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Emory's scholar athletes prepare for a winning season

By Mary Loftus and John Farina | Emory Report | Aug. 22, 2013

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Emory women's soccer player Lauren Gorodetsky. Emory Photo/Video.

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.  

Like soccer standouts Lauren Gorodetsky 14C, a psychology major from Palm City, Fla., and Dylan Price 15C, a business administration and Russian language and cultures major from Great Falls, Va., student athletes fit practices, games and travel into already tight schedules of classes and extracurricular activities.  

Gorodetsky is one of the top soccer players in the nation and the first three-time all-American in Emory's history. In addition to being named D3Soccer.com's Defensive Player of the Year, and playing for both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and D3Soccer.com All-America First Team, she is 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 accomplishments of our students is noteworthy on its own, but it's the academic achievement that sets the Emory Eagles apart and continues to validate why athletics in higher education matter," says Director of Athletics and Recreation Tim Downes.  

Emory's soccer teams are poised for championship years. After advancing to the title game of the 2012 NCAA D-III Championships last year, women's soccer head coach Sue Patberg has 21 returning players, including nine starters. Offensively, the top four point producers will play again this year, including Veronica Romero 15C, a Spanish and Latin American studies major from Tucker, and Emily Feldman 15C, an international studies major from Highland Park, Ill. "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 a unique and amazing experience."   

The men's soccer team will look to earn another berth to the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Sonny Travis's six starters are among twenty returning players, including leading scorer Price. Noah Rosen 15C, a neuroscience and behavioral biology (NBB) major from Pittsburgh, Pa., started 17 of 19 games last season, and Abe Hannigan 16C, of Montrose, N.Y., returns as goalkeeper. 

  

The volleyball team last year made its 17th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and took its third University Athletic Association title. Returning players include setter Sydney Miles 16C, an NBB major from Oklahoma City, who captured First Team All-America honors.  

Head Coach Jenny McDowell says her players spend three to four hours a day on athletic-related activities, travel most weekends, play 35 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 including their mind, body, and soul, and volleyball is the platform in 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 pre-med classes. "I've been looking forward to training and racing with them all summer, and after a nine hundred mile off-season I feel fresh and prepared to help get Emory to nationals."  

Head Coach John Curtin also has strong returning runners in Eddie Mulder 14B, a business major from Pompano Beach, Fa., and Hank Ashforth 14C, an NBB major from Whitehouse Station, N.J., 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 28th season, with returning 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, who earned recognition on conference and region teams after scoring in all seven of her competitions.   

For more information about Emory athletics, including game schedules, go to www.emoryathletics.com.