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Irish eyes aplenty for Slippery Rock women's soccer

| Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, 12:38 a.m.

Emer Flatley's first visit to Slippery Rock came in the middle of the night in the summer of 2009, on her first trip to America.

The drive there with coach Noreen Herlihy gave her a taste of the small town she's made home the last four years.

“She was like, ‘All right, girls. This is Main Street. Blink and you'll miss it,' ” Flatley said. “We're thinking, ‘Yeah yeah, ha ha. It's probably going to be huge.' And we got to the end of Main Street, and we were like, ‘Oh, wow, she wasn't kidding.' ”

The 18-year-old from Galway, Ireland, had been recruited for the women's soccer team without ever seeing the campus.

“It was like this big adventure,” Flatley said. “I always wanted to play soccer in America. I always wanted to live in America. My first couple of years were just brilliant.”

Now she's one of three players from Galway on the team, joined by sophomore forward Lucy Hannon, the team's leading scorer, and senior Kara Mullins.

Slippery Rock, which won the PSAC tournament, received the No. 5 seed in the Atlantic Region of the NCAA Division II tourney and will play No. 4 seed Edinboro at 2 p.m. Friday at California (Pa.)

“Soccer, literally, has opened up hundreds of doors for me over in America,” Flatley said, “without a doubt.”

— Mike Palm

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