By Mary Loftus
With soccer, volleyball, and cross-country teams actively competing in their fall seasons, Emory’s scholar athletes are passing, punting, assisting, blocking, and sprinting—as well as studying.
Soccer stars Lauren Gorodetsky 14C, a psychology major from Palm City, Florida, and Dylan Price 15C, a business administration and Russian major from Great Falls, Virginia, are typical of the university’s athletes, who fit practices, games, and travel into already tight schedules of classes and other extracurriculars.
Gorodetsky, one of the top soccer players in the nation and the first three-time All-American soccer player in Emory’s history, was named D3Soccer.com’s Defensive Player of the Year and played for both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and D3Soccer.com All-America First Team. She’s also a member of Emory’s softball team and writes for the Emory Wheel.
Price, a two-time honorable mention All-UAA selection, was an academic all-district pick last year and maintains a solid GPA.
“Emory is a perfect combination of great academics, competitive athletics, and a friendly community,” he says.
“The athletic accomplishment of our students is noteworthy on its own,” says Director of Athletics and Recreation Tim Downes, “but it’s the academic achievement that sets the Emory Eagles apart and continues to validate why athletics in higher education matter.”
Both soccer teams are ready for a winning year. After advancing to the title game of the 2012 NCAA Division III Championships last year, women’s soccer head coach Sue Patberg has more than twenty returning players. Top scorers include Veronica Romero 15C, a Spanish and Latin American studies major from Tucker, and Emily Feldman 15C, an international studies major from Highland Park, Illinois.
“It’s definitely a challenge to figure out a routine with schoolwork combined with practices usually four times a week and two games, leaving us one day off,” Feldman says. “However, finding that balance is possible, which makes being a student athlete an amazing experience.”
The men’s soccer team hopes to earn another trip to the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Sonny Travis’s returning players include leading scorer Price as well as Noah Rosen 15C, a neuroscience and behavioral biology (NBB) major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and, Abe Hannigan 16C, of Montrose, New York, who is back as goalkeeper.
The volleyball team last year made its seventeenth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and took its third University Athletic Association title. Head Coach Jenny McDowell says her players spend three to four hours a day on athletic-related activities, travel most weekends, play thirty-five matches each fall, and still have a team GPA of 3.49.
“They have an unbelievable ability to prioritize the academic demands of Emory while succeeding at the highest level on the volleyball court,” McDowell says. “The key for our team is that we always put academics first, no matter what the circumstances are. I believe that my job as a coach is to help them grow in every area of their lives, and volleyball is the platform on which I get to do just that.”
The cross-country men’s team hopes to make its mark this year with returning players like Lukas Mees 16C, a psychology major from Marion, Iowa, the program’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year who earned an at-large spot to the D-III Championships last season.
“I’ve been excited about this season since I crossed the finish line at nationals last year. We have an incredible incoming class, which is doubling our roster size with some very talented freshmen,” says Mees, who stays busy training, working for Emory Reads, and studying for premed classes.
Head Coach John Curtin also has strong returning runners in Eddie Mulder 14B, a business major from Pompano Beach, Florida, and Hank Ashforth 14C, an NBB major from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, both of whom captured All-South/Southeast Region honors last year.
The women’s team went to its eighth-straight NCAA D-III Championships last year, and is heading into its twenty-eighth season, with players including Marissa Gogniat 15C, an NBB major from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, who was named the team’s Most Improved Runner while securing all-region kudos, and Tamara Surtees 14C, an anthropology and human biology major from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.