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Freshman forward Morgan Frank leads YC's postseason push
With starters sidelined at the beginning of the postseason, the Shamrocks needed somebody to spark their offense. The person that stepped up, frankly, was no surprise.
Freshman forward Morgan Frank has shouldered the Shamrocks' offensive burden, netting three of Yuma Catholic's six postseason goals. That effort has helped push the No. 11 Shamrocks into the semifinals of the 1A/2A/3A state tournament where they will face No. 7 Phoenix-Northwest Christian at 1 p.m. today at Paradise Valley High.
Frank's success, and ultimately Yuma Catholic's, was little surprise to YC coach Jesus Quintana.
"(There wasn't) a great deal of surprise, coming into the season, I knew Morgan was a good player," Quintana said. "She did a terrific job in practice and she had a starting spot."
But shortly after earning that starting spot Frank was sidelined, like so many other YC players, with an injury. After playing in the Shamrocks' season opener against Goodyear-Estrella Foothills she injured her hip flexor and tore a muscle in her upper thigh, which kept her off the field for six weeks.
Still, she attended practices to prepare mentally for her return. All that remained was to ready herself physically.
"I was worried about losing my touches and speed, some of it I did lose," Frank said. "But coming back in, I worked hard and started to get it back"
After her recovery she made her way back into the rotation and onto the field in the Jan. 25 regular-season match against Northwest Christian. Though she attempted two of the Shamrocks' four shots against the Crusaders, neither converted as Yuma Catholic suffered a 3-0 defeat.
But that loss, along with the 2-0 loss to the Crusaders on Dec. 2, hasn't detracted from Frank's resolve. She's confident in her team's ability to finally overcome Northwest Christian and score a third-consecutive upset in the state tournament.
"Once you get into the mindset that this needs to happen, all the worries go away," Frank said. "You just put your head down and work hard."