Mike Skelton – 1851 Staff
During a 5-1 win over Rivier College on September 25, senior Emily Machado of sustained what could possibly be a season-ending injury. With the team looking for a third straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) title, Machado is hoping the team will extend the season long enough for her to return one last time.
Machado, a midfielder for the women’s soccer team, suffered a high ankle sprain against Rivier. The recovery for this injury is typically four weeks, so there are hopes for a playoff return.
Despite being injured, Machado has high hopes for the team. Being part of one of the most successful teams in Lasell history, she feels that this team has a chance to make it three straight years.
“We definitely have a great team this year. Lots of veterans with a good mix of young players have helped us to be one of the deepest teams I have ever played for,” said Machado. “It’s a huge adjustment having 13 freshmen that are still getting used to the college pace and lifestyle, but they’ve done a great job this year and have stepped up in a positive way.”
The 13 freshmen are a testament to the recruiting and dedication of head coach Vito LaFrancesca, who helped turned the women’s soccer program into a powerhouse in the GNAC. Machado has been a firsthand witness of the change throughout her four years.
“Before Vito came to Lasell, the soccer program was far under par,” said Machado. “Vito took the challenge of being underdogs and turned us into one of the best teams in the conference which hasn’t happened for a long time. He took us to two championship games and to the NCAA tournament twice. Seeing the crowds at home games [is] great to see how much the school supports us.”
With the women’s soccer team currently sporting a 10-3 overall record (8-2 in coference play), the outlook for Machado returning to the field for the Lasers at least one last time is very realistic and her role on the team is not lost among her teammates.
“Emily is really important to our team and we’re hoping she gets better for playoffs so we can have that much more intensity on the field,” said senior Mary-Kate Dunphy.
While she wants to remain involved in soccer after college, Machado admits that this is the last time she will be able to play competitively.
“It has been a privilege to have been a college athlete for Lasell and some of my greatest memories here have been on the field,” said Machado. “Hopefully we can end on a high note with one last championship.”