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Fall Sport Senior Spotlight: Emma Nelson – Air Force Academy Athletics

Written by corres2


#19 Emma Nelson | Midfield | Omaha, Neb.

Cadet Squadron 26 (Barons)

In her own words: 

“I spent the summer conducting a Summer Research Program with soccer co-captain Alex Giggie, reporting on female officer diversity in the Air Force. Alex and I co-authored a 40+ page report on the research and we plan to publish it sometime in the winter.” 

“After graduation I hope to commission as a Hospital Administrator (MSC)”

“My experiences through Covid-19 reiterated my appreciation of the little things, especially time with friends and family in person or on FaceTime, because life is better surrounded by the people you love.”

2020 (Senior): Team co-captain

2019 (Junior): Started all 18 games, totaling 1,353 minutes…Played 90+ minutes in three contests…Totaled seven goals and five assists for 19 points…Goals and points were both second-most on the team, while assists were tied for most…Also notched 46 shots, including 19 on net…Converted on a PK in a 3-2 win over Wyoming…Named Academic All-Conference…Also named to the AS, Dean’s and Comm’s lists.

2018 (Sophomore): Appeared in all but one game (16), starting 12 of them…Totaled 924 minutes, including a season-high 96 against UNLV, Sept. 30…Scored two goals, both in the 3-0 win over Creighton, August 24…Totaled 16 shots, including seven on frame…Named to the Academic All-Mountain West Team…Also named to the AD and Dean’s lists.

2017 (Freshman): Appeared in 19 matches, starting two…had one assist in 1-0 win over McNeese…attempted eight shots, three on goal…Named to the AD and Comm’s lists.

Club/High School: Lettered four years in soccer…All-State Nebraska First-Team, All-Metro First Team, All-Class A First-Team as a senior…led Marian to three state titles and one runner-up finish…Team MVP as a junior…NSCAA Player of the Week in 2016…high school coach was Teresa De George…played club soccer for Elite Girls Academy ’98 Maroon, coached by Marcus Kelcher…National, English, Mu Alpha Theta, Social Studes, Spanish and Science Honor Society member.

PERSONAL: Member of cadet squadron 26 where she is the Force Protection Officer…Daughter of Marty Nelson (deceased), Tina Nelson Vanderhorst and Chad Vanderhorst…both father and step-father are graduates of service academies…father, Marty, was a 1987 USAFA graduate and was a baseball coach at Air Force from 2005-06…has four sisters…nickname is Em…majoring in business management with a minor in Spanish…intends on going into the Medical Service Corps upon graduation…Why I came to the Academy: “I spent most of my younger years living in Colorado Springs. My family sponsored cadets and I was able to see the athletic side because my dad was the military baseball coach. I fell in love with the campus from a young age. After spending my whole life as an Air Force brat, I decided that I wanted to serve my country as well. It’s a dream school because I get to play soccer, receive a phenomenal education, challenge myself, and in the end, be a part of something bigger than myself all in one.” …hobbies are painting, running, biking and watching movies…favorite food is anything potato and fruits…favorite class subject is math or sociology…enjoys listening to Rihanna…favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy…favorite movie is Goodwill Hunting…person in history she’d most like to meet is Jesus…something not many people know about her is that when she way younger, she almost quit soccer for gymnastics…advice to young people is to take every opportunity as a chance to learn and grow.  Love your mom, laugh at yourself and be kind to everyone…credits her mom as having the biggest influence on her sports career…most notable thing about her hometown is the College World Series and the Omaha Zoo, which is ranked second-best in the country…best personal moment in soccer was winning the high school state championship three of four years and scoring the winning goal as a junior…enjoys hanging out with friends and family when away from soccer…favorite athlete is Carli Lloyd.

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