Are you ready for some football? At press time, Emerson can’t help you there (although some sources claim the college’s pigskin program is undefeated since 1880). But as September brings a bit less sunlight each night, it’s time for Lions fans to think about brisk fall nights of soccer at Rotch Playground and Field and climate-controlled volleyball inside the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym.
Emerson’s women’s soccer team has momentum on their side, embarking on a new campaign after a win over University of New England in the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship last November. A strong 2015 recruiting class will again pay dividends in 2016, as the Lions welcome back two of their three double-digit goal scorers from a year ago, sophomores Paige Haley (12 goals) and Jess Frost (11). Goalie Melanie Escobar, hailed as a hero of the ECAC title run, will also return as a senior.
While women’s soccer will strive to reach the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference playoffs—a goal they fell just short of before their eventual ECAC title last year—the men’s soccer program has experienced a more negatively impactful turnover and will enter 2016 with lower expectations. Graduate Carter Bowers was a rock in net for the Lions, and teammate Mitch Lapierre’s leadership as captain will be missed in the Emerson locker room. Fans should keep an eye on the transition to new starting goalkeeper Lucas Fischer, who started six games last season as a sophomore and has a 2.84 goals against average in the Lions’ first two non-conference matchups.
For those wishing to avoid the on-foot commute to Rotch, women’s volleyball will be this autumn’s attraction. While their male counterparts made a Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoff appearance this spring, the women’s team plays in the tougher NEWMAC and faces an uphill climb to compete with the likes of Springfield College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Much like women’s soccer, the team returns two impressive sophomores from last year’s recruiting class in Kelley Guerra (157 kills) and Fara Cohen (154).