Slippery Rock women’s soccer knew they were getting an excellent player on the field, but it is the mentality off the field that makes Morgan Sarver a star.
Coming into her second season with The Rock, Sarver was hoping to build off an exciting freshman season where she clocked over 1,000 minutes played. She also finished her first season with three goals, three assists and a special experience.
“Kayla Swope who graduated last year was a really good leader for our team,” Sarver said. “She brought me under her wing and taught me our system and how we play. It was cool coming in as her senior year was ending. I wish I could play with her more, but it was great to have that opportunity to work with her and learn how this team works.”
This was only the beginning of learning the story of a humble and driven Sarver and how she got to where she is now.
Sarver began playing the game she grew to love at just five years old. Her older sister and father were some of her biggest influences on how and why to play the game.
“I absolutely fell in love with soccer,” Sarver said. “My dad started coaching me and started a good club program around our area. He coached me until almost being in high school.”
After playing for her father’s club team for several years, Sarver traveled closer to Pittsburgh to play for Beadling SC in hopes of getting more recognition and increasing her play to a higher level.
Along with her play at the club level, Sarver played soccer for Altoona Area High School.
Here, she became the first athlete in Altoona Area High School history ever to reach the 100-goal mark in a career, a feat that the school would eventually honor her for.
After an illustrious club and high school career, Sarver had her sights set on playing college soccer at a high level.
“I always thought I wanted to go to a bigger school,” Sarver said. “Every little kid’s dream is to go somewhere big but this is where I ended up finding my home and I am very happy with it.”
Sarver ending up in Slippery Rock was an outcome that both sides were glad to see occur.
She instantly became immersed in the culture and what the expectations were for her being a lowerclassman.
Her freshman year featured plenty of learning opportunities from previously mentioned Swope and many other upperclassmen who showed her the ropes.
“Coming into my freshman year it was a little scary,” Sarver said. “You have a lot of upperclassmen around you, and it was a lot of pressure being in a new environment. It is something that I loved so much and knew I wanted to play every chance I could.”
Sarver and company fell in round one of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) competition last year to rival Mercyhurst University by a score of 1-0. This lit a fire under the young freshman and inspired her to create new goals not only for herself but for the team.
“Making it as far as we can and winning the PSAC is definitely my goal this year,” Sarver said.
The humble team-first mentality is what sets Sarver apart from so many other young talented players in the country.
This mentality has already carried her and her teammates into a strong start to the 2023-24 campaign. The Green and White have won five of their first ten with the other five being three losses and two draws. This tally sets The Rock in third place on the PSAC table just behind Mercyhurst and Gannon universities.
While she is a team-first player, Sarver’s performance in the young season cannot be ignored.
At 824 minutes played, she is already nearing her previous season mark of 1,077.
It did not take long for Sarver’s off-season training to show as she put up a goal and four assists in just the first game on August 31 against Davis and Elkins College.
Since then, she has maintained a steady pace of averaging a point per game and a goal every other game.
Through ten games she leads the team in goals, assists, and points with four, six and 14 respectively.
Sarver and her teammates’ next challenge will be defeating Seton Hill University on Saturday, October 7. With only PSAC games left to play this season, Sarver’s goal of winning a PSAC title is more than alive.
The no ‘I’ in team mentality has shined through the entire Slippery Rock women’s soccer roster, and it is up to Sarver to continue her belief in that and help collectively lead her team to a PSAC title.