For Steamboat Springs’ Morisset, playing with 14ers provides NCAA D-III hockey shot at Lawrence
On the heels of Rachel Hart becoming the first college commitment from the Colorado 14ers girls program, Sophie Morisset is continuing the great news for the 14ers’ 19U team by making a commitment of her own.
Morisset, the 19U team captain, will play for NCAA Division III Lawrence University, an NCHA school located in Appleton, Wis., this coming fall.
“The process of committing was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” Morisset said. “It took lots of waiting from multiple schools just to find out. I talked with my dad lots, especially with financials and which school would give me the best opportunities and along with being challenging in hockey. When I was ready to commit, I went to my coaches for help and thoughts on my decision. One question was, ‘If you were to break your leg and couldn’t play for a season would you be happy?’ That question had really helped with my decision to commit and made Lawrence the clear decision.
Academically, Lawrence has everything Morisset is looking for in the classroom.
“Lawrence is going to give me the best opportunities,” said Morisset. “Having a smaller classroom and more time with the professors is going to make handling college and hockey easier. Hockey wise, it was going to be challenging to take the next step up, but with speaking with players, they had kept improving in the game and getting stronger every game. I was really looking for somewhere who was going to challenge me and give me a better aspect of the game.”
The native of Steamboat Springs is planning on going into Lawrence’s pre-med program to one day become a physical therapist. She will also be taking some business classes to eventually get her minor in sports management.
“It feels great to be one of the first commits, showing that this program has multiple girls that can commit,” Morisset said. “Hopefully, this gives hope to the girls that they may be playing Tier II hockey that they will still be able to go play in college and not just club hockey.”
This season, the first for the 14ers, has seen Morisset’s game improve in leaps and bounds.
“On a personal standpoint, I’ve had to work harder and become a stronger leader as the season has gone on,” said Morisset. “After being named captain, I had to step into some pretty big shoes and be the best I teammate, player, and friend I could ever be. On a team standpoint, we are a strong-bonded team, not only with each other but with the other teams in the association.
“This season has been one of my most favorite seasons I’ve had through my youth hockey. The coaches are great and help improve you every day, on and off the ice. The team was brought by multiple organizations, even teams who rivaled each other. It was quite a worry of being divided at the beginning of the season, especially with the girls who were rivals before. As the season started, there was great chemistry, no dividing between the organizations but coming together. As we have had our ups and downs, those have brought us even more together than we were before. This is the strongest bonded team I’ve ever been a part of.”
Prior to the 2021-22 season, Morisset played for the Pilot Mound Hockey Academy in the Canadian province of Manitoba and before that, skated for the Colorado Select.
“I got into the game by my dad (Jeff Morisset) and brother (Adam Morisset) by showing up to my brother’s practices my dad had coached,” said Morisset. “As I grew to love the game, I started off with the Fraser Valley Eagles. Moving to get a better opportunity, I played for Colorado Select 12U and eventually transferred back over to boys hockey with the Jr. Eagles in Lakewood. After making a profile on Next College Student Athlete, Pilot Mound contacted me. So as a 14-year-old, I lived in dorms away from home with the 18U female varsity team at Pilot Mound Hockey Academy.
“As it was not the right fit for me, I came back to Colorado and played for the Select until the 14ers organization was built.
Going forward, Morisset has major aspirations for her hockey life and her career away from the rink.
“Short term academically, I want to have good grades through college leading to a long-term goal of going to a higher-level grad school to get my master’s in physical therapy,” she said. “In life, I plan to learn more about hockey to potentially make girls hockey bigger and stronger, to do more for the sport and to have the girls playing have a great experience.”
— Matt Mackinder
(February 17, 2022)