Stille achieves 1,000-point milestone earlier than expected

Sean Meyers -

Stille Points and Rebounds Graphic

When Carlow forward Emma Stille suffered a torn ACL during a game against Asbury in January, she was closing in on a milestone. Stille was just 16 points shy of 1,000 for her career, a mark she had in her crosshairs for quite some time.

While the serious knee injury prematurely ended her junior campaign, Stille became determined to return to the floor for her senior season, with the milestone in the forefront of her mind.

"That was the first goal I wanted to make coming back," she said. "I never doubted it. I knew I was going to make it; I just didn't think I'd make it so soon."

To that point, Stille returned to action in the 2019-20 season opener, weeks or even months ahead of the original timeframe.

"The way my protocol was set up, I was supposed to come back a little later, but I just saw that I really wanted to get back into the game and help my team as much as possible," she explained. "I really pushed myself at physical therapy and I talked to my surgeon and my physical therapist, and we were on the same page trying to get there as quickly as possible."

New head coach Albert DeSalvo, who worked with Stille the previous two years as an assistant coach, held Stille out of preseason scrimmages as a precaution. As a result, DeSalvo noted that the season-opening exhibition on Nov. 2 against Campbellsville-Harrodsburg basically served as a scrimmage for Stille.

To that point, Stille was limited to playing less than 19 minutes, and she scored just four points. Subsequently, Carlow dropped a close outcome, 75-72.

Following the game, Stille told DeSalvo she was capable of playing more minutes, and the Celtics' bench boss agreed, as long as she proved to be effective and didn't show signs of fatigue.

Perhaps because the previous outing truly felt like a scrimmage to her, Stille thought she still needed 16 points heading into the next game against Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College the following day. Instead, she needed just a dozen points, and after a hot start, Stille knocked down a jumper with 4:28 left in the first half to reach 1,000 points.

While the rest of the Celtics players and coaches celebrated, Stille didn't immediately realize her accomplishment.

"I thought I was counting correctly, but when I scored it, a few of the girls started cheering me on," she explained of her surprised reaction.

"It shows that if you put the work in, you can be a 1,000-point scorer," DeSalvo added of Stille. "She comes to work every day, and she does what she's supposed to do, and she should be proud of herself."

The moment had added meaning for Stille, because she fell short of scoring 1,000 points during her high school career at Westerville in Ohio. The biggest factor in her failure to accumulate 1,000 points then was because she missed significant time with a familiar injury - a torn ACL.

In the home opener against WVU Tech on Nov. 5, Stille was honored for her accomplishment before the game. She also had her own cheering section for the special occasion, as her parents and several high school friends, along with her friends and roommate at Carlow attended the game.

That group nearly saw Emma achieve another milestone in the setback against WVU Tech, as Stille snagged 16 rebounds, leaving her just three shy of 1,000 boards for her career. Two days later, she grabbed nine rebounds in a win against Penn State Greater Allegheny to achieve the feat.

Stille became the seventh Carlow player to reach the 1,000-point plateau, and the first since Lynzi Mueller during the 2015-16 season. With her rebounding milestone also conquered, Stille may shift her focus to the Celtics' all-time points total. Jacqueline Muir, who played from 2004-08, concluded her career with 1,483 points.

With 26 games remaining in the regular season, Stille will need to average just shy of 17 points per contest to establish the new career scoring mark at Carlow.

With the determination and resolve that she's already shown to reach one objective, that task certainly seems within reach for Stille.

"That can be another goal I can set for myself, because I'm running out of goals at the moment," she said.

Carlow 1,000-point scorers:

Jacqueline Muir 1,483 (2004-08)

Lynzi Mueller 1,282 (2012-16)

Christina Costa 1,152 (2004-08)

Erin DiSanti 1,110 (2011-15)

Lauren Roscoe 1,082 (2006-10)

Emma Stille 1,045 (2016-Present: As of 11/8/19)

Sarah McAteer 1,026 (2007-11)

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