Speed and dedication:

By Jamie Macpherson

If Macalester women’s soccer wins its game this Saturday, chances are Emily Bardwell ’11 will have scored at least once. With 14 goals this season, more than double what any other player has scored this year, Bardwell is definitely a player to watch. Head coach John Leaney also said he was impressed with Bardwell’s performance over the last three years.

“Emily has made great strides from her first year here when she was a JV defender to her junior year as an all-conference forward,” he said. “She is now one of the most feared forwards in the region.”

Bardwell started playing as a small child, but quit because she wasn’t having a good time. “I was such a girly girl,” Bardwell said. “I hated sports.”

When she was nine years old, a friend got Bardwell to give soccer another try. The coach then recommended she try out for the competitive team. She’s been playing soccer ever since. In fact, Bardwell admits soccer was a large component in choosing where to go to college.

Teammate defender Maddie Mette ’10 called Bardwell “one of the most dedicated members of the team” and said the Scots hate to defend her during practice.

“What I love about Emily is how true she is to herself and how she brings her all to every competition,” Mette said. “I always get the sense that she is entirely emotionally committed to every game.”

In terms of what she brings to the game, Bardwell says her strength is her speed.

“She’s incredibly fast,” teammate Maddie Cochrane ’10 said. Cochrane believes Bardwell understands how to use her speed to her advantage within the Scots’ style of play. “She has the confidence to go head-on against player after player and never give up. She’s just fearless.”

While she doesn’t have a pre-game ritual, Bardwell said she likes to take some time before entering the locker room to prepare mentally for the oncoming game. This, she explains, enables her to go out with confidence and “start out strong.”

Of Saturday’s game against St. Scholastica (who the Scots beat 3-0 previously in the season), Bardwell said the team is very excited to have a second chance at Nationals after losing earlier this week to Carleton.

“I think we deserve it,” Bardwell said. “We’re going to work really hard to stay in.”

When asked about any additional pressure to deliver during the upcoming game, Bardwell modestly points to her teammates as potential scorers.

“We have a lot of people who can score from other positions,” she said. “Our outside mids and center mids are good at scoring. . I think it’s a team effort.