Goal-oriented: Emily Castner

Castner's performance on the soccer field has put her in the record books. (Marc Featherly)

Being a soccer goalie is an education in itself. Diving to block a shot and then scrambling back to your feet to save the next one defines the word “pressure.” Never be complacent, goalies are told. And Emily Castner never has been.

Over the course of her four years as the Titan women’s soccer goalkeeper, Castner played 79 games and a total of 7,163 minutes. The average number of goals scored by opponents in those 79 games is less than one, and she holds the school record for career shutouts: 28.

Castner — who served as co-captain of the soccer team her senior year— credits Coach David Barrett with getting her interested in coming to IWU in the first place. Once she visited, “I really liked the personable atmosphere and the people that were here.”

Barrett is more than happy that Castner made Illinois Wesleyan her choice. “She has been a terrific teammate and player,” he says. “Beyond her play on the field, Emily is a wonderful person: caring and compassionate, but also

really competitive.”

An international business major and German minor, Castner came to Illinois Wesleyan “expecting to get a well-rounded education,” and feels that she has. But being part of the soccer team and her involvement in Alpha Gamma Delta (AGD) sorority have richly added to her academic experience.

Castner had some big shoes to fill during a stop in Amsterdam. Like many seniors, Castner found her international experience to be “life-altering.”

Within AGD, she’s held positions such as Greek peer counselor and vice president of finance, in which she oversaw the charge of dues, budgeting, and national communication. Joining AGD “was one of the best decisions I made. Living with 40 other girls really teaches you about yourself.”

Castner also learned a lot of about herself during the spring semester of her junior year, when she studied abroad in Freiburg, Germany, and had a “life-altering” experience.

“I met some of my best friends there,” says Castner, who now considers Freiburg “my second home.” She would like to spend more time living abroad, though her current plans include working as an account manager for CDW Corporation in downtown Chicago, a position she just recently accepted.

Castner will bring a lot of work experience to her new job. As a senior, she interned with OSF Health-

care System’s business development department. She also staffed the phones at the Memorial Center’s Main Desk for three years before moving on to a position in the Admissions Office this year. “I’ve had a great experience at Illinois Wesleyan, so talking to people who are thinking about coming here is great for me,” she says.

As she looks toward the future, Castner says she’s sure of one thing. “I’ll always stay close to Illinois Wesleyan.”

“You just know people on such an intimate level at small schools. I definitely see myself coming back for Homecomings” or perhaps to watch a soccer match, cheering on the student who will take her place between the goalposts.