MELBOURNE, Fla. – Voted upon by league administrators and head coaches, former Nova Southeastern midfielder Emma Heikkila was officially named as a first-team member of the Sunshine State Conference Women’s Soccer All-Decade Team on Wednesday.
“I feel very honored for this recognition by the SSC, and for being considered as one of the best players the conference has seen over the past 10 years,” expressed Heikkila. “Throughout my college career, I had the pleasure of playing against and alongside many talented players, which makes this honor even more special.”
Throughout her storied, four-year career, Heikkila was no stranger to the big stage, guiding the Sharks to the NCAA Tournament in every season from 2016-19. The Tornio, Finland native saved her best for last, tallying four goals during NSU’s 2019 postseason run in which it earned the program’s very first NCAA South Region Championship. She also paced the team in both goals and points as a sophomore, as the Sharks won the program’s first outright SSC regular season crown in 2017.
Overall, Heikkila was twice recognized as an All-American, collected five All-South Region honors, and became the first player in NSU history to be tabbed First Team All-SSC in three consecutive seasons. In addition, she was a three-time SSC All-Tournament Team selection. Her career numbers place her among the Top-3 in the program’s record books in career goals (34), game-winning goals (10), assists (17) and points (85).
Heikkila closed her career with a combined record of 54-19-8, including 28-5-6 in SSC play.
“I would like to take the time to thank everyone who contributed to the successes of the NSU soccer program over the years,” Heikkila added. “It fueled me to become the SSC First Team All-Decade player that I am today. Thank you!”
In all, seven different programs were represented by 23 student-athletes. Saint Leo’s Arielle Kabangu was selected as both Player and Offensive Player of the Decade. Rollins alum Azure Dorsey earned Defensive Player of the Decade, while former Barry head coach Denis Brolly was honored as Coach of the Decade.
SSC Women’s Soccer from 2010 to 2019
Over the last 10 years, nine SSC programs earned a combined 34 NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament berths. Rollins led the way, representing the league eight times, while Barry gained entry six times. NSU and Tampa tied for third with five appearances, followed by Florida Tech (4), Saint Leo (3), Embry-Riddle (1), Florida Southern (1), and Lynn (1). Five SSC women’s soccer squads advanced all the way to the NCAA Elite Eight once during the decade. Most recently, NSU reached the national quarterfinals in 2019. Florida Tech made the Final four in 2010, and Rollins finished as National Runner-Up in 2014.
For a complete list of the SSC Women’s Soccer All-Decade Teams, click here.