By Halle Frisco
Emily Howell, senior back for East Stroudsburg University’s (ESU) field hockey team, was named the Defensive Athlete of the Year for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) for the 2016 regular season.
Howell was one of three captains this season and led the team to an impressive 15-5 finish, ending their season with a 1-2 loss to Shippensburg University in the Atlantic Region National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament.
She racked up a career total of 12 goals, 11 assists and 11 defensive saves. Last year, she was named the team’s Co-Most Valuable Player along with former forward Ally Roth.
She was also named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association and Synapse Sports DII All-America first team and All-PSAC first team.
Howell’s success did not come easy; she suffered knee injuries last spring. Her knee pain seems to be a chronic issue, and the actual injury is still unclear.
“Going into the season I knew I was going to be in a lot of pain due to my knee injuries, but I kept a positive attitude and worked hard to take care of my body so that I could compete to my full potential. I pushed through the pain every day so that I could be the best I could be for the team,” said Howell.
Howell was not only strong on the field, but also in her academic performance. She is a physical education (PE) and health major and aspires to be a PE and health teacher. If not, she would like to coach field hockey at the collegiate level.
Howell is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is an organization on campus that is the voice for student-athletes. The group also participates in community service events and raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“I became president to make a difference in the community and to help make student-athletes’ experiences better here at ESU,” said Howell.
Howell spearheads all the events that SAAC hosts throughout the year.
“As President, I help create and organize events for the student athletes and fundraise for Make-A-Wish. One of our events that we pride ourselves on is the Headstart Holiday Party which takes place in December at the local Head Start facility. Also, this year we are launching a “You Can Play” initiative which provides a safe and inclusive environment for not only student-athletes, but all students on campus,” said Howell.
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