Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2017

Morrissey, Trojan defense, come through


The Fairfield Trojans are the fifth highest scoring team in Iowa this year.


And Shannon Morrissey, Fairfield’s right center-back, the quarterback of the Trojan defense, is thrilled for that.


On the other side of the coin, while watching Trojan forwards Kristin Burnstedt, Alie Kensett, Ryan Pate, Bryanna Popejoy and Emma Rosner, among others, constantly celebrating after each goal with high hand-slaps, dances and hugs, well …


“We needed something to do, some kind of celebration, back there on defense,” said Morrissey with a chuckle. “Everyone up there scoring gets to have all the fun while Coryn Klehm and I are holding things down in the back.”


So, on Thursday, just before the biggest game of the 2017 season, with archrival Keokuk in town, Morrissey and left center-back Klehm did their own celebration in the backfield.


“It’s two high-fives and then we wipe the sweat off our foreheads at the exact same time,” Morrissey explained.


It was perfectly in sync. And it did look pretty cool.


“And it worked,” said Morrissey, with a nod to superstition.


The Trojans defeated Keokuk, 3-2, taking over sole possession of first place in the Southeast Conference.


“So, yes, before every game from now on, Corynn and I will do our little celebration,” Morrissey said.


And on Thursday, it was Morrissey, Klehm, fellow defenders Nicole Buch and Amanda Carminhato, and keeper Kelsey Hollander making sure that Keokuk had no celebration at all.


Klehm broke up four Keokuk offensive thrusts all by her lonesome and Morrissey booted Fairfield out of danger six times. In the second half, Morrissey stopped a Keokuk shot right at the goal line.


Throughout the game, Morrissey was pointing this way and that way to teammates, making sure Trojan players were in the best position.


“Shannon Morrissey is the rock of our defense,” said Trojan center-midfielder Mikaela Lunsford. “She holds our defense together so well. She tells us all where to go and she gets us pumped up.”


“Well,” said Morrissey, “it’s all a team effort.”


Morrissey and Klehm, both seniors, are the veterans on the backline. Carminhato and Buch are juniors.


“Nicole Buch’s speed is such a big help to us this year,” Morrissey said. “And Amanda is holding things down on her side, too.”


Fairfield trailed Keokuk 2-1 at halftime. The Trojans blanked the defending-champion Chiefs in the second frame.


“Our keeper Kelsey Hollander was amazing,” Morrissey said. “She made so many (19) good saves. You never want to allow a shot at your keeper. But when we needed her, she was there.”


Hollander returned the compliment.


“Shannon sees that whole field so well,” Hollander said. “It’s Shannon who takes charge of our defense.”

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