Penn women's soccer sophomore Emily Pringle prides herself on hard work.
The La Jolla, Calif. native came to Penn after winning a league championship in high school, leading her team to a 10-2-1 record. In her freshman campaign at Penn, Pringle made 11 appearances as a defender and started six times. She made her college debut against No. 3 Stanford and made her first collegiate start at Harvard. In four games, she helped lead the team to four clean sheets while playing 652 total minutes.
"She came in, she was super fit, physically strong, and she was able to hold her own," senior Chase Geffert said. "I remember she played in the Harvard game and she didn't look like she was a freshman. She matched up to every opponent we faced physically, and I think it gave her a leg up initially."
She was initially attracted to Penn because of the ability to receive an excellent education while being a part of a community that supports each other through thick and thin.
"I chose Penn because I wanted a school that was going to push me academically and athletically," Pringle said. "I think that is one of the biggest reasons why I chose Penn, and I love the athletic community here. Everyone truly wants the best for you, and everyone wants you to perform at your best. When I came to visit, when I was younger, I felt that right off the bat on the team and seeing their relationships with other people in athletics."
Her ability to work hard and learn has set her apart from others and made her successful during her freshman year.
"I think it has got to be her work rate and her willingness to get better," Geffert said. "She is always doing extra work, whether that's on the weekends during the offseason or in the fall. She's putting in work to get her left foot better. She's trying to work on her 1-v-1 defending. She also puts in a lot of work on the mental side of the game, which is super important as a defender because there are many principles of the game that can't be explained in practice in a physical setting."
Unable to play during her sophomore year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pringle's role has changed slightly. There is more of a focus on staying connected, even in a virtual world.
For Pringle, this has caused her to take on more leadership roles, helping to guide the freshman in a team-first mentality.
Head coach Casey Brown has a unique perspective since she was hired in March 2020, after Pringle's freshman year, but she can already see how the defender is becoming a leader for the Quakers.
"I have seen [Pringle's] personality start to be a little more consistent, a little bit louder — granted, this is all in virtual and different ways the team has been able to connect, but you can tell that she is finding her way," Brown said. "She is very much creating a path for herself to impact the team off the field as well, and that is great to see, when you see younger players start to make that transition, to become more vocal and more impactful. Emily has been a part of that transition."
The graduating seniors, specifically Geffert, feel proud to leave the team in Pringle's hands, who is a role model for younger players.
"I feel great about leaving the team in the hands of everyone, but specifically Pringle," Geffert said. "She has one of the best work rates on the team, and she is willing to go that extra mile, even if it is in a practice that doesn't matter, or like a small side game. She is always giving 110 percent, which is great, especially as a younger player setting that example for players around her.”
Pringle is already looking ahead to the next time Penn women's soccer will take the field, and has her sights set on an Ivy League title.
"I think it is always our goal as a team to win the Ivy League, as I think it is for most teams on campus, but then get a bid to the NCAA tournament," Pringle said. "I think to have a great season and not take anything for granted and be grateful for the opportunities that we get next fall."
Next fall, fans will expect to see Emily Pringle's hard work and leadership on display as she helps make that goal a reality.
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