BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Samford Athletics is continuing the Student-Athlete Spotlight series, presented by Coca-Cola, which, this week, will highlight Morgan McAslan, a senior goalkeeper on the soccer team.
McAslan is a native of Waterdown, Ontario, Canada, and originally played at Ole Miss. After her freshman season, however, she decided to transfer to Samford. She talked a little about what drew her to Samford.
“After my freshman year, I decided I wanted a change,” McAslan said. “I came on a visit here, didn’t really know too much about Samford when I got on campus. I got to meet the coaches and meet some players, and I immediately fell in love with it. I think the biggest draw for me was seeing how Coach (Yelton) puts together his non-conference schedules, playing the big teams, and still getting that I thought was going to be a great fit for me.”
Samford enters this week with a record of 3-2-2. The schedule so far includes a win over Alabama and a tie with Ole Miss. As the team nears the end of the non-conference portion of the schedule, McAslan talked about what the pre-conference schedule has been like and what she has seen out of the team so far.
“It’s crazy that it’s almost over,” McAslan said. “It’s been a great non-conference schedule for us. We played Alabama, we played Ole Miss, we’re going to play Texas (Thursday night), we’ve played Auburn. So, we’ve played a lot of big schools right off the bat, which was challenging for us. But I think along the way, we found our groove. We have a lot of momentum coming off the Alabama-Ole Miss weekend, and I think we learned a lot about the team. We were able to overcome those challenges and we’ll be really ready once we go into conference.”
McAslan talked about how she approaches the games against the Power 5 programs.
“I think naturally you have to (approach it differently),” McAslan said. “It’s just so exciting, it’s a big opportunity to play these big schools for us, someone like Alabama or Ole Miss. Ole Miss was just in the Sweet 16, so what an opportunity for us. I think naturally it comes with a lot of excitement for us, we want to go out and win and prove who we are and prove that Samford can be put on the map for soccer.”
McAslan has posted two shutouts so far this season, against Alabama and Jacksonville State. She said the work of the defenders on the team helps make her job easier.
“It’s something that we take a lot of pride in, me and the four backs, Kylie (Gazza), Ella (Simpson), Lindsay (Origliasso), Alyssa (Conarton), they do a great job, the make my job very, very easy a lot of times,” McAslan. “I think we just take a lot of pride in being able to say we shut them out completely. To get that clean sheet feels like a second win.”
The team held its Senior Day ceremonies prior to last Sunday’s 4-0 win over Jacksonville State. McAslan talked about how much fun it was seeing a lot of players getting involved, with four different players scoring a goal each.
“It was so much fun, especially for it to happen on Senior Day was awesome,” McAslan said. “Zoe (Perrin) hits a goal right away, Audrey (Kleiman) came on big, got another goal. It was just so nice seeing them get rewarded and seeing everyone get in for a little bit and just get rewarded for all the hard work we put in. It was a lot of fun for us.”
Due to the extra year offered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McAslan will return for the 2022 season. She said it was not a hard decision to come back for that extra season.
“It was really easy for me,” McAslan said. “I remember it was at practice, he (Yelton) said come talk to me after practice, we’re going to talk about a fifth year. I was like, we don’t need to talk. We’re good, I’m going to stay, don’t worry.”
McAslan said after her time at Samford is done, she would like to continue playing the game she loves.
“I think I want to continue my soccer career,” McAslan said. “My biggest goal would be to play in the NWSL or go play across sea, go get some international experience or something like that. A big goal of mine would be to be on Team Canada one day, but we’ll see. But, besides that, I’m an education major, so I think after everything comes to an end with soccer, I want to be a high school teacher one day.”
McAslan and the Bulldogs will play at Texas Thursday evening at 7 p.m. The came can be seen live on the Longhorn Network at the following link: WATCH LIVE.
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