March 31, 2006
Senior captain Kerri Connerty is climbing her way up the record books in many offensive categories, but the team success is the only thing that matters to this team leader. Tim Brown of UMass Media Relations had a chance to sit down with Kerri. Check out the interview.
What does the future hold for you after graduation?
Ultimately, I would like to become an athletic director preferably at a smaller school maybe in Division III. I would also, though, like to coach at some point at the high school level. Another thing that interests me, however, would be working in the business world in either finance or marketing. I would like to be involved in a corporate environment maybe in a Fortune 500 company.
In terms of immediately after college, there are two routes I could take. The first would be working as an assistant coach. The second would be as a grad assistant for business work. I like to look on the web for those articles about the best places to work out of college.
What brought you to UMass?
I was really impressed with the team during my recruiting trip. I was impressed with the unity of the team and how they had fun as a team also. I was also excited for the team's potential for the future and I wanted to be part of that. I visited with Northwestern and BU, but I really liked the UMass campus. The campus here is what I always pictured when I thought of college.
Coach Carrie Bolduc has described you as the glue of the team. Why do you think that she says that?
My favorite part of sport has always been the team aspect. I think that the beauty of sport is your teammates. I always try to bring the team together and make sure that everybody is always on the same page both in practice and in games. But, ultimately I just love to win and, through my actions and words, I demand that everybody on the team feels the same way.
What is it like being one of the leaders of a team with 17 underclassmen and only 7 upperclassmen?
It is definitely a little bit of a challenge, but our upperclassmen are all great. Jackie Nesbitt and Lindsay Cassell are great captains and the three of us talk things out and work together. Our juniors are great, too, though. Erica Shapiro is so mature and Samantha Sepulveda is just a burst of energy. All of the upperclassmen on this team are a great support system to help lead so many underclassmen. It has been a learning experience, too. I am not always the most patient person and I think I have improved a lot in that area and become more patient. One of my favorite things, though, is watching the development of so many younger teammates. Seeing them grow and develop is just such a joy for me.
You are climbing up the record books in many offensive categories. Is this something that you pay attention to?
I don't pay attention to it at all. The one time I did pay attention to it didn't work out so well. I read in the newspaper that I had a long point streak going and in the next game I didn't get a point. It's just not important. I just do what I have to do.
Talk about playing with Tracey (Drown) and now having her as a coach.
Well, I went to high school with her so I have known her for eight years. Sometimes the coach/player relationship can be difficult and having a former teammate as a coach may be awkward. But Tracey is doing a great job here and it is awesome to have her around. She's on the same page as me in terms of wanting to win and sometimes I look at her as an older sister.
What are some of the things that you have learned about yourself during your career?
Something I gained a new appreciation for are friends. They just can't be explained in words. Friends are an essential part of life and that is what my teammates are to me. I've realized how important it is to have people that are always by your side. Graduating and leaving so many friends here will be really hard.
How have you balanced being a student with the rigors of a Division I athlete?
I always try to do my best in everything I do and that is the attitude that helps me. During the season, though, it is kind of challenging. We are away a lot and so we miss classes and have to make up work to catch up. It can be tough to balance both. Practice and travel makes you tired and then you have to get up early to make up a test you missed and still be ready for a game that day. It really teaches you to suck it up. You can be tired or injured or stressed out, but it doesn't matter. You have to keep going. There are no excuses.
Freshman year, you went up to Coach Bolduc and asked her "What can I do to play." What was going through your mind then?
I just wanted to play and contribute to the team. I am a straightforward person so I had no problem going up to her and asking. I'm not complacent. At the time, there were a lot of seniors and juniors on the team and I just wanted to get a chance to get in there and play. As a freshman, I wanted to make sure I knew what the expectations were. Also since I was recruited by Coach Barnes (the previous coach), I wanted to make an impression on Coach Bolduc and make sure that she knew me. But basically, I wanted to know what I could do to help the team win and the best way to find that information is to go directly to the coach and that is what I did.