Morgan Flynn has chased down her soccer dream at the University of Idaho.
The Richmond Girls Soccer product signed her National Letter of Intent earlier this month and will be taking her career to the Big Sky Conference school next September. Her decision concluded a journey that began right around the time she was helping Richmond F.C. win the U16 Provincial “A” Cup Championship back in the summer of 2017.
“I guess it was then when I realized I wanted to play soccer at the collegiate level,” recalled the Grade 12 McMath Secondary student. “I had big dreams and really wanted to go to the University of Oregon. I just loved the idea of playing at a big school like that.”
Flynn even headed to Eugene and attended an evaluation camp where she performed well enough to be part of an all-star game for the final session. She also realized the amount of worldwide talent the renowned Pac-12 school was attracting. A scholarship offer never materialized but Flynn said the experience was a boost of confidence.
“I wasn’t discouraged because I now knew I could play at a pretty high level,” she continued. “I started to reach out to many schools as I could.”
This past summer, she made trips to such schools as Western Illinois and the University of Indianapolis. She was impressed with the programs but was looking for a better fit from a campus standpoint. That’s when Idaho reached out to her with an invitation to its ID camp in October.
What the Vandals had to offer was everything she was hoping for — a bigger campus and a program that was part of a competitive conference. Visiting the Moscow campus with classes in full swing and the Big Sky playoffs about to start didn’t hurt either. Flynn had a good enough feeling to bring both her parents. A strong performance led to an offer.
“I think we all kind of thought this was going to be it,” continued Flynn. “I got back to Richmond and took a few more days before deciding this is where I wanted to be. I just fell in love with the campus and the coaches were great people.”
Flynn didn’t have to look far for advice either.
Her one-time McMath teammates Jalen Donaldson and Dakota Chan were in their freshman seasons down south. It was also their path to U.S. schools that made Flynn leave her hometown club for the B.C. Premier Soccer League. She is now in her second with Fusion F.C. which splits its time between Richmond and Vancouver.
“I looked at what Dakota and Jalen were doing and realized I had to make that step too,” said Flynn. “There gets a time in youth soccer where girls start to move onto different things, whether it be focusing more on school or other sports. I just didn’t want to be left behind and wanted to push myself to be a better player.”
A busy soccer schedule has hardly slowed down her involvement in other sports.
McMath’s Grade 11 female athlete-of-the-year will be a key member of the Wildcats basketball team that gets its season underway this week. Flynn also happens to be a standout distance runner. She turned in a strong showing at this month’s provincial cross-country championships in Nanaimo and will be one of the favourites next spring in the 1,500 and 3,000 metre events at the district track and field championships.
“I definitely have improved my speed through track and cross-country,” added Flynn who spends most of her time playing an attacking position on the left side. “As a forward you don’t like to be taken off the field so distance running has really helped my endurance as well.”