OAKHURST – It all started in October of 2007. The smallest 4 year old being inspected by a referee.
Emily Rich was playing on her older sister’s team because they were short a player. This game would be the beginning of dreams and aspirations to play soccer as a career.
Emily would soon make a name for herself playing in the Mountain Area Soccer League.
It was not uncommon seeing Emily dribbling the soccer ball up and down the field constantly perfecting her ball handling skills.
This was the start of Emily’s craving for soccer. In the 5th grade, Emily tried out for Central California Soccer Alliance where immediately they wanted Emily to play for their club team. Though there was one concern… Emily was the shortest player on the team.
She was quick and extremely fast, but very short. Emily’s height did not bother Tiffany Moore, coach of the Alliance’s second team. Emily scored 51 goals in 41 games playing for coach Moore.
Emily’s ability to score and hard work won the heart of the head coach, Gustavo Rendon, who coached the top Alliance team.
This was the beginning of high competitive soccer where Emily flourished becoming one of Alliance’s leading scorers playing other top teams and players from California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Canada.
Through Alliance, Emily was accepted to play on the State Players Development Program (PDP). Through PDP, Emily played with and against the best players in California. She even had the great opportunity playing the Federation of Japan, which ended up in a 2 to 2 tie where Emily had a beautiful shot blocked in the top left corner.
While attending Yosemite High School Emily decided to play soccer where she made the varsity team as a Freshman and she received the Underclassman Award for the North Sequoia League.
Her Sophomore year she received First Team All League, Most Valuable Player, Golden boot award, and Platinum Assist award.
She also received the same awards her Junior year with an additional Most Valuable Player All League of the North Sequoia League.
Emily also helped the Badgers win a conference title for the first time in 13 years, In addition to winning their first Valley playoff game in 8 years.
Emily is a senior this year and is hopeful for another successful season.
Playing in the Surf Cup in San Diego, Emily caught the eye of head Coach, Erin Otagaki, from the University of Nevada, Reno. Emily received an official visit to the campus and was offered a scholarship. Emily signed to play for the University of Nevada Reno, Wolf Pack on November 11th, 2020.
Emily loves the idea of playing division I soccer and hopes her skills will help the Wolf Pack. Emily will continue to work hard and pursue her goals of playing for the US National Soccer Team as well as playing professional.
Congratulations Emily on making it this far in a career that you love.