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INTERNATIONALS GIRLS SOCCER CLUB A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

INTERNATIONALS GIRLS SOCCER CLUB A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

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8

Dec, 2019

Internationals SC Alum Emily Kaufman Impresses at DIII Powerhouse

Washington University in St. Louis is one of the most dominant Division III soccer programs in the country.  They were NCAA National Champions in 2016 and have been to the NCAA Final Four an incredible five times.  They are a dynasty in every sense of the word. 

Even though their season came to an end on penalty kicks in the Sectional Final of the 2019 NCAA Division III Championship, their 2019 season should still be considered a massive success.  They finished with a 18-1-3 record, outscoring opponents 50-9. 

A big part of WUSTL’s success can be attributed to Internationals SC alum Emily Kaufman.  The Rocky River, Ohio native has made 40 appearances for WashU over two seasons, contributing one goal and one assist.

“This season at WashU was a big growing moment for a lot of people on my team,” Kaufman said. “We lost eight seniors the previous year, so many of my teammates had to step up into new roles.  After our undefeated regular season my freshman year, winning became the standard; but one thing I’m proud of about our team this year is we showed a lot of grit and resilience. There were a handful of games where we had to come back from behind to win, or find a way to get the ball in the back of the net in OT.  So, while it was tough losing earlier than we would have hoped in the Elite Eight, I am optimistic about the growth and potential for our relatively young team.”

Kaufman is very excited to be part of such a successful program.

“The WashU women’s soccer program has a strong history but the recent success is duelargely to the culture our head coach, Jim Conlon, has created,” Kaufman said. “We hold very high standards like respect, integrity, and class on and off the field, doing the little things right, and committing to something bigger than ourselves. I believe that its values like these, paired with my quality, hardworking teammates, that had led to our postseason success.”

During her time at WUSTL, Kaufman has become known for her versatility and the ability to adapt to a variety of game situations.

“This season I played every position except for goalkeeper which had its difficulties but wherever I am on the field I try to make calm, simple decisions and get whatever was asked of me done,” Kaufman said.

The sophomore midfielder hasn’t thought twice about playing at the DIII level as she feels that it has many advantages. 

“What's unique about playing at a DIII school like WashU is the strength of our conference,” Kaufman said. “The UAA teams have strong players that came from high level clubs so the quality of soccer and speed of play is still very good.  Many of the players at these schools chose to go DIII for the ‘DIII Experience.’  There's more balance in sports, academics, and social life.  For example, I am majoring in computer science in the engineering school, can travel abroad, get involved with groups at school that interest me, all while still playing soccer at a high level.”

Conlon, who is in his 12th season with the WUSTL program, has been impressed with Kaufman’s contributions to the squad.

“Emily Kaufman is a versatile player that has helped WashU succeed in many different ways,” Conlon said. “Her passion brings out the best in her and her teammates to accomplish greatness.”

Kaufman has made the transition to college soccer look easy, almost effortless.  She credits her former club for preparing her for the next level.

“ISC helped prepare me for the college game because every training, every game I hadthe opportunity to play with some of the top players in the area,” Kaufman said. “Being surrounded by quality players only makes you better by default by pushing you out of your comfort zone.”

She pointed out that several youth coaches made a tremendous impact on her as a player and person.

“Zdravko Popovic, Keri Sarver, Jared Rose, and Mark Platts were the main coaches I had during my time at ISC,” Kaufman said. “The four of them have different coaching styles, but all share a high knowledge of and love for the game. They are the kind of coaches who make you want to be the best player and person you can be.”

Kaufman’s success in the collegiate game hasn’t been a bit surprising according to Popovic.

“Emily was always curious about the game and spent a lot of time watching the game at a high level,” Popovic said. “This translates to her performance on the field through her game awareness, understanding, and decision-making.  Her passion for the game and coachability make her a fun and enjoyable player to work with.  We are so happy to see her thriving at a prestigious program like WashU.”

Kaufman is definitely thriving and her future is extremely bright.  She is a player with tremendous potential and could very well become one of the best players in all of Division III.  She’s that good.  

Photo Credit: Danny Reise/WUSTL Photo

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