Jan. 17, 2014
Sophomore, Midfield, 5-5
In 21 days, the Vanderbilt lacrosse team begins the 2014 season on Feb. 7 at Kennesaw State. To get ready for the 19th season in program history, vucommodores.com will spotlight all 29 players and coaches Cathy Swezey, Susan Ellis and Julie Gardner. This segment will offer an inside look into the team on and off the field.
Today, Emma Dagres, who wears jersey No. 21, continues our countdown. A sophomore from Weston, Mass., she came onto the lacrosse scene late, not playing until her freshman year of high school. A former soccer player, Dagres played in 17 games last year for the Commodores and started the last six. She scored nine goals, with her first three coming in a hat trick against Penn. She had shoulder surgery in the offseason to repair an injury she endured in the fall of 2012. But she decided to prolong surgery initially in order to play her freshman season. No longer will she have a need for her bulky brace, Sully, which she wore all of last season and extended from her elbow to her torso.
With a clean bill of health and loads of confidence from last year, Dagres is optimistic about what the 2014 season holds. We sat down with her to talk to her about getting into the sport, her freshman season and her mindset post-surgery.
How did you get into lacrosse?
I was a soccer player my whole life. I thought I was going to college for soccer until my freshman year. I decided to try out for the lacrosse team. I had kind of been playing youth seventh and eighth grade but didn't really think anything of it. Then I enjoyed Rev (Revolution Lacrosse Club) and I started to love the sport more than soccer. I think I was so used to soccer my whole life it was a new thing for me. Once I started Rev, I fell in love with the game. From there I just started going to recruiting tournaments and that is how I got here.
As a freshman last year, what were your expectations coming in?
Coming into it as a freshman, you are always a little nervous. You have to have confidence in order to hit the field. Obviously you're going to have some nerves. I wasn't expecting to start. I wasn't one of the freshmen who knew I was going to get on the field early. There were a couple injured players and it gave me the chance to start in the second half of the season. It was so exciting for me because it boosted my confidence a lot and I got a lot of playing time.
That has definitely helped me improve. Obviously practice makes perfect so the more you play in a game the more you're able to have game sense and have more experience. I'm very thankful I was able to play a lot last year.
You're feeling a lot better after having shoulder surgery (in June)?
I feel awesome. I don't even think about my shoulder when I'm playing, which I'm so happy about. The emotional part of it is half the battle. Coming into this preseason (in the fall) I was really worried that my shoulder wasn't going to be as strong as it is. So I'm so excited that it is 100 percent now.
How optimistic are you as a team about this season?
Every year it is a whole different team. We have eight new players this year so we have a completely and new and different and excited team. We're trying to put last year behind us. We call it the good ole days but not actually good. We are really optimistic this year. You've got to start off the year with a fresh new slate and that's exactly what we're trying to do.
Age I picked up a lacrosse stick: 14 years old
A few words that describe the way I play lacrosse: Team defense and draw controls
Favorite sport other than lacrosse: Mixed martial arts
Favorite musical performer: Miley Cyrus
Favorite movie: The Lion King
Nobody can believe I watch this TV show: Caillou
The best tasting food I can make: Captain Crunch
Favorite athlete to watch in another sport: Milan Lucic on the Boston Bruins
Favorite aspect of Nashville: The squirrels at Vanderbilt
One thing my hometown is famous for: George Washington slept in my town
The person I admire most: My mom
The most famous person(s) I've met: Khloe Kardashian
My advice to young people is: Love the life you live and live the life you love