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Morgan leads nation in points, fifth in goals

Named SBC Player of Week Tuesday

September 19, 2006 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee soccer standout Kala Morgan has been a scoring machine all season and the forward was honored as Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week for the first time in her two-year career Tuesday.

Morgan has been on a season-long scoring binge that has her ranked No. 1 nationally in points (23), as well as fifth in the country in goals (9). The versatile Morgan also is tied for 26th nationally with five assists.

With Morgan helping lead the way, Middle Tennessee's high-octane offense is ranked No. 2 nationally in scoring offense with 3.75 goals per game, just behind West Virginia's 3.88 average. Junior forward Holly Grogan also has been a force. She is ranked 29th nationally in points per game (1.88), and is fourth nationally in assists (0.88), while freshman Jen Threlkeld is tied for 26th in the country with 0.63 assists per game.

Morgan's SBC Player of the Week honor follows a brilliant weekend performance that included four goals and two assists as Middle Tennessee (6-2) improved its winning streak at Blue Raider Field to a school-record 16 straight.

"What Kala has done this year demonstrates just how important the summer months are," Middle Tennessee coach Aston Rhoden said. "Kala had a decent year last year - her first season at the collegiate level - but she is having a great season this year because she put in the time during the summer and she is being rewarded for that time and commitment. She is in great shape but all of this also is a tribute to the players around her. They get her the ball in position to do what she does."

Morgan dominated against Lipscomb on Friday night when she recorded a hat trick and collected an assist in the game's first 12 minutes. She was removed immediately after scoring her third goal and did not return. She was also solid in a 4-3 double-overtime loss at Vanderbilt Sunday with one goal and an assist. Morgan's goal gave Middle Tennessee a 1-0 lead early and she assisted Caitlin Reeves' game-tying goal to force overtime.

The impressive weekend continues what has been a remarkable pace for Morgan, who has seven goals and two assists in the last four games - including road contests at Tennessee and Vanderbilt. She scored in all four games.

"Kala has been solid all season and this past weekend is just a continuation of what she has been doing," Rhoden said. "Not only is it the goals, but also the assists, creating opportunities, so many things, but the biggest thing is the consistency with which she is playing. Kala has been consistently playing well and doing things to contribute to our team's success. She is deserving of this honor."

Morgan's sensational season has enabled her to make significant moves on the career charts at Middle Tennessee. She is eighth all-time in goals (16), seventh in points (42), and is tied for fifth on the career assists list (10). As far as single-season records, Morgan is presently tied for seventh in points (23), and she is one goal and one assist shy of breaking into the single-season Top 10 in both categories.

Middle Tennessee, which continues to receive votes in the Soccer Buzz Top 15 Central Region poll, opens Sun Belt Conference play at Florida Atlantic Friday.

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