Fall sports honor seniors with pregame ceremonies
By Aaron Miller and Kyle Bray
The soccer and volleyball teams celebrated the achievements and careers of their senior players last Saturday with food, posters, and cardboard cutouts of players’ heads.
While the men’s soccer team suffered a loss against Wheaton College, the women’s soccer and volleyball teams won on their senior day.
The women’s soccer team clinched a spot in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference playoffs with their strong 3-2 win over Babson College. Every scoring play in the women’s game involved a senior.
Kira Venturini opened the game with a goal in the second minute, assisted by Jess Frost. Paige Haley then boosted the Lions’ lead to 2-0 with a goal in the 27th minute, also assisted by Frost. Frost scored an unassisted goal in the 70th minute and gave the Lions the edge they needed to secure a 3-2 victory over Babson.
Haley—a San Diego, California native—said she felt honored by the celebration before her team’s victory over Babson.
“I’ve always loved playing on senior day because everyone is so pumped and excited for the seniors,” Haley said. “It’s very special to have been honored today.”
Haley said she attributes her team’s conference win to each player’s intense training and passion for the sport.
“We’ve worked super hard throughout the summer, preseason, and normal season,” Haley said. “It shows that if you have a lot of heart and people are in it together, you will win and good things will come.”
Frost—a Palos Verdes Estates, California native—scored one goal and assisted in two others during Saturday’s game.
“The goal was amazing—I pointed right to my parents when I scored and gave the crowd a wave afterward,” Frost said. “It was great to have seniors contribute to every goal, whether it being the goal itself or an assist. Everyone did great today, especially the seniors.”
The women’s soccer team also won their final home conference match up against Clark University in a 2-1 victory in double overtime. Their win against Babson already guaranteed a playoff spot, but this win secures the Lions a home playoff match.
The men’s soccer team also celebrated their seniors on Oct. 20, but their 4-1 loss against Wheaton in their last home game of the season knocked them out of a possible playoff run
Freshman RJ Dziejma scored the lone unassisted goal for the Lions—his first collegiate goal.
The men’s team will say farewell to three seniors, but the team’s loss did not ruin their spirits.
A significant crowd from Max Deluca’s—a Rockland, Massachusetts native—hometown cheered him on.
DeLuca said he had fun despite the loss and feels proud of the four years he dedicated to Emerson soccer.
“The result was tough, but it was fun. The boys worked hard,” DeLuca said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of balls to fall our way, but that’s how the game works sometimes. It was a great game, and it’s been awesome playing at Emerson for four years.”
Danylo Kowal—a Winchester, Massachusetts native—only played one season with the Lions, but he said he appreciated how easily the team and coaching staff accepted him into their squad.
“I wasn’t here for very long, but it felt like right away the team took me in,” Kowal said.
Kowal said he covered the men’s soccer games for Emerson Channel Sports for three years. The summer before his final year at Emerson
, he finally tried out.
“Last season, recording the guys and broadcasting the games looked all too fun, and I missed it too much, so I had to come out and give it a go,” Kowal said. “The coach was welcoming enough to let me come in with the guys and give it a go, and I’m grateful for the opportunity he gave me.”
Kowal said his team did not accomplish their main goal.
“It all came to an end very quickly—especially the way this game ended,” Kowal said. “Our goal was to make the playoffs, but we didn’t quite make that goal. It’s bittersweet.”
Paul Bou Aziz—an international-student from Nice, France—scored three conference goals this season. He said, while the team’s performance in the senior day game disappointed him, they pointed the program in the right direction.
“It’s disappointing—we felt like we didn’t really give our best foot forward,” Bou Aziz said. “In parts of the game we just didn’t play them, and then they just punished us on counters. Next year [Emerson will] probably come back stronger, and that’s all they can push for.”
The men’s soccer team plays their final conference game against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Oct. 27, but the loss against Wheaton already eliminated them from playoff contention.
Women’s volleyball capped off their senior day with two wins—3-0 over Framingham State University and 3-1 over Connecticut College.
The team honored its three senior players—Fara Cohen, Kelley Guerra, and Moira Brennan—before the matchup against Connecticut with a ceremony on the court.The seniors posed for photographs with their coach and family members following a testimonial from each.
Guerra said two things went through her head during the ceremony.
“Try not to cry—which did not go to well—and basically enjoy the day because we only have two more games after this,” Guerra said. “We end a week from today, and so it just feels like this is the end of my volleyball career. Enjoy the moment, enjoy every second I’m out there with the team, and every moment I’m off the court with the team.”
Cohen led the seniors with 23 kills across the two games. Brennan tallied 76 assists in the two matches and earned three service aces in the matchup against Framingham State. Guerra closed out the day with three solo blocks against Connecticut.
Guerra said she considers finishing their senior day with two wins a special moment, especially after the hard work the team put in to decorate the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym with posters for and photos of the seniors.
“The underclassmen did an amazing job,” Guerra said. “The gym looks amazing, and then to just finish it off with just great play, playing as a team, pushing each other so hard—it was like the cherry on top of a perfect day.”
Women’s volleyball failed to qualify for the NEWMAC playoffs this year. They close out their season with a home matchup against MIT on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. and an away matchup against Springfield College on Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.