Ohio's players and coaches huddle around each other following a game, every player and coach with their arms wrapped around the person next to them’s shoulders.
Once everyone has put in a final word, the team breaks the huddle. “One...two...three...together!” the Bobcats exclaim.
There's a reason why the Bobcats occasionally break the huddle with that term. “Together” is the team’s mantra. “Together” is an unscripted identity that has worked for this group.
So, who’s behind this small term that has such a larger meaning? The answer is the Bobcat senior class.
This Ohio senior class composed of Allie Curry, Celeste Fushimi-Karns, Bryce Hueber, Katie McCurley, Megan Niebuhr and Hannah Jaggers is all about it. It is what has shot them up the ladder to the top, not just as a student-athlete but outside of soccer as well.
The seniors have had a strong role in helping to build this Ohio soccer program. They, along with coach Aaron Rodgers in his fifth season at Ohio, have built a winning culture.
Assistant coach Debs Brereton has only been at Ohio for two years. From the very beginning she has recognized the significant role this class has played in the construction of this program.
“It’s not even necessarily what they’ve done on the pitch as to what they’ve done to change the culture off the pitch,” Brereton said. “It’s truly been remarkable to witness and be apart of.”
For Curry, it’s hard to believe her time as a Bobcat is coming to an end in the near future. She finds comfort, though, in what her class has done for this school.
“It just seems like it all flew by so fast,” said Curry. “For me, it’s been the big turning moments as a program, putting this team into history, that I will cherish the most about my experience at Ohio University.”
For other Bobcat seniors like Fushimi-Karns, it’s been the journey to get to this point in her career that she’ll cherish the most.
“This program as a whole has really helped me overcome a lot,” said Fushimi-Karns. “The coaches and other players have been so helpful to me and I’m grateful.”
This senior class owns many enjoyable memories from their time in Athens. Fushimi-Karns reflected on her favorite moment at the school.
“My favorite memory has probably come on the pitch, sophomore year against NIU,” she indicated with no hesitation. “It was the first dog pile I’ve ever been apart of. It was awesome.” Fushimi-Karns played all 110 minutes in the overtime win over the Huskies.
Through all the memorable wins, dog piles, triumphs and heartbreaks, the class of 2018 has set a standard and bar now for generations of Ohio women’s soccer players and teams to come.
And that legacy, through its ups and downs, battles and victories, has been built around the word “together."