national championship game?
No, but I wish I had. I was watching it right here (at home) and I was cringing because that was probably the best game I've ever seen, and I cannot believe I'll be on the sideline next year. It's like a dream come true, seeing that and thinking, "Oh, my gosh. That will be me next year." But then because we did lose, that makes me want to play even more, to come back and win. Every single person I've talked to watched that game. Maryland had everything to lose, though, because they were 22-0, and they had played them twice already. Unfortunately, it just didn't end the way we wanted it to. Next year, we'll be eager to win.
What are you looking forward to about the Under Armour All-America game?
That's exciting. I was pretty much speechless when they called. I was like, no way, because I was at the game last year and I was like, this is incredible, to be able to play as one of the Top 88 kids (boys and girls) in the country. That's amazing. Not everyone gets that chance. And to be able to play with all that talent is like a little start to Maryland. You get to see that competitiveness, and it'll be fun.
Do you think it will be difficult to mold into a team in such a short time?
You only get two or three practices before, so we're just going to see who works well together. I think you just need team players. No one's going to win individually and that's kind of how my game is. Assists are just as important as goals. I'm just excited to get out there and work with some Maryland (recruits). There are four on my (South) team and some on the other team.
Who do you look up to?
Basically my dad. He's my role model, on and off the field. And also my coaches. I've had great coaches, not just lacrosse coaches, but soccer and track, and they've all pretty much helped me become the person I am today, including Carin (Peterson, the Severna Park lacrosse coach). She has to be one of the best coaches I've ever had.
What role do you think sports has played in making the person you are today?
Everything from work ethic to being motivated, productive. I think all around I've become a different person because of it. I would definitely say the work ethic from all the time and effort I've spent. My original sport was soccer. I was on that select travel team and spent all up to middle school traveling on weekends. I'd miss out on so much stuff. It was all worth it, though, because that's what got me here.
What made you switch from soccer to lacrosse?
I just had more interest in lacrosse because my dad did play, and we were more of a lacrosse family. I did play soccer longer than I played lacrosse, but at a point, I had to decide, and I was like, "I have more fun playing lacrosse, more fun on the field. That's where I want to be."
Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic
Time: Girls at 5 p.m.; boys at 8 p.m.
Location: Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson University
Tickets: $30 (premium); $15 (general admission); $10 (student)*
TV: Boys game on ESPNU
More information: UnderArmourLacrosse.com
* All tickets will be assessed a $1 surcharge for parking.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun