Kendall Ballard, Amy Edgerton, Karynne Baker and Brittany Keen have formed an unbreakable friendship at Ohio.
The four seniors have played three seasons together and their most recent has been their most successful — by far. They’ve led the Bobcats to the team’s first winning record since 2011.
They’ve also amassed a slew of impressive wins. The four-goal comeback against Appalachian State and the victory over Big Ten opponent Indiana this season are both matches the four will remember for the rest of their lives.
It hasn’t been the smoothest road for the four of them. Losing some players in their class, going through a coaching change and Ballard redshirting last year were all obstacles that stood in their way during their time with the Bobcats.
The setbacks have only proved to bring the four closer as they prepare to end their final season together.
“They’re basically my sisters at this point,” Baker said. “We’ve been through a lot together.”
Positive relationships are critical for the team. The four always check on their teammates to make sure they are completing school work, taking care of their bodies and maintaining positive mental health so they are as stress free as possible.
The support that they give comes from those before them.
“I know when I came in it was nice to have someone that always was willing to check up on people and make sure that things are OK,” Edgerton said. “I’ve tried to incorporate that into my time now, just making sure that I’m checking on people.”
Keen had an interesting situation coming into Ohio. The other three seniors live a few hours away from Athens. Keen, however, is from Perth, Western Australia. Attending college so far away from home could have made her feel stressed or unsafe.
Instead, Keen immediately felt welcomed onto the team.
“They’ve never made me feel like I'm really away from home,” Keen said. “This is a different home for me, but they’ve been really good about it.”
The seniors always keep their teammates excited and motivated throughout every practice and match.
Ever since their respective freshman years, the seniors have seen the team’s mentality grow into a full dedication toward winning a Mid-American Conference championship that’s unlike anything that they’ve seen in their collegiate careers. The drive from the team is what gave the four of them such a successful final season.
There’s a mix of a hard work ethic and fun on the team, which is seen both on and off the field.
When the seniors aren’t working hard at practice, they try to get the team together to watch movies, eat dinner, do homework and hang out in coffee shops during their free time. It can be difficult to find time for these activities because the team is always so busy, but the seniors want their teammates to be as stress free as possible.
They also want the entire team to be involved.
“We try to do everything as a whole group,” Ballard said.
After everything the seniors have been through together, it will be hard for them to graduate knowing they may never play together again. Of course, they have plenty of plans to stay in touch with each other to check in every once in a while. The seniors hope they’ll be able to visit each other if they’re ever in one of their teammate's areas.
They plan on their friendship lasting a long time.
“These are definitely some bonds that I hope last a lifetime,” Edgerton said.