One of the things 21-year-old Alyssa Manoogian misses the most about playing soccer for is the big buildup for games, especially games against the Danvers Falcons.
“Oh they’re our biggest rival for sure, we knew most of the girls on the team from the club teams in our area and we absolutely wanted to beat them each time we played,” Alyssa said.
Alyssa graduated from PVMHS in 2009 and headed to New York to Colgate University to play soccer and study sociology and anthropology. Her younger sister Emily joined her once again on the soccer field, graduating from PVMHS in 2011 and enrolling at Colgate. Her major is undeclared.
The sisters were outstanding athletes on the soccer field and the basketball court in high school for the Tanners; in fact, Emily held the soccer scoring record before . Alyssa earned herself a number of spots on all-star soccer squads throughout her high school career and was ranked one of the best players in the country.
“The rivalries were great, we knew all the girls on teams like Danvers and it was so much fun to play against them,” Emily said. “We have rivals in college, but it’s different when you don’t really know players on the other team.”
Colgate’s big rival? Army. The Black Knights have knocked Colgate out of the postseason two years in a row, and the sisters can’t wait to see them this fall.
“We don’t play them until late in the season, absolutely we want to beat them,” Emily said. “If we play our best we can beat them, but it will take a team effort by everyone.”
Alyssa is one of the Colgate tri-captains heading into her senior season, and is thrilled to be healthy and ready to play in 2012.
“I had a torn ACL and missed playing with Emily in high school, and I had a hip problem that really affected me last season, and Dr. (Bojan) Zoric operated on me and I’m ready to go,” Alyssa said.
Dr. Zorin performed arthroscopic hip surgery on Alyssa to get her back in action. Zorin is the physician for the 2012 Women’s Olympic soccer team and has his offices at Sports Medicine North in Lynnfield.
“I was thrilled when Emily decided to come to Colgate, it wasn’t planned, it’s great that it happened,” Alyssa said. “We’re very competitive in the Patriot League and it’s exciting to play with Emily again.”
“I tore my ACL my senior season at Peabody, so Emily and I just had that one year together when I was a junior and she was a freshman, now we’re looking to have a great season this year since my hip’s better,” Alyssa said.
“I’m sure our parents are glad that we’re both at the same school so they don’t have to drive to two places every week to see us play,” Emily said. “Colgate had the total package: academics, athletics, they’re in Division One and Alyssa was there already.”
“It was so exciting for me when Emily made her verbal commitment to Colgate when she was a sophomore, really great,” Alyssa said. “It wasn’t planned, they gave her a great offer and I love playing with her.”
There’s another soccer player in the Manoogian household, younger brother Benjamin is getting ready for his sophomore year at Peabody High.
Alyssa on her sister’s game: “She is the most amazing passer that I have ever played with; she has eyes in the back of her head and sees things that no one else on the field sees. She can make any pass that she has to.”
Emily on her sister’s game: “She is a tremendous leader, she’s the captain for a reason, she has a great shot, she can score from anywhere, shoot from anywhere, she can score from forty yards out, and at the same time has excellent vision and can put a perfect pass right on someone’s foot.”
“Preparing for college is so much more intense than playing high school soccer, it’s more physically and mentally taxing. We start the pre-season soon and we’ve got to be ready to go,” Emily said. “College requires a lot more focus, but you still have to be ready to play when you take the field.”
Emily is working with the Peabody Recreation Department for the next few weeks, coaching a youth soccer program.
“We hosted our conference tournament in the playoffs last year; unfortunately Army knocked us out in the first round, and we’re all ready to work hard to change things this season,” Alyssa said.
“It’s so hard to balance my feelings heading into this season, I’m healthy, I’m playing with Emily, but it’s my last year in college, so it is tough,” Alyssa said. “I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled to get back on the field after my injuries, but it’s my last twenty college games, and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to make it a season to remember.”