Soccer, Sports

Seniors honored in home finale

For the six seniors on the Boston University women’s soccer team, yesterday’s dominant performance against Stony Brook University was simply the status quo. The 2-0 win clinched at least a share of the America East regular-season title. But it was also memorable for a different reason.
The game was the last regular-season contest of the year at Nickerson Field and, as tradition dictates, it was Senior Day. BU celebrated the collegiate careers of six Terriers in a pre-game ceremony. During the commemorations, the seniors were escorted onto the field by their parents as the public address announcer recanted their career highlights.
The Terriers rewarded their fans and parents by showcasing the overpowering play these seniors are known for. Senior midfielder Marisha Schumacher-Hodge gave BU a lift by putting back her own rebound in the second half to score BU’s second goal.
‘It was amazing,’ Schumacher-Hodge said. ‘I’m just glad we won.’
This group of seniors will graduate having won at least a share of three America East regular-season titles and at least two America East championships. Needless to say, these seniors will leave a winning legacy on the field.
‘What has changed in the last four years with this group is the belief that we’re capable of more,’ BU head coach Nancy Feldman said. ‘We don’t believe that we can be beat on any given day.
‘This group of players has had that confidence and belief system instilled in them while working for it. That’s what their legacy is going to be.’
And the legacy is one that originated from all over the country. Schumacher-Hodge’s parents flew in from California to attend Senior Day. Senior co-captain and defensive back Shannon Mullen’s father made the trip from Texas.
‘It was a wonderful experience,’ Dana Schumacher-Hodge, Marisha’s mother, said. ‘I come about three or four times a year to see her play. I’m very proud of her.’
With a geographically diverse group, it took some time for the players to bond as freshmen. Midfielder Mallory Doyle comes from Virginia. Co-captain Elizabeth Speck and forward Jennifer Herman hail from New York. Schumacher-Hodge arrived from Pennsylvania.
‘At first, it was hard,’ Speck said. ‘We’ve really grown to be a very united group. Since we’ve been here, there’s been a change in the program. We expect to win against every team.’
‘The majority of the six of us know what it felt like to sit on the bench our freshman year,’ Mullen said. ‘When we finally got the opportunity, we ran with it. That perspective from the bench really gives you the motivation to give all you have on the field.’
Mullen was also pleased that the milestone came against a rival.
‘Stony Brook is a scrappy team,’ she said. ‘It was good to send them home with a loss.’
Though the seniors said goodbye to Nickerson yesterday, there is plenty of soccer left for the Terriers, including the America East playoffs and, hopefully, the NCAA Tournament.
‘The goal today was pretty exciting,’ Schumacher-Hodge said. ‘But scoring in the championship or going further in the NCAA Tournament is a little more important.’
‘We’ve crossed over a mental barrier that was there four or five years ago that we were good enough to win the conference, but not good enough to play with the big dogs,’ Feldman said. ‘Now, our belief is that with these kids, now we can play with the big dogs.’

One Comment

  1. Very happy for this Terrier team and special shout out to Liz Speck, Shannon Mullen and Casey Brown from your loving fans in Sag Harbor NY!!!