September 4, 2007
Talent portends strong season
John Farina is sports information director for Emory Athletics.
After missing out on the NCAA Tournament last year, Emory Head Women’s Soccer Coach Sue Patberg and an eager group of Eagles look forward to returning to postseason play in 2007.
A total of 15 letterwinners return from the ’06 squad that finished with an overall won-lost slate of 9–6–2, the program’s 18th consecutive winning campaign. Combined with a talented group of newcomers, Emory promises to mount a serious challenge to anybody it plays this year.
Offensively, Emory will be led by key forwards Joyce Lam and Whitney Briggs. As a sophomore in 2006, Lam tied for the team lead with six assists, and added four goals for a total of 14 points. Meanwhile, Briggs made 12 starts for the Eagles, and finished second on the team with six goals.
Defensively, the backfield will be anchored by a trio of veterans — Grace Lam, Leanna Racine and Brittany Manseau, each of whom started at least 15 games for Emory in 2006, contributing to the team’s 0.98 goals against average.
The biggest question surrounding the team will be finding a replacement for Amy Franciscovich who closed out her career as the school’s all-time winningest goalkeeper. Senior Emily Fedeles could emerge as the frontrunner for that spot but will be pushed by junior Sarah Wilkerson and freshman Kirsten Baecher.
A new face will be patrolling the sideline at the Emory men’s soccer this year as Sonny Travis enters his first season as the Eagles’ head coach. Travis takes over for Mike Rubesch who served as head coach for 19 seasons.
Travis will have a wealth of experience to work with a total of 18 monogram winners back in the fold from last year’s squad that finished 11–6.
The junior duo of Patrick Carver and Patrick McFarland should keep the pressure on opposing defenses with their offensive skills. Carver paced the team in scoring with 21 points on team-high six goals and nine assists. McFarland was runner-up on the team’s scoresheet with five goals and five assists en route to 15 points.
On the defensive side, goalkeeper Keith Meehan will return for his senior season, following a solid 2006 season that saw him compile a 0.93 goals against average and six shutouts.
The backline will have to replace three starters from last year and looks for junior Jordan Edelman to sophomore Andre Jakubowski to play a stabilizing role among the group.
After compiling a 28–11 overall record last year that included the program’s 11th straight berth in the NCAA Tournament as well as concluding the year ranked 10th in the nation, 12th-year Head Coach Jenny McDowell and her 2007 volleyball team look for bigger and better things.
Junior Madison Robelen, one of 13 returning letter winners, will direct what promises to be a potent offensive attack from her setter position. In 2006, Robelen gained first team All-University Athletic Association honors after doling out 1,413 assists, second on the school’s seasonal chart.
An array of potentially devastating attackers will give Emory a balanced offensive look. Included in the group is 6-foot sophomore Alysse Meyer, the 2006 Freshman of the Year as chosen by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Bolstering the squad’s fortunes on that front will be the return of Courtney Rose, the 2005 National Player of the Year. The 5-foot-10 Rose missed last year’s campaign with an injury.
Defensively, senior Janet Bunning and junior Dani Huffman will give Emory a formidable tandem at the middle blocking position. Bunning, 5-foot-10, was a first-team All-American last season and paced the team in both kills and blocks per game while Huffman, 5-foot-11, ranked among the top 10 in the UAA in blocks. Senior Maggie Ramm will be counted upon to provide solid play at her libero position after registering a school record 558 digs in 2006.
Women’s Cross Country
Over the years, Emory’s women’s cross country team has ranked as one of the most consistently successful programs, having earned 15 trips to the NCAA Championships in the past 16 seasons. Once again, the Eagles of Head Coach John Curtin should rank among the elite teams both in the UAA and in the South region.
Junior Melissa Jones and senior Lauren Shores should give the Eagles a solid 1–2 combination after distinguishing themselves a year ago. Jones earned All-America honors, the first Emory runner to achieve that since 2002, and ranked among Emory’s top three finishers in all seven of the meets she took part in. Shores garnered All-South Region recognition and was the team’s top finisher in a pair of competitions.
Looking for productive seasons will be junior Megan Shaughnessy, an all-region performer a year ago, and sophomore Rebecca Flink, who participated in six meets her rookie season.
Men’s Cross Country
An ever-improving and hardworking Emory men’s cross country team eyes improvement from a year ago that saw it show flashes of brilliance.
Head Coach John Curtin will have a steady group to call upon this fall, led by sophomore Tommy Fyffe, the 2006 UAA Rookie of the Year and qualifier to the NCAA Championships. Fyffe, who finished third out of 152 contestants at the NCAA South/Southeast Regional, ranked among Emory’s top three finishers in all six of his competitions
Junior Vikram Srivastava continues to make steady gains and is a tested veteran, having landed a qualifying spot in the NCAA Championships. Senior Bryan Forsyth and sophomore Paul Winterhalter should be key contributors this year after making an impact a year ago.