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Sports October 2010

www.thewestwordonline.com

Eriksen scores college soccer career

Athletes of the Month

46

Gerald Morgan Photo Editor

Senior Kirsten Eriksen has excelled on the soccer field during her four years at Westhill. She began playing soccer at age five and is now the captain of the girls’ Varsity soccer team, which won the Class LL State Championship last November, beating Glastonbury 2-1. Next September, Eriksen plans to attend American University in Washington, D.C. and play for their Divison I soccer team.

Elissa Miolene / Photo Manager

GOING FOR The GOAL Senior captain Kirsten Eriksen volleys the ball in a game against Danbury on October 22. Eriksen has played on the Varsity soccer team for four years, and next year she will be playing at American University.

The Westword: Who encouraged you to play soccer? Kirsten Eriksen: No one really encouraged me, I think it was something I just wanted to do when I was young. When you’re that age, you just try all of these different sports, and I stuck with soccer. TW: What are you looking forward to most during your last season at Westhill? KE: [I am looking forward to] having a successful season, and hopefully being as good as last year, and hopefully winning FCIACs. I hope we have the

same bond that we had last year and enjoy [the season] as much [as last year]. TW: If you could improve one thing about the team, what would it be? KE: If I could improve one thing about the team, it would be to be able to stick to how we play. A lot of times, we will either play down to another team’s level, or [we will] have an off day and resort to a lot of kicking and individual play, rather than passing and moving the ball quickly. If we were to consistently play to our potential, we would be even more successful than we have been. TW: Do you think the team can win the State Championship again? KE: I think so. We returned nine of our 11 starters, which is huge. If we keep working hard, there is nothing that can stop us. [Last year], once we started going we knew that no one was going to get in our way [of winning]. TW: Where do you play during the off-season? KE: In the other three seasons, I play for CFC [Connecticut Football Club] United. I joined

this team last year, after playing for CFC Arsenal the two years before. CFC is really where I developed into the player I am, and it is really what gave me the opportunity to lengthen my soccer career by going to showcases and such [so college coaches could see me play]. We also get to travel a lot. Last year we got to go to Texas, Disney [World in Florida], and Seattle. CFC is like my second soccer family. TW: How did you feel when you decided to play at American University? KE: When I decided to play at American, I was really excited and a little relieved. Not many people get to decide where they’re going [to go to school] that far in advance. It was also a huge stress relief All the stress that most seniors are going through now choosing their colleges, I went through in the spring, with the added pressure that I had to impress a coach with my soccer abilities. I just recently spent the weekend [at American] meeting the other girls going there next year and the [current] freshman class. I can’t wait [to go there].

taken the temporary role as captain? ZE: I try, but I really think Seamus [Ronan], a junior, has taken on the role as captain. TW: What motivates you the most and why? ZE: My best friend [Danny Villeda, who passed away in March 2009] motivates me a lot, and since he’s not here I have to play well for him. TW: What do you do to get pumped up before a game? ZE: I don’t really get pumped up, I just go out there and play well. TW: If you could see yourself as any famous football player, who would it be and why? ZE: Percy Harvin [wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings], because he’s my favorite player. TW: Do you play similarly to him? ZE: Yeah, everybody says that. TW: If you were the coach of the Varsity football team, what would you say in a pep talk to your team? ZE: Go out there and play hard.

That’s it, really. Do what you have to do to stay focused. TW: What game are you looking forward to the most this season and why? ZE: The Stamford High game, [because it is] Homecoming. TW: Do you think you’re going to win the Homecoming game? ZE: Yeah, of course. TW: How has the team changed since your freshman year? ZE: The team has more chemistry because all of us have been playing with each other since we were little. TW: Do you think the team has improved? ZE: We’ve improved a little bit, but not that much. TW: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? ZE: Playing in the NFL for the Panthers [because they’re] my favorite team. TW: How would your teammates describe you? ZE: A hard worker, a leader, and I just play football, that’s it.

Despite injury, Emilcar continues to lead Nicole Pellicano Sports Reporter

Senior Zack Emilcar is one of the Varsity football team’s stand-out players, and his excellence on the field brings a positive outlook for all his teammates. Unfortunately, after this interview was conducted, his season was cut short when he broke his ankle in a game against Bridgeport Central on October 16. He recently underwent surgery and is currently recovering.

Zach Eisen / Photo Editor

Force on the field Senior Zack Emilcar started off the season on a strong note, contributing 233 rushing yards of total offense in Westhill’s season opener against Harding. However, on October 16, Emilcar broke his ankle during a game against Bridgeport Central.

The Westword: What did you do over the summer to train for this season? Zack Emilcar: I lifted weights, ran, and worked out with the team. TW: Two of your four captains are injured­—how has the team’s mentality changed since that’s happened? ZE: The team has to work harder since the captains are off. I just do what I can do. TW: Who do you think has

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GOING FOR ThE GOAL Senior captain Kirsten Eriksen volleys the ball in a game against Danbury on October 22. Eriksen has played on the Varsit...