Milford’s Andrews breaking in with Boston

Staff photo by Jason Orfao Milford native Morgan Andrews, right, laughs while warming up with teammates on April 23 before Boston’s 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC at Jordan Field.

ALLSTON, Mass. – The amount of minutes don’t matter to Morgan Andrews, she simply wants to make the most of her time.

The former Milford High School star is three matches into her National Women’s Soccer League career and made a late appearance in the first two contests for the Boston Breakers, which earned its first victory with a 1-0 triumph over Sky Blue FC in the home opener April 23 at Jordan Field. The Breakers rolled past the Seattle Reign for a 3-0 victory on Saturday.

“There’s a great confidence coming off of win,” Andrews said following the home debut April 23. “We’re going to come out fighting. This is just motivation and further inspiration for us to keep going.”

Andrews, a midfielder, simply wants to boost the Breakers up the standings any way she can. If it means coming off the bench, so be it. The No. 3 overall pick is a rookie, after all.

“I just want to play the role that my team needs me to play,” Andrews said. “It’s a good time out there. We’re having a really good time and I’m having fun.”

The last handful of months have been a whirlwind for the former Spartan.

She scored a goal in the University of Southern California’s 3-1 victory over West Virginia in the national championship game Dec. 4. A month later, she was in Kansas City, Mo., for the MAC Hermann Trophy ceremony as one of the nation’s top three players. The very next week was the NWSL College Draft, where the Boston Breakers owned four of the top nine selections.

Andrews pushed for a homecoming.

“You go into the draft communicating with a bunch of coaches, and I definitely communicated with (Breakers coach) Matt (Beard) that Boston was somewhere I wanted to be,” Andrews explained. “It’s like home to me. It’s a New England city and I wanted to represent my home. I knew that this was a possibility, but in the end, you don’t know. Nothing is set in stone.”

Such is life in a professional league, and she’s acutely aware things can change in a heartbeat.

“Even now, nothing is set in stone. You could be traded at any moment and end up in another city.”

Boston also took Rose Lavelle as the top pick, while Ifeoma Onumonu and Margaret Purce were the No. 8 and 9 selections, respectively.

A draft class with such high-end talent has produced a tough race for playing time. So far, Andrews has been the third substitution in the first two matches, entering in the 81st minute in the season opener in a 2-0 loss at FC Kansas City and the 82nd minute April 23.

“It’s competitive, it’s challenging, but it’s fun,” Andrews said. “This is what I’ve been waiting for my entire career. I want to be a professional soccer player. I want to be the best. I’m not just here just to exist, you know? I’m here to be the best, and that’s wherever my team needs me, whether it’s holding mid, attacking mid or anywhere in between. The expectations are high and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Although she’s living her dream as a professional for the hometown team, the transition from college is still ongoing. Andrews is currently taking four classes remotely at USC while trying to finish her degree in broadcast digital journalism. Thanks to losing credits during her transfer from Notre Dame, she still has three more classes to go.

“I’m doing homework every night and taking tests every week,” Andrews said. “It’s really tough, it’s exhausting, but it’s something that needs to be done. My body is not going to last forever. I know that and I’ve been told that by people who are willing to be honest with me. That degree is something that I need.”

Andrews is grateful for the support of friends and family, but has also had the benefit of a college teammate making the jump to the NWSL with her. Former USC goalie Sammy Jo Prudhomme is Boston’s backup goalkeeper and has been a helping hand.

“It’s great. It’s someone to talk to, someone to relax with, someone to hang out with,” Andrews said. “Sammy Jo is easily one of the best goalkeepers in the nation. She proved that at USC. Obviously, making the transition to the pros is difficult and we all have to pay our dues, but she is one of the best people I know.”

Andrews received the rookie treatment from her team’s Twitter page after she was a little too eager to make her professional debut in Kansas City, and started on the pitch before her teammate arrived before being stopped by an official. The camera caught it and Andrews can’t help but laugh about the short video.

“That was a good little GIF, wasn’t it?” she said with a chuckle. “I think I was just a little excited. I want to make the most of any minute I get on the field, and that’s the goal, to make an impact every time I step on the field. I think I was just a little too ready at that point.”

She plans to make the most of every opportunity going forward, never settling for satisfaction.

“I’m slowing trying to earn more minutes as I go,” Andrews said. “I want to be my biggest critic and I think I need to make more of an impact.”

The journey continues Sunday as the Breakers host the North Carolina Courage at 6 p.m.

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