Like many other teams this year, the Emerson women’s soccer team boasts a trove of young talent with 11 freshmen.
Coach David Suvak, who was recently promoted to full-time status, said his team will be challenged year, but is happy with the way his young team has progressed.
“From very early in the preseason this team has competed very hard against each other,” Suvak said. “They have adopted my coaching philosophy of passing, possession and playmaking. They are playing a very good style of soccer.”
One freshman, Natalie Benjamin, a marketing and communications major from Shrewsbury, Mass., has already established herself in the starting 11.
Benjamin said she was a four-year letter winner on her high school team, playing in the Massachusetts Division 1 state final in 2010.
She has already scored two goals as an offense-minded midfielder.
“The players are more aggressive than [they] were in high school,” Benjamin said. “The expectation is to go out and play our style and stick to what we do best. It’s been a lot of fun so far.”
Benjamin said the number of freshmen on the team has made her transition from high school to college go smoother.
“It’s like we are our own little team,” Benjamin said. “We can all hang out with each other. At first it was kind of crazy, but now we’re all used to it.”
Another freshman making an impact is center defender Sarah Glassberg, a visual and media arts major from Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
“[Sarah] is so calm and composed out there,” said Suvak of his freshman starter.
Glassberg, who also said she played four years of varsity soccer in high school and 10 years of club soccer, knew she would be able to adapt to a new, higher level of play.
“The girls and coach Suvak have gotten us really prepared for the level of play,” Glassberg said.
Despite their youth, Suvak said he is confident his squad will mesh quickly.
“There are going to be new challenges because we don’t know much about certain teams, but I feel good about where this team is,” said Suvak. “We are going to compete with many of those teams.”
And even though the Lions were ranked ninth out of 11 teams in the New England Women and Men’s Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ poll, Glassberg isn’t deterred.
“Our level of play is going to keep going up,” said Glassberg. “We have a lot more wins in us.”
The Lions (3-2) will face their first NEWMAC opponent on Sept. 21, hosting Wellesley College in a 1 p.m. game.
Connor Burton, assistant sports editor and member of the men's volleyball team, did not edit this story.