Cranford Athlete of the Month: Morgan Heim, girls soccer

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CRANFORD, NJ — Morgan Heim is a senior on the Cranford High School girls varsity soccer team; she has been playing on the varsity team since her freshman year. For the 2020 season, Heim has been playing center defense; however, for the previous three seasons, she played left outside defense. The Cranford girls varsity soccer team was the 2018 and 2019 Conference Champion, the 2019 Union County Co-champion, and 2018 and 2019 North 2, Group 3 Sectional Champion. Heim, who has played soccer since she was 3 years old, also plays for the PSA National 03 girls team. Her club soccer team, where she is also a defender, won the USYS Eastern Regional Championship and placed third in the USYS National Championship.

What initially drew you to soccer?
I have been playing soccer since preschool, so initially my parents had a huge influence on the beginning of my soccer career. The fast-paced game, need for quick decision making and the connection I have formed with my teammates over the years have drawn me to soccer.

What is your proudest soccer moment?
My proudest soccer moment was making the varsity team as a freshman. Going into high school, I was still only on the Cranford Township soccer team for my age group and had not yet joined a club team, so making varsity is what sparked my transition into a more competitive and overall better player. After this moment, I was able to grow and learn so much more about the game.

Do you have any superstitions relating to the game?
My only pregame superstition is that I always put my left cleat on before my right, and the same concept for my shin guards, too.

What is your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject in school has consistently been a science class, whether it has been biology, physics or chemistry. This is because I enjoy learning how the things around me work and function, and it is easy to find real-life implications of the things learned in science classes.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would travel to Europe because I would be able to visit multiple countries at one time due to their closeness to each other. I would also be able to see many different sights and learn about different cultures, too.

What kind of music do you like?
I like all types of music, generally. Before games, I listen to songs that are upbeat in order to mentally prepare for the game.

What is something about you that might surprise people?
Something about me that may surprise people is my academics. Usually, people just look at me as an athlete; however, I take school very seriously and have been successful at keeping good grades all throughout high school.

What has it been like playing during the pandemic?
Playing during a pandemic was obviously different, but once my team and I adjusted to our new reality, it has not been too bad. The worst part about playing in a pandemic is how occasionally our games will get canceled because another team has been exposed. Playing through the pandemic has taught me not to take anything for granted, because I never know what could be my last high school soccer game.

Do you have any pets?
I have a pet dog named Tucker who is a maltese-poodle mix, and I have had him for 11 years.