Incarnate Word senior midfielder Emily Groark recently found out that her high school career will finish with a flourish – and that's not just because she helped lead IWA to a second-place finish in the Class 3 state tournament in May.
Groark, along with Summit senior defender Anna Lawler, have been named All-Americans by the United Soccer Coaches.
“I am extremely honored to be recognized as an All-American,” Groark said. “I have been blessed with amazing coaches, teammates and family who have supported me.”
Groark scored 22 goals and added 11 assists for an Incarnate Word squad finished with a 22-7 record.
Red Knights coach Beth Sims said that she could tell Groark, who will play Division I soccer at the University of Colorado, was primed for a big season.
“She came into the season with something to prove,” Sims said. “She wanted to go out with a bang her senior year. She was determined.”
Sims added that Groark honed her game throughout her career to become the player capable of garnering an All-American nod in her final season.
“Her leadership (skills) were honed over the past year, she was all business and she does not like to lose," Sims said "She wears her heart on her sleeve. She's a captain not by mistake. The girls looked at her as leader. Her future is bright.”
Groark is the first Incarnate player to earn the honor since Kelly Sinovich in 2009.
While Groark earned the honor for the first time, Lawler ends her high school career as an All-American for the third straight year.
She helped lead the Falcons to the Class 3 championship and a 19-2-3 record as she starred in a more defensive capacity for the team as one of its primary backs.
She tallied six goals and added six assists.
“I realize how special this really is,” Lawler said. “I would never be here without my coaches, family and teammates. I can't thank them enough for their support. I'm happy that I'm able to represent the Fenton community and Summit in this way.”
In addition to the honors for Groark and Lawler, a handful of other local players earned All-Midwest region honors from the United Soccer Coaches.
Those players are: Hayley Jackovich (Eureka), Hannah Friedrich (Hazelwood West), Kendall Battle (Pattonville) and Margaret Lavigne (Nerinx Hall).