Welch plays for wins, not credit


08-28-15 WSO vs. Wake Forest Emma Welch (8) Photo courtesy of UA Athletics

Marquis Munson

As Wes Hart begins his coaching era in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama Crimson Tide Soccer team, Emma Welch begins her journey on the field for his new look team.

The freshman midfielder is making a name for herself through the first four games of the season assisting on a goal by Celia Jimenez in the Tennessee Tech game and making key plays on the defensive side of the ball. Welch’s plays on defense won’t show up on that stat sheet, but she has been very important to Coach Hart and the improvement for the team each game.

“She’s been awesome so far and it’s hard to believe that’s she is just a freshman,” Coach Hart said. “The amount of confidence she’s playing with and ability to impact the game is quite impressive.”

The native from McDonough, Georgia started playing soccer at the age of five. When she started playing U12 soccer for her first club team, she had to travel forty minutes away to Fayetteville, Georgia to practice. Three years later, her first club ended and joined her second club where she traveled further to Douglasville. After playing through the ranks, her second club team ended while she was in high school.

At Locust Grove High School, Welch was an All-Area team member and her team’s MVP in 2012 and 2013. She was selected as a Georgia All-Star after her 2012 season.

“I wasn’t really recruited that big coming out of high school,” Welch said. “Alabama was the only big school that looked at me. All the schools around Georgia knew me, but I never played in big tournaments. I really didn’t get that much coverage. So coming here was nerve wrecking.”

Welch came to the University of Alabama and enrolled in class in January. She trained the entire spring with Coach Hart and the team. Now in her first season with the Crimson Tide, Welch is willing to do whatever it takes to make this new look team a success, even if that means not getting recognize for it.

“Some of the things I am known for don’t show up on the stat sheet,” Welch said. “I’ll contribute in any way, whatever the team needs me for that’s what am I going to do. Whether that’s me taking the ball from someone and passing it to the person who scores I’m content with that. It’s just whatever helps us win and whatever helps us get our momentum going.”

Welch and the Alabama Crimson Tide returns to action when they travel to Cambridge, Massachusetts to face Harvard this Friday at 6:00 p.m. CT.