Jan. 14, 2011
BALTIMORE - California senior forward Alex Morgan made program history on Friday morning, becoming the first Golden Bear to be drafted in the first round of a women's professional soccer league. The Western New York Flash chose Morgan as the No. 1 pick in the Women's Professional Soccer's draft. She is the third straight first pick with significant national team experience.
"We are all so pleased for Alex, and her family," Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. "Her being chosen as the first pick in this year's draft is a testament to her hard work and dedication to her personal development, but also a major compliment to her teammates at Cal who have helped her in her time here."
The No. 1 draft pick caps off a thrilling past couple of months for the Diamond Bar, Calif., native. She spent much of the fall training and competing with the U.S. senior team. As a senior, she played in only 12 games with the Bears while helping the U.S. National team qualify for the 2011 World Cup. She graduated in December 2010, a full semester early thanks to her dedication in the offseason and summer, with a degree in political economy.
Morgan earned a spot on the U.S. roster for an upcoming tournament in China. She and the squad left early Friday morning.
"Alex is an exceptional talent, but more importantly an outstanding young woman with great character and humility," McGuire continued. "Our entire Cal family is proud of Alex and we wish her every success in her career and future endeavors."
Despite being away from Berkeley for much of the season, Morgan ended her career as a Golden Bear the same manner in which she began it - as the Cal women's soccer team's season-leading scorer. She paced the Bears in goals (14) and points (30) and was first in the nation for the majority of the season in goal scoring. Morgan concluded her four years in Berkeley tied for the third all-time scorer in California history with 45 goals and in sole possession of third place in terms of points 107.
Morgan's performances this year garnered her placement on the watch list for the Hermann Trophy - the most prestigious award in women's soccer - as well as one of four finalists for the Honda Women's Soccer Award. Last week, Morgan traveled to St. Louis for the Hermann ceremony, during which she was declared a runner up.
She capped off her Cal career with her first-ever NSCAA All-American honors, collecting first-team placement. A four-time All-Pac-10 selection, the Diamond Bar, Calif., native earned first-team conference laurels in 2010 and 2009 and was a player of the year candidate in both seasons.
She led her Bears to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years, advancing to the second round twice. A Pac-10 All-Freshman pick and second-team Soccer Buzz Freshman All-American and second-team Soccer America All-Freshman in 2007, she started 15 of the 17 games she played in as a freshman, pacing Cal with 18 points and eight goals.
Morgan garnered key international experience during the fall of her sophomore season of 2008, scoring the eventual gamewinner to help the U.S. under-20 national team to gold medals at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup on Dec. 7. The gamewinner was her fourth goal of the tournament and won the Silver Ball as the tournament's second-best player and the Bronze Shoe as the third-leading scorer. While Morgan missed several games that year, she still finished atop the Cal squad in multiple categories - points (23), goals (9), shots (76) and shots on goal (39). In 2009, she had a career season-high 14 goals and eight assists for 36 points, skyrocketing her to the All-Pacific-Region second team.
Equally talented on the pitch as she is in the classroom, she has been lauded for her studies as a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention. Most recently, Morgan was named to the 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District team.