From her sweeper position in the soccer backfield, Emily MacDonald always had a panoramic view of her Williston teammates as they battled their opponents downfield. That perspective may have been a key to her remarkable success. “Something that has always inspired me and keeps me going no matter what the situation might be,” says the senior honor student and team captain from Ludlow, “is seeing other people want something just as bad as you do, or seeing someone working their butt off, which kind of lights the fire for me.”
On Wednesday, however, in the Dodge Room of the Reed Campus Center, all eyes were on Ms. MacDonald, as she signed a national letter of intent to continue her soccer career at Division 2 Assumption College in Worcester.
Among those present was her coach, Jen Fulcher, who did her own share of admiring when Ms. MacDonald was on the field. “Emily is just a beautiful soccer player to watch,” she says. “Much of what she does is so difficult, and she makes it look so easy. We gave up fewer goals this season than we have ever given up. We broke the school record. That is clearly a team effort, but Emily was central to that.”
The previous Williston record was set in 1997, when the Wildcats allowed 12 goals. This year the team gave up a miserly 8 goals over the course of 15 games, and also recorded a record 10 shutouts.
Ms. Macdonald will be joining an Assumption team led by head coach Kevin Meek that finished 10-8-1 last year. Ms. Fulcher says Assumption may move MacDonald to a forward position, which is where she plays for her Elite Clubs National League team, FC FSA. “I really believe she could play anywhere on the field,” Ms. Fulcher says. “She’s one of the most talented kids we’ve ever had when it comes to controlling the ball.”
Emily’s parents, Melissa Kudla and Kurt MacDonald, are looking forward to their daughter’s college career. “We cannot wait to see her play at Assumption,” says her mother. “It will be a very exciting and memorable moment for her when she steps on the field in Worcester for the first time. It hasn’t always been easy—long car rides, a lot of travel, missing events at school—but she has really persevered and remained constant in her goal to play in college.”
And when she does take the field, she’ll be bringing the memories of her Williston success with her. “Playing soccer at Williston for four years has given me so much more than I ever could have imagined,” she says. “I will always appreciate the support that the girls soccer team was given by the school and I will never forget the amazing memories that the team has given me to remember for the rest of my life.”
View photos from the signing ceremony on Williston’s Flickr site.