For Emily Augsburger (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite), the final stretch of her final year of field hockey at Eastern Mennonite University is turning out to be pretty special.
“She is having quite the week!” said Coach Ashley Kisner. “Senior recognition was Saturday and we just got word Wednesday that she has been selected for the NFHCA Division III Senior Game! And Royals Athlete of the Week!”
Preceding all of the off-the-field recognitions, Augsburger had a strong week of play. She assisted on the team’s only goal in their game against Bridgewater and then scored a stroke in Saturday’s senior recognition game against Roanoke.
“Emily definitely deserves any recognition and accolades that come her way,” said Kisner. “She has been part of the backbone of this year’s squad. She is so versatile as a player as she plays both offense and defense, but she is a huge offensive threat for us and creates scoring opportunities for the Royals.”
Augsburger, who is known as Augs to those on her team, has had three different head coaches in four years, but has maintained a positive presence in the midst of transition.
“I’ve definitely just tried to bring consistency and a positive attitude,” she said.
That consistency has been aided by felow seniors Janae Kauffman (Harleysville, Pa./Dock Mennonite Academy) and Mikayla Martin (Colorado Springs, Colo./Lewis Palmer) , who started with the Royals as freshmen.
“Even when other leadership is changing, the three of us, we’re together,” Augsburger said. “It’s definitely been good.”
She balances field hockey practices and competitions with a busy schedule of nursing courses. During her clinicals, she had to be at the hospital by 5:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. “I guess my mantra coming into this year is that this is the last year I could possibly do this, and I didn’t want to give it up unless I really had to,” she said.
Augsburger also has a role model in Lisa King, a nursing professor at EMU.
“Lisa was a nursing major and played field hockey,” Emily said, “and she was like, ‘Emily. I did it, and you can do it. And you will do it.’ … So I knew that someone had done it, and it was possible.”
Other nursing professors have also said they are proud of their athletes in their department. “So there’s people supporting me,” Emily concluded.
In high school, Emily was initially interested in radiology but after a shadowing experience, decided there was not as much patient interaction as she wanted. “I was definitely in it for the people,” she says. “It felt like there was a lot of opportunity with nursing.”
And Emily is in it for the people in all areas of her life. Her favorite part of being on the field hockey team is the team itself.
“I get to play with such fun girls,” Emily said. “I’ve always stuck to the idea that there’s not a type of field hockey player. There’s girls from so many different majors, and so many different types of people.”
She first got into field hockey in sixth grade, when she went to a field hockey camp. Her two older sisters played and several cousins.
Over her years of playing, she has become a real leader on and off the field. “Augs is a leader both spiritually and athletically and has really made this team mesh as EMU field hockey, rather than a collection of athletes from different class years,” said Coach Kisner. “We will miss her very much next year and will need someone to step up to fill her role on the team as a captain and a player.”
Augsburger will miss her team as well. “I think I’ve just been super fortunate to have a team that has been so positive and fun, especially this year,” she said. “And though it’s been tough having three different coaches, I’ve learned something different from each one and I feel like I’ve used that as I’ve played.”
After graduation, Emily plans to work in an area hospital.
“Definitely staying in Harrisonburg, maybe Charlottesville,” Emily said. “Get a job, stay around here. I’m not done with Harrisonburg yet!”