By: Tim Birney | | November 12, 2020 | Photo courtesy David Alliger


ATHENS — Athens senior Emma Roe will make a big jump next fall, from the NTL soccer fields in Bradford County to the Division 1 soccer pitch at Wagner College on Staten Island.

Roe said Wagner’s campus was the perfect combination of small-town feel, and close proximity to New York City.

“First of all, I’m going to school for Business Administration, and, Wagner is so close to the city,” she said. “I know I will be prepared so well for the future, and have a lot of opportunities very close (to campus).

“And, their soccer program is amazing,” noted Roe. “Before quarantine, I was able to visit the campus, and meet the team and the coaches. I felt very welcomed there.

“Even though it’s on Staten Island, and close to (New York) City, it has a small-town feel,” added Roe. “It reminds me  of around here, there are trees, there are hills … it doesn’t remind you of the city at all, but it’s so close to somewhere so populated that I thought it was a great opportunity.”

Athens coach Rich Pitts believes Roe will thrive at the next level.

“Emma will have success because she is self-motivated,” he said  “She sets goals and works very hard to attain them. So, this next challenge will be one that she puts her total heart into and she will keep grinding until she gets out of it, what she desires.”

Roe knows she has work to do to play at the next level.

“I am working on a lot of strength training and conditioning, as well as on my dribbling,” she said. “As an offensive player I feel my touches on the ball should be perfect.”

Pitts said Roe’s biggest challenge at the next level is likely to be the “mental game.”

“Other than the obvious things she needs to work on — fitness, speed of play and physicality of the college game, I would say the mentality,” he said. “College is tough at any level, but at D1 it is a huge commitment in time.

“You have to be really organized in time management to ensure you train and play at the highest level and take your academics at a high level,” noted Pitts. “Then, sprinkle in some social life. With that comes a mental drain that can be tough on a student-athlete.  

“I think that could be her struggle, but she has a good support system and I'm sure she will talk to some of the girls before her that can help her with it,” added Pitts. “Emma Adams, (Rachel) Hutch(ison) and Ari (Gambrell) would always be willing to give her advise since they are going thru it, too.”

A dynamo on the field, Roe is known for her physicality and non-stop motor on the field.

“Phil Casella, the Wagner coach, actually saw me play one time, and said that’s all he needed to see,” she said. “He saw me win the ball in the air, dribble down the field, and score.

“He said he saw the fight I had, and energy I played with, and thought it was perfect for the (Wagner) program,” Roe added.

Roe is looking forward to the next chapter in life.

I’m so excited,” she said. “I’ve been talking to the other girls, there are seven or eight other commits in our class. We’ve been communicating … I’m so excited to meet them, and to be able to play college soccer.”


About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio
Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.

Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.

River Road Media Group includes five sites in "The Sports Reports" family that cover 24 school districts in five counties: Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020); Northern Tier West Sports Report (March 15, 2021) Southern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 16, 2021).