By Kiduce Daniel | November 21, 2022
Photo Credit: UAlbany Athletics
She shoots and she scores!
University at Albany forward Emily Jozak was no stranger to that this past season. After dominating all throughout her freshman season, Jozak was recognized for her outstanding year and given the America East Rookie of the Year award.
The award, given to the freshman who has the best individual season, had Jozak’s name written all over it. After leading her team with seven goals and bringing home the America East Rookie of the Week three different times throughout her freshman campaign, it was clear that Jozak deserved the award that only four other UAlbany athletes had ever received.
“It’s pretty surreal. It’s something that everyone said before the season I could get, I could earn that,” Jozak said. “And when it actually happened, it was like ‘Wow, I actually did that.’”
Dominating the way Jozak did as a freshman isn’t common. Jozak admitted she struggled with balancing school with sports at first, but just like on the soccer field, she started to figure it out with time. Jozak credited her teammates for always being there for her, specifically Carly Binn. Despite Binn being a year older, the two have played a lot of soccer together going back to their high school days.
“Carly has really helped me out. I’ve played with her since I was in eighth grade and she was a freshman in high school,” Jozak said. “We’ve played growing up together and she’s been a big help for me, being on top of me. Pushing me to work harder.”
Jozak’s rookie campaign began at home against Rider back in August, when she scored her first three career goals all within 10 minutes of gameplay, and helped the Great Danes win their first game of the year. With the hat trick, Jozak became only the second player in UAlbany program history to score three goals in the same game.
“That Rider game was probably my favorite game,” Jozak said. “When I scored my third goal of the game with the header; that was something I’ll never forget.”
Jozak’s immediate success has given UAlbany fans something to cheer for after their season was ended after losing in the America East conference semifinals to #1 seed Binghamton back on Nov. 3.
As for the future, Jozak believes this UAlbany team can build off their 7-8-5 record and is ready to take that next step, win an America East championship.
“I know every girl wants it [America East championship]. We want a ring,” Jozak said. “We believe that we can make it happen next season.”