Sports Person of the Week
Madore Brings Grit to the Soccer Pitch
Morgan Madore helped the H-K girls’ lacrosse squad put together a historic season last fall. This year, she was named one of the senior captains for the Cougars. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Madore )
Morgan Madore was inspired to start playing soccer after watching her older sister Molly patrol the pitch. Morgan learned a lot about soccer from Molly, who emphasized the importance of playing a sport and that setting personal goals would benefit her in the long run. Now a rising senior captain for the Haddam-Killingworth girls’ soccer team, Morgan is putting what she’s learned to good use as she gets ready to guide the Cougars toward their goal of winning a state championship this fall.
“I have been playing soccer since I was four years old, and what really got me into it was watching my older sister Molly, who went to Southern Vermont to play,” Morgan says. “She showed me that playing a sport is not only about making bonds with your teammates and just trying to win games, but setting personal goals for yourself and accomplishing them and always striving for better, even if the aspects aren’t always the best. Molly pushed me to become the athlete I am today.”
H-K exceeded expectations in its first campaign with Head Coach Mike Shea last year. After winning just four games the previous season, the Cougars claimed the Shoreline Conference Tournament title on their way to an overall record of 15-5-1 in 2019. Morgan, a midfielder, recorded eight goals to go with four assists on the campaign.
“My favorite moment from last season would be the overall victory that we took during Shorelines,” says Morgan of H-K’s 3-2 win versus Valley Regional in the Shoreline final. “The best feeling was running into a huddle after the game and feeling so overcome by victory and just a feeling of relief, like we just accomplished the biggest game last season.”
Coach Shea says that Morgan is a gritty player and a natural leader. Shea knows that he can always count on Morgan to give her teammates a motivational boost if they need it.
“Morgan is strong both mentally and physically. She is passionate in whatever she puts her mind to. Her leadership both on and off the field is admirable, and she’s a great motivator to the team,” Shea says. “Morgan is that person who you rely on for that extra push. She is one of the most real people you’d ever want to meet. She is not afraid to speak her mind and stand behind her words.”
In turn, Morgan says that Shea’s coaching expertise has played a big part in progression. Morgan feels that she’s become a better player and a bigger leader after having worked with Shea during the past year.
“My relationship with our Head Coach Mike Shea is a very strong relationship. He shows up every day to practice with a smile and ready to challenge us physically and mentally,” says Morgan. “He showed me how to become a positive, valuable player on this team. He makes me feel accepted, no matter the struggle or the day of the week.”
In addition to competing for Cougars, Morgan sharpens her skills by practicing throughout the offseason. She’s also a member of H-K girls’ lacrosse team. Morgan feels that playing lacrosse has improved her hand-eye coordination, something that’s an asset to her in both of her sports.
“To improve my game, for as long as I’ve played soccer, I’ve practiced in season and out of season to become who I am as a player,” Morgan says. “You have to work harder than you think the best girl on your team is working. If you aren’t willing to put in time, but also heart to your sport, then it’s not the sport for you.”
In her spare time, Morgan enjoys raising livestock and riding four wheelers. She also cherishes the time that she spends with her family. As Morgan was learning about soccer from her older sister Molly, she was also forming an unbreakable bond with her twin sister Megan.
“She has always been there for me no matter what,” Morgan says of Megan. “And she is my best friend.”