LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
From Jake: On a more personal note, this is my last edition as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Red & Black. When Jenna first came to me with this “crazy idea” (her words) in the lobby of Stetson East two and a half years ago at a semiincoherent hour of the night, I was skeptical. Did we have enough experience to pull this off? Would anyone be interested in reading it? Would anyone help us make it? Well, four semesters and four magazines later, I’m proud to give a definitive answer to my past self. Yes, yes, and yes. Watching the Red & Black grow from a pipe dream with only the help of our closest friends to a fully-fledged publication with an ever-growing staff and readership has been one of my proudest accomplishments at Northeastern. I know that I couldn’t be leaving it in better hands than my Co-Editor-inChief, and I know that the Red & Black will continue to grow in the years to come. Thank you to anyone who worked a single minute on producing the magazine or read a single page once it came out. I’ll be seeing you at Matthews sooner or later.
STAFF EDITORS IN CHIEF
JAKE SAUBERMAN & JENNA CICCOTELLI
STUDENT-ATHLETE LIAISON ADAM GOSTOMELSKY
SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR ERIN SAVAGE
FACULTY ADVISOR CHUCK FOUNTAIN
JOSH CHASKES, ROHAN CHATURVEDI, JUSTIN CHEN, JENNA CICCOTELLI, ADAM DOUCETTE, LAUREN FEENEY, BRIAN FIELDS, ADAM GOSTOMELSKY, MATT LEVIN, MADISON NEUNER, HUY NGUYEN, MICHAEL RUBERTO, JAKE SAUBERMAN, BRIAN SHIM, MIA THOMAS
PHOTOGRAPHERS BRIAN BAE, TYLER DOLPH, CHRISTIAN GOMEZ, SAMUEL KLEIN, DAN MUNCH, MADISON NEUNER, SARAH SCHLESINGER
MEGAN BARRETT, JENNA CICCOTELLI, MEGAN CLARK, ADAM GOSTOMELSKY, COURTNEY LAPOINTE
INSTAGRAM/TWITTER: @NUREDANDBLACK WEBSITE: NUREDANDBLACK.COM EMAIL: NUREDANDBLACK@GMAIL.COM FRONT COVER (PHOTO BY BRIAN BAE): LAUREN ROWE (20) AND KASIDY ANDERSON (19) BACK COVER (PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN GOMEZ): TIMMY ENNIN AND BENNI KLINGEN (21)
The Red & Black would like to thank Northeastern Athletics for their support. RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
PHOTO BY SAMUEL KLEIN
2 12:37.06 Mia Thomas swam the 21 miles across the Catalina Channel in an uphill battle that tested her strength, stamina, and passion for her sport.
18 THREE SECONDS AFTER Student-athletes from five different sports talk about their goal-scoring celebrations, and the effect they have on team camaraderie.
4 FINDING A HOME Greg Eboigbodin’s journey from Benin City, Nigeria to Boston covered more than 5,000 miles - not counting the stops he made along the way.
22 MOORER’S STORY From injury hell to team captain, entrepreneur, and author – Brandon Moorer was voted the winner of the 2018-19 Red & Black Dedication Award.
8 NO PRESSURE Ryan Massoud led the team in goals last year as a freshman, and accepted his role in helping his younger teammates adjust this year.
26 THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT Despite 11 fresh faces replacing graduates and NHLbound stars, the men’s hockey team is reaffirming its approach.
9 TWO FOOTED Mikenna McManus possesses the rare talent to take corner kicks, using either foot. It’s a skill that is certainly appreciated on the women’s soccer team.
28 DREAM DECISION Sebastian Keane turned down joining his hometown Red Sox after the 2019 MLB Draft to come play baseball for Northeastern.
10 NO BETTER PLACE TO START Hannah Rosenblatt and Charleton Muhlauri offer unique perspectives as assistant coaches on their former teams.
32 CATCHING UP Cross country alumna and assistant coach Kerri Ruffo chased a dream to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the marathon.
12 INSTANT IMPACT As a freshman from Norwich, England, Lauren Rowe’s presence was immediately felt this season on the field hockey team.
34 HUMANS FIRST On-field success involves off-field attention, ranging from nutrition, mental health, and other resources available to student-athletes.
14 SECOND SPORT Women’s hockey captain Kasidy Anderson swapped her skates in for cleats and joined the field hockey squad this fall.
36 @HUSKIESINTHEKITCHEN Eve Goulet and Emily Evangelista aren’t solely soccer stars– – they’re also talented bakers and chefs, as they highlight on their food Instagrams.
16 “CAMPEÓN DE CORAZON” Senior Lauren Feeney shares a first-person account of the field hockey team’s summer training trip to Argentina. RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
By: PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: MIA THOMAS
here are moments when it feels like everything is closing in. The ones when all the pain, fear, and failure fight so hard to creep under your skin. There I was, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, catching glimpses of land peeping over the five-foot swells every chance I got. The pain, the one closing in, that’s the jellyfish stings blanketing my shoulders and back, on top of having to lift 20-pound bricks that one might call arms for another stroke. The fear that shivers up and down my spine as I imagine what lurks beneath me, beyond my visibility. Even more than that though, was the fear that I wouldn’t finish. That I would let down my teammate swimming beside me. That I would let down my support team who dedicated time and money for me to pursue this goal. That I would let myself down. All of that work would be wasted. The thought of quitting now, after swimming for hours in place fighting currents head on, that’s the failure creeping inside. Salt water clouded my vision as tears pooled in my goggles. Salt water sucked every inch of life out of my skin, leaving my mouth tasteless and my feet resembling shriveled up prunes. And looking back now, it wasn’t the pain, the fear, or the failure that was seeping in underneath my skin, it was just salt water. Two years ago I took on the challenge of swimming across the Catalina Channel. Every physical obstacle I encountered was met with an equal if not greater mental challenge. The 21-mile swim began at midnight, allowing my swim partner and I to swim through calmer waters and avoid the boat traffic of the channel. The eeriness of swimming throughout the night, the inability to see my own arms pulling underneath me started to toy with my nerves. I repeatedly had to remind myself that there’s nothing below me, but for the first few hours of swimming the lingering fear of sharks was inescapable. I’ve trained in the ocean before with a school of 50 bat rays, just an arm’s reach below my face, or looked down to see thirty leopard sharks 10 feet below the
and frustration started to get the best of me. Throughout the swim, the only breaks I had were every 30 minutes to stop quickly to eat or drink. Breaks started as minute-long floats and shifted towards 20 second speed feedings. I wasn’t able to touch or hang onto the kayak at any point, therefore I had to have my food tossed out to me on a string like it was bait. At first, feedings were the most exciting part. They were the perfect reset button every 30 minutes giving me a chance to focus on anything but the bore of swimming. As the swim progressed, even the excitement of a break turned into a chore. Around hour six, every feeding became a race. I’ve never had to shovel applesauce into my mouth so fast while my support crew shouted at me to hurry up. They couldn’t tell me why they were so insistent, but I knew it meant everything was not going as planned. With the daylight came stronger currents and five-foot swells; if I didn’t eat quickly, I would have been pushed backwards, sacrificing the progress I had made. In the final four hours when my body felt like it was about to snap in two, feeding became a dreaded impediment standing in the way of the finish line. After 12 hours, 37 minutes, and six seconds, the shore was at my feet and the channel was behind me. I’m not the first person to cross the Catalina Channel, and I thank the pioneers like my mother who paved the way and swam the same channel before me. I credit so much to her and everything she has done to make open-water swimming a part of my life. Though I’ve always loved competitive swimming, openwater swimming served as my crutch. The ocean was there for me when competitive swimming broke me down to the point of wanting to quit. Personal setbacks in the pool and disappointing performances were heartbreaking. In these moments, I always found myself returning to open water swimming to reignite my passion. It helped me through the wake of my competitive
“YOU ARE EITHER REALLY CRAZY OR REALLY BRAVE.” surface, but those were familiar waters with the comfort of the shore nearby. These were uncharted territories for me and this was just the beginning. Despite my initial fear, those first six hours in the dark were in many ways the easiest part. The warmth of sunlight was just a few hours away, and I held onto that with every stroke. Sunlight was my only gauge of time. Not the kayaker next to me, nor anyone on the escort boat alongside me would tell me how far I’d gone, how much I had left, or what time it was. They said it was for my own good. And they were right. The “comforting” sunlight was a teaser. The false sense of confidence elevated my hopes, leading me to believe that the shore at Rancho Palos Verdes was only a few hours away. In reality, I wasn’t even halfway there. The funny thing is, I didn’t know that I had already been swimming for eight hours - two of which I wasn’t moving anywhere - or even that I still had over four hours to go. All I knew was the shoreline wasn’t getting closer, and no matter how desperately I wanted to hop on the boat alongside me, I wouldn’t dare. Everything following sunrise was an uphill battle. My angst
swimming struggles, and it allowed me to focus on a process rather than an outcome. This past summer I coached a local swim team in my hometown of San Diego. My first day I was asked to share my story of the Catalina Channel, and I’ll never forget what one of the younger swimmers told me: “You are either really crazy or really brave.” I think many athletes will agree when I say that we’re all a little bit of both. Regardless of the sport, we share a dedication and perseverance unique to our individual aspirations. Are we all a little crazy for enduring the commitments and sacrifices to see success every third, fifth, tenth attempt? I think so. And when you’re frustrated with setbacks, it’s okay to lean on that crutch, the one thing that keeps you hanging onto the good in the wake of the bad. Redefining goals and taking on adverse conditions is part of the journey of reaching the finish line. Each part of the process is just as important as the end result; every stroke as important as the last. I took on this challenge not knowing if I’d even make it the anticipated 21 miles. After fighting through the current that added an extra three miles, I can say that every stroke of each mile nudges me with reassurance towards the future.
RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
BY ADAM DOUCETTE PHOTOS BY JIM PIERCE / NORTHEASTERN ATHLETICS
WHEN YOU’RE 6’9” IT’S NOT ALWAYS EASY TO STAY LOWKEY ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS. W
hether you like it or not, people notice you. This is the case for Greg Eboigbodin, a third-year communications student at Northeastern University. His last name might not be the easiest to remember, but his height and infectious personality are difficult to forget. But if you just walk by him or see him in class or on the basketball court, you would never know who he really is or where he came from. Even on a college campus as diverse as Northeastern’s, it’s Greg’s story that makes him stand out. A decade ago, Greg was a 10-year-old kid living in Benin City, Nigeria. He had lived there all his life in a big house with his parents and 12 siblings. “I would wake up and walk three to four miles to school,” he said. “When we were done with school at three or four o’clock, we’d walk back home and as soon as I got home, I would go to the field to play soccer until eight or nine.” Like many kids growing up in Nigeria, that was his typical day. And like many, he spoke Pidgin English. It’s a language that mixes aspects of English with other languages, and is different from the English that is spoken in the United States. He also spoke Bini, also known as Edo, which is the local language of Benin City. “It was really fun – completely different from the American lifestyle,” Greg said of growing up there. “Here, your parents wake up, make you breakfast and lunch, give you a ride to school. All that stuff wasn’t there.” Although he appreciated how and where he grew up, he knew that there may someday be opportunities that he couldn’t turn down. In 2013, that day arrived, and he had an opportunity to leave the place where he had lived his entire life. That summer, he left his family in Nigeria and traveled almost 6,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to Detroit, Michigan. Over the years, basketball has become a big part of Greg’s life, but it wasn’t the reason he decided to come to the United States. While growing up, his main sport was soccer, and that was it. “It wasn’t around me because I grew up in Benin,” said Greg about basketball. “Just using my hands to touch the ball was kind of weird because if you touch the ball in soccer it’s a foul. Doing a 360 switch to basketball was really hard; I didn’t really like it like that. But I ended up falling in love with it.” As a 6’5” 14-year-old, the potential he had on the basketball court if he ever started playing was undeniable. One family based in Michigan who also had roots in Benin City saw that potential and gave him the opportunity to move in with them in Detroit. It wasn’t easy for him to start a new life in a new country. The language was different. The food was different. He had new parents to rely on. And he was just about to start high school, which turned out to be one of the most difficult aspects to acclimate to. “It was terrible; I won’t lie,” he said. “I struggled my first two
years actually. When I first came, my English was terrible. I didn’t really know what the hell was going on.” However, education was one of the most important reasons that he made the move to the States, so choosing the right school was a big decision. While still living in Nigeria, he began applying to schools in Detroit to see which ones would give him a chance. “At the end of the day, I’m in Nigeria,” he said of his thinking at the time. “So I just knew any one I applied for would definitely be better than my situation.” He ended up at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School,
RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
BORN IN BENIN CITY, NIGERIA
MOVED IN WITH DETROIT, MI
began. In his first year playing, the U-D Jesuit basketball team made it all the way to the state semifinals. That was also the year that he realized he needed to pick one sport to focus on, and decided to let soccer go. “If you look at America and basketball, there are so many opportunities for scholarships,” he said. “My coach had to tell me to pick one.” Although he decided to focus on basketball, he felt like his soccer background gave him an advantage, especially in the type of system that his high school and AAU coaches ran. “I fit right into the way that my high school coach wanted to play,” Greg said. “He wanted us to play fast.” The up-tempo style and the opportunity to play every day helped Greg improve, but it was also the level of competition that forced him to raise his game. He played three years of high school basketball with current Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston, and AAU ball with Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges. “Playing with someone like Cassius just puts you in a better position to be successful,” Greg said. “And of course Miles Bridges too.” In Greg’s junior year, the U-D Jesuit team went undefeated on the way to a state championship win. He also played in the EYBL, an elite youth basketball league run by Nike, during his sophomore and junior years. By this time, Greg was living with a new family. The fit wasn’t right with his first one, and the parents of one of his good friends from school offered to have him stay with them. He accepted, and they became his true family. He lived with them and their six kids, and a year after he moved in, his brother from back home in Benin City moved in as well. This was also the time when Greg began to get recruited to play college basketball, but what should have been an enjoyable experience was at times frustrating. There were many instances where he was given a deadline to visit a school and commit, but often felt they didn’t give him enough time to make a good decision. “When people don’t give you time to choose what you want and see all your options, it’s kind of a bad situation,” he said. Regardless, he did get offers from big schools like Purdue and Illinois but decided on UIC Chicago. After taking an official visit during his junior year, he decided he liked the campus and wanted to play there. But after committing to that school, communication broke down. “After I committed there, we lost touch,” he said.
6 RED & BLACK | FALL 2029
COMMITTED TO CHICAGO, IL
“The coach never visited me or watched me play in high school. He never did a home visit, no contact with my high school coach, no contact with parents.” Seeing friends who committed to other schools get attention from coaches left him wondering why his situation was different. “You need that support,” said Greg. “I had a friend that committed to Marquette, and I know five or six times during the season a coach would come watch their game just for extra support. I never had that.” The only person at UIC Chicago who communicated with Greg was one of their assistant coaches, but after he left the school to become a coach at Illinois, he knew something had to change. “Because of the old coach I committed to at UIC, I ended up committing to Illinois because he was there. I already knew him, I trusted him, so I just went there.” Greg played one season at Illinois, where he played just under 11 minutes a game and averaged 2.2 points and 2.4 rebounds. “It was a good school, good basketball and everything but
University of Illinois
ATTENDED CHAMPAIGN, IL
I wasn’t comfortable there,” he said. “I didn’t fit in and that’s the best way I can say it. I didn’t really like the environment; I wasn’t me there.” He made the decision to transfer after his freshman year and began looking for options. Although he considered schools in various parts of the country, one of the cities he always kept in mind was Boston. “I just wanted to come to a place where I fit in right away, and I know a lot of people who live in Boston – a lot of Africans,” he explained. “From a cultural standpoint I thought Boston was a better situation.” In June 2018, he decided to fly into Logan Airport and visit UMass Amherst, a school that had shown interest in him. “I didn’t think it was far from the airport but as soon as I put it in Uber it was like a $600 Uber,” he said with a laugh. He didn’t take the Uber. Instead, he took the opportunity to visit Northeastern University, a school that had come calling late in the process. After visiting Northeastern, a friend drove him out to UMass, but he already felt like he knew where he wanted to go. Fast forward to the fall of 2019, and Greg is ready to start playing again after sitting out yet another year due to transfer restrictions. Sitting out last season was no easier than sitting out his freshman year of high school. “It was very difficult because there are a lot of games where I wished I could help. It was difficult but I’m really proud of those guys.” Bill Coen, head coach of the Northeastern men’s basketball team, sympathized with his player. “It’s a difficult year in terms of mental toughness, staying focused, improving almost on an individual agenda rather than a team agenda,” said Coen. “But at the end of the day it’s always been great for our guys that have gone through it because they’re further advanced academically [and] socially. They’re more comfortable, more confident, and ready to hit the ground running.” In terms of basketball, there is a lot to look forward to with the addition of Greg to the team. Coen describes him as a high-level athlete and a player with a high motor. “He’s got an uncanny ability to maneuver around, and with his physicality and athleticism he’s able to be an elite rebounder,” Coen explained. Despite his raw athletic talent and hard work on the basketball court, Greg is much more than a basketball player. He’s someone who has a diverse background, is always positive, always friendly, and is able to connect with people in a way that many cannot. He also has interests outside of basketball. He loves cooking African food and maintains his love for soccer.
TRANSFERRED TO BOSTON, MA
“I think after his experience at Illinois he was looking for something different, and I think what really interested him about Northeastern is the culture and the city of Boston,” said Coen. “The diversity and the breadth of the experience that he would receive here was a really big determining factor in his decision, and I think that speaks to how he enjoys life.” Zach Solow, one of the stars of the Northeastern men’s hockey team, was Greg’s roommate last year and got an up-close look at what he was like on a day to day basis. Although it’s uncommon for players from different sports to live together, one of Solow’s roommates decided to transfer from Northeastern at the same time Greg was arriving, and he took the open spot. Hockey and basketball are two very different sports, and Greg grew up very differently than the rest of his roommates. While they idolized NHL stars playing in the US and Canada, Greg dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. At one point, Teemu Selanne, whose son Eetu was another one of Greg’s roommates, showed up at the apartment. While most of them were ecstatic to meet one of the NHL’s great players, Greg was oblivious. “Greg had no idea that hockey Hall of Famer, Teemu Selanne, was in our living room,” said Solow, smiling. Despite their differences in background, Greg fit right in with the rest of them. “He was really fun to live with,” said Solow about Greg. “He’s very outgoing and super fun. Whenever I see him around campus he’s always in a good mood.” Greg will be a welcome addition to the Northeastern basketball team this year, especially after they graduated two big men in Anthony Green and Jeremy Miller. But the on-court aspect isn’t the only thing that is exciting. His ability to bring people together and make them laugh is one of his brightest characteristics. “You feel like you’ve known him for 10 years the first time you meet him,” said Solow. Over the long course of his coaching career, Coen has had the opportunity to get to know countless players. He knows that regardless of whether his players go on to play professionally or not, they are here at Northeastern in large part to their exceptional abilities on the basketball court, but basketball does not define them. “You look at him as a total human being, as a student with a life away from basketball and you hear about his life journey, and how much he’s had to overcome to even get to this point,” Coen said. “If you can fast forward and have a little bit of imagination and understand that he’s going to graduate with a Northeastern degree, hopefully lead us to many successful seasons, and have great individual success at the same time, when you look at that story from beginning to end, you can get very excited about the prospects.” RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
BY JOSH CHASKES PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN GOMEZ
ressure affects each person differently. We’ve all encountered it at some point or another in our lives. Many people panic and do things they’ll regret, but a select few are able to keep calm and move forward with aplomb. Ryan Massoud is in the happy minority. The sophomore midfielder/forward found himself in a very high-pressure situation in the men’s soccer team’s home game against College of Charleston Sept. 21, receiving the ball on the left edge of the box with his team down 2-1 in the second half. He took a dribble, then another, moving inside towards the goal, and then, as few others would dare to do, he paused. Where many would have thrown up a low-percentage shot in haste, Massoud glanced around him, realizing he had drawn three defenders, before slotting a short pass to open teammate Liam Murphy closer to the goal. He made the Huskies’ goal tally two, and they’d double it throughout the second half to come away with a 4-2 home win. But on-field pressure is far from the only type Massoud faces. With six seniors, three who had earned all-CAA honors, departing the team after this past season, the sophomore from Ontario has increased expectations on his shoulders after leading the team with five goals as a freshman – and he knows it. “I think when you’re out of your first year, you have a responsibility to set the standard for the younger guys coming in,” Massoud said. “I try to do that mostly with my work ethic. I work hard in practice, in the games, I’m always focused before the games, and I think some of that mindset rubs off onto the younger guys.” Coach Chris Gbandi clearly shares this view on the importance of young players. In a pre-season interview with News @ Northeastern, he shared, “A lot of times, we think guys being
8 RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
young is a disadvantage, but with this group, being young is a huge advantage, because these guys have already played a lot and have that experience of playing those close games.” His trust in the younger end of his roster means the coach will be looking to players like Massoud to catalyze future teams and provide a goal-scoring outlet, as the sophomore did again this year, tying for second top goal-scorer (four) and second highest shot percentage (23.5%) during the season. However, as he looks to the future, Massoud knows he still has work to do.
“WHEN YOU’RE OUT OF YOUR FIRST YEAR, YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO SET THE STANDARD FOR THE YOUNGER GUYS COMING IN.” “I think I could be a little more vocal on the field, and in the locker room,” he said. “I’m not a huge talker at games and practices but I’m trying to be more of a leader in that role as well.” The team has its eyes set on deep playoff runs within the next few seasons, and he’ll surely be at the forefront of that effort. Ryan Massoud has big shoes to fill, but so far they seem to fit perfectly.
ikenna McManus, a junior defenseman on Northeastern’s women’s soccer team, has a unique talent that few other soccer players have. She is two-footed, meaning her feet are ambidextrous. Being two-footed gives McManus a huge advantage athletically. Opposing defenders do not know which way she will go when she is dribbling the ball, as her talent allows her to cut both left and right. McManus’ talent also makes her a set piece specialist. On free kicks and corner kicks, players will often try to generate an inswing or an outswing. An outswing is when the ball is kicked in a way where it bends away from the goal. An inswing is when the ball bends towards the goal. If a player is taking a corner kick or free kick from the right side of the field, kicking the ball with their right foot produces an outswing and their left foot produces an inswing. Hitting from the left side of the field does the opposite. Normally, a defender can tell whether an inswing or outswing is coming because most players have one dominant foot. However when Mikenna is kicking, Northeastern is at an advantage because opposing defenders do not know what to expect. Many soccer players who are two-footed are not born that way. Jan Gregus, a two-footed midfielder on Minnesota United and the Slovakian National Team, developed his unique skill by “trying to use both of [his] feet, kicking it with the left and right the same amount from a younger age.” McManus was no different. McManus started playing soccer on a club team coached by her dad up until she was nine years old. This is where she became two-footed. “Originally I was right-footed. However, my dad forced me to use my left foot. I guess he thought it was cool,” McManus said. “My dad would only let me use my left foot or else he would pull
me out of the game.” In order to better develop her left foot, McManus spent a lot of time practicing off the field. “I did a lot of kicking the ball against the wall, trying not to use my right foot, only my left,” she said. “My dad would also pass back and forth with me. By using it in practice and in games, it became repetitive.” Being ambidextrous is an extremely rare talent to have. Only one in 100 people are ambidextrous. One might think that being ambidextrous is big among top soccer players as professional teams would want to take advantage of that talent. While it is more common, only 18 percent of players in the top five European Leagues are considered two-footed, according to “5WFootball.” When recruiting McManus, coach Ashley Phillips knew right away that she wanted to add her to the team.
“IT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY TALENT.” “As a coach, I am looking for technical aspects of the game,” Phillips said. “I don’t see the talent of being two-footed often. It is an extraordinary talent for a kid to have.” McManus’ ability to use both feet has led to her getting 10 assists over three seasons at Northeastern and an All-CAA second and third team nomination. However, she isn’t done working on her skills. “I would really like to be a lot better at curving the ball with my left foot,” McManus said. Coach Phillips wants to see McManus boost her confidence. “She does not understand just how talented she really is,” Phillips said.
BY MATT LEVIN PHOTO BY BRIAN BAE
RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
NO BETTER PLACE TO START BY BRIAN FIELDS
fter a record-shattering four-year career as the face of the Northeastern women’s soccer program, Paige Burnett decided to follow in the footsteps of one of her mentors, current women’s soccer head coach Ashley Phillips, and take her talents to the world of professional soccer. Upon her graduation in 2015, she joined the Boston Breakers of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), where she spent a year rotating between the club’s full and reserve teams before hanging up the cleats for good. The past four years have seen Burnett train the goalkeepers at the Boston-area schools of Simmons College and Harvard University, the latter of which attributes much of its successful 2016 Ivy League Championship season and impressive conference play records to Burnett’s mentorship. However, when given the opportunity to return as goalkeeper coach to her alma mater, she knew she couldn’t refuse the opportunity.
“It was a no-brainer,” she explained. “When the opportunity arose, I sought it out wholeheartedly to come back and be back at, in my opinion, a wonderful university.” Once more, Burnett and Phillips would be reunited, this time with the both of them leading from the sidelines. Phillips had nothing but kind words about the return of her star keeper, noting that Burnett would be taking over as primary coach for the goalkeepers. “I’ve had to stop coaching the goalkeepers… and I’ve left that responsibility to her. I think it’s going to do tremendous things,” said Phillips. “When players have someone to look to that did it better than them, it’s really easy for them to take the advice from them, especially in the female game.” As for the player-coach dynamic, both Phillips and Burnett commented on how previous experience working with each other has contributed to an almost seamless reintegration of Burnett into the program.
PHOTOS BY BRIAN BAE 10 RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
“She balances me out really well,” explained Phillips. “She knows me so she can tell me when I need to slow down, back off. She played for me and knows maybe when I’m too much or maybe when I’m not enough, and she gives me that advice as a coach how to manage the players.” When asked if their previous relationship has translated well into a strong working relationship, Burnett’s immediate response was one word: “Absolutely.” “I obviously have respected her since day one,” she added. “I respect her even more now, and I really am happy being back and getting to work with her.” Burnett is not the only former Husky to return to Phillips’ program in a coaching capacity. Fifth-year student and former star forward Hannah Rosenblatt joined Burnett and Phillips as a volunteer coach in August. After a prolific record-setting career of her own highlighted by a CAA championship, in which she was awarded the Championship’s Most Outstanding Player award, and ensuing berth in the NCAA tournament, Rosenblatt hung up her cleats for a clipboard and a role in Phillips’ staff. Only one year removed from her career in the red and black, Rosenblatt is now tasked with the responsibility of supervising the very players she called teammates just a season ago. While others may struggle with making such a distinction, “Rosey” embraced her role as the liaison between player and coach. “When I do coach them, it’s coming from a place of being a friend, whereas the rest of the coaches can coach and be really hard on them,” she laughed. “I kind of bring that more constructive, nicer approach to it.”
HANNAH ROSENBLATT DIRECTS PLAYERS DURING A TRAINING SESSION.
CHARLTON MUHLAURI (PICTURED RIGHT) COACHES ANDREW KARALIS DURING A PREGAME WARM-UP.
Phillips confirmed just this, noting that Rosenblatt’s demeanor “makes it easy for the kids to listen to her advice.” “I think it was definitely an easy transition for her,” she asserted. “You certainly see them seeking her knowledge and asking her questions. It’s a little more friend-to-friend and not so much like a coach telling you what you’re not doing well.” In discussing the strengths of both Burnett and Rosenblatt, Phillips highlighted the ability of each to draw upon their experiences as a player in bringing something to the table that the rest of the staff cannot. The head coach of the men’s soccer program, Chris Gbandi, had a similar idea when bringing former midfielder Charlton Muhlauri onto his staff two seasons ago. Muhlauri, whose dad played professional soccer in Zimbabwe, has always had a passion for the game from an early age. Soccer was so important, in fact, that he decided that he couldn’t leave the game after graduating from the program. “I always wanted to do something with soccer after I finished my four years,” he recalled. “There’s no better place to start than where you are and working with the people whom you’ve worked with before.”
Two years removed from his own playing career, Muhlauri reflected briefly on the progression in relationships that he’s noticed since becoming a coach for some of his former teammates. “Last year was a little bit tougher because a lot of the guys, the seniors, a lot of them were redshirt seniors, so they were actually my class,” he said. “It was tough being a friend and a coach at the same time, but I think two years later, guys really see me as a coach and less of a friend.” Gbandi has noticed the same transition in Muhlauri that Muhlauri has seen in himself, noting that he has come into his own as a member of the coaching staff in a way he wasn’t fully able to as a member of the team. “I didn’t ‘coach’ Charlton,” he explained. “We (the coaching staff) all knew him as super quiet as a player, around me at least. I know around the guys he was a little more outgoing and a
good locker room presence, but I think once he became a coach and understood the backroom staff and what we do here, I think he certainly has an appreciation for it.” Muhlauri’s appreciation for the game, his professionalism, and his ability to learn quickly has Gbandi envisioning a bright future for his second-year assistant. “Hopefully one day he can even have his own program,” Gbandi lauded. “A lot of kids respect him and understand how hard he works on a daily basis, and that level of admiration goes a long way.” Though each has taken a different pathway to get here, each of these three young coaches have two things in common: a love for the game, and a love for this university. Despite their careers in the Red and Black having ended, the trio just could not find a way to say goodbye to the game and the university they’ve grown to love so much.
“I always wanted to do something with soccer after I finished my four years... There’s no better place to start than where you are and working with the people whom you’ve worked with before.” Charlton Muhlauri
RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
INSTANT IMPACT BY JENNA CICCOTELLI
hen it comes to making an impact on Northeastern field hockey, Lauren Rowe has wasted no time. The freshman from Norwich, England, finished the season tied for first in the CAA with goals (16, the most ever scored by a Northeastern freshman), led the team in assists (11), and paced the league in points (43). A two-time CAA Rookie of the Week and the first-ever Northeastern rookie to earn conference Player of the Week honors, was named conference Rookie of the Year in November. “Obviously, my freshman year, I didn’t really know what to expect, how much I’d play, or how well we’d do,” Rowe said. “I was always looking big picture, for over the course of five years. I thought we’d do well throughout that, but we’ve already had a successful season.” Her inaugural year in the Red and Black has surpassed what the 19-year-old thought she might be capable of in her first year of college, 3,300 miles from home, as well as the expectations set by first-year head coach Shelly Morris, who originally recruited the Norwich School product to be a defender. “When we kind of saw her ability to distribute the ball and the way she sees the field, and how she contributes on penalty corners, we moved her up the
PHOTO BY SARAH SCHLESINGER
field a little bit,” Morris said. “She’s generating our attack. She’s brought so much more to the program than we really expected.” Rowe, who is 5-foot-3, was the captain of the Norwich School girls team in her fourth year and played year-round for the Harleston Magpies in the National League, where she led her U16 and U18 indoor teams to the National Finals every year. Through it all, Rowe was looking big picture still. She always knew she wanted to come and play collegiately in the United States, where she could thrive in a culture that valued sport, compared to collegiate programs in the United Kingdom, which are similar to club sports in the States. Northeastern became an ideal home – the education (she intends to major in health science), the location, and the opportunity to contribute immediately to a perennially contending program checked all of the boxes when it came to deciding where to continue her career. “It’s just because of the professionalism on the sport here,” Rowe said. “I wanted to experience that. There are differences. The drills are different, but it also depends on the coach.” That professionalism led to a unique transition for Rowe, who, according to Morris, wasn’t all that used to being in the spotlight and having players target her. Film sessions at the NCAA level don’t quite compare to becoming familiar with
your opponent through play, like Rowe was used to at home. “Having every game filmed and for everyone to access makes it a lot easier for people to identify strong players,” Rowe added. “We scout every team we play against.” There was a transition to be had off the pitch, too – a natural one that comes with moving across the ocean from your parents and older brother. “Obviously, it’s a step from high school to college,” she said. “Whereas for me, it all changed to a different way of teaching, how the whole system works. I’m just talking to everyone, getting to understand it, and experiencing it I think is what gets you familiar with it.” What helped, too, is the success Rowe and her Northeastern field hockey teammates experienced on the field. “We’re doing really well, and I think we can still get better,” Rowe said. “We’re starting to compete with some of the top teams. We always go in as underdogs, but I think we have more confidence. It’s helping to get some good, close competition.”
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BY JUSTIN CHEN
fter finishing her fourth and final prolific ice hockey season amassing 101 points and leading the Huskies to back-to-back Hockey East championships, senior forward Kasidy Anderson did not decide to call her collegiate career quits. Instead, the Shaker Heights, Ohio native joined the field hockey team. Having lost her hockey eligibility, Anderson was finally able to have the chance to play field hockey, her second sport. And with Northeastern getting a new coach in Shelly Morris, she felt even more motivated to pursue it, as it would make for a smoother transition. Anderson took this chance and tried out for the team in what was an exciting opportunity for both sides. “Shelly wanted to change the culture, too,” said senior Sam Bodo, a four-year member of the field hockey team. “Just adding Kas, it was like a new, warm
atmosphere and it was something Shelly wanted.” So while the eligibility and technicalities worked out, Anderson still had a long way to go. Ice and field hockey are similar sports but ultimately have differences that did not make Anderson’s transition easy. Anderson played field hockey throughout high school; she said this helped with just having a connection and a history with this sport. But high school is different, and Anderson was forced to relearn this sport and adjust to the heightened competition she would be facing in a Division I game. “[The] speed of college, the skill, and even like the game is more team oriented than it is in high school, where you can get away with a lot more individual stuff,” Anderson said. Despite having played sports her whole college career, Anderson reflected on how originally getting used to running, opposed to skating, was another challenge she faced in her early spring workouts. “I literally felt unathletic running on the field because I was so sore,” she said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know how to run, I don’t even know how I look right now.’” Game strategies, the press, and defense were also aspects Anderson had to learn and adjust to. Looking past the original setbacks, Anderson’s addition has brought great improvements to the team. Her stick handling prowess transferred over, giving Morris a new weapon. “She’s obviously tall and [has] long arms,” Morris said. “She brings something a little bit different, like a great presence because of her size just defensively or when she goes to hit the ball.”
PHOTO BY MEGAN BARRETT
SPORT Despite being new to the team, Anderson already has four years of hockey under her belt. In a way, she is able to relate to the feeling of adjusting to a new sports culture or environment but can also serve like a mentor-figure to the rookies of what she has learned with the ice hockey team. The game is different, but the mindset isn’t – game management skills and a calm demeanor will go a long way. Anderson is more than qualified to teach and demonstrate many facets of the mental aspect of the game – calming down in tense situations, dealing with adversity, and focusing energy at the right targets instead of being upset over a setback. “I can be there to say ‘it gets better’ or ‘it wouldn’t be any different anywhere else’ because I went through the same thing as a freshman, where I thought I chose the wrong sport or I was at the wrong school based on how playing was going with ice hockey,” Anderson explained, adding how she would advise her teammates like her parents did to her: “You need to make the most of [your years]. You can control the experience way more than you think you’re capable [of].” Bodo also had plenty of praise for what her new teammate brought to the locker room. “Her attitude and how she looks at everything is just so positive,” Bodo said. Anderson tallied 23 points in her season on the team, through nine goals and five assists. However, she does not pay attention to stats or production and instead the team and social aspect of athletics. “Obviously, training all summer you have high expectations going in,” Anderson said. “But I’ve been focusing on enjoying and having fun with my
teammates and making friendships,” By making herself comfortable in this new sports environment, performance on the field came subsequently. “I think just having sports IQ in general transitioned over. Obviously training and that kind of stuff, I had to make changes too, but a lot of it is just (having the) work ethic,” Anderson summarized. With hard work and the right mindset, Anderson was able to avoid the slippery slope of ditching the ice for the turf. She knows success will come in some form or the other: on the field, off the field, or both -- in yourself and even others.
PHOTO BY SARAH SCHLESINGER
RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
“CAMPEÓN DE CORAZON” BY LAUREN FEENEY
ver seen a group of girls and thought they looked basic? Ever seen 20 girls walk out of an Argentinian market wearing patterned scarves around their necks and ponytails? Well, when they are 12 pesos, it’s a VSCO girl’s dream. For anyone who does follow my VSCO, (@ laurenyvonnef) I apologize, as we did something new every day that required a picture out of respect for that magnificent culture and beauty that was Buenos Aires. Representing Northeastern, the field hockey team went to a variety of markets, a ranch (peep the horse photos), a bike tour to get a closer look at national gardens and statues; we experienced an authentic Tango performance and of course, WINED and dined. The ranch experience was so amazing – every member of our team was hiked up on a horse for the ranch tour, which was followed by an Argentinian BBQ that even swindled our “vegetarian” Coach T
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[Teresa Matthews] to indulge. Even though most of the Argentinians we met didn’t speak much English, a combination of elementary Spanish and basic human kindness ensured that every day was a memorable one. For example, we played three competitive matches against Argentine field hockey clubs and afterwards we were invited into their clubhouse for pizza and beer. We were cheering with our former opponents, exchanging Instagrams (and VSCOs) and dancing (BU has never been so inviting…) And when a nationwide power outage seemingly cancelled a day’s activities, our bus driver, whose daughter thought we were American celebrities, recommended that we see an authentic Tango, which ended up being one of our most fun nights.
This idea of “togetherness” was our biggest takeaway from the trip. The highlight of the trip to Argentina was when our team visited Fundación Baccigalupo, a foundation that encourages disabled individuals in Buenos Aires to engage in sports. The idea of the foundation is to integrate those with and without disabilities to come together to participate in sports. Our day with the foundation started with us doing a few ice breakers, making funny faces and warming up with the group. We then walked through a full stretch, trying our best to mimic the instructor, and gesturing to our new friends to help them also mimic the stretches. We did some passing, shooting, and finished the session with a scrimmage that we all participated in. Despite the language hurdle, communication was still strong; there was laughter, yelling when it got competitive, and a LOT of smiling. In these moments, I wasn’t thinking
about stats or playing time; we were just playing. The group that we started with, shy and quiet at first, ended the night yelling, laughing and giving out hugs. Their energy was infectious, and that feeling left a more permanent mark on us than the stamp on our passports. No one was thinking about being tired from Rose en Rio the night prior, or the fact we hadn’t eaten in six hours. We were ignited by the positivity that they were giving us and the hope we gave them. We made such an impact on them that they sent us a medal of honor called the “Campeón de Corazon” which translates to “Champion of Heart.” This medal meant that we would have to carry this impact and this energy from this experience and keep it close to our team. It was so inspiring that starting this preseason, we named a weekly honor of “Champion of Heart”, awarded to the player who distinguished themselves for performance, commitment, and unselfishness, the core values of “Our Pack.” From the Tango to the foundation, we had an unforgettable journey in Argentina, but that was only the beginning for our team. Our incoming freshman class joined us on this trip, which became a huge
“Our team shifted in a direction I hadn’t seen as a fourth-year on the team.”
Northeastern Field Hockey broke into the top 25 for the first time since 2014, at #25.
advantage for us. I can remember being introduced to the new members in the freshman class, skipping over that whole awkward onboarding process, and jumping right into a practice with our new team just a day before getting on a flight to South America. We had one of our most successful seasons in years, and it started in June when we were brought together for a weeklong excursion with our old and new teammates, sharing an experience between us all. There was no awkwardness when we returned to the field together on August 13th, we got right to it. On bus rides now, one person will throw in a hilarious photo or joke in the GroupMe from Argentina, like “does this water have gas in it?” and our entire bus will die laughing. It was amazing, but even better was the lasting impression that the trip had on my senior season with the team. Our team shifted in a direction I hadn’t seen as a fourth-year on the team, with the change of scenery creating a new dynamic and purpose, so we knew it was going to be our best year. And even as the program will move on without us seniors, I hope they don’t lose their “Campeón de Corazon.” But if they ever do need to find it again, just know it’s all saved on my VSCO.
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY LAUREN FEENEY
RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
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BY MADISON NEUNER PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN GOMEZ
n overtime at the 2019 Beanpot semifinal against Boston University, freshman forward Tyler Madden received the puck on a breakaway and made scoring look easy as he masterfully sent it to the back of the net. But he wasn’t done yet. Madden proceeded to slide on his back and make snow angels on the ice, a move New England Sports Network called “well-seasoned.” He slid into the wall and was mobbed by his teammates in a massive celebratory huddle. The game was won. So, to recap: In one epic night, Madden was famous for netting the game-winning goal at Beanpot, but even more for his post-goal moves. And that’s not even his favorite goal-scoring celebration. Timothy Ennin has similarly turned heads with his post-goal celebration. At the men’s soccer team’s game against BU in September, Ennin had a double-overtime penalty kick at 109:46, with 14 seconds before the game would have ended in a tie. He sent a ground ball in the bottom left corner as BU’s goalie dove to the right – winning the game for the Huskies. He ran to the left corner of the field, pulling off a backflip as his team followed, jumping in an excited huddle. As the commentators at the game said, Ennin was “flipping out” over his goal. Madden and Ennin, both sophomores, are a couple of the varsity athletes at Northeastern with whom I talked about their goal-scoring celebrations. Let’s see what they have to say.
Timothy Ennin MSOC
Do you have a goal-scoring celebration? How did you come up with it? Ennin: When I was younger I just always used to go on trampolines and try to do a backflip. Most of the times I failed – I tried doing one in my mom’s bedroom and hit my knee; my knee hit my nose. Started crying. That was when I was like, probably like nine or 10. Then I kept practicing on the trampoline. And now I can finally do a backflip. That’s one of my celebrations. Do you have a favorite or most memorable goal-scoring celebration? Ennin: A game winner against BU, I did a cartwheel and then a backflip. There was a video of that one. Yeah, that was pretty dope for us. We played in overtime and there was, like, a couple of seconds left, so that was dope. What’s your opinion on that idea that people think it’s sometimes unsportsmanlike? Ennin: I guess it would just depend, like if a team’s winning like 4- or 5-0, I don’t think I would celebrate after I score the fifth or sixth goal. But, like, if it’s a close game, like 1-0, 2-0, I’d celebrate. I mean, I put my team up, I’m like, I gotta enjoy the moment, you know? RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
Tyler Madden MHOC
Do you have a goal-scoring celebration? Madden: I’ve had a couple in the past two years. I had two memorable ones, the canoe or kayak, whatever you want to call it. I came down, I went back and kind of, like, circled the net and in my mind I just kind of – in the back of my head I knew I was going to do it. So I came down the boards, laid completely flat on the ground for a sec and started paddling. And then the snow angel one. Other than that I kind of just make stuff up on the spot, go down on one knee, maybe scoop some ice, just get the crowd going.
So how do you come up with it? Is it like an in-the-moment thing or do you prepare in advance? Madden: The kayak one was from my grandfather who actually owns a kayak shop, so I’ve always wanted to do that. Whenever I’m in OT I don’t think about it. But like, if I ever get the chance, that’s when I would do it. I ended up scoring, so I pulled it out and that was that.
Andrea Renner WHOC
Do you have a goal-scoring celebration? Renner: Not one in particular. I don’t study them and think, “I’m going to do this on Friday night.” I don’t really do that. It’s more in the moment. It’s that intense feeling that I have for three seconds and whatever it could be, I just kind of do. I’ve always been like that even before Northeastern. So just kind of like in the moment, whatever I feel.
What’s your take on the opinion that goal-scoring celebrations can be unsportsmanlike? Renner: I’ve thought about that too. My perspective is if you do it in a way that is respectful towards your opponent and you’re not going up to their bench and shoving in their face, but you’re just out there playing the game in the moment and you’re celebrating with your team, I personally don’t think it’s disrespectful. I know my character and I know my teammates know my character and my character is, on and off the ice, just because I’m intense for three seconds, that doesn’t mean I am. I’m humble, I’m still confident and I love my teammates so much and I know that my teammates understand that I have such a big heart and I’m team-first-oriented. I’m very unselfish, I would say. Coming to Northeastern, especially our coaching staff, like they want us to play with confidence, but there’s a line between being confident and being cocky for sure. And I know that all of our teammates, we don’t pass that line to becoming cocky. We’re always confident in our abilities. And for some people like me that comes off maybe just adding a celebration for three seconds.
PHOTO BY BRIAN BAE
Do you have a favorite that you’ve done in the past? Renner: Yeah, I do. Growing up I watched players like Patrick Kane and then Alex Ovechkin. I remember Patrick Kane, I think his grandfather passed away the night that he had a game and he heard about it. So then when he scored, he pointed toward the sky. And I had a similar situation where my grandfather had passed away and I had a game that night and I was like, “Aw man, that’d be so cool.” And I knew I was playing for him and I did end up scoring; I pointed towards the sky and it was just the coolest feeling ever. And I knew he was watching, too. So it was just so special.
Chelsea Domond WSOC
Do you have a goal-scoring celebration? Domond: Not necessarily. Like when I'm before games, I’m always like, “Oh, when I score, I'm going to do this.” But I’m always in the moment. So usually when I score I just run to the next person and hop on them. Like if you notice most of my celebrations are of me, like on top of somebody, because I don't really have something specific. That does make sense. Does the rest of your team have goalscoring celebrations, or do you all just come together? Domond: If one of us scores a last-minute game-winner or a goal in OT, usually they’re on the floor in disbelief or happiness.
And then we all just, like, hop on top of them, but nothing specific. I’ve heard people say that goal-scoring celebrations are unsportsmanlike. What’s your take on that idea? Domond: I don’t think it’s rude to celebrate you scoring. I mean, it’s a confidence booster and if that other team scored as well, like they should be happy to celebrate and get everyone hyped. When you score and you celebrate that just hypes everyone up for like the next play so that you can keep scoring. So I feel like that shouldn’t be something that’s rude. It’s just a display of happiness to be honest.
Lauren Rowe WFHOC
Do you have a goal-scoring celebration? Rowe: Kind of. Most of the time the team will come together and just kind of run on, hugs all around kind of thing. But when we went to Argentina this summer, because my surname’s Rowe, one of the girls made a rowing action, so now sometimes one of my teammates will do it or I’ll do it. So do other members of the team have specific things that they do when they score? Or do you all get in a huddle? Rowe: Yeah, it’s kind of just in a huddle and then one of the girls on the bench will, like, go down the bench high-fiving everyone, and it’s just kind of getting that whole team atmosphere around. So the whole team thing, not more of an individual thing. Is there a goal-scoring celebration that your team shared that was more memorable? Rowe: The second game against Monmouth had gone into overtime, and we managed to score within two minutes of overtime. So to be able to shut that down that quickly, and that sort of feeling of relief because the pressure is a lot higher. We drop down to seven a side as well in overtime, so it’s, you’ve played 60 minutes, you get down to seven a side, you know, it’s going to be a tough time and first goal wins and to score that goal was just such a great feeling, that relief of it being over. So it’s more in those stressful situations.
PHOTO BY BRIAN BAE
There’s an ethics argument about goal-scoring celebrations being unsportsmanlike. What’s your take on that opinion? Rowe: I think it’s fair to celebrate because you’ve achieved something. I think if you’re purposely trying to rub it in the face with the other team that’s maybe not sportsmanlike. But I definitely think you have a right to celebrate to a certain degree. We celebrate and we’re just happy, as a team, of being able to create something.
RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
MOORERâ€™S STORY BY ADAM GOSTOMELSKY
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PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY BRANDON MOORER
randon Moorer, senior at Seton Hall Prep in New In 2017, the latest data published in the Journal of Jersey and Northeastern commit, takes off running American Medical Association, suicide claimed the lives in the 4x100m. He plants his foot into the track, when of 6,241 people in the United States between the ages of something goes horribly wrong. His left quadricep muscle 15 and 24. Of those, 80% were men. detaches itself, rolls up, and dies. It’s an incredibly rare Except that isn’t this story either. and excruciatingly painful injury that put everything into “I didn’t see a way out. Honestly, it’s a blessing that question – his status as a runner, his future at Northeastern, I’m still alive today,” Moorer said. “I didn’t think I would and even caused him to question himself. make it past my sophomore year. That’s the honest truth, “My freshman year [at Northeastern] I was in such a I thought I would be dead. There were nights when I was bad spot that I gave up on myself completely towards the literally sitting in the hospital bed because I was so fucked end,” Moorer said. “I couldn’t run. I couldn’t walk. I was up. And to go from there to here, now? It’s a miracle.” just in pain all the time, physically and mentally. There But Moorer never crossed that threshold. Shaw recalls were times when I said, ‘Why am I putting myself through how the staff kept a close eye on him as he was going this?’ It became such a battle. This is not what I want, so through the recovery process, and credits everyone there were definitely involved in the times I thought process, including about quitting.” Moorer. This type of injury “Brandon can define a career. probably doesn’t It can end a career. give himself And sometimes, it enough credit,” can end something Shaw said. “He far more valuable. did always keep - TRAMAINE SHAW But that is not on a brave face, this story. especially to his For the better part of two, two and a half years, Moorer teammates. However, I don’t think the athletes always lived in the training room. First, learning to walk again. realize that we have eyes and ears everywhere, so we’re Then learning to run. Workouts, which started out as near always watching to pick up on things that they don’t impossible, slowly became doable. All throughout this think we are. We watch them when they warm up in their 18-month recovery, head coach Tramaine Shaw continued little groups and we watch them as they’re leaving and to believe in him. as they come in so I think there’s a lot that goes into their “We never gave up on Brandon because he never gave mannerisms, the way they carry themselves day to day, us a reason to,” Shaw said. “Injuries happen. I was a even the conversations that they have that they don’t think former athlete myself and I’ve been injured, and I’ve had we notice, but we’re watching even when they don’t think teammates who’ve been injured. The reason I got into we’re watching.” coaching was because I wanted to be able to give athletes Shaw said that the open and symbiotic conversations an opportunity to have the type of experience I had and I between herself, Moorer, Northeastern sports psychologist had a phenomenal experience here at Northeastern, and Dr. Adam Naylor, and even teammates, made sure that that motivation has never changed.” Moorer always had resources and help during the difficult “So when it came down to Brandon, despite the injury, times. But Moorer himself said that only when he realized it didn’t change the fact that we wanted to provide him the that he needed to open up to his teammates did things start best experience possible. He was more than willing to give to turn. his all and you get out of things what you put into it and he “[My teammates] knew about what happened, because put in 110% and as a coach, I have no qualms about giving they could see it, but it was more of I would hide the toll it him 110%. And he’s from Jersey, and I’m a Jersey girl, and was taking on me from an emotional standpoint, because I we’re built tough, so I never feared that this wouldn’t be didn’t want to come across freshman year as someone who something he would overcome eventually.” was dependent, or someone who was weak,” Moorer said. Shaw recognizes that in a sport where there are a “And freshman year is extremely competitive you know? precious few moments of competition surrounded by You’re trying to figure out your spot and everyone has numerous workouts, there are times when you can lose that little bit of ego: I don’t want to get in Coach’s way, perspective. During Moorer’s recovery, he didn’t just lose I don’t want her to think I’m less than what she recruited perspective, but also hope. me as. I wanted to come off as being who I always In his sport. In his ability. And in life. thought I was. I was trying to live two separate lives.
“WE NEVER GAVE UP ON BRANDON BECAUSE HE NEVER GAVE US A REASON TO.”
RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
BRANDON MOORER (SECOND FROM LEFT) ACCEPTS THE RED & BLACK DEDICATION AWARD AT THE 2018-19 HOWLIN’ HUSKIES AWARDS FROM (LEFT TO RIGHT) RED & BLACK STAFF JAKE SAUBERMAN, JENNA CICCOTELLI, AND ADAM GOSTOMELSKY. PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTHEASTERN ATHLETICS
Out in public, I’m happy or whatever, but in private, I’m all fucked up. Eventually, you can’t run from it anymore, so the only way to feel better was to open up, and they supported me from day one.” This support eventually led Moorer to not just getting back out on the track, but succeeding. In time, he would be named a team captain for his last two seasons of eligibility. Except that isn’t quite this story. Because this story can’t be told without discussing how he vented from the physical and mental pain. “Entrepreneurship was my outlet,” Moorer said. “Becoming an entrepreneur made me realize that my entire
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life I thought my whole purpose was track and athletics, and having this injury made me open up my scope and see that there is more to life than just track.” Although he labeled his first foray into entrepreneurship, The Moorer Media Group, a digital marketing agency, as a failure, Moorer was inspired by his previous personal difficulty in connecting with young minority entrepreneurs. He started the Youth Entrepreneurs Diversity Corporation, commonly referred to as YED Corp., during his sophomore year. “There is more to life than just athletics,” Moorer said. “Us athletes, we tend to paint ourselves in this
one lane, that all we know is athletics. When I got into entrepreneurship, I was like ‘oh shit,’ everything that I learned in athletics, translates over to everything else I do in the rest of my life.” YED Corp has been an unequivocal success, having just hosted their second national summit at New York University with 450 attendees and currently undergoing their second national tour of the east coast. It’s this triumph within entrepreneurship that catapulted Moorer’s confidence on the track. This past season, Moorer was part of the 4x400M relay team that broke the school record – for the second consecutive year. A feat that Shaw knows meant so much to him, although she recognizes that his impact is so much greater than a single run. “I’m super proud. Though I think sometimes people think that with coaches it’s all about the track performances,” Shaw said. “When I talk about current and former athletes, I talk about people like [Olympic hopeful] Kyle Darrow in the same breath as people like Nicole Genard, who was one of our top athletes here and came from a single parent household and struggled a little, but ended up being a Northeastern police officer and a team captain who overcame quite a bit.” It is this combination of overcoming adversity in sport and in life that gives Shaw the most pride in her work. For all that the track accolades are worth, and the story behind them, she is just as proud of Moorer’s work in YED Corp. “To me, track and field complements all of that and has been part of the process and the success of all these athletes, current and former, both on the track and off,” Shaw said. “I’m incredibly proud because I feel that we are still a part of that. Whether he’s making waves on the track or his accomplishments outside, it speaks highly of our program and the type of athlete we are trying to build.” Moorer’s dedication during his recovery and comeback
from such a devastating injury, both physically and mentally, was then recognized by his peers in last year’s Howlin’ Husky Awards. Moorer was voted as the inaugural male winner of the Red & Black Dedication Award – given to the athlete deemed most dedicated by their peers. “It was shocking, but I was extremely happy about it. It’s nice to be recognized, especially considering the previous things that had happened going through the injury and my teammates saw all the mental hardships I was going through,” Moorer said. “I would have panic attacks sometimes at practice because mentally I was in such a bad place and to be able to come out of that and be recognized for my dedication…it means something.” In a script as old as time, a high level athlete suffers a devastating injury and tumbles from once dazzling heights to figuratively, and sometimes literally, disappearing. Except this isn’t that story. A record holder. A team captain. A successful entrepreneur. A Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar, a distinction given to only the top 1,000 college students across the country. And now also an author, as Moorer’s book – A New Lane, which documents his recovery and healing process – is scheduled to be released in spring 2020. That is Moorer’s story. “I want people to see me as someone who was resilient. I want to be someone people can look up to. Because I know, for a fact, that I am not the only person who has had rough injuries, who’s been in the same kind of mental battle that I was in, and that’s why I wrote my book. I know there are other people out there going through the exact same thing that I did, but they just don’t have the voice to say anything or they don’t have anyone they can go to, to talk to. So I want people to see me as that outlet,” Moorer said. “‘He made it out of all that, so I can do it too.’”
“‘HE MADE IT OUT OF ALL THAT, SO I CAN DO IT TOO.’” RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT BY MICHAEL RUBERTO
ne of the difficult realities of college sports is that any one team can never be built to last. With studentathletes graduating after four years, and some going pro even before that, roster turnover is never easy for any team, let alone one that just saw the graduation of its winningest class in program history. That’s the position Northeastern men’s ice hockey coach Jim Madigan found himself in after last season, when after three NCAA Tournament appearances, two Hockey East championships and two consecutive Beanpot championships, 11 players moved on from Northeastern. Among them was sophomore Cayden Primeau, the 2019 recipient of the Mike
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Richter Award as the NCAA’s most outstanding goaltender, and junior Jeremy Davies, a 2019 nominee for the Hobey Baker Award for the NCAA’s top hockey player. If you ask Madigan, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that this group had achieved such success. In his own words: “They know what it meant to be part of a winning program and what it takes to prepare to be a winning team each and every day.” With 11 new spots on his roster and 11 big shoes, or skates, to fill, the importance of recruiting became clearer than ever this offseason. While there is no shortage of college hopefuls interested in donning the Red and Black, there is a limit on how many players can be on the team’s roster, making it crucial for Madigan and his staff to pick the right recruits. For Madigan, however, the recruitment process isn’t just about trying to fill in gaps with the flashiest players out there. “We don’t need the best 15 forwards, or 10 defensemen, or four goalies in the
country. We got the right ones for Northeastern Hockey,” Madigan said. “It’s not always the most skilled or most profile players that win – what we’ve been able to do is put a team together that complements each other.” It’s this idea of teamwork and playing athletes off of each other’s strengths that has allowed Madigan to ice such competitive teams in his nine seasons as head coach of Northeastern, a concept that isn’t lost on freshman forward Riley Hughes. “We have good players all the way through our roster, so I think we’ll all be able to make an impact, and hopefully we’ll have success this year,” he said. For the new Huskies, the choice to play for Northeastern wasn’t a difficult one. “Hearing about the championships they’ve won recently, it’s definitely something you want to be a part of coming in as a freshman,” said freshman goaltender Connor Murphy. “This school’s always one of the ones you look up to when you’re playing as a kid,” echoed Craig Pantano, a fifth-year transfer goaltender and Massachusetts native.
“[THEY TAUGHT ME ABOUT] BUYING IN TO WHAT THE COACHES ARE SAYING, SHOWING THE PASSION IT TAKES TO BE A HUSKY, AND JUST PLAYING AS HARD AS YOU CAN EVERY NIGHT AND HELPING THE TEAM WIN.” Across all the Huskies’ successful teams, despite talented players coming and going, the common denominator has been the strength of the culture in the locker room – something that stems from the upperclassmen. Mike Kesselring, a freshman defenseman, noticed it shortly after arriving at NU. “It’s been really open-arms. Obviously we have a lot of freshmen, so we need to be able to gel quickly,” he said. “For me, especially, [team captain] Ryan Shea’s been doing a really good job helping me get adjusted.” This experience wasn’t unique to Kesselring. From summer workouts to getting acclimated to campus in the first months, the veteran players helped their younger teammates along the way. “There’s a good, solid senior class, and the freshmen and sophomores from last year have been able to carry over some of the traditions as well,” said Hughes. “They welcomed us, they’ve been awesome with us, and we’ve gelled pretty quickly.” Madigan summarized the phenomenon: “[A team’s culture is] cyclical. As those upperclassmen move along and graduate, then the juniors and sophomores take over. Everyone gets the
chance to be the mentor and the mentee in the process.” Take Zach Solow, a junior forward and alternate captain. Last season he was on the receiving end of the upperclassmen’s influence; this year, he is looked up to as one of the leaders. “[They taught me about] buying in to what the coaches are saying, showing the passion it takes to be a Husky, and just playing as hard as you can every night and helping the team win.” Finding himself in a leadership role on the team, acting as a mentor for the newest generation of Huskies, he noted, “Everyone’s a leader in their own way. They’re going to come through to the best of their abilities and it’s going to help us win games.” There’s an understanding between the new student-athletes and the returning veterans. Everyone knows what it’s like to be the new guy. Everybody will need to step up and lead in their own right. It only draws the pack closer together. “Everything’s really tight,” said Murphy. “There aren’t any cliques in our group.” At the end of the day, it’s that strong leadership core and the passing of ideas and lessons, which allows the Huskies
to weather the inevitable storm of roster turnover. “I think I learned how to lead, just seeing the leadership core and how they went about winning,” said captain Ryan Shea. “Just having that confidence and kind of swagger.” Although the winningest class in Northeastern men’s ice hockey history may have moved on, their work ethic, drive, and passion has left an imprint in the locker room which will be passed on for years and years to help maintain that level of success and acclaim. “The last four years I’ve learned a culture that’s pretty close to me, and now it’s just my time to pass it on,” asserted Shea. So while there may be 11 young faces taking the ice as Huskies for their first time this season, it’s the strength of the team’s faceless culture off the ice that has left the team no worse for wear. And from Madigan’s perspective, that culture never appeared stronger. “When you can see [culture] the most, is when you aren’t in the lineup, and the person that replaces you goes out and has a great day in your spot, but you’re just as happy for his success as if it was you. It’s about ‘Team First.’”
KESSELRING RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
DREAM DECISION BY JAKE SAUBERMAN
n June 5, 2019, No. 8 North Andover High School took on No. 1 Franklin in the first round of the Super Eight baseball tournament in Massachusetts. It was North Andover’s first ever appearance in the prestigious bracket. Their starting pitcher, a quiet, lanky kid standing at 6’3”, was only trying to get his arm loose. In his way, however, stood a slew of reporters, shoving microphones in his face. His coach, growing angrier at every missed warm-up pitch, begged the media to save their questions until the game ended. After all, the questions weren’t about the upcoming game. The pitcher didn’t want to cause a scene, so he politely answered a few questions before returning to his bullpen session. He had to focus on the championship game coming up, not the fact that he had just been selected by his hometown Boston Red Sox in the 11th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, or that he had to decide between his dream of attending college at Northeastern University and his dream of playing professional baseball. For now, Sebastian Keane had a job to do. “It was crazy, that day. I was sitting on my couch and my agent called me and he said, ‘Sebastian, the Red Sox want to draft you in the 11th round’. I was sitting there with my friend, and my parents are both at work,” recalled Keane. “It was the 10th round and I waited for the 11th. And finally it said, ‘Red Sox select draft number’, they give me an ID number, and they say ‘Sebastian Keane’. “It’s just, you work so hard and for that to happen, it was nuts. But then that day, I was pitching against the number one team in the Super Eight state championship. We ended up doing really well.”
“YOU WORK SO HARD AND FOR THAT TO HAPPEN, IT WAS NUTS.” Keane understated his performance. With about 2,000 onlookers in the crowd, including personnel from the Red Sox, the right-hander showed everyone what made him the 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year in his home state. An easy leg kick, a three-quarters arm slot and a smooth delivery. A blink of an eye, a pop in the catcher’s mitt and a punch-out. This was a familiar scene not only for Franklin hitters that day, but for any hitter unlucky enough to play North Andover High School when Sebastian Keane was scheduled to start. After a 7.1-inning, nine-strikeout, shutout performance from their ace, the Scarlet Knights celebrated the first time an eighth-seed had upset the top seed in the tournament’s six-year history. It was Keane’s athletic, fluid mechanics that caught the eye of Northeastern baseball head coach Mike Glavine when the team held its annual winter prospect camp a year and a half ago. Invited on the recommendation of
PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTHSHORE NAVIGATORS
his summer league coach, Keane arrived on Huntington Avenue during his junior year of high school. “He just really impressed us that day in January, and so we just had a really great evaluation of him,” Glavine said. “He was 86 [miles per hour] at that time, maybe 87. We certainly didn’t think he was going to be up to 95, but we knew that he had some upside there. All the physical stuff, we just liked everything about him on the mound and what he did. Then we had a chance to meet with him and his family on an unofficial visit. And I think we just really connected.” Before long, Keane had expressed a verbal commitment to attend Northeastern University after graduating from North Andover. Keane’s first taste of MLB scouting came during his sophomore summer in 2017. Playing at the Area Code Underclass Games in California with some of the country’s top amateur talent, there were roughly 70 radar guns pointed at him as he delivered each pitch. However, it wasn’t until his junior year that Keane would be considered a high-end draft prospect. It’s not often that high schoolers from the Northeast make their way into the upper echelon of scouts’ draft boards. Unlike warmer regions, the climate makes it nearly impossible to compete year-round. Emphasis on nearly. “You have to do anything you can. I’ll be in December going to my high school field, and I have to shovel off [the snow on] the turf to do long toss,” Keane said. “I mean, it’s a grind but that’s just what you have to do. Like winter clothing, winter gloves, that’s just what it’s like living in the Northeast. I definitely think it makes you tougher.” But as the weather finally began to heat up in 2018, so did his recognition. Greater exposure to the allure of professional baseball threw a curveball in the recruiting process even sharper than the one coming out of Keane’s hand. “It was tricky; he really blew up and emerged that summer on a national basis,” Glavine said. “So with him, it was just making sure he knew that we had a plan for him here and that we were going to take care of him. We were going to be able to develop him and do all the things that he needs to be the best pitcher he can be.” With a fresh arm and a dream of playing professional baseball growing ever closer, Keane handled the increased attention in his usual style – let the pitching do the talking. He would light up the radar guns at 95 miles-per-hour, dusting opposing hitters with a three-pitch arsenal that also featured a tight breaking ball and a developing changeup. “Every time you see scouts behind home plate, you get butterflies,” Keane admitted. “But it’s good butterflies; you feel good. Your adrenaline’s bumping, you have to do well.” RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
The teenager’s competitive spirit wasn’t lost on his coach at North Andover, Todd Dulin, either. “I think he relished the attention and having the scouts there. It got him all amped up,” Dulin said. “I think he pitched better when there were people there watching him. Really. He really focused and glued in and had a way of... I don’t know, I think he enjoyed it.” Perhaps that explained Keane’s senior year performance: 65 innings pitched, 120 strikeouts, only seven earned runs. Every time the righty took the mound, the scouts would flock. Every time, they left impressed. By the time the MLB Draft rolled around in early June, Keane was ranked the 140th overall draft prospect by MLB.com. He had been fielding calls from teams interested in drafting him as high as the second round. Ultimately, the right-hander set a high price to lure him away from Northeastern. Several top high school amateurs
remembered. “It was nuts seeing him in person and getting to talk to him about baseball – he lives and breathes baseball.” Next up, a meeting with Red Sox legend and one of the most accomplished pitchers of all-time, Pedro Martinez. “I was with Pedro Martinez and my dad for like an hour and 10 minutes, and I couldn’t stop smiling the whole entire time,” Keane said. “He was like, ‘If you sign with the Red Sox, I’ll be your pitching coach at Spring Training.’ It was insane, I got a picture with him and everything. He said if I want to hang out with him to let him know because he lives like 30 minutes from me.” Despite the unforgettable experiences, with the support of his parents, Keane decided to honor his commitment to Northeastern and enroll. “I just thought it wasn’t enough money for me and my family – I want to go to college,” Keane said. “I think I’ll
2019 HIGH SCHOOL SEASON
11-1 0.50 128 .308 18 RECORD
like Keane fall in the draft every year as teams shy away from their asking price on signing bonuses. These players usually wind up forgoing their lower-than-expected draft slot in favor of attending college. Three years later, they are once again draft eligible, this time with a refined skill set from their college days. This is the path that several current MLB stars took, such as Alex Bregman, Gerrit Cole, and Kris Bryant. Largely motivated by these financial reasons, Keane slipped to the 11th round, where the Red Sox took the gamble of landing a second-round talent in the later rounds. The hometown franchise put together a convincing marketing effort in an attempt to sway Keane’s Northeastern commitment. First, a meal with Hall of Fame manager and then-Red Sox executive, Tony La Russa. “We went to this really nice restaurant,” Keane
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develop more in college: mature as a person and on and off the field.” To Glavine, it was music to his ears, and a long-awaited end to the recruitment stress. “We thought for sure he could sign,” Glavine said. “I know when I got the text that he was definitely officially coming to Northeastern, it was a great feeling.” Throughout the recruitment, however, his message to Keane remained the same. “I maintained the same thought process with him and his family all along,” he said. “And that was if he got the number that he was looking for, to sign to play professional baseball, that I would drive him to the airport.” At Northeastern, Keane will have the chance to make an impact immediately on the reigning CAA regular-season champs. He didn’t waste any time starting his academic
“I THINK I’LL DEVELOP MORE IN COLLEGE: MATURE AS A PERSON AND ON AND OFF THE FIELD.” career, enrolling in summer classes while simultaneously playing for the North Shore Navigators in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. “I would be here from Monday to Thursday, take the train home on Thursday, have summer ball Friday and Saturday,” Keane said. “Then I get a day off and come back.” “He’s the one that approached me about classes; I didn’t approach him,” Glavine said. “I was excited when he wanted to do that, we thought it was a no brainer, a great
chance for him to get started here in college.” With a nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic that tends to embody the type of player Glavine recruits, Keane fits right in on the Northeastern squad. And unsurprisingly, he has February 21, 2020 circled on his calendar: the Huskies’ annual tradition of heading down to Florida Spring Training to take on none other than the Boston Red Sox.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTHSHORE NAVIGATORS RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
BY MADISON NEUNER PHOTO COURTESY KERRI RUFFO
ross country alumna Kerri Ruffo is currently an assistant coach with her former team while also doing some intense training of her own. She holds the Northeastern all-time record for the 10,000-meter run on the outdoor track, and spent her time after graduation training for the Chicago marathon, which she ran in 2:43 to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials. The Red & Black’s Madison Neuner, who is also a member of the cross-country team, sat down with Ruffo before her big race. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Red & Black: What has your training process been like for the Chicago Marathon? Kerri Ruffo: I started at 80 to 85 miles a week and worked my way up to 95, which is something I’ve never done before. My max in college was 75. So it’s been a lot more intense and a lot more volume than I’m used to. But it’s really made me appreciate the sport all that much more, and has reignited a passion that I didn’t think could really get any bigger. So I’ve been enjoying it, but it’s been really hard. I’m exhausted all the time. R&B: When I saw you running and when I saw the paces, I was pretty intimidated by it, just as a relatively new runner. So do you think you’re intimidating? KR: I don’t want to be intimidating. That’s the last thing that I want. I have been there, so I understand that it can be incredibly intimidating to see super fast runners, but as I progress in my running career, I just hope to inspire people and motivate people and give off the message of positivity. I think intimidation is a really negative thing. And that’s the last thing I want to do. I post those things because I’m proud of them, but the message is to not boast. I wasn’t the best and I came from kind of a lesser background. I wasn’t great at running my freshman year of college. I was just kind of okay. I’m still building. I don’t consider myself great still. So it’s just to show the progress that I’ve made, and to tell others that they can kind of have that same path. R&B: When did you start running? KR: Both of my sisters are nine and 10 years older than me and they both ran in high school. So I first was introduced to running through them and I think I was eight when I first went to those fun runs that they do, like those
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two laps around the track. That was my very first race. I did pretty well. And I loved it. I just fell in love. And then I got into road racing a little bit later, probably 10. My first road race I ever ran I made the paper because everyone was like, who is this child running against like these old men? And then I started doing Junior Olympics, and that’s when I kind of decided that I wanted to run professionally one day. As time went on and I continued to run more, that dream kind of started to fade because things weren’t going that well in college. I had a surgery my sophomore year and just kind of lost passion for the sport, lost belief in myself. Now all of that’s kind of coming back. R&B: Can you talk to me a bit about what racing and being a racer means to you? KR: It’s a lifestyle to be a racer. You have to sacrifice so many things. I’ve sacrificed friendships. I shouldn’t even say this, but at one point I broke up with my boyfriend because I just wanted to, like, focus on me. It’s selfish at times to chase big scary dreams. We battle so much outside of running, and I think to be a racer you need to learn how to push through so many battles that aren’t even related to running at all. It does take a lot of discipline and love for the sport and heart and soul and passion and all of it. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done, but I have done it for 16 years. I don’t regret any of it. R&B: For a young, inexperienced runner who wants to go to the Olympics for steeple one day, what advice do you have? KR: Put your head down and work hard and fiercely believe in yourself. You can’t go wrong if you do that. If you do the work and you trust your coaches and you are smart in your decisions regarding injuries and eating healthy. I had a severe eating disorder and it deterred me from doing a lot of really cool things. And so I don’t ever want that to be a problem for anybody.
Just grind and be patient and be selfish. If that’s really something that you want to do one day, if you want to go to the Olympics, say it out loud, talk about it. I was embarrassed to say it out loud because of what people would think and because I’m not there yet and I’m not a pro runner. And so I was afraid that people would think that I was crazy for wanting that. But own it and own yourself. If it’s your dream, it’s your dream and no one can take that from you. You never know what’s going to happen on the day. And I mean going into the trials is the first step. So I go to the trials in 2020, maybe I don’t make top three, maybe in 2024 I do, you know? Just keep grinding and believing. R&B: Why do you wake up in the morning? KR: I have been battling depression for a while, a lot of mornings it’s hard to wake up. You don’t really want to get out of bed. It’s literally draining. A lot of times I’m, like, questioning my purpose and running, as silly as it may sound, is what gives me that purpose and it’s what gets me out of bed and it’s why I wake up. And it’s not to run fast times or prove anything to anybody. It’s just, I love it more than anything in the world. And I think it’s really cool to have something that you can be that passionate about in that, you know, I am beating depression, and winning, because I have this thing that fuels me and lights a fire in me. And I think a lot of people might not have that thing or haven’t found it yet. And so every day I wake up because I have that. And I’m really lucky to have that. I get to influence people because I get to do so many things because of running, you know? People think I do it to run fast and to make the trials and, like, those things are associated with it and those things are mad cool and I’m so happy I get to do those things, but I have people because of the sport that make me want to live. And I just think that’s really cool.
RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
FIRST BY BRIAN SHIM
hen Samantha Shupe leaves the volleyball court, she doesn’t just walk off as an athlete. On the court, she’s a star, known by her teammates and her spectators as a top player. Beyond that, though, she’s just another student like the rest of us, anonymous among the herds that crowd outside Rebecca’s Cafe and the silent territorial battles inside Snell Library. It’s been long known that collegiate athletes perform under some of the most rigorous and demanding schedules of all college students. While they dedicate their lives and bodies to their crafts – working day in and day out to perform at the highest physical level – they must simultaneously maintain a full academic schedule. While typical students can be heard miles away complaining about their struggles with balancing extracurriculars, scholarship, and social lives within their weeks, student-athletes are expected to juggle an almost-fulltime job on top. “It’s difficult,” Shupe said. “But you kind of develop a really good work ethic as you go through it. You have to learn fast how to manage your time, how to stay organized, how to effectively communicate with professors for everything you miss.” This process is only made more strenuous at a university like Northeastern, which throws increased academic rigor, institutionalized co-op, and a culture of global experience into the mix. However, Shupe takes this increased expectation as a challenge. “I kind of welcome the pressure. It just makes me work harder,” said Shupe. “I think that added challenge is very beneficial in the long run, and it’s really why I came to this school in the first place. It’s a challenge by choice.” Despite these pressures, Northeastern athletes are not just left out in the cold to manage their two-sided lives. Over the years, the athletics department has expanded in many directions and now encompasses a diverse range of resources in athletics, academics, and mental health. Especially in an age where the needs and health of the individual are emphasized, Northeastern recognizes the importance of building their athletes on every level, not just physical. Katie Brooks, a performance health coach, has played a major role on the large scale in building up and improving the department’s student resources. “It’s my role to work collaboratively with everyone in the department to enhance student-athlete development,” Brooks explained. “We’re all working to figure out how to optimize health, well-being, and performance in student-athletes.” According to Brooks, the key to successful in providing resources lies in recognizing that their student-athletes are students – and humans – first, and athletes second. The department emphasizes a holistic approach to athlete development. It includes the traditional aspects of sports performance, such as training, strength, and recovery, but also more diverse characteristics such as academic support, sleep, and mental health. By focusing on developing a multifaceted range of resources, the athletic community not only builds strong athletes, but individual health, academic maturity, leadership skills, and better people.
SAMANTHA SHUPE (PICTURED LEFT) PREPARES. PHOTO BY MADISON NEUNER
“We’re developing better human different body standards than other beings,” Brooks stressed, “and the people, and when those standards byproduct of that is winning games and start to diverge from normal societal having better performers.” expectations in competitive sports, there New initiatives in nutrition are some can be a drift in a player’s relationship of the most prominent steps being taken with body image. in the department. While nutrition can Shupe recalls on her own experience: be one of the most tedious aspects of “People will want you to fit into social physical health, it is undoubtedly one norms, and as I got into middle school of the most important foundations of and high school, I started to get selfperformance. An effective athlete must conscious about it.” be conscious and proactive in their food In tone with their broader philosophy choices, targeting proper macronutrient of developing their players holistically, and calorie levels for each day. Although the athletics department has taken care this can be daunting for students, the to recognize that mental health struggles department has worked to make the are not exclusive to certain groups, but process as streamlined as possible. While affect people indiscriminately, including external resources such as food delivery their student-athletes. services, team meals, dedicated nutrition “At some stage of our lives, [we’re staff, and snacks and supplements within all] going to struggle,” Dr. Naylor - Katie Brooks facilities are made accessible to students, emphasized. “But we’re not good helpKatie Brooks believes that the best way seekers as humans.” to create successful resources is through education. Workshops, Many, like Shupe, believe that the key to addressing body one-on-one consulting, and team meetings all contribute towards image and other mental health concerns in the student-athlete making sure every student-athlete knows what resources are community lies in education, just as with other department available to them and how to access them. According to Brooks, initiatives. educating student-athletes is ultimately a matter of giving them “I think the resources here are great,” said Shupe. “The issue the opportunities to make their own decisions: “We ultimately that we’ve had in the past is us being aware, as athletes and want them to be agents of their own lives.” students, that these resources are available.” Another major focus of the department that has developed in There are a number of ways through which the athletic recent years, reflecting a growing cultural concern on mental community reflects this value on education. Staff members health, is body positivity in athletes. in the department all work collaboratively to run discussions, “There [are] elements to body image in sports that can make workshops, and individual meetings with players to ensure that it different, potentially, than in normal students,” said Dr. Adam student-athletes know that resources exist. While the department Naylor, the mental game consultant in the athletics program. itself has several staff dedicated towards the broader mental Shupe agrees with Dr. Naylor. Athletes in particular have aspect of sports, for more specific mental health counseling, athletes are encouraged to connect with the many resources that the University maintains outside of the athletics community. However, the staff are not the only ones pushing for reform and progress in athletes’ mental health, as student-athletes themselves have started to take initiative themselves. According to Shupe, SAAC – the Student Athlete Advisory Committee – has seen great improvements in the past few years, giving players an independent voice on a number of issues in the community. Working with student members from a number of different sports, SAAC is focusing on using platforms such as social media to spread awareness in the athletic community on topics like mental health, inform student-athletes on various resources, and open healthy conversations among teammates. “We want to make sure every team is aware of the fact that these resources are there,” explained Shupe, “but we want more engagement in general. If we can show support towards different teams, we’re hoping that in return they will be more involved with activities and events. And as the year goes on, we will continue to have larger events where people can talk about these issues.”
“We’re developing better human beings, and the byproduct of that is winning games and having better performers.”
KATIE BROOKS (PICTURED LEFT) PREPARES A TEAM FOR THEIR LIFT SESSION. PHOTO BY DAN MUNCH RED & BLACK | FALL 2019
@HuskiesInTheKitchen BY HUY NGUYEN
PG 37 PHOTO SUBMITTED BY EMILY EVANGELISTA AND EVE GOULET PG 38 PHOTOS BY DAN MUNCH
ood Instagram is an art form. When it comes to cooking, nothing is more inspirational than a top view of a homecooked dish; and when it comes to eating, nothing evokes hunger more than the colorful components of a delicious looking plate. Some Northeastern student-athletes, including women’s soccer captains Emily Evangelista and Eve Goulet, have joined the craze, preparing platters, positioning their cameras, and posting on Instagram to share their talents with cooking and baking. Evangelista’s page , @eatlikeebangg, focuses on healthy meals with the occasional baked treat, while Goulet’s (@eviescakey) shows off the extravagant cakes she bakes. With their busy academic and athletic lives, what got these two players passionate enough to pursue food photography as a hobby? For Evangelista, her family’s different diets – a vegan sister, vegetarian mother, and her own gluten allergy – made her take the role of a chef at home. Bringing her talents along to college, she transitioned into the role of a teacher, promoting easy-to-make and healthy meal options. “I realized that none of my friends knew how to cook and they’d always be like ‘oh, how do I do this, teach me how to do this?’ so I made a food Instagram to help people kind of see that you can definitely cook for yourself even if you don’t know what you’re doing, and still be healthy. It’s not as hard as it looks!” On the other hand, Goulet’s baking business offers the chance for a variety of people to try a slice of her crowd-pleasing cakes. “In the past year, I’ve actually completed a lot of orders for people,” she said. “It wasn’t until this past summer where that really kind of kicked into gear with graduation parties, a lot of birthdays, a lot of work events for my co-op that I make cakes and cupcakes for.” Working hard decorating and making scrumptious baked pastries, she decided that she had enough content to create an
account. These student-athletes’ food hobbies also play a role in their social lives, bringing friends together and connecting with others they wouldn’t typically meet otherwise. “At co-op, I made a huge cake for the Chief of Probation that was retiring, and people that I didn’t even know were talking to me after it,” Goulet said. “I have dinner parties with my friends,” Evangelista added. “So my friends will come over and we’ll have pizza night or tacos; it’s kind of fun because everyone ends up in my room.” While both these students have food Instagrams, each of them serve a different audience: Evangelista’s intended audience includes “any student who wants to be able to cook their own food and eat clean healthy...who has a normal college student budget, who isn’t going to buy crazy expensive supplements and stuff like that.” With smoothie bowls and breakfast plates, she inspires others to try and create their own healthy platters. Goulet’s Instagram is for those who “would appreciate a pretty and fun looking cake,” varying from marriage anniversary cakes, to colorful pridethemed cakes, to birthday cakes for someone fighting leukemia. These Instagram-famous athletes share with the world their scrumptious creations, influencing others to follow in their cooking and baking hobbies. However impressive these pages may sound, there’s always room for more food pages – and don’t let being a bad cook or a subpar photographer stop you from making one. The bright colors spread all over Emily’s page isn’t the work of a professional camera: in fact, she uses the one from her iPhone. So give these two food Instagrams a visit; although I would advise you to eat beforehand, or you might start to crave their cooking.
REDRED & BLACK & BLACK | SPRING | FALL 2019 2020