The 2021 Flyers women’s soccer senior class is recognized prior to their Oct. 3 senior day 5-1 win. Photo courtesy of Peter Burtnett, Flyer News.
Peter Burtnett | Sports Editor
It wasn’t their final home game played at Baujan Field, but four University of Dayton women’s soccer seniors were recognized Oct. 3 before the Flyers’ 5-1 win over George Mason, and after the game, they shared their biggest takeaways from their four years at UD.
Hannah Osland, Lexy Kidd, Alexa Holl and Gill Losey were all able to take the field on their special day in the midst of what head coach Eric Golz calls their “best seasons as seniors.”
“It’s a special group of women first and foremost,” Golz said. “I think that (their) character, in terms of who they are and how they go about their day-to-day life (is special). They’ve had a tremendous impact and influence on our program, and it’s really helped to model the way of what it means to represent this program… the work and the commitment.
“I think that they’ve been model players, model student-athletes. They all have done incredibly well in the classroom, they’re all going to have incredible careers ahead of them, but collectively they had a blue collar mentality in terms of attacking aggressively, attacking continued growth and development in their whole time here, and I think it’s not a surprise that I think each of them are having their best season as seniors. Yeah, it’s a testament just to continued growth and what they’ve put into their craft and development of the craft.”
Golz has been inspired by the perseverance of the seniors because of the roller coaster that has been the last couple of years.
“They have each navigated that (adversity and uncertainty) with a great deal of maturity and optimism, and individually they each had their challenges along the way. (Players) tend to battle through some adversity, whether it’s injuries or illnesses or dips in form, they’ve each had to battle through their own individual adversity. But collectively, they really bought in and banded together as a group to help raise the tide for us.”
For each of the seniors, they reflected on their time at UD after Sunday’s win, beginning with defensive midfielder Hannah Osland.
A 2021-22 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative and Community Service officer on the SAAC executive board, Osland’s influence shows beyond just the field of play.
“To just impact not only on our team and the program, but the community around us (is a takeaway),” Osland said. “I think that’s a big thing, moving forward into our lives, one, the legacy and impact we’ve left behind, but then kind of outreaching that into our new chapter (also).”
The native of Scottsdale, Ariz., has also had success on the field. As of Oct. 5, Osland has played in 56 games, starting 34, and has scored 1 goal and 1 assist. Totaling 3,053 minutes, Osland’s play in the defensive midfield area has been a key part of the Flyers success.
On Sunday, Osland said it was meaningful to be playing on senior day with “everyone’s support.”
“It’s been a great ride. These four years, and we still have a lot of unfinished business to take care of, but I’m really proud of this team and proud to be a Flyer and we all are, and I think we have some good things coming.”
Also a representative on the 2021-22 SAAC at UD, full back Lexy Kidd said she “never thought we were going to get to this day.”
“Here we are. It’s a little bittersweet, we’ve been here for four years, and it definitely does not feel like four years. But (I’m) grateful for the opportunity, grateful to be out here, grateful for this team, especially this year, and being able to put out a win and perform today I think honors us more than anything, so it was awesome.”
Playing 3,714 minutes over 53 games, 29 starts, Kidd has taken two penalty kicks (scored both) and provided two assists, along with being an important part of the Flyers’ defense. During her time at UD, Kidd’s biggest takeaway is a stronger sense of purpose.
“I think finding a purpose and what we do and why we do it (is my takeaway). We talk a lot as a team (about) why we do things and I think when everyone knows what our purpose is, it brings us closer together and I think throughout life and after college, finding purpose, what you do and why you do it, it makes you connect to that thing a lot more.”
Wide midfielder Alexa Holl has played 532 minutes over 21 games with her first start during the 5-1 senior day win.
“It was nice for our teammates, family and fans to celebrate us today and the legacy that we leave behind for (our younger teammates). Hopefully they remember us and we can come back and watch their senior days. It was a really, really good day.”
“For me it’s the end of a very, very long journey that’s been basically since we could walk, we’ve been playing soccer,” Holl added. “These are the last four years playing it, for most of us at least, and through this you learned so much. You go through so much adversity, you learn sacrifice in playing different roles on the team, and obviously creating those lifelong friendships.”
Holl said those friendships are the “most important part,” to have a true family that she is very thankful for and that “a lot of other programs don’t have.”
Winger Gill Losey agrees that lasting friendships are important, and she also said it plays a role in the team’s performance.
“The relationships that we’ve built on and off the field I think have really impacted how we play as well.”
Losey has played 169 minutes in 12 games played with one start (Kentucky this year on Sept. 2), and added that she hopes to pass down the camaraderie that she still has with past graduates to her younger teammates.
“I feel like they’re still gonna be the people that we’re talking to and reaching out to for the rest of our lives, and I think that’s really special here, that not many people have.”
Osland summarized the collegiate athletics experience in a few sentences:
“I think the biggest (takeaway) right off the bat is the friendships we’ve made. They’re gonna carry on for a lifetime, and not only in our class but throughout the whole team and past seniors that have graduated, and it’s just a big family, and so we’re very, very thankful to be part of that. I think working as a team and working towards a common goal and striving to be the best version of ourselves every day is something that’ll be very crucial and important in the rest of our lives as well.”
These Flyers aren’t done yet, as they still have five regular season Atlantic 10 games remaining (including two at home). Currently tied for second in the A-10 at 4-2 (7-5-2 overall), the Flyers are in a good position to host an A-10 quarterfinal game.