At 6-foot-2, there aren’t many goalkeepers in the state of Georgia more physically imposing than Peachtree Ridge’s Cosette Morche.
Her length makes it tough to shoot high on her and she has the reach to go from post to post. The senior has recorded four clean sheets this year already and has 26 for her career as a four-year starter.
“She is our anchor,” Peachtree Ridge head coach Megan Hill said. “She’s like our rock in the back. She brings a lot of leadership to the team. When she’s back there the team is comfortable. She’s our rock.”
The Lions are 6-4 this season but are off to a 2-0 start in Region 7-AAAAAA play. Morche started playing soccer when she was four, but didn’t switch to goalkeeper until she was 10. She was playing on a boys team after the girls team she was on folded.
Her coach put her in goal after the other players failed to take to the position.
“We didn’t have a very good goalkeeper so (our coach) would switch people in and out,” Morche said. “He decided to put me in one day. I don’t know why, I guess because I was taller than most of the boys — they have their growth spurts later on. I actually didn’t like it at first. I was really timid because I’m the last defense, so it was kind of scary having that pressure on you. But a couple years after being goalkeeper I stuck with it and ended up loving it. You’re always going to have that pressure on you, but just the adrenaline rush of being a goalie is really fun.”
That fun went away when she was in eighth grade.
After having a bad experience with her club coaches, Morche entered her freshman year at Peachtree Ridge intending to play only volleyball and basketball for the Lions.
Then head coach Bill Holleman refused to take no for an answer though. He was able to convince Morche to give the sport one more try.
“He told me that he really needed me and I was like ‘OK I might as well just try and see if I like it again,’” she said. “After that season I’ve been in love with it ever since. I’m so happy that he persuaded me to come back because I wouldn’t be able to play in college.”
Morche will play in college next season after signing with The University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She credits her freshman season for rekindling her passion in the sport.
The Lions went to penalty kicks in nine games that season, coming out on top seven times. Morche said she still vividly remembers beating Collins Hill 4-3 on PKs in a late season region-win.
“I think it was one of the final region games and we went into PKs and we won and it was the best feeling ever,” she said. “I’ll remember that. It was so good.”
After that freshman season Morche decided to stop playing basketball — she played volleyball for Peachtree Ridge all four years — and joined Atlanta Fire United.
She also trains year round with Glen Fox at Southern Crescent Goalkeeper Academy in Atlanta.
Morche said the area her game has grown the most is her ability to stop low shots. Her height is often an advantage, but on low shots it can be a weakness. “I’m so tall it takes a while to get down, but I’ve gotten so much better at that,”she said. “Recently that’s probably one of my better things I can do, is get down fast.”
Hill, who took over at Peachtree Ridge when Morche was a sophomore, said her star keeper has grown the most as a leader.
“She is not as vocal as a keeper as you would think, but here presence back there intimidates people because of the size,” Hill said. “I think personally she is one of the best keepers in the state, the team feeds off of that, too. She sees it, but she is very humble I will say. She doesn’t realize how good of a keeper she really is. It comes naturally to her.
“From sophomore year to senior year I would say she’s increased her communication with the team.”
With her senior season and and high school career winding down, Morche has been able to knock a few items off her bucket list this season.
Peachtree Ridge was able to beat No. 6 Parkview 1-0 on March 5, after the Panthers ended their season in the second round of the state playoffs last season. She earned straight A’s in the fall and is on track to do the same this spring.
She’s also gotten the chance to play alongside her sister Jozy, a freshman, on varsity.
“Now my sister is going to be on varsity all four years,” Cosette said. “She’s a centerback so she’s always got my back and I’ve got hers.”
Trusting her teammates has never been an issue for the senior.
“She is always encouraging our team,” Hill said. “Even if we’re down a goal or two goals she never gives up, she never lacks effort on her part whatsoever. She’s always the one pushing the girls to get better. Especially that last line of defense. She sees the whole field. When we’re down, she picks us up. Which is good. You need that in a keeper.”
Lucky for the Lions that Cosette happened to be taller than most 10-year olds.
“I honestly couldn’t imagine being any other position,” she said.
Article written By Paul Thomas at Gwinnett Prep Sports.com
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