CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars traveled four rookies to their first preseason tournament in Portland, evaluating their performance before the final 20-player roster is set for the start of the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season. One of those players is Morgan Proffitt, a Marquette University grad, who displays tactical defensive skills as well as strength in the midfield.
“Preseason has been going pretty well thus far,” said Proffitt. “The speed of play and getting used to different styles of players was challenging at first, but it is coming along. Definitely the transition from college to professional play is a big one, but each day I am learning and soaking in information. This Portland trip has also been a great opportunity to get to know the girls better off the field; they have been really welcoming.”
The 12th overall pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft played her first minutes of her professional career when she stepped onto the pitch at the start of the second half, earning the most minutes of the rookies. Her 45 minutes proved to be a good sign as she was able to release three shots with one going just wide.
“To play my first professional minutes was amazing,” stated Proffitt. “The environment we played in was so fun. There were a ton of fans in the stadium for a preseason match and that brought lots of noise. I will say I was a little nervous and anxious, not wanting to mess up, but it helped playing in front of some vocal players.”
The Indiana native stayed in the Midwest and played four years at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Primarily on the defensive line, Proffitt started 83 of her 85 matches. Even on the backline, she managed 10 goals during her four years, earning five goals her senior year alone. She also tallied three assists, all coming in her final season with Marquette.
Within her four years, she earned a multitude of honors, including the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year title and was on the MAC Herman Trophy Watch List her senior year. Proffitt received back-to-back All-BIG EAST First Team and All-Preseason Team credits.
Nearly 90 miles from Marquette, Proffitt is certainly no stranger to Chicago. Developing her skills, she played two seasons with the Red Stars Reserves of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), including helping the Reserves claim the 2015 WPSL Championship title. In 2016, Proffitt appeared in three matches and scored one goal.
“I know I still have much to work on and I am really excited for the opportunity to practice and play amongst the best players in the country and world,” said Proffitt. “The coaching staff excites me; I know they will push me to develop into a better player and person.”
The Red Stars return to action when they face the Houston Dash Wednesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. CT in Portland during their second match of the Thorns Spring Invitational, presented by Tillamook. Chicago returns to Toyota Park on April 22 for their home opener. Tickets for all home matches are currently on sale here.