Sports

22-year-old former Duke women’s lacrosse player dies

Duke’s campus is mourning the death of a former student and women’s lacrosse player.

Morgan Rodgers, a Duke lacrosse player in 2016 and 2017 from Warrenton, Va., died Thursday night. She was 22.

An email was sent to students by Mary Pat McMahon, Duke’s vice provost for campus life, on Friday announcing her death but not including any further details.

A statement from the Duke athletics’ department, emailed from women’s lacrosse team spokeswoman Leslie Gaber, said, “We join the Duke community in mourning the loss of former women’s lacrosse student-athlete Morgan Rodgers. At this time of sorrow, we ask that you hold the Rodgers family in your hearts.”

According to her biography page on the school’s athletics website, Rodgers played one game for Duke during the 2016 season, when she made the ACC Academic Honor Roll for posting a grade point average of 3.0 or better for the entire school year. She missed the entire 2017 season due to an injury and wasn’t on the roster the next two seasons.

“The Duke community extends our deepest sympathies to the Rodgers family at this time,” McMahon wrote in her email. “Morgan’s sudden passing will be felt deeply by many in the Duke community. Our hearts go out to her friends and teammates, and to the faculty and staff she connected with during her time here.”

Prior to Duke, Rodgers played field hockey, basketball and lacrosse at Virginia’s Kettle Run High School. She was a three-time conference player of the year in lacrosse and two-time field hockey player of the year.

In a feature posted on the Duke athletics website in December 2015, prior to Rodgers arriving on campus, she was asked where she wanted to be in 10 years.

“Hopefully starting a family and working as a sports psychologist,” Rodgers was quoted as saying.

The loss of a loved one can take a physical and emotional toll on you. Grief can produce stress in your body. The process can be different for everyone, and people may even experience “complicated grief." Learn more here.

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.
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