Back on the field, BSHS’ Morris nets two in 3-2 regional final loss
It had been three weeks since senior Madison Morris saw the soccer field. She didn’t have so much as a practice during that time, but she got out of the hospital just in time for the game.
This was regionals for her Bonner Springs teammates, and Morris, who had been dealing with a case of mononucleosis, wouldn’t let it prevent her from competing. She had a sonogram earlier on Tuesday to make sure her spleen wasn’t swollen, then she was out the door and basically onto the field.
Bonner Springs played DeSoto in its first match of the regional tournament and Morris was back in her usual spot as a defender. With a 2-0 deficit going into halftime, coach Mike Moulin surprised her by sending Morris to the front. Senior Yessenia Hernandez, the goalkeeper, joined her.
“They provided something we needed up top,” Moulin said. “And they served their purpose.”
After the start of the second half, Morris sparked the scoring rally for the Braves with their first goal. Not even two minutes later, she tapped the ball through a scuffle for goal number two, tying the game. She had scored earlier this year in a 10-0 rout of Bishop Ward, but these goals mattered to her.
“I knew that the girls were down, so I just ran my butt off pretty much,” Morris said. “I just wanted to win for us. Tried at least.”
Because of a lack of conditioning, she had to be subbed out more often than usual. After those goals, a defender was constantly on top of her, preventing Morris from seeing the ball. Hernandez had a couple agonizing misses off the goal posts, but DeSoto made the one that counted, winning 3-2.
Having played her last game at Bonner, Moulin revealed that there was a chance Morris might not have been with the team.
“At one point throughout the season, she was thinking about quitting because she needed to raise money,” Moulin said. “I’m glad she stuck it out because she did a great job.”
She was raising money for a mission trip, which indicates what she wants to do after high school. Her soccer playing days may be over, but she wants to become a medial missionary to help people.
“I don’t really care about making money,” Morris said. “So that’s what I’m going to do.”
After the game, the Bonner Girls chased their coach around to shower him with ice water, a ceremony usually committed by the victors. The Braves were proud that they were able to be in a position not many expected them to be in.
“We really don’t care about losing,” Morris said. “We just don’t want to put anyone down.”
Moulin said he is going to miss the leadership his seniors brought to the team this year, but has high expectations for the future. He has been coaching a group of eighth graders who play soccer year-round.
“We have a solid group coming up next year,” he said. “And we’re still young.”