The Emory University women’s soccer team has battled their way back from a few early season losses, as well as a heartbreaking loss in their first game of conference play earlier this month.
After a narrow 1-0 setback to #3 Washington University at the Woodruff PE Center, the Eagles found renewed determination and picked up three big conference wins. They first travelled to Chicago to defeat University of Chicago by a 2-0 margin before returning home for an eventful parent’s weekend, capturing a 2-1 victory over New York University in a Friday night match before defeating Brandeis with a statement 3-0 score.
Immediately following their double header conference weekend, the Eagles took a break from conference play when they matched up against a cross town opponent: the Agnes Scott Scotties.
This gave the Eagles a chance to take a break from conference play, and also allowed them to test their underclassmen and experiment with next year’s returning squad. Not only did the squad prove promising with a killer 8-0 victory, but it was also was a match to welcome the return of a highly missed junior forward, Emily Feldman.
Emily Feldman has been a powerhouse since coming to Emory. She finished her freshman year with a high of seven goals, six assists, and two-times as athlete of the week. Her sophomore year, she logged eight goals and four assists, with four of those goals being crucial goals during the NCAA tournament, and one of those goals being in the Final Four–a record for goals scored in a single tournament by a player at Emory. She was named to the UAA Second Team and a Jewish All-American, as well as named UAA Athlete of the Week twice. Needless to say, her return caused all sorts of excited chaos from the Emory bench.
Benched unexpectedly in a preseason match by an MCL sprain and a tibial plateau fracture, Feldman has been contributing on the opposite side of the white line, but she says it has been an incredibly eye opening experience and has allowed her to see a new side of the game.
“Mentally, it was tough watching losses and games we could have played better in because I knew there was nothing I could do about it. It was sort of a helpless feeling, but at the same time it got me so excited to come back and try to make an impact. It has been a learning experience because I’ve watched the team develop over the season, and build chemistry as well as improve individually. We’ve come a long way from the beginning of the season,” says Feldman.
Feldman entered the Agnes Scott game not knowing how her body would take the sudden jolt of contact play, but after scoring her first season goal as well as logging an assist during the match, she says it was exactly what she needed.
“The Agnes Scott game helped my confidence… it gave me hope that I could recover fully this season. I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of my recovery. I didn’t know if I would just be a practice player or actually be able to play in conference games and the upcoming tournament. It was the motivation I needed not to lose confidence in myself during the rest of my recovery, and establish new goals for the end of the season,” says Feldman.
The timing of her return is optimal, as the Eagles head into their last conference away trip to play Rochester and Case Western before returning home to play their final conference match against Carnegie Mellon. Feldman says not only is she confident that she will recover, but that the team has and will continue to recover from the low points that the beginning of their season held.
“Being on the sidelines this season has exposed me to many things. I’ve watched our team go through good times and bad, and players having good games and bad games. At first it was a little rough chemistry wise, but now we’re finally clicking and it shows in our results. I am confident that we’ll have a successful season,” she says.