Sarver first to 100 goals in Altoona soccer history


Connor George

Gotcha Senior Morgan Sarver receives the ball. The girls’ varsity soccer team lost to Bedford 4-2.

Connor George, Reporter

Senior Morgan Sarver has become the first soccer player in Altoona history to score 100 goals in her four year Altoona soccer career. 

“I mean it’s nice to see that my hard work pays off, that I do go out and shoot as much as I can on the offseason and during season,” Sarver said. 

Seniors Lauren Kiser and Ashtyn Hileman are captains along with Sarver. They’re both impressed at her accomplishment.

“I’m really proud of her, I knew she could do it,” Hileman said. “She’s really talented, and she basically does really well, and we can always count on her to score. I’m really proud of her, and I know everyone on the team is.”

“I feel really happy for her, she worked very hard to get there. I’m glad that I was able to play with her and watch her have such a big accomplishment,” Kiser said. 

Her coach, Derek Winterburn, explains how the team feels about Sarver’s accomplishment.

“I think they’re definitely happy for her that she achieved that feat,” Winterburn said. 

According to Sarver, her achievement was a team effort.

“I know that a lot of the spotlight’s on me for it, but I couldn’t have done it without my team. My team gives me a lot of assists,” Sarver said. “Lauren and Ashtyn have both given me great assists, and many [assists] so I can’t take all the credit for it; it wouldn’t have happened without the rest of my team. As much as I get the most spotlight for it, I don’t always like 100 percent of the credit because I can’t take that away from my team. I did it for my team and my team helped me get it.”

Winterburn also agrees that it was a team effort.

“I think Morgan also appreciates [it], without good teammates and without good players around her, she wouldn’t have been able to accomplish it. I mean it’s definitely something that takes four years to achieve, so it’s not just the players this year, it’s the players last year and in the previous years as well,” Winterburn said. 

Some of her teammates never realized how many goals she scored, until she reached 100.

“I didn’t even know she was that close,” Hileman said. 

The team never made it a priority.

“We never really made it a team focus or said this is something that we’re to do; it’s just something that sort of happened within the process of trying to play good soccer,” Winterburn said. 

Sarver has played soccer since she was five, starting at the Altoona American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). About three years later, she joined a team that her father, Daryll Sarver, coached called the Crazy Eights.

“We started a team called Crazy Eights, so we started playing local teams, and then we started playing Pittsburgh teams and teams from out in that area. A lot of the players that play now, like Lauren and Ashtyn, who are the two captains, and Maddy Cabell, which is our JV keeper, we just have a lot of players that came out of that program,” Sarver said. 

Hileman reminisces about the many places the team went.

“That was our club team when we were in elementary school,” Hileman said. “We traveled a lot, and we were undefeated for a really long time. For our age we did really well. I think the farthest we went was Pittsburgh and Clearfield and DuBois. We did a lot of tournaments too, and we won almost all of them.”

Kiser is planning on seeing her friends from the Crazy Eights at their reunion this year. 

“This year we’re actually going to do a reunion of that team as an indoor team just to bring it back,” Kiser said. 

After playing with the Crazy Eights, Sarver joined other teams and clubs.

“I went to Penn United, and now I play for a team in Pittsburgh. I travel two hours to practice. They travel all over to Wisconsin and Minnesota and California and everywhere to play. That’s where I’m at now. It’s called Beadling,” Sarver said. 

Sarver also remembers the time she traveled abroad to play soccer.

“I traveled to Costa Rica to play with a team, that was an awesome memory,” Sarver said. “Meeting new girls, it was from 13 different states that we all came together, and we started playing. So we all traveled over to Costa Rica, and we got to play against the professional teams over there, so that was probably the best, most exciting memory that I have. While I was over there, we got to do some community service and just help them out over there.”

Sarver believes one of her greatest strengths is her shooting.

“I spend hours each week practicing my shooting before practice and over the weekend. As well as long balls and through balls, I’m pretty accurate. That’s just something I can focus on individually, so that’s why I’ve taken that on myself just to practice on my own and with my dad,” Sarver said.

Her coach thinks that her strength is her positive attitude.

“I mean she’s a great kid, not just a great player, but a great all around person. So her work ethic is always high, her work rate is always high, she’s a good leader for the younger underclassmen on the team,” Winterburn said.

Sarver plans on staying involved in soccer after high school.

“I’m committed to Slippery Rock. That’ll be my next four years. I don’t really have any plans after that,” Sarver said.