By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(March 2, 2014) – Briar Woods High School senior Emma Quirk has signed her National Letter of Intent to join coach Bryan Williams and his staff at the Virginia Military Institute beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.
“The second I committed I felt like a huge weight was lifted,” said the 5-foot-4 Quirk. “All nervousness and anxiety about choosing a college went away. I started practicing my pull-ups and push-ups immediately trying to ready myself for VMI’s challenges.”
One of the challenges VMI cadets endure during their years in college is that the institution is a Virginia state-supported military school.
“I chose VMI because it offers everything I’ve looked for in a college,” Quirk said. “Strong academics and soccer have always been key in my college decision, and VMI’s military aspect is an added bonus. My dad is in the Army so the military lifestyle has appealed to me, and I look forward to following it to college.”
Born at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Quirk moved frequently with her dad’s job and said living around the world really helped her make new friends and soccer connections.
“I don’t speak any foreign language fluently but whether it was France, Germany or Jordan, soccer helped me assimilate into other cultures and make friends. Even when I moved back stateside my junior year, the Briar Woods varsity soccer team served as outlets to meet people and prove myself.”
During her first season with the Falcons, Quirk made an impact right away and helped Briar Woods down the playoff stretch scoring the only goal in the Falcons’ 1-0 win over Blacksburg in the VHSL AA state semifinal.
After the win in the semifinal, Briar Woods dropped the state championship to Woodgrove High School finishing their season 19-5-1.
“I have high expectations for this upcoming season. Two impact players graduated but we have a lot of new talent coming in as well as a strong foundation from last year’s team,” said Quirk who plays club soccer for Loudoun 95 Red. “Our stingy defense and hardworking offense will hopefully carry us to the state finals again. We’ve had a couple months to reflect on our silver medals, and this year we’re going for gold.”
The Division I VMI Keydets did not fare as well in 2013 going 3-15 including a 1-10 record in the Big South Conference before falling to Radford – where Quirk’s Briar Woods teammate McKensey Ziegler committed to play soccer this fall – in their final game of the season on Oct. 29.
“Since I’ve been recruited as a forward I definitely hope to add more goals to the stats chart,” Quirk said. “I also intend to bring my hard work and passion for the sport, school and team.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!