Seniors Will Cherish Their Special Day
Oct. 7, 2010
In the middle of a conversation, Pagone blurted out: "Terrible Tuesdays."
Hemming and Strickland let out a simultaneous groan.
"You guys remember how we would come to practice and just run, run, run," Pagone said as her senior classmates nodded their heads. "Erin (coach Erin Chastain) was setting a tone for the team. Everyone needed to be in better shape.
"We were building character without even knowing it."
In 2007 with the freshmen either starting or playing significant roles, DePaul went 5-13-1.
Heading into the weekend, the Blue Demons are 8-4-2, and last season qualified for their first BIG EAST Championship tournament.
"To be part of a team that changed everything is awesome," Hemming said. "All the future teams will look back and remember that we were the first ones to build a winning tradition.
"The support we were given from Jean Lenti Ponsetto and Kathryn Statz made all the difference. They knew all our names and came to all our games.
"That really helped with our confidence."
Pagone emphatically nodded her head.
"You wanted to do well so Jeanne and Kathryn would come over and give you a high-five," Pagone said.
"I think it's cool that we set the standard for future teams," Strickland added.
And each time the Blue Demons think they've accomplished something special, Chastain places the bar a little higher.
"Every senior put in so much hard work all four years," Strickland said. "We've come such a long way, and we want to keep the season going as long as we can."
Rutgers (8-5-0, 3-2-0) comes to Wish Field on Friday tied for second in the BIG EAST Conference's National Division with DePaul (8-4-2, 3-2-0). Sunday's adversary, Seton Hall (6-6-0, 2-3-0) is just a game behind Rutgers and DePaul.
Welcome to the playoff stretch run.
"These are big games, and Sunday could be the last time we play on our home field," Hemming said. "Senior Day signifies the ending to something great---but hopefully we play well enough to earn a home playoff game."
Pagone pinpointed the moment everything turned around.
"Beating Missouri," she said about last year's 1-0 road upset of the 11th-ranked Tigers. "Beating a ranked team for the first time in our program's history showed us that all of those Terrible Tuesdays were paying off."
What has it meant to play soccer at DePaul?
"I've learned so much about myself and what I'm capable of," Hemming said. "DePaul has shown me what I need to do with my future.
"These (teammates) are all my best friends. I can't imagine being anywhere else."