“Suffolk was actually my top choice [of school] from the beginning. So I’m glad I get to go there and play soccer,” said Emma in an interview with WYDaily. “My whole family lived in Massachusetts and I’ve always liked visiting Boston. It’s right in the middle of Boston. I went up and met the team last year for an ID camp. They were all super nice, and I researched Suffolk and looked at all the majors and classes.”
Last year, Emma toured the Suffolk University campus and attended an ID camp where she played with Suffolk University’s soccer team. Last December during the recruitment process, the original Suffolk coach left to go to Rochester (N.Y.). Emma then received an email from the new head coach. They two decided to talk on the phone in order to discuss soccer and college.
“When I talked to the new coach, she talked about [how playing soccer should be fun],” said Emma. “I knew that I didn’t want to go D1 going into college, because I really want to have that college experience, and when I talked to the new coach she had the exact same mindset as me. She was saying that, ‘Soccer is a part of college, it’s not your whole entire college experience.’ So I was like, ‘Yes! I really like you!’ That’s exactly what I thought.”
Emma started playing soccer when she was about four years old. Now in the midst of her final season playing for the LHS team, she couldn’t imagine going to college and not continuing to play the sport that she loves.
“I don’t think I would know what to do without it,” Emma said.
In 2014, she moved to the Historic Triangle. Emma said that that’s when she really began developing as an athlete. Over the years, she has evolved as a soccer player, having competed with both Legacy Soccer and Tidewater Sharks; two local soccer clubs.
“She is probably our most versatile player,” said Kellie Ernst, head coach of LHS girls soccer, in an interview with WYDaily. “If we ask her to play a position, she 100 percent gives her all. I use that word, ‘motor,‘ it’s a perfect description of Emma. She never stops. From the minute the whistle blows to the minute the game ends.”
“She is giving 100 percent the entire time, and that kind of makes our team propel forward,” Coach Ernst added. “A lot of the girls pick up on that energy and we are just so thankful that we’ve had the time with her.”
One of the memories that the senior midfield player will carry with her was when the Rams went to compete at the regional tournament last year.
Before the start of the game, Emma’s teammate and fellow senior classmate, Reagan Hunt, rallied the team to the song, “Cotton-Eyed Joe.” Since then, it has become a pre-game tradition for the team.
“The juniors seem to be really into it this year. So I’m hoping that they’ll continue it next year,” said Emma. “I think, especially when we started off as freshmen, we were all like super shy and stuff, and then as we’ve grown we’ve kind of brought the team together more. I’m hoping that the freshmen and sophomores will do that when they get to be juniors and seniors. So, I think that tradition will continue.”
At the end of the season, the future Suffolk Ram will leave her current Rams behind. Emma has faith that the LHS team is on track to pick up where the current graduating class leaves off.
“I think as long as they’re having fun because our team last year from the beginning it wasn’t that good,” said Emma. “We had injuries and stuff. As we grew, we all became super close and we’re all really good friends. So I think that if they stay friends and if they have fun it’s going to be good no matter what. That’s what it was for us.”
The LHS squad is working to recreate the magic from last season’s regional tournament. As of April 6, the LHS girls team record is 3 wins and 1 loss.
“The success that we’re having speaks wonders to the unit that they’ve made together and it’s a special thing to be a part of and to coach,” said Coach Ernst. “When you have such a great core of seniors and Emma, just like Sydney, Reagan, Brooke, they are the front runners and they are the leaders. It’s really special to be a part of it.”