Little Flower graduate Morgan Basileo hopes to continue her success as a goalie at Temple University.
Morgan Basileo doesn’t mind earning her right to be on the field.
That’s exactly what she did last year.
Basileo, a 2016 graduate of Little Flower High School, looked like she earned the starting goalie job on the Temple University women’s soccer team prior to last season. She was playing in most of the spring practices and scrimmages, but when the season rolled around, she found herself on the bench.
“It was tough, you always want to play,” said Basileo, a Mayfair native. “I just tried to keep working. (Being a goalie) is a lot mental, so you want to keep your confidence. (The coaches) told me to keep working and be ready.”
She did. She was. And it didn’t take long for her to find herself back in the starting lineup.
This time, it wasn’t a temporary thing.
Basileo started 14 games for Temple and notched 69 saves to go along with four shutouts. She finished the season allowing just over an average of 1.5 goals per game and was named OwlSports Player of the Month for her stellar play in September.
As soon as she got back in, everything seemed to go perfectly.
“Right after I went back in, everything clicked with me and the back,” Basileo said. “I felt really good, and we played pretty well together. I was really happy to get in.”
This year, Basileo and her teammates are working toward getting ready for the season. Practice began late last month and they’ll continue to work hard through the preseason and nonleague schedule until conference play opens up on Sept. 24, when the Owls visit Southern Methodist University.
“We definitely work hard, we’re training three times a day,” Basileo said. “Playing college soccer is more like a job, but it’s a job I love and I do it because I love it and it’s great to do while getting an education.
“We are working out at 6 a.m. We run, we lift, we push ourselves and we push each other. Playing college soccer is so much different than playing high school or at the club level.”
Basileo credits her club career, along with her team at Little Flower, for helping her get to where she is today.
“Club soccer, I think, is where a lot of colleges recruit now, and I know a lot of the girls from playing club,” said Basileo, who also played softball at Little Flower. “Jules Blank went to Archbishop Ryan and we were high school rivals, but we played together at FC Bucks. I was also friends with Kerri McGinley, she went to St. Basil’s, but her cousin was on my club team. So I knew a lot of them before we started playing here. I had a connection with a lot of them.”
Now they’re all teammates and pushing each other to get better.
And when they’re not working hard on the field, they’re competing off of it in playing video games.
“I like mostly sports games, and I like Mario Kart, but the thing we all play together is Guitar Hero,” Basileo said. “I’m the best, no question! We have a lot of fun with it.
“I don’t know what my favorite song to play is, maybe Black Magic Woman? But we tried to get a lot of the songs into our playlist before the games. Last year, we got a few on, and we’ll try to do it again this year. See how it goes.”
When she’s not playing soccer, video games or DJing, Basileo is working hard on her studies.
She’s majoring in electrical engineering, so that includes many tough classes. It’s not easy juggling school and soccer, but she’s making it work.
“The classes are hard, I took some summer classes, but I like math and science,” Basileo said. “I’ve always liked things like video games and putting things together. Before I (declared a major), I talked with my dad and he said he knew people who studied statistics and classes like that. You have to be good at math and science, so it’s hard, but I really like it.”
Her family support goes far beyond help with her studies.
Temple plays an ambitious soccer schedule and whenever her family can come out and show their support, they’re there.
“No matter where it is, how far the drive is or what the conditions are, they’re there if they’re available,” said Basileo, who lives in St. Tim’s parish. “They’re always there. I’m lucky, not just my immediate family, but my cousins and aunts and uncles. They all show their support. They have Temple shirts and are always asking how we’re doing.”
This year, she has confidence she’ll be able to tell them they’re doing great.
The Owls play in a tough conference, but Basileo believes they have worked very hard and will enjoy a strong season. And she hopes she’s a huge part of it.
“I hope we make the postseason, that’s the main goal,” Basileo said. “I hope to be the starter, but more than that, I want to make the postseason. That’s everybody on the team’s goal, but it’s also a personal goal. I want the team to win. That’s why we all play, so we can win together.”