Ramona High senior center midfielder Morgen Schmidt has five goals and nine assists for a Bulldogs team that is 11-1-1 this season.
Morgen Schmidt has been playing soccer since he was 6, but the best goal of his career came for Ramona High just two weeks ago.
In a Grossmont Tournament game against Steele Canyon, Schmidt — a center midfielder — nailed a shot from 25 yards away on an indirect free kick.
What made the goal so memorable was the way the ball found the net.
“I bent it around the wall into the top corner,” said Schmidt, who has five goals and nine assists for the Bulldogs (11-1-1). “I surprised myself because the keeper was tall, too.”
The only surprise this season has been how much Schmidt’s game has improved over last year, according to his coach, Michael Jordan III.
Q: How do you account for your improved play as a senior?
A: Since the end of last season, I’ve gotten a lot faster. I can keep up with the action better now. It’s been a lot easier to do that.
Q: Is speed one of the things you worked on in the offseason?
A: No, not really. I think just being a year older has been the reason. Last year I had trouble beating people to a loose ball. It was very frustrating to always get beat like that.
Q: How did you happen to wind up playing soccer?
A: My parents were in AYSO, and I really wanted to be on a team instead of playing an individual sport. My older sister played soccer, and I wanted to do that, too.
Q: What was the appeal of playing on a team instead of an individual sport?
A: It was a way to meet friends and to learn how to trust people around you.
Q: Have you always played center mid?
A: I’ve played everything but goalie. I never wanted to play goalie. And when I played on defense, I wasn’t very aggressive.
Q: That’s different now that you’re an attacker?
A: I love getting the ball more now and being in the action all the time.
Q: Do you take corner kicks?
A: Yes, I do take corners. I prefer to stay out of the mess in front of the net. And I’ve still been hit in the head three times this season already — once by a foot, once by a ball and once by someone else’s head. They all hurt; that’s why I love taking corners.
Q: If you could change one rule in soccer, what would it be?
A: The free kick rule. Defenders are supposed to be 10 yards away from the kicker, but they rarely are. I’d enforce that. Maybe it would be more goals into the game.
Q: What’s in store for you next year?
A: I want to continue playing. I’m looking at Azusa Pacific or maybe Point Loma (Nazarene).
Q: As a year-round soccer player, do you have time for any hobbies?
A: I like bike riding and hiking.
Q: Where do you hike?
A: The Poway trail up to Mount Woodson. You can see everything from the top. I love long hikes like that. Most of the time there’s a group of five or six of us who walk, and they can last up to 2½ hours.
Q: Is that your retreat from the outside world?
A: It is kind of nice, really relaxing. We bring cellphones, but we try not to use them much — just block out everything else. I love to clear my head for a few hours.
Q: Is that possible for a teenager to go a few hours without getting any calls or texts on their cellphone?
A: For some people I know, it’s impossible. They have to check every five minutes. Girls are the worst. They have to have their phone in their hands all the time.
Q: Aren’t you tired after a hike?
A: Physically, yes. But mentally, I’m ready to go on to the next thing after a hike.
Born: July 22, 1995, in San Diego
Who would you put on speed dial? Landon Donovan, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sir Alex Ferguson, Theo Walcott
Favorite pizza: Pepperoni
Sport you would never watch: Women’s field hockey
What would be your last meal? Spaghetti and meatballs
If you had three wishes, what would they be? Be on U.S. national soccer team, play for Manchester United, lead U.S. to World Cup title
What’s bookmarked on your computer? Facebook
Favorite restaurant: In-N-Out Burger
Best moment in athletic career: Scoring a hat trick for club teamCareer ambition: Physical therapist
Favorite class: Civics
Your ideal car or truck: Honda Civic
What TV show do you hate to miss? “Walking Dead”
Favorite cartoon as a youngster: “Tom and Jerry”
Best Christmas present ever received: PlayStation 3
Biggest fear: Floating in the ocean