Garden City Resident makes professional soccer debut

Garden City resident, Emily Menges, playing for Portland Thorns v. Sky Blue (NJ) FC

Garden City resident, Emily Menges, playing for Portland Thorns v. Sky Blue (NJ) FC

Garden City resident, Emily Menges, made her professional soccer debut as a starting defender on the Portland Thorns in their 2014 season opener vs. Houston Dash on April 12th. The Thorns beat the Dash 1-0 in front of a crowd of nearly 9,000 in Houston.

Menges, a lifetime resident of Garden City and a graduate of Garden City High School, was drafted by the Portland (OR) Thorns in January, and will join the team full-time upon her graduation from Georgetown University in May 2014. She is practicing with the Thorns and playing in games as her schedule permits.

Menges was selected in the third round of the NWSL draft by the defending champion Portland Thorns, led by her former youth soccer coach, Paul Riley. A first-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American, Emily led Georgetown to a 16-3-2 record this past season and into the second round of the NCAA Division 1 playoffs.? ?The 2013 Big East Defensive Player of the Year concluded her career as one of the most decorated players in Hoya history, earning All-Big East honors three times in her four seasons on the Hilltop. As an All-Big East rookie selection as a freshman, Emily started all 24 games and helped lead the Hoyas to the Elite Eight of the NCAA playoffs. In her four-year Georgetown career, the now 21-year-old started 83 of 84 games played, scored two goals and was part of defensive unit that posted an incredible 40 shutouts.

Emily played for the Albertson Fury ’91 of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) for six years, winning three consecutive Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Open Cups from 2009 to 2011. Prior to joining Albertson, Menges played for the LIJSL’s Garden City Blue Devils, coached by GC resident, Peter Andromidas.

“I’m very excited to play for Paul Riley again,” Emily stated. “Paul is one of the best trainers I’ve ever played for, and I know without a doubt that he will make me better. I know him well, which takes a little bit of stress off of me, but since he knows me, I know his expectations are high and I am going to have to continue working as hard as ever to compete with the team and at the pro level.”? ?

“Emily is a sleeping giant and now that she has the opportunity to play with and compete in practice with top internationals such as Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Christine Sinclair, her game will become elevated even more and her speed, tenacity and reading of the game will be tested in every practice and game,” commented Coach Riley. “She was a superb player for the Albertson Fury and I hope she relishes playing in front of the craziest, loudest soccer fans in the world of women’s soccer. Emily can compete at this level and we look forward to getting her to Portland and in a demanding training environment that will get the best out of her.”? ?

Emily, a two-time all-state selection for soccer at Garden City High School, was also an All-American and all-state selection for indoor and outdoor track in the 800-meter run, 4 x 400-meter relay, 4 x 800-meter relay and 1,600- meter run. After her freshman year at Georgetown, she decided not to run competitively anymore so she could concentrate on soccer.

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