After four years and 50 games started, Rob Emery's Virginia lacrosse career will come to an end in this year's NCAA tournament. A California native, the senior midfielder was a rare West Coast player who came in and made an early impact, starting on the 'Hoos NCAA title team as a freshman.
"He was the quarterback of the football team in high school, so I think he was someone who was used to being in the middle of it all," said head coach Dom Starsia. "He never seemed overwhelmed by it."
Four years later, Emery is getting ready to graduate from UVa with a degree in Economics. Thanks in part to his consistent play on the field and strong performance in the classroom, Emery has been named one of ten finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. The award "encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities."
"There's some pretty incredible guys who have come through this program that have been in that group and I never really thought that that would be me," he says of the Senior CLASS Award finalists who came before him. "I'm very honored and flattered, and I'm happy that I can represent the school in some way."
"I think Rob Emery epitomizes everything you hope to find in a Virginia student athlete," Starsia says. "He's a great kid, very considerate of the people around him, wonderful family, great student."
After graduation, Emery will begin working at Morgan Stanley in New York City.
"I ended up getting a summer internship last summer up there and really enjoyed that experience," Emery said. "They asked me to come back, so I jumped all over that. It's an incredible opportunity."
In school and lacrosse, the senior has high expectations for himself, but in his time at UVa, he's learned to manage those expectations.
"I remember freshman year thinking that every little move that you make is the end of the world if you mess it up," he said. "But the coaches have an amazing amount of confidence in our players, and realizing that over the course of four years has definitely been a big help."
"He's a little hard on himself," adds Starsia. "I think it's related to his expectation of success. He expects to be good at everything all the time because he's been able to manage his life that way. My job over the last couple of years has been to try to get him to relax a little bit."
With his lacrosse career nearing the end, Emery says his best memories of UVa aren't just from his time spent on the field.
"Obviously the National Championship freshman year is something that's going to stick out, but I think the biggest thing is just the friendships you develop with everybody. I've met a lot of incredible people over the last four years and I'm incredibly thankful for that."
To vote for Emery, click here. Public voting closes May 12.