by Jessica Garza-Hutmacher
Having recently graduated from Western Washington University, 23-year-old Claire Morgan resides on the sidelines of Whatcom Community College’s women’s soccer team. This is Morgan’s first year as a head coach, an unfamiliar territory in contrast to the “four-year program” she participated in as an athlete. Morgan talked about how excited she was about this position and also discussed the hoops she has and will have to jump through to continue the trend of the women’s success as a team.
A: This is my first year as a head coach. It’s a passion of mine and I’m excited to get to the coaching aspect. I also want to get back to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) tournament as I feel the girls are ready for it. They have already beaten and tied people in the NWAACC bracket and only lost to one ranked team.
Q: How many women do you have on the team this year?
A: Right now there are 16. If there is anyone who has any interest in playing, they should come out or contact the athletic offices or me. I want a quality team.
Q: What are your priorities this season?
A: My first priority is to get the girls playing as a unit. After that, my second priority is to get the girls physically ready. I also definitely would love more people to come out and support them.
Q: I know you are focused on getting the women prepared physically. How do you think they are prepared mentally?
A: Mentally, I’ve been really impressed. The girls have only lost one game (which they could have won) and they could’ve, you know, been really hard on themselves, but they bounced right back and are playing even stronger as a team.
Q: What’s a typical practice like?
A: First we start with a warm-up. After that we sometimes break up into positions and work on those skills. Then we normally do like a possession game or shooting drills. Then we end with fitness.
Q: What are you expecting from this season? Any hardships or new experiences?
A: Every year it’s a new team so it will be interesting. I am used to Western’s four-year program. I am excited to see what this year’s freshmen will do. Hardships, we’ve had a few issues with getting our transfer students and with the girls being sick. We want to make sure the girls are healthy and we haven’t had a full practice with all 16 girls yet because its flu season. I’m not going to make someone play if they are deathly ill. I want trainings to be quality.
Q: When can Orca fans come support the women’s team?
A: The rest of our home games are on here at Whatcom on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. That is really cool, but it’s in the middle of the workday.