Sept. 13, 2006
Senior back Mary Schneck started in all 21 games last fall and was a key part of the Eagles defense that set a new school record of 13 shutouts in a single season. Schneck and the Eagles have played five games already this season, recording a 4-1-0 mark.
I know you're five games into the season, but what are the team's goals?
Our most important goal is to win the National Championship, but we'd also like to do well in the ACC and hopefully win the ACC. And just to have fun and hopefully do well. Also, to finish in the Elite Eight would be awesome.
Coming into your final season did you set any personal goals?
Most importantly, I just wanted to end my soccer career on a high note and with no regrets, knowing that I did everything I could, played the best I could, and again just to have fun and enjoy it.
You're now a senior. How does your experience help you?
I think it'll help tremendously. Laura Georges and I are both seniors in the back line and we have two returning players playing in the back line, so we're definitely going to be really strong. The experience in the back will hopefully help us win some games.
As a back, your primary responsibility is not to put up points, but to defend the Eagles' side of the field. Analyze your performance and the team's defensive play to this point of the season.
I think we've done pretty well so far. We've had a couple shutouts and we've been strong, but there's definitely room for improvement. We could possibly be even stronger than we were last year. We set the school shutout record last year with 13 shutouts, but I think that we could be even better this year.
Talk about the opportunity of playing alongside someone with National Team and World Cup experiences like Laura Georges.
It's awesome because you learn from her. She's a great player and you have complete confidence in her, knowing that she's probably one of the best defenders in the world. It's pretty much a learning experience, I would say.
Talk about the importance of the newcomers coming right in and contributing. Has the play of any of these younger players surprised you?
Yes, we've had a couple [surprising] girls. Kelly Henderson is someone I played with this summer actually, so coming in I knew that she was definitely going to have an impact on the team. She's great in the air and has good vision, so I think she's done a great job and when she comes in off the bench it gives us a lift. Also, Gina DiMartino, she's been putting goals in, and that's the most important thing. We had a lot of trouble scoring last year, so she's definitely given us a lift there.
Where did you play with Kelly Henderson this summer?
We played on a semi-pro team called the Long Island Fury. We actually won the National Championship! So I got the chance to play with her, which was awesome because I feel really comfortable with her on the field because of that.
What is the best advice you have given or can offer to this year's freshmen?
The best advice I could give is that there are a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but you just have to remember that you love the game and you play for each other and you'll persevere through it. At times it's tough, and you don't want to go to practice, but you do it, and in the end it makes you a better person. Looking back on it, I'm glad I've stayed with soccer and I've had a great time doing it and I've met some awesome people.
The Eagles suffered a tough 1-0 overtime loss to Boston University in the season opener. How has the result affected the team?
It was a really tough loss for us because it hurt our rankings, but I think in the end it actually helped us because it makes you realize that on any given day any team can win. If you don't come out ready to play then you can lose, and it motivated us to come out stronger for the next game and for the game after that. It helped us realize that we're not invincible.
Since the season-opening loss, the Eagles are on a four-game win streak. What has been the key to this streak of solid play?
The loss to BU definitely helped us because it put us on track and focused us. A key for us has been concentration, keeping focused on what we're there to do and trying to win some games.
The ACC schedule is set to begin on September 24 when the Eagles host Clemson. Does the team prepare any differently for ACC match-ups?
I would say a little bit. When you're in-conference you face some rivals, especially in the ACC, because it's pretty much the best soccer conference, so you face some awesome teams like UNC. You grow up watching UNC, so it really pumps you up to know that you get to be out on this field and that you can beat them. I would say that you do prepare differently. Personally, I get more psyched up for them and it's tougher competition, so I think you have to be [better prepared]. Then again, it's just another game that you want to go out and win.
Last year the Eagles had a 5-4-1 record in the ACC, finishing fifth in the conference. What are the team's expectations for this fall?
This is probably the best team that's been at BC since I've been here. Last year we had some great wins, but we also had some losses that we shouldn't have had, like against Maryland. We tied Virginia Tech and I definitely think those are both games that we need to win and had we won them [last year] we would've finished off even better. I think we can do much better this year.
In an effort to improve on last year's results, have there been any specific areas of focus for the team?
I can't think of anything specific, but everyone came in really fit this season. Everyone looks like they've been playing a lot this summer and it's important in the off-season to keep in shape and keep your touch and be playing.
Talk about the camaraderie that exists among you and your teammates.
My teammates are the girls that I hang out with all the time. It's not just on the field; we hang out together off the field, too. We go and watch shows and movies together and we go out to dinner. They're my best friends here and that's really important for us, and I think that we do so well because we get along so well.
What makes Boston College soccer special?
My teammates are what make it so special because they're just a great, great group of girls and they're awesome both on the field and off the field. They're just people that you enjoy hanging out with. I'm glad that I got to share my experience at BC with them.
Interview conducted by Geoffrey Kehlmann