A-K Valley senior spotlight: Kiski Area’s Emerson Johngarlo

Monday, November 29, 2021 | 10:53 AM

Emerson Johngarlo

Kiski Area soccer

A year after having soccer taken away from her, Emerson Johngarlo made it official that the sport she loves will be a major part of her future.

The Kiski Area senior signed a national letter of intent earlier this month to continue her soccer career at Robert Morris.

It was a special feeling for the senior center back who wasn’t able to play this fall for the Cavaliers while she recovered from a knee injury. Last November, Johngarlo had surgery to repair a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus.

“We were playing against Indiana, and me and this girl were fighting for the ball. She pushed me off the ball, and when I landed on my leg, my knee twisted inward and popped,” Johngarlo said. “I was near the bench, and everyone on the bench said they heard it as well. I knew it was bad. I usually get back up, but I couldn’t walk or do anything.”

After months of physical therapy filled with plyometrics, biking and strengthening exercises, she has since returned to full strength, playing with her Beadling club team for the past several weeks and preparing for her next chapter in Division I soccer.

She took some time last week for a senior spotlight Q&A:

How did it feel to sign your letter of intent to Robert Morris?

It was really relieving. It was a big (step), like a weight lifting off my shoulders. It made me more excited to keep playing.

Why did you decide to play soccer for the Colonials?

I knew I wanted to stay close to home so I could come home and my parents could come see me all the time. I really liked the coaching staff and the campus itself. I also have two friends who I play with currently (Penn-Trafford’s Malia Kearns and Norwin’s Paloma Swankler). I play club with them on Beadling GA.

What do you plan to study?

I’m thinking business. I might want to go into human resources or something. I’m not sure yet.

What are your primary responsibilities as a center back?

I’m one of two center backs either marking the forward or covering for the other fullback covering the forward. You’re the last one to get the ball. You see the whole field. I usually try to get it into the midfield so they can turn and switch the field, or I get it out wide to the fullbacks and move the ball up the field.

What are some of your strengths on the field?

I’m very calm on the ball. I have like a good soccer IQ. I see the field really well. I’m good with the ball on my feet and distribute it well. Playing out of the back, I’m pretty strong.

How did you get started playing soccer?

I started playing when I was 5 in our rec league.

Are you involved in any other sports or activities at Kiski?

Not anymore. In middle school I did. Club soccer takes up all my time.

Where do you travel for club soccer?

This year, we go to Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and if we make it to playoffs, we can go to California in June.

What is something people might not know about you?

I play the piano. I used to do it for like five years heavily. I’ll still sit down for Christmas and play songs. I can still read music.

What do you enjoy most about Thanksgiving?

My favorite thing would be just when our whole family comes together. We’re just all super close. I like when all of us are together.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.


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