Emory begins the season ranked second in preseason polls and returns its top four scorers from last season; seniors Veronica Romero and Kelly Costopoulos, who each had a team-high eight goals scored, along with juniors Emily Feldman and Charlotte Butker. Overall, the team scored 54 goals with 58 assists in 2012, both the most for an Eagles’ team since 2001.
Emory’s defense will be led by three-time All-America and NCAA Division III Defender of the Year Lauren Gorodetsky. The senior will be joined by fellow fourth-year player Lauren Drosick and junior Kaelyn Lucas. Three players, Liz Arnold, Gabrielle Pelura and Kristin Temple are expected to compete for the starting goalkeeper position.
“Our players came in fit for the preseason workouts and as a unit, this is the most competitive team internally that I’ve ever had here,” Patberg said. “There is little variance in skill level and ability among the players. Each one is talented and the team has a great attitude.”
Last season’s 15-win campaign has increased the profile of the Eagles within the school and the DeKalb community. “After we returned from the Final Four last season, we received support from the school president and the coaches from the other teams,” Patberg said. “The Emory community has been great in recognizing our accomplishments.” The Eagles have reciprocated the support by notching a 24-match undefeated streak that dated back to the 2010 season.
The higher profile has also increased the talent of the women’s soccer program. “Emory is nationally known and better caliber players are beginning to show interest in us at an earlier age,” Patberg said. “Academics come first at Emory and recruits are actually bringing their transcripts to us.”
The Eagles will be back in action Saturday at Ithaca College.