BOSTON — Jess Morrow may have dreamt of becoming an All-American, but certainly not for her defensive dominance.
Early in her freshman year at Boston University, Morrow got the call any gifted young goal-scorer dreads.
Kid, it’s time to work on your defensive skills.
Morrow, who scored 50 career goals at Andover High, was unexpectedly moved to defense.
“I never had played defense before college,” said the 5-foot-8 Morrow. “It was a dramatic switch. It was preseason and Coach (Nancy Feldman) said, ‘Practice with the defenders. It was a surprise. Definitely a hard position to learn. There is a huge learning curve.”
It may have taken her a full three years. The first three years on Commonwealth Ave. were productive, but not spectacular. She never made even second-team all-conference.
This year the awards have rolled in: all-conference, America East Defender of the Year, All-Northeast, third-team All-American (top 50 division 1 players in the country) and now finalist for Academic All-American honors.
“I was pretty shocked,” she said of making the national coaches All-American team. “It’s a great honor. I’m very thankful. Honestly, that wasn’t even on the radar on the preseason. I’m just so happy and honored.”
Feldman said, “It was certainly a year where she broke out. We had some really talented older groups. When Jess came in, she played her role. She’s talented, with a great soccer brain, graceful. But it was a complementary role. There were kids that were stars.”
In 2011, BU finished 17th in the country. Nine top players left and then America East gave the Terriers the bad news.
In so many words it was, “Good luck next year as you defect to the Patriot League. And, by the way, your aren’t playing in the league tourney this fall.”