Emily Heinz fuels record-setting season for Bishop Seabury girls soccer
photo by: Contributed photo
Ivo Ivanov, the head coach of the Bishop Seabury girls soccer team, could tell something was different this spring.
With a limited number of players, Ivanov is forced to compete when the team decides to scrimmage during practice. The previous two years, Ivanov always felt like he was able to stay in front of Emily Heinz, even when the opposition seemingly had no answer for her.
This season, however, Ivanov could tell that the sensational scorer could not be denied.
“I was noticing in practice that she was taking it to another level,” Ivanov said. “I always felt I could stop her if I’m in the right place. This year, I knew the moment she touched the ball that she was gone. I had no chance.”
The Seahawks, who finished the regular season with a 4-6 record, set a school record for goals scored in a season with 40. Heinz, a junior forward, was a crucial part of that historical year. She scored 23 goals and finished with six assists.
At one point in the season, Heinz had at least four goals in four consecutive matches. She now has 68 total goals in her three-year career at BSA. And that’s a testament to the work ethic she has shown throughout her storied tenure.
“Emily, the best player on the team and maybe the best player in the entire region, somehow always makes it to practice,” Ivanov said. “She’s the one that has the least to work on, and she is always there working. This perfectionism translates to her success.”
But that level of commitment comes from the fact that Heinz hopes to improve her craft and ultimately play at the next level.
“I’ve been playing it my entire life,” Heinz said. “I love kicking things, obviously. It is just a part of me. I can’t not play it.”
Heinz, who first started playing soccer at 6-years-old, has been set on playing collegiate soccer ever since she was in the sixth grade. That’s when Heinz was invited to watch an identification camp at Washburn, and got her first taste of what it would take to play at the next level. She started participating in different camps two years later.
“I remember sitting on the bench and watching these huge girls compete against each other,” Heinz said. “I wanted to be like that. For that camp, we got a t-shirt and I still wear the t-shirt now.”
Heinz is certainly on her way to accomplishing just that. Heinz is an integral part of the Seahawks in the spring and competes for her club team, Sporting Blue Valley, in the fall. Her club team even won a state title and got to go to regionals in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2016.
With Bishop Seabury, Heinz has become a coach on the field for a team that has been decimated with injuries. In multiple matches this season, Bishop Seabury has been unable to field a full team.
That hasn’t prevented Heinz from somehow improving her otherworldly ability to notch scores. She has gained strength this year, which has helped her fight through double teams. Heinz can score with either foot, and has the speed to blow by nearly any defender.
Opposing teams keyed on Heinz this spring, but that didn’t seem to matter. And, if this year’s improvements are any indication, Heinz is in store for an even better final campaign in 2020.
“She’s not a secret anymore,” Ivanov said. “It is hard for her to even to even receive the ball because there is somebody on her heels at all time. She still finds a way. For me, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to coach a player like this.”