The Boston University women’s soccer team (3-4-1) is poised for an exhilarating season ahead, with Patriot League play set to kick off Sept. 18 in a Nickerson Field showdown against conference opponents Lafayette University (2-4).
After a season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Terriers are ready to get the ball rolling on their quest to be crowned Patriot League champions. For some — like team captain Margaret Berry — this season may very well be the closing chapter in an illustrious college sports career.
The Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences senior defender sat down to discuss what makes this year’s team special and what legacy she hopes to leave behind, as well as her secret talents and go-to campus food spots, among other tidbits.
Read the transcript of our interview below. Excerpts have been edited for clarity and brevity.
- Who is your favorite soccer player?
I would probably have to go with Julie Ertz, just because she’s an air warrior. She wins 50-50s.
- Which professional soccer team do you support?
I just watch the U.S. Women’s National Team, but I also support the Washington Spirit because [former Terrier] Anna Heilferty plays for them and my brother’s girlfriend, Camryn Biegalski, plays for them as well.
- What are your expectations for the season?
Winning a Patriot League Championship and going as far as we can in the NCAA tournament, for sure.
- What match are you looking most forward to?
Honestly, I’m pretty excited for every Patriot League game because every Patriot League game is like a playoff game, and they’re always a battle and super competitive.
- What advice would you give new student-athletes?
I would probably just say, just be present in every moment and absorb it all and never take a moment for granted, because you never know when one game is going to be your last, or one practice is going to be your last, so play every moment like it’s going to be your last.
- What legacy do you hope to leave behind at BU?
As a team and as a senior class, we want to leave behind the culture, keeping the team culture a really cohesive unit. And I think that’s something we pride ourselves in and what separates us from other soccer programs across the country, is that we are such a cohesive group and when we say that we are a family, we really, really mean it.
- Do you have any game-day rituals?
For away games, I wear blue pre-wrap, and for home games, I wear white pre-wrap, and that’s something that just developed this year. One of my teammates brought me into that superstition with the headbands, but other than that, I get my gameday coffee.
- Do your teammates share the same superstitions?
Some girls do their gameday coffee, but there’s another girl on my team, we have the same superstition with the headbands, her name is [Abigail McNulty], No. 10.
- What do you think is the biggest strength of the BU soccer team?
Our biggest strength, I would say, would definitely be our will to compete and our ability to be cohesive on and off the field. I think every day we bring a really competitive edge to us and that pushes us in practice, that pushes us to be our best in games, and we’re always willing to go the extra mile.
- What do you do to unwind and relax?
My roommates and I are watching “Manifest” right now, so every once in a while we will wind down at night time, sit down on the couch with some ice cream and watch “Manifest.”
- What do you enjoy most about Boston?
I love all the great restaurants and all the amazing views. I’m kind of a foodie, so I absolutely love all the great restaurants and the seafood. My palette has definitely matured since freshman year, being here.
- What is your favorite dish, if you had to choose one?
I would say seafood is one of my favorite meals. I don’t really have a favorite dish, necessarily. But yeah, anything with seafood, or Mexican is really up there, too
- Where’s the best place to grab some food on campus?
I personally love Life Alive, but also, I love Chipotle.
- What are your plans after you graduate?
I don’t know at the moment. I think that’s something that will be a last-minute decision, I’m kind of just living in the moment right now and soaking up my season right now. In terms of career path, I’m thinking of something in the health and wellness field.
- What’s the best part about being a captain of the women’s team?
Honestly, just the group of girls that I get to help co-lead. I think this group of girls is really, really special, and there’s no other group that I’d want to spend my senior year with.
- Do you have a secret talent that you can share with us?
I can slalom ski on the water. I live on a lake back home.
- What’s it like playing in front of a crowd again?
Playing in front of a crowd again is something really special and something that I kind of took for granted before. I didn’t realize how much it truly helps you. When you’re in the game, and you’re absolutely gassed and you hear the crowd cheering for you, it definitely gives you that extra bit of ‘oomph’ to go the extra mile.
- What was it like scoring the first goal for the Terriers this season?
It was electric. I didn’t realize it right away, but the feeling of just celebrating anyone who scores after with your teammates is one of the coolest things you can do, and I think that no feeling can replace that.
- How do you plan to turn around the team’s record and turn this into a winning season?
No team is perfect at the beginning, and I think that just continuing to believe in the process … continuing to bring a competitive edge to practice and doing the little things right. All in all, we’re on the right track, and I have all the faith in the world in this team. I think we’re really a special group, and we will turn it around regardless of what our record says.
- If you had to describe your team in one word, what would it be?
I feel like ‘special’ is a little cliche, but I really do think we are a special group.