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Carsyn Prigge, a midfielder on the women's soccer team, talks with reporters on Chessa Field, Nov. 8, 2023, in Athens, Ohio.

Soccer: Senior Carsyn Prigge reflects on triumphant tenure with Ohio

The last hoo-rah is a part of every great story. Regardless of fiction or nonfiction, learning the background of someone who has been through triumph, heartbreak and a whirlwind of other emotions is a rewarding experience for all parties involved.

Carsyn Prigge, currently sitting just outside the program’s top 10 in total starts, is one of the seven seniors on the Ohio soccer team in the midst of her last hoo-rah as a college athlete.

She and the Bobcats have played through a season cut short by a pandemic, entered the season as a one-seed in the Mid-American Conference tournament and, as of this year, won the MAC tournament as the No. 6 seed to make it to its first NCAA tournament in school history.

The ups and downs of Prigge’s four-year tenure with the Bobcats have been a spectacle to watch. Now, with a crescendo of a senior season that is not yet over, Prigge reflects on the team’s growth in confidence that has led to a historic season.

“I think just as a program, we’ve gained confidence,” Prigge said. “We’re winning against big teams that we’ve always had a rivalry against, and I think just that confidence that we’ve built as a team, as a program, it’s changed.”

That confidence is essential for a team like the Bobcats, who have been an underdog since the start of the season. They started off slow, barely staying even on the season with a 2-4-3 conference record before finally hitting their stride in the last two games of the regular season. 

The team finished the regular season with two road wins against Eastern Michigan and Akron, but there were still things that needed to occur if the season was to continue. Players waited with great stress and excitement as the final day of games played out, which would all soon vanish as results from other conference games revealed that they would be making the MAC tournament as the sixth and final seed.

Their momentum would carry through the entire tournament, winning out to secure their first NCAA tournament appearance in school history, becoming one of the best underdog stories in the nation. 

“We came in as underdogs, people expected us to not do as well and … having that lower expectation from other teams and other people gave us that underdog mentality,” Prigge said. “We can prove everyone wrong by doing big things such as winning the MAC. It gave us higher expectations because we knew we wanted to prove others wrong.”

Regardless of how the season ends, this Bobcats team has truly exemplified the air of what a Cinderella story is. The team, and specifically the seniors, are riding a high that’s impossible to equate to any other experience.

“There’s just no feeling like it, it’s just been awesome and just embracing the moment with my teammates and going through it with them and experiencing everything we’ve experienced these past few days has just been awesome,” Prigge said, “I can’t even explain it. It’s amazing.”

It is not meant to be interpreted that the triumphs of this season were achieved by luck alone. Countless hours of hard work were poured into what became a historic season for the Bobcats, especially their seniors. 

“All the feelings of all the hard work that we’ve all put in for the last four years, ending in this way has just been so amazing,” Prigge said.

Nobody appreciates the hard work of the seniors more than Head Coach Aaron Rodgers, who has seen it all firsthand, directing this team and its seniors through the ups and downs, seeing how these seniors grew and inevitably helped the team reach its first NCAA tournament.

“Their freshman year was the year that we didn’t get to play a full season because of the pandemic,” Rodgers said. “For them to come from that moment to now, to winning a MAC championship, I mean, it just shows a lot. They’ll long be remembered as the senior class that helped drive this program to a MAC championship.”

There could not have been a better ending to Prigge’s and the seniors’ careers, but the season is far from over. Prigge and the Bobcats are still awaiting their appearance in the biggest game in school history, an NCAA tournament appearance with a Big Ten opponent. Ohio will once again look to shock the world, in no small part due to Brigge’s and the seniors’ contributions, on and off the field.


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