In the women’s soccer team’s 5-0 victory over Ursinus on October 16, Emma Sindelar '15 recorded a natural hat trick to become the program's all-time leading goal scorer. Sindelar now holds the program record for career goals (34), career assists (17), and career points (85), cementing her place as one of the most decorated players in the history of Swarthmore soccer.
Sindelar, a political science and French double major from Salt Lake City, Utah, has been playing soccer since she was four years old — but not as a forward. According to head women’s soccer coach Todd Anckaitis, Sindelar’s record in career goals is even more impressive since she primarily played midfield and centerback in her high school and club soccer programs.
“When she arrived at Swat, I asked her to play a role that we needed and one that she wasn't initially comfortable with as ‘the goal scorer,” Anckaitis says. “Emma has done that well and showed others that your success isn't defined by what you bring to Swat but by what you chose to do while you are here if you work hard, go outside of your comfort zone, and believe in yourself.”
Sindelar says she was definitely thinking about the record as she went into the Ursinus match, especially since it had been a few games before she’d scored any goals. However, she views her third record as being as much about her team as it is about her own collegiate career.
“I’ve really tried to make this about the team,” Sindelar says. “The reason and the point of me doing this isn’t about me, it’s for us to get to the next level. And everyone’s been super supportive and excited, to have the assist or play me in for a goal.”
Along with her record in career goals, which she earned with her first of the three she scored in the October 16 match against Ursinus (she now has 34 — 3 more than the previous record of 31), Sindelar also currently holds the record for career assists (17) and career points (85). She broke both of the former records in a win against Franklin and Marshall at home on Sept. 20th.
Elyse Tierney ’15, who scored her first goal for the College on Sindelar’s record-breaking assist, says one of the qualities she appreciates most in Emma is her modesty. Like Sindelar, she views the new records as a testament to the team’s efforts, as well as to Sindelar’s technical skill.
“I feel like we came in as a really strong class and now we’re leaving as a really strong class,” says Tierney, a psychology major from San Diego, Calif. “And Emma just really cemented that for us.”
With a current record of 9-6, the women’s team is hoping to finish the season strong. It faces off against Bryn Mawr on Oct. 29 and play its final regular-season match against Haverford on Nov. 1 during Garnet Weekend.
For Sindelar, who hopes to keep soccer in her life as a player or a coach after graduation, the end of the season is bittersweet.
“I’ve had a great time and an absolutely fantastic team to end on,” Sindelar says. “I’ve described us in past years as a family but even more this year, we’re really all their for each other. It’s a good way to go out, and hopefully we can go out with something concrete to show for it too.”
At Swarthmore, Sindelar has been named to the All-Centennial Conference First Team three times, is a two-time Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week, most recently for the week ending Oct. 19, and made the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Academic All-Area Team in 2013.