Athlete Spotlight: Emerson Perrin

MINOT –  Emerson Perrin was just a seventh grader when she played in her varsity match for Minot High. 

Her role was small, but coach Matt Pfau already could tell she was something special.

“You could see the talent in her right away,’’ he said. “She was little, but could see the field so well and passed so well.”

Her role and impact only grew. Today, the senior is not only one of the top players on her team, but in North Dakota.

That didn’t come by accident. The three-time all-state selection has put in the time. She’s worked on her own to develop her striking and passing skills as well as taking part in off-season club soccer and strength training.

Perrin’s name is often peppered on a Minot High score sheet with goals and assists, but the only stat that matters to her is the final score.

“Honestly, I just want to win,’’ Perrin said. “We have such an unbelievable group of girls who are committed to working hard and playing well as a unit each match.”

That approach has worked and worked and worked. The Majettes have won the last three state championships and along the way have not dropped a match. 

Perrin’s offensive skills are many. She can handle the ball well and beat defenders one-one one. She is a tremendous passer and can strike the ball with power and has great placement. “I think the best part of her game is she sees the field so well and sets up other teammates for scoring opportunities,’’ Pfau said.

Perrin along with fellow senior Maicee Burke have made quite a 1-2 punch up front. The two often team up for goals.

“I’ve played with Maicee since travel soccer when we were nine,’’ Perrin said. “The chemistry we have is unmatched. That’s our game.”

Minot High soccer has been a family affair for Perrin. Her older sister, Morgan was a key member in the team’s run to state championship appearances in 2019, 2021 and 2022 (titles in 2021-22). And Emerson’s younger sister, Anistyn, has also been part of the success, being part of the past two title teams in 2022 and last spring.

“I learned so much from playing alongside her and my other teammates from the past few seasons,’’ Emerson said. “They really pushed us and motivated us to be better.”

And now it’s Emerson and her fellow upperclassmen’s turn to instill that commitment to excellence to the younger teammates.

“She is a second-year captain and a lot of it is just leading by example,’’ Pfau said. “She’s always going 100 percent in practice and the younger girls see that and understand they need to match that intensity.”

While Perrin and her fellow strikers have provided plenty of offense, the Majettes are just as good defending. The team has yet to surrender a goal this season. Perrin said credit goes to the back line defenders and goal keeper for their athleticism and communication. 

“Our outside backs are very fast and can read where passes are going,’’ she said. “And they all communicate so well to us (up front). “They can see the whole field and direct us.”

When you are the three-time defending state champion, you know you are going to get everyone’s best game. Perrin said opponents have attempted to clog the middle of the field and try and limit the Majette’s time and space with the ball. Some have been more effective than others. Yet, the team has still found ways to score.

This season provides added motivation for Perrin and her teammates as Minot is hosting the state tournament. 

Perrin said getting that chance to play (at home) would be great, but they are taking things one match at a time. 

Next season Perrin will make the jump to Division 1 soccer at North Dakota State University. “It’s always been a goal to play in college and just everything about the school was great,’’ she said. “I loved the coaching staff and looking forward to the challenge.”

Emerson will need to continue her incredible work rate every day be an impact player college, Pfau said. “She understands that when you get to the D1 level, almost every player will be as talented as her and doing whatever is best for the team will get her playing time.”

But for now, she has a little over a month of play remaining with her high school team. And still a lot of big things to accomplish.

Photo: Minot Daily News