Lakeville South senior forward Morgan Morse had not committed to any college yet. Her hat trick in Thursday’s 3-1 quarterfinal victory against Blaine might force coaches to look again.

Morse struck for goals twice in a span of 1 minute, 7 seconds in the first period. She completed her hat trick in the second period, giving her team all the offense it needed.

“Morgan is one of the most underrated players in the state,” Lakeville South coach Natalie Darwitz said. “She showcased her talent and skill tonight.”

Lauded by opposing coaches as a competitor, Morse does her best work in the offensive zone. She leads No. 4 seed Lakeville South (24-4-1) with 31 goals this season.

Blaine sophomore defenseman Emily Brown, who has verbally committed to the Gophers, played with Morse in the offseason and knew about her good hands. The fifth-seeded Bengals (20-8-1) found out just how good.

The third goal Morse scored brought out the fan in Darwitz, a former college All-America player and Olympian.

“She split the ‘D,’ comes down the middle and makes a phenomenal move on the goaltender,” Darwitz said.

Morse sent the Cougars to the state tournament with a game-winning goal last week in a section final against Lakeville North.

“Getting that goal to finish it off just kind of lit a match and kept me rolling,” Morse said.

David La Vaque