Sometimes, peer pressure can be a life changer in a positive way.
When Annie Morsches was a freshman at Culver Academy, a friend encouraged her to try lacrosse. Culver is one of only about 35 schools in the state that offer the sport.
Morsches has come a long way since that fateful decision. In just a few weeks, she will depart for the University of Colorado to continue her lacrosse career with a scholarship to play for the Buffalos.
“I loved all sports, I played basketball and volleyball and rode horses, but there was just something about lacrosse,” said Morsches, who lives in Columbia City with her family. “It was a little rougher than other sports and it was very challenging.
“I had never picked up a lacrosse stick before, but I never wanted to stop after (going out for the team).”
In her senior season last spring, Morsches led Culver Academy to a state title, beating Carmel in the championship game.
For the season, she was first in the state with 62 goals and second in assists with 54 as Culver went 22-1.
She capped off her final season of high school lacrosse by being named a High School Lacrosse All-American, one of just five from Indiana.
“It was definitely awesome to be named an All-American. I was really trying for it all season,” Morsches said.
Morsches plays the center position, the lone player in lacrosse who can participate in both attack and defense. Typically, a team's best player takes that spot, with the position a magnet for activity on both ends of the field.
“Center is generally for the quickest player with the most endurance, and I feel I have that,” Morsches said.
As is the case in other sports, playing with summer lacrosse club teams can be the best way to be noticed by colleges, particularly when you do not play in a hotbed for lacrosse such as New England. Morsches played with Lake Shore Lacrosse out of Chicago over the last few years, driving four hours three times a week for practice as well as competing around the country on most weekends.
It earned her the attention of several colleges, including Colorado, the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell.
“It is almost a completely different game when playing on the club team,” Morsches said. “It was definitely a good experience to make connections with college coaches and vital to becoming the best player I can be.”
She is undecided on a major but is leaning toward physical therapy with a minor in nutrition.