FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – One of the greatest women’s soccer players to ever wear a Nova Southeastern uniform, former All-American and 2019 NCAA South Region champion Emma Heikkila becomes the latest Shark to sign professionally after officially reaching a deal with Hibernian FC of the Scottish Women’s Premier League.
Heikkila becomes the first-ever Finnish-born player to be signed by the club.
“It means a great deal to me,” Heikkila said when asked about the opportunity to continue her playing career. “I find this opportunity as the chance for me to reach my highest potential. It’s a dream come true to be able to play the sport I love professionally, and I will surely make the most of it.”
As winners of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup each year since 2016, Hibernian understandably has little trouble attracting players. Even so, Heikkila admittedly leaned on the help of former NSU head coach John Constable to bridge the gap between both sides. According to Heikkila, Constable pinpointed an agent in Scotland who had been in contact with Hibernian FC coach Dean Gibson regarding the team’s need for a quality striker. In the matter of a day, and one Zoom call later, Heikkila was on her way to Edinburgh for a week’s worth of training to showcase her skills. The rest is history…
Training camp won’t officially begin for the club until January, but Heikkila has already begun counting down the days.
“I am excited to return to train with this talented group of ladies in a passionate and professional training environment,” said Heikkila. “I feel this team provides me with the opportunity to further develop, and what I especially enjoy, is the skillfulness and intensity the players bring into every training session.”
If Heikkila’s collegiate career is any indication, she’ll have little trouble fitting in with her new club. During her four years in Fort Lauderdale, the Tornio, Finland native was twice recognized as an All-American, collected five All-South Region honors, and became the first player in NSU history to be selected First Team All-SSC in three consecutive seasons. She ranks among the Top-3 in the program record books in career goals (34), game-winning goals (10), assists (17) and points (85).
To say the least, NSU holds a special place within Heikkila’s heart.
“The Sharks spirit will always live within me – the perseverance to do and have what it takes to become a Champion for life,” said Heikkila. “The lessons learned on the field and in the classroom, and the relentless support from the NSU family, have helped to shape the person and leader I am today. For that, I am forever grateful. In my mind, I can still see the NSU shirt with the words “Prepare to Dominate”, a phrase that has left a lasting impact and given me the courage to strive for more.”
Heikkila has been nominated for SSC Women’s Soccer All-Decade Team, which is expected to be announced by the league early next week.