Despite Injuries, Emily Pye is Still Kicking


Photo by Katie Klein

An athlete’s career can be crippled by a single twist of an ankle, taking them out of their game both mentally and physically. Senior Emily Pye, however, has experienced her own share of injuries, but that has not stopped her from dominating on the soccer field. In her last season of high school soccer, Emily will leave Los Altos as a four-year varsity athlete and a two-year team captain as both a junior and senior. Her determined mindset, fantastic skill and ability to overcome her injuries caught University of San Francisco’s attention, where she has now committed to attend in the fall of 2017 to play Division 1 soccer.

Emily began her soccer career at 5 years old after her father encouraged her to take on the sport at a young age.

“I think I started playing on teams when I was four,” Emily said. “I have a British father so it was kind of ingrained in me to play sports. It’s been a whole life journey.”

Making her way to the top did not come without any sacrifices. Like any athlete striving to become the best, Emily consistently dedicates many hours a week to the sport in order to surpass the other players.

“I play soccer five to six times a week, and my practices are about one and a half hours, four times a week,” Emily said. “I also have two hour games on the weekend. You have to love the sport and put in the grind.”

In all sports, any injury has the potential to become a major setback and can even end the careers of the very best athletes. Emily severely bruised her ribs and nearly ruptured her spleen after a collision with a goalie in the summer of her junior year.

“It was psychologically hard to go in for the tackles after I bruised my ribs but I eventually got over it,” Emily said. “You would have to break both of my legs to stop me from playing soccer.”

Prior to that, Emily faced other injuries such as twisting her medial collateral ligament during her sophomore soccer season. She endured six weeks of physical therapy but only came back stronger.

“Injuries are just an in-the-moment thing,” Emily said. “It may take weeks to recover but soccer is always there in the long run. One injury won’t stop me from playing soccer for the rest of my life.”

Emily’s mental strength is evident when it comes to soccer, but her knowledge of the sport further leads to her success as a player.

“My physical presence helps me play, like my size and speed, but I would say I am a very technical player and know the game very well,” Emily said. “It’s important to have the skill but if you’re not smart about it and don’t know the game, you can be picked apart.”

Emily wants to continue her education in California which is why she chose the University of San Francisco after looking at other colleges on both the west and east coast. She looks to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing science and will continue to play Division 1 soccer at the school.

“I would rather stay in California, and I realized that family is really important to me,” Emily said “I visited the campus which I really love, and it’s a great nursing school. It kind of just checked off everything I was looking for.”