The University of Miami soccer team finished its season on Oct. 26 with a record that ranked near the bottom of the conference standings, but freshman defender Morgan Asmussen isn’t fazed by the rough season. She’s accustomed to dealing with the difficulties that come with new beginnings.
Asmussen was born in Okinawa, Japan, and has since lived in California and most recently Lake Bluff, Illinois. Her parents were both part of the United States Air Force while she was growing up, and it majorly impacted her life.
“I was born on a military base,” Asmussen said. “I’ve always had the influence of the military around me.”
That influence has turned into a career path. During her senior year of high school, Asmussen decided she wanted to continue her family’s tradition.
“I decided later than most people,” she said about her choice to enroll in Air Force ROTC. “I always liked volunteering and being a part of something bigger than just myself.”
Originally, Asmussen was unsure about joining but, after extensive research, realized that it was the right fit for her. She has since made strides in becoming an official member.
She plans to graduate with a double major in atmospheric science and marine science, which will prepare her for her goal of becoming a weather officer in the Air Force, which would entail prepping planes for special operations.
Asmussen recently passed her physical fitness test – one of the many steps needed to become an officer.
Being a part of the Air Force program and a Division-I soccer team calls for a substantial amount of training. This has given Asmussen an edge on and off the field.
“Soccer training has definitely helped me with the fitness aspects, but the Air Force has helped me out with the strength aspects,” she said. “I feel like this factors into the way I practice and the way I train.”
While it is clear Asmussen is as tough as they come, UM soccer coach Mary-Frances Monroe strength is not the only thing that contributes to her success.
“One thing I really enjoy watching and observing of Morgan is her leadership,” Monroe said. “I think that has to do a lot with her family background. Both of her parents being involved in the Air Force and how structured it is; it is nice to see that in her personality, and it’s been nice to see her grow as a freshman.”
Asmussen started developing a passion for soccer when she was just three years old, and since then it has been a main focus in her life. She played travel soccer until her senior year, when she joined her high school team.
In summer 2019, Asmussen will be in field training for three weeks in either Alabama or Texas. After her training is complete, she will receive her uniform.
She has a lot on her plate but also plenty of support to help make her aspirations a reality.
“Honestly, with all the resources I have, with Heather de la Osa my advisor, my advisor for atmospheric science and the support from the coaches – and in the Air Force, everyone has been like, ‘We are making this happen no matter what,'” Asmussen said. “Definitely having all those people behind me, even though their initial reaction is, ‘You’re insane,’ has been really, really nice.”
Asmussen also hopes her team can take home the ultimate prize during her time at Miami.
“Hopefully, we’ll be regular season ACC champions – that’s the goal,” she said.