Coach Rui Correia loves having a goaltender that he can count on, and he counts heavily on Emma Bourgault to come up big for his girls’ soccer team. A four-year varsity player for the Lady Canalmen and also a member of the basketball team, Emma has had an excellent career, and she hopes to cap it by helping both teams make state tournament appearances.
Emma is the daughter of Danielle Bourgault and Nolan Leroy, and Peter Bourgault. She has four siblings. She said that her favorite subject in school is math and that her car is her most-prized possession. She was named the hoop team’s defensive MVP last year and is one of the soccer team’s captains.
The member of the National Honor Society works part-time at Buzzards Bay House of Pizza and also babysits. She is a huge fan of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Her go-to meal is her mom’s chicken marsala or chicken Alfredo, with her grandmother’s spinach rolls and a glass of strawberry milk.
How did you get involved with soccer? How much do you enjoy it? What is your role on the team?
I got involved with soccer when I was fairly young, but I had to decide between soccer or dance. I chose dance for the time being, but when my oldest brother Cory reintroduced me to soccer when I was in 4th grade, he told me he would coach my team under one condition, and that was I had to play goalie. He taught me everything I know, he worked me to my hardest and he made me fall in love with the sport ever since. From there on out I have played goalie and nothing else because in my household it was almost a sin to not be a keeper. So here I am now, my senior year in high school, still trying to be as good as he was.
The season is just getting underway. What will it take for your team to have success this season? What do you need to do to make that happen?
I’m not going to lie, it was a bumpy start to the season, as any team would start out with a fresh new set of girls and with the incoming freshman. There is quite a lot of talent and potential on the team within every girl individually. One thing we have been working on most is the communication part. We are still trying to find our path with the new girls, but they are doing very well. I tell them all the time that communication is 90 percent of the game and will make us 100 percent better and have the ball going smoothly down field. We are working on working as a team and not just a one-man game. I feel like we are off to a pretty good start. We lost a lot of talent with the seniors last year, but they had for sure shown me how a good captain and senior sets examples for the younger girls.
As a senior you have grown through the ranks of the program. With this being your final year, how important is it for you to finish the season strongly?
When this season started, I took it more personally than I did years before. I want to succeed, and I want to succeed with this group of girls, because I wouldn’t want it any other way. I know that once one game is done, that’s just one game closer to the end of my career if I do not carry it through to college, which makes me push myself 10 times more. I’m always looking to be better or ways I can improve myself just so that I can leave the season knowing I gave it my all.
Every sport requires a certain set of skills that the layman may not know about. What is something about playing soccer that is difficult to do that most people would not think about?
In all honesty, personally the hardest part about playing soccer for me as an individual is staying calm. With me being a keeper I can see the whole field and I’m well-educated enough on my position that I can see a play happening before it does or what should be done to get the ball to the net. I talk to my team as the game goes on and give constructive criticisms throughout the game, but the hardest part for me is if the ball is on the other side of the field and a play does not get carried through all the way, it gets a little frustrating because I feel like I can’t help. I have grown to realize that though it may seem like since I can see everything and see what’s going to happen next before it happens, that not everything works out and that the most important thing to do is just keep trying because you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.
You also play on the basketball team at Bourne. What do you envision your role being this year, and what will the team be like?
I am definitely very excited for this coming basketball season, it’s always so much fun pregaming to music in the locker room with the girls and the coaches coming in all ready to go. Especially since it’s my senior year, I feel like it’s going to be a season to not forget. I am definitely more of a defensive player than an offensive player. I’ve always been that way; that’s how I got my nickname, “Scrappy.” I think the team will succeed very very much throughout the season, Hannah Wenzel, a follow soccer captain of mine and also a fellow basketball player, will for sure be an asset to the team in my mind along with her sister McKinley Wenzel and best friend Paige Meda, also a fellow soccer player. We like to call McKinley and Paige “the rabbits.” There is a lot of talent on the basketball team within every girl, and it’s for sure going to be hard to try to find ourselves with the past seniors who graduated because they all were a huge part of the team, but I feel like we will find our way.
What do you think a scouting report would say about you?
I think a scouting report would say about me, if they really looked into my life, they would talk about how much of a hard worker I am and how much I try and put my all into something, even if it’s something small. Everything I do I like to add passion to it and really persevere on what I am doing and give it my all. I think they would notice everything I have overcome and have gone through and use it to a better advantage for myself, which some would say that is what separates me from most.
Of all the games you have ever played in, is there one that stands out as the best? Why?
The game that sticks out to me most is my first game of freshman year, my first varsity game ever. Coach Rui had taken a chance on me and accepted me on to varsity and took an even bigger chance on me by starting me the first game in my first varsity game ever. It was a home game against Apponequet, which is usually really tough for us as it is. I did surprisingly well, given all the anxiety I had about that game. The team did phenomenal, and I was shocked as to how much of a faster pace varsity was than travel or JV, which is a given, but I just had not realized how much. Playing Apponequet is normally tough because of their skill level, but I was able to get a shutout in my first-ever varsity game as a freshman. I won MVP of the game and got to carry around our team mascot “Amburbrial,” which yes, is a singing unicorn with a cowboy hat on it.
What do you consider to be the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The highlight of my athletic career so far is becoming captain of my team. It goes deeper than just being a captain and being a role model for me. I’ve always tried to fill my brother Cory’s and my sister Paige’s shoes, which are quite hard to fill given everything that they have accomplished, but they were both the captains of their soccer teams and really good athletes. Gaining this position made me really happy that I could at least level one playing field with them. Not only that, but to be a role model for the younger girls and finally be able to take a team to big places hopefully in the ongoing season. I want to show the girls passion, love, fun and the excitement for the sport and everything that comes along with the season.
Who is the best teammate you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
Alexis Morriset, was indeed the best teammate I have ever played with, better yet the best soccer player I have ever met, and I have met revolutionary soccer team members. Her skill level is out of the world where I have no words for it at all. But honestly what makes her the best player I’ve ever met/played with is her love and dedication and drive for sports, and soccer most importantly. She was on club teams and the high school team I was on as well. She had the best shot I’ve ever seen, or felt, to the point I would just move out of the way when it was her turn to take a shot on me in practice because I did not want to get in the middle of her and that ball.
Lexi is a grade above me and now in freshman year of college; unfortunately, my sophomore year and her junior year, she moved schools. Luckily she came back, and I was so excited to be playing with her again. What’s more unfortunate is her first game back, she tore her ACL and wasn’t able to finish her senior year of sports. This tore her down but also made her the best version of herself and she persevered and worked 10 times harder than anyone just to get back on the soccer field at some point in her life. That’s what makes her the best player I have ever met. Her drive, her dedication, her passion and love for soccer.
Is there a coach or mentor who has made a difference in your growth as a player or as a person? What did they do to help you along the way?
My old athletic trainer, Mackenzie Corrigan, made a huge difference in my growth not only as a player but as a person. She helped me a lot through my years of high school. She was a friend, a therapist, a mother figure, a helper, a warm heart and, most importantly of course, the athletic trainer. Not to just me but to all. Mackenzie had open arms to anyone and everyone and had the biggest heart to every kid that walked into her door. We would all sit in her office not because we were hurt or needed something rolled out but because she was there for us in any way possible that she could. She listened, she gave advice and she gave friendships to all. She inspired me to become an athletic trainer and to go into physical training. She helped me find majors that would fit for me and soon came my career path that is now being put into play. I thank her for everything she’s done for me and for my peers, I’m so incredibly happy for her because she’s now off to bigger and better things with her career. Even though I am sad she’s not my trainer still, I’m incredibly happy to see her find her end game.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
With soccer, I always need to start the game defending the net closest to our bench, no matter where the game is, home or away. I start at the net closest to our bench. I don’t know why because it’s not a win-or-lose situation, but it brings me comfort for some reason. With basketball, locker room dance and singing parties are a must, along with singing our hearts out to the song “Billionaire” on the way home from away games. It’s always a must. I am not looking forward to the last bus ride singing that song, though, I will say.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
The most important thing I have learned from playing sports is taking care of your body properly after a game and even before a game. No one is made to sleep all summer and not stay healthy and then be expected to run three miles straight without a cramp or a pulled muscle. Even with how in-shape and healthy I stayed in the offseason, I’m still pulling muscles. Not only that, but I’ve learned discipline, staying with the same schedule every day and keeping to my grades. As much as that is important, I have also learned leadership skills and teamwork skills. A team cannot work without a leader, and I am very grateful and honored to be a leader of this team and show them teamwork skills.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?
Normally when you ask one teenager what their one superpower they would want, they will tell you to either be able to fly, read minds or be invisible. With me, I would want to be able to make everyone’s problems and worries go away. I say this because so many teenagers and many adults go through so many unnoticed troubles within their lives and they just deal with it until it’s gone, but they deal with the pain and the troubles that come with it. I would want to be able to take that pain away and give them hope and light through dark times.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my brother most importantly. Getting me into soccer was honestly a last resort for me, I feel like, is what he was thinking. I gave my brother a lot of trouble in my formative years. I would mouth off to him as is typical of any sibling relationship. But I feel as if soccer brought us closer and gave us a bond with each other. Countless days spending time with each other, him teaching me and giving me all of his knowledge that he had acquired. Even though some practices would end with him just punting balls straight into my face, it’s brother-sister love, right? Seriously, in all honesty he’s made me the player I am today, and I cannot thank him enough for that and on top of that he’s currently serving and protecting us every day so that’s just another plus.
I would also like to thank my mom for raising me to be who I am today, but most importantly, for everything she has gone through to make sure her kids have everything they need and want. She puts her kids before herself to make sure we do not go without. She takes a lot on all at once and still manages to have time to go to my games and makes sure she’s at every one of them. I know when she’s there. Even if I hadn’t seen her yet, you can hear her screaming.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
The biggest difference between senior me and freshman me is that freshman me was so inside of her shell and wouldn’t speak up for herself. If I had to go back and tell my freshman self one thing, it would be to not take on so much all at once and to give myself room to grow as a person and as a soccer player, as a friend, as a daughter. School, sports, work, friends and social media are all fun, but you also need to give yourself room to grow and be a teenager and not grow up so fast.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
One thing that always shocks everyone when I tell them is that I used to barrel race when I was younger, and I actually did have six horses on my old property. It has been my lifestyle for a very long time, and I loved it until I had to move houses and had to pick between taking care of the horses and playing sports. Obviously, as a young teenage girl I didn’t want to put the work in to take care of them all the time, and I took the easy way out. Most of me is okay with the decision because I found a love for sports, but another part of me misses it.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
I would love to switch places with someone less fortunate than I. This is not for my own good, but for theirs. Many people who are in need of things most commonly go unnoticed, and I would love for them to live my life and have the things I have even if it’s for a day, just to make one day a little bit better than the rest of their days. I see everything I have and the life my mom has built for me and all of her hard work, and sometimes I realize that some people are not as lucky as I am most days, so I would want to switch with someone who is in need of some help.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
The perfect day would start out with the sun waking me up through my blinds, listening to the birds chirping, knowing I do not have anything to do within that day. I would get up and get dressed and go get coffee, and then I would come home and go to the beach and have fruit at the beach. When I come back from the beach, I would have my friends over and just sit and talk with them for hours on end and end the night with a movie or a show with all my friends.
What are your post-high-school plans?
I plan on going to college to major in sports medicine and minor in nutrition, to hopefully come out of college and pursue being a high school athletic trainer. In all wishful thinking, I would then move up to a hospital and do rehab. I would then love to open up my own clinic for PT and nutrition.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself building a business for myself and hopefully a life while still continuing my studies to better my knowledge.