September 25, 2003

W. Soccer's Star Striker Emerges From Shadows

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Cornell is a vast, multi-faceted institution whose character can be represented by many well-known individuals. Some might say Janet Reno ’60, Bill Nye ’77 the Science Guy, or even Ezra Cornell himself personify the school. However, for women’s soccer coach Berhane Andeberhan, Cornell is best represented by his senior tri-captain and star forward Emily Knight.

“I’m very proud of this school,” said Andeberhan, a former Cornell graduate student, “and it is a great institution that’s not fully recognized. Emily is kind of like that. We know how important she’s been to our team, and it looks like she’s finally getting out of the shadows of the other terrific forwards in this league.”

Knight’s offensive stats and accolades continue to pile up, including last week’s Ivy League Player of the Week Award.

The soccer team is currently on a roll, having won four in a row — most recently snapping the University of Hawaii’s six-match unbeaten streak with a 2-0 triumph. Knight has netted five of the squad’s 11 goals during the streak, and has 15 points on the season. It’s fitting that Knight, a student in the School of Hotel Administration, has done her best work while staying in hotels, with the winning streak coming on the road. But it means that the Cornell community has been deprived of watching what Andeberhan describes as a “very special talent.”

At 5-2, Knight relies on a quickness that defies belief and a heart that defies measurement. Andeberhan also marvels at her air game and footwork, declaring that she must be ambidextrous to have such left-footed dexterity. Knight, who played high school soccer in Scituate, Mass., claims she had to learn to play on the left side of the field growing up, since she was typically the third forward.

Though her ability is without question, as seen in her unassisted breakaway that led to the second goal against Hawaii, Knight generously credits her teammates for her recent honors.

“I’m playing well because I’m getting balls from the midfield and defense,” she noted.

Knight also commended the coaching staff’s team-oriented system that, in her words, “enables us to win games we shouldn’t be winning.”

Like a shot off the crossbar, Emily’s praise comes bouncing right back at her. Andeberhan points out that her maturation off the field has rivaled her stellar performance on it.

“She has become a leader in every sense of the word,” Andeberhan noted. “She is willing to speak up and challenge things — Emily truly is the kind of bridge between players and staff that a captain needs to be.”

Fellow forward junior Emily Wyffels gushed that she has yet to meet anyone as “dynamic and fun” as Knight, and extolled her as a “dynamic player who can turn a game around.”

Knight certainly has turned Cornell’s offense around, leading a team that managed a goal a game last year to a 2.2 goals-per-game average so far this season.

This Saturday, the football team is at Yale, cross country is in NYC, and hockey is still on the underside of the calendar. The women’s soccer team, however, has finally come home, and it will square off against Columbia at 11 a.m. on Berman Field. Maybe then, Emily Knight will finally get the Ithaca support she’s been missing on her recent tear.

Archived article by Dan Schiff