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10-year Anniversary Spotlight: Caitlin O’Shaughnessy

Former co-captain and senior midfielder reflects on the 2004 NCAA season

August 31, 2014


10-year Anniversary Spotlight: Caitlin O’Shaughnessy

Flashback: The NCAA season of 2004

On the 10-year anniversary of the 2004 team’s historic NCAA season, the communications office caught up with more than a dozen former players and coaches. They each shared their special memories of that championship run.

Spotlight on ...
Who:
Caitlin O’Shaughnessy
Then: Senior midfielder and co-captain
Now:  Nurse practitioner in pain management at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City


What do you recall about the team heading into that 2004 season?

Heading into the 2004 season I remember thinking we had a chance to have our best year yet. The players we had were all pretty solid and had great skills. We were all also in pretty good shape because we knew Coach Leightman was strict on the conditioning tests in preseason. It was a lot less painful if you came into it in shape. Tatiana and I stayed up in Binghamton the summer before our last year to train and condition together. I think the freshman and sophomore girls really pushed the upper class-man to be better. We were all fighting for our starting
positions because every player was strong. From the very beginning our practices were competitive and intense. We had fun off the field, but on the field it was serious and all about winning. We had a solid defense and players on the field who could score goals.

Was there any moment or part of the season where you felt like winning the America East title was a real possibility?

After we beat Boston University, I thought that we could beat anyone in our conference. After that game, I remember thinking we could win the AE title.

What do you remember about hosting the tournament ... the days preceding your two games, the fans, celebration?

I remember being very, very nervous the days preceding the tournament. As a captain, center midfielder and upper class-man I felt a lot of pressure to stay calm and help lead the team on the field. We had decided to play the play off games on our practice field which actually made me a bit more confident since we were so used to training there. It all seemed to go by so fast. I remember we were trying to treat the games like any other game during the season. We had already accomplished so much but to win the tournament had been our ultimate goal. I remember the many fans on the sidelines with posters and body paint. I remember seeing all of our family and friends being there and looking so nervous as well. I believe they wanted the win for us as much as we did. After all they had been there with us the whole season, coming to home/away games, throwing pasta parties and tailgates for us many times. It was an amazing feeling to see all of the support for women’s soccer. We had never had so many fans show up for a game.

What are your memories of the NCAA game at Penn State?

After we won the America East title, I remember us all gathering in the conference room to watch the picks on ESPN. It was so amazing to be talked about on TV. Then we heard we were picked to play Penn State. We knew it was going to be an extremely difficult game but again we treated it like any other game and prepared for it the way we always did. After we lost, I remember being sad because for me it was all over (it was my senior yr) but also I was so proud of the team for making it this far. We had made history for Binghamton University Women’s Soccer. It was bittersweet.

What is your lasting impression of that championship, your teammates, your college career in general and the sport of soccer and how it’s helped shape your life?

The lasting impression of that championship mostly had to do with my teammates. I have never played with a group of girls who fought so hard for one another. We were like a family and we were in battle. We had each others’ backs. Some of my best friends to this day were on that team with me, not to mention my actual sister. It was an amazing experience to get to share this with my sister, Kerry and my best friends. The 2004 year showed me that if you work hard enough for something you can accomplish it. The great things in life don’t come
easy and it was so rewarding to make the NCAA tournament. Not many people can say they were a part of a team that did that. I will remember and be proud of this accomplishment forever.

What have you been doing since graduation?

Since I left campus, I moved to New York City and went back to school for my master’s degree in Adult Nurse Practitioner. I currently work at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC as a Nurse Practitioner in Pain Management. I continue to play soccer in an adult co-ed soccer league weekly.

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