A few years ago, Morgan Fisher told her father that she had two goals: to play for the University of Connecticut and to be part of the U.S.A. Hockey team.
On Friday evening, as Ms. Fisher signed a national letter of intent to play with the UConn Huskies and finally accomplished that dream, family, friends, and coaches wiped away tears. The absence of her father, who taught her to skate and play, was strongly felt.
“It seems just like yesterday she was looking at this school. It just really flew by,” said her mother, Lisa Fisher. “I know her dad is looking down on her now and is so proud of her.”
Ms. Fisher recalled how her father encouraged her interest in hockey by taking her to early sessions at local rinks. In a recent interview about her training, Ms. Fisher explained that those “stick times” were moments to “have fun and be me.”
“My dad and I would go there with a bucket of pucks, or I would do some skating drills,” she said, adding that her father “was on the bench for every team I ever played for growing up, and he is the driving force in everything that I do.”
Last season, the Williston girls varsity hockey team set a new school record for the most victories in a single season, with a total of 20. With eight shutouts over 25 gams, Ms. Fisher was a large part of that success. She would later go on to attend the inaugural US Women’s Team Goaltending Development Camp in Blaine, MN and was then chosen as one of 23 players on the U-18 National Team this summer.
Coach Bill Leidt, who has worked with Ms. Fisher for the past 10 years and was on hand for the signing ceremony, said that he had see the hockey player improve on and off the ice, in both her composure and her drive to succeed.
“It’s a great testimony to someone who was behind the eight ball,” said Mr. Leidt, who is the director for the USA Hockey New England District girls and women program. “I was just fortunate to be around.”
For her part, Ms. Fisher said that UConn had always been her dream school and that her interactions with the team confirmed that the Huskies would be a good fit. She attributed this success to hard work and the encouragement from her father.
“He told me to put my heart and mind towards anything I wanted to accomplish,” she said. “Now I feel that I can accomplish anything.”