Emily Helle ’18 picked an excellent time to secure her first goal of the 2017 season, netting the Oles a thrilling 2-1 victory in a suspenseful match against St. Mary’s. In her final season, she hopes to help push St. Olaf into a playoff spot following its dramatic turnaround a season ago.
Q: What part of your game do you feel you improved most during the offseason? What’s one aspect of your game that you wish to improve upon this season?
A: I’d say the one thing I put the most time into this offseason was fitness. Each summer we receive a weekly summer training and lifting packet and I followed that pretty religiously. I also trained with some other teammates, both current and former Oles, to stay in shape. There are a lot of aspects I can improve on this season, but I’d say right now my biggest challenge is staying tighter formation-wise with my other center mid-fielders. It’s something we’ve been working on in practice and I’m excited to show everyone our progress this weekend.
Q: Now that you’re a senior, how has your leadership mentality changed?
A: As a senior I don’t think my mentality has changed too much in regards to leadership. I’m more of a lead-by-example type of player and during preseason all of the seniors worked to make the team environment as inclusive as possible. We have a great group of talented freshmen who are already making a huge difference to this program. They fit in with our team personality so well.
Q: Decribe what was going through your mind when you took the winning shot against St. Mary’s.
A: There were only 20 seconds left [in over- time] on the clock, and the whole period we had been pushing toward a goal. We all got into the 18 and Mackenzie Schoustra ’20 sent in a beautiful corner kick, which St. Mary’s struggled to clear out of the box. The only thing on all of our minds was that we needed to find a way to get anything on this ball – ahead, a shoulder, a leg, a knee. I stepped up to press the ball and it ricocheted off my chest over the keeper’s hands and into the goal. There were two seconds left on the clock and we walked away with the win. It wasn’t the prettiest of goals, but I think it showcased the grit that this team has to fight to the end.