Let’s throw it back, it’s Thursday! This week, we had the chance to catch up with Virginia Women’s Soccer’s Morgan Brian, who recently received the highest honors of being named to Streaking the Lawn’s Mt. Rushmore of Women’s Soccer. The two-time Hermann Trophy winner gave us some insight on what she’s been doing since her time at Virginia, how she’s getting through quarantine season, and what she’d do differently if she were to do it all over again.
This is another installment of our weekly Throwback Thursday. Last week we spoke with Sharnee Zoll from Virginia Women’s Basketball, and she carried on the tradition of asking the next alum a question, without knowing who it is. Morgan also paid it forward. We’ve basically created an elaborate chain mail among former Virginia athletes. Streaking the Lawn’s greatest contribution.
This has been lightly edited for clarity.
Streaking the Lawn: So, what have you been up to since leaving school?
Morgan Brian: Playing a lot of soccer. I finally graduated in 2017 from UVA. I got married in 2017, and shortly after that moved to France in 2018, where I played in Lyon, France for 6 months before making my way back over to Chicago. We have been in a Chicago, IL since the middle of 2018.
STL: If you could have been an athlete in another sport at Virginia, which would you choose, and would you be a starter?
MB: This one is easy for me to decide, basketball. I wanted to try and walk on the basketball team at UVA during my time, but with everything I had going on it would have been a lot. I still joke around about using another year of eligibility to go back and play basketball for one year while trying to get my masters from UVA. About being a starter.....I guess there would be only one way to find out.
STL: What is your favorite UVA sports memory, either as a fan or a player?
MB: As a player, my favorite was anything from the 2013 season. It was the best team, both on and off the field, that I have played for. If I had to pick one moment it would be the Elite 8 Michigan game we played at home that sent us to the final four for the first time in school history.
As a fan, I’ve really enjoyed watching UVA basketball become a powerhouse.
STL: What are you doing during this self-isolating period to stay busy/entertained?
MB: I have been doing a lot of zoom calls, interviews, and fun videos to interact with fans. I have been working out a lot to stay in shape for when our season starts back up. Of course, I have been binging a lot of tv shows...right now it’s Homeland.
STL: Which coach or teacher had the greatest impact on you while at UVA?
MB: Steve Swanson, no doubt. I spent more time with him over my four years than anyone else. Between getting ready for the Under-20 World Cup together between 2010-2012, the years at UVA, and then getting ready for the 2015 World Cup we spent a lot of time together on the road and at home. He of course is the best coach I have ever had, but what sets him even farther apart for me is how great of a person he is off of the field. He takes cares of his players like they are his own and creates and environment for his players to become better athletes and people.
STL: Do you have any career advice to current students or recent alumni?
MB: Current students....CHERISH EVERY MOMENT. My time at UVA was the best four years of my life so far. There have been so many times I wish I could go back and relive my time there in slow motion. College is such a unique experience and UVA is such a special place. Recent alumni...visit as much as you possibly can, because about 3-4 years after you graduate visiting will just have a different feel to it.
STL: What do you see that current UVA student-athletes have on Grounds that you wish you had? (facilities, resources, coach)
MB: As the years have gone on, athletes are getting more and more resources (which is awesome). I had everything I needed to succeed at UVA. If I had to pick it would be a facility like women’s softball now has. In a dream world, it would be nice for every sport to have their own facility.
STL: What is your favorite Charlottesville restaurant?
MB: There are so many! I really like Mas Tapas, Roots, Bodo’s, and Littlejohn’s.
STL: Favorite Class?
MB: Anatomy and Physiology
STL: Here’s a bonus from Sharnee Zoll last week: If you could change one thing about your college experience/career, what would you change?
MB: Win a National Championship. We came so close my junior and senior season. It would have been amazing to make history, especially since we had one of the best (if not the best) teams in program history.