Seniors honored during final home game
Seven seniors took the field Sunday for the last time at the Central Michigan Field Hockey Complex.
With parents and some sibling teammates, the seniors were celebrated for academic excellence as well as team accomplishments.
“We came in with 10 and then dwindled down to seven. I think that made us closer. We did everything together,” said Bailey McKeon, a senior honored in the event. “I think having good chemistry off the field definitely helps with on the field; you have to know when to draw the line and tell them what to do or what not to do, but essentially that is a big part of it.”
Other seniors celebrated on the day include Alexis Gersbach, Simone Lazar, Julianna Makrinos, Ellen Riley, Abby Roth and Skylar VanNatta.
“It’s a great group of seniors and it was nice for them and I think they were pretty inspired to go out together,” said head coach Cristy Freese
Two seniors might have been more inspired than others, as McKeon and Riley both leave behind sisters on the team; sophomore Taylor McKeon and junior Maureen Riley.
“(Bailey) is always kind of my outlet. If I was having trouble with practice or trouble with school she was always there," Taylor said. "She is always giving me positive feedback."
Not only will it be hard for younger sister Taylor to see her sister go, it will be equally as hard for Bailey to say goodbye to playing with her sister.
“For Taylor I’d say that there are definitely going to be difficult times. Everyone has them. I mean, you’re playing a Division 1 sport so it's never going to be easy," Bailey said. "I think she just needs to keep going with it, if she has a bad day at practice she has to shake it off."
Parents John and Lisa McKeon expressed how proud they were of each child, and claim next year will be bittersweet as they return to watch younger sister Taylor.
"It was fun to watch Bailey play her four years and to come back and watch Taylor play will be equally as fun," John said.
However, Dad didn’t forget to sneak in some kind words about daughter Bailey’s years at CMU.
"I think she has had a very good experience, she has had the ability to play some pretty good hockey against some really good teams," he said. "She was lucky enough to earn a starting position as a freshman and I think she grew as a player and certainly as a student.”
The seven seniors have compiled seven of the 23 goals the Chippewas have scored this season, four goals coming from Bailey.
“They are a really great group of seniors," Taylor said. "Great hockey players, and I became friends with every single one of them and I’m just glad I had the opportunity to play with them and get to know them."
Bailey said there is one piece of advice she gave her teammates this season.
"Just go out and win games," she said. "Try to have the attitude that you're going to win.”