, Beacon Correspondent/strong
Freshman year on a college sports team can be quite the jump from the high school days. For that reason, teams often look toward their experienced veterans to lead the way.
But sometimes it’s a team’s youngest players who make all the difference.
While Saturday afternoon’s Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) matchup between Emerson women’s soccer and Mt. Ida was a low-scoring affair, it was the Lions’ newest talent that stepped up and made the difference.
The game’s only goal was scored merely ten minutes in. While senior captain Megan Foehl set up the tally, it was freshman midfielder Christina Tontisakis who capitalized on the chance.
“It was awesome,” Tontisakis said in a phone interview. The goal, which was the first of her collegiate career, proved to be all the Lions needed that day, as Emerson took the game 1-0.
Head coach David Suvak described the goal as a combination of passes that opened up the left side of the field. With Tontisakis unmarked in the box, Foehl picked her out to put the Lions ahead.
“It was a great play from all involved,” Suvak said in a phone interview.
With the win, Emerson bounced back from a GNAC loss against undefeated foe Johnson amp; Wales University, Sept. 28.
“We battled through a difficult week with fatigued soccer players,” Suvak said. “On Wednesday we played a very difficult opponent that required a tremendous amount of defense.”
Suvak noted a change in Saturday’s playing style that allowed his team to be more offensive and to open up space for the goal.
“In the Johnson amp; Wales game, we were being pushed back,” he said. “Today we were able to use the entire field.”
Though the Mustangs outshot the Lions 14-13, it was Emerson’s defense that prevailed in the end. Goalkeeper Allie Altman picked up the win for the Lions. The freshman had four saves while Emerson defenders blocked three shots, keeping the Mustangs off the scoreboard.
Tontisakis and Altman are both new to the team as freshman, yet they have already made a difference on the field.
And while Tontisakis has only played seven games with Emerson, she said her teammates have taken her in, allowing to her feel more comfortable on the pitch.
“The girls are really nice and friendly,” Tontisakis said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
emGrady can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org./em