by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
In the newest local prep sport, lacrosse, the first star to emerge has been Morgan Pierson, a willowy center who developed into a scoring machine the last two years.
Representing an all-district Elk River-Rogers-Zimmerman team, the Rogers senior has 31 goals and 13 assists in eight games, ranking 10th in the state in goals, leading ERZ to a 6-2 record. She had six goals in a come-from-behind 11-10 win at St. Cloud Tech last Friday and five in a 12-11 win over Anoka on Wednesday at home.
As a junior, she piled up 34 goals and 11 assists, making the all-conference team, as ERZ posted its first winning record, 7-6.
She has been a team MVP three times so far, counting club teams and ERZ captain the last two years.
Coach Jeannette Bankes credits Pierson’s “excellent stick-handling and endurance,” along with passion, exceptional speed, dedication and high-level experience, for those lofty scoring totals.
The player herself says it’s mostly instinct.
“I just let it flow, and if I see an opening, I go,” explains Pierson, who, at 5-foot-7 and 111 pounds, doesn’t need much of a hole to sneak through.
Pierson got started earlier than her teammates, playing with a Champlin club team before joining a struggling ERZ team in 10th grade. She and her squad have blossomed the last two years under Bankes, who had a strong lacrosse background on the East Coast.
“Morgan is phenomenal to work with,” said the coach. “As a captain, she is very pleasant to everyone. She doesn’t stick to any cliques. She is a very good team player. But she will get after her teammates, too, to do things better.”
At the midfield spot, Pierson handles the faceoffs and runs the entire field, so ERZ gets the most of her abilities.
The bulk of Pierson’s games are played for the Minnesota Lakers, coached by Minnesota Gophers club team coach Janet Holdsworth, in the summer. They played around 50 games and traveled to the East Coast, the South, and California.
Pierson played soccer and hockey earlier but settled upon the last sport she took up “because I thought I could go farther in lacrosse.” She has signed with the Colorado at Regis.
THE PIERSON SCORECARD
Favorite stuff — Class: math … TV: “I never watch. I’m always outside.” … Food: pizza … Drink: Gatorade cool blue … Team: “None. The MN teams are lousy.” … Kickback activities: “Anything outdoors”