John Atkinson/Contributing Photographer After earning a starting role last season, senior midfielder Abby Wick was selected to lead the Bearcats in 2019 as a team captain for the Binghamton women’s soccer team.

Experienced and diverse, the senior class of the Binghamton women’s soccer team is ready to compete for a championship in 2019. With the season just underway, the improved chemistry on the squad is evident, and much of that chemistry can be attributed to the leadership from this year’s seniors. At the forefront of the group, senior captains Abby Wick and Lauren Spinnato have instilled experience on their team throughout the preseason. They discussed their time as student-athletes and friends on this week’s episode of Pipe Dream’s Bearcast.

“I feel like we’ve learned a lot over the years based on other people’s senior leadership, so we’ve kinda taken what we believe worked better from their tactics,” Spinnato said. “We tried to take those things that worked the best and really emphasize it this season and go from there.”

Following a successful spring in which the team improved significantly and moved past the challenges of last season, Wick and Spinnato, along with junior defender Erin Theiller, were named team captains for 2019.

“You can definitely tell we’re already starting better than we did last year,” Wick said. “There’s definitely a better energy and more excitement to tackle the season and get going.”

Spinnato, a defender from Cold Spring Harbor, New York, has been a starter on the back line for all four of her seasons with the team. She is majoring in human development and hopes to pursue a Master of Business Administration following graduation.

Wick has seen much more competition for playing time throughout her career. The midfielder from Yardley, Pennsylvania didn’t play as a freshman and came off the bench as a sophomore, but stepped into a critical starting role in midfield as a junior. She is double-majoring in English and cinema.

Off the field, Wick and Spinnato have been close friends since they began their time at Binghamton University. As fall athletes, the two arrived on campus a few weeks before classes started in their freshman year to prepare for the season. Throughout that time, as the class as a whole bonded, a friendship developed between the pair. Now, as seniors, they live together with the rest of their class in an apartment in Downtown Binghamton. Along with other activities, Wick and Spinnato enjoy cooking together, especially making Wick’s patented dish — pasta with hot sauce.

“It’s not just me and Abby who are really close, but our whole class,” Spinnato said. “It’s a whole new type of energy.”

This year’s senior class also includes forwards Sydney Corda and Ryan Reilly and defenders Sam O’Malley and Barbara Badeer. They are an exceptionally close group of athletes on and off the field. In addition to being roommates, the group visited each other several times throughout the summer. Their trips included time to watch the U.S. women’s national team win the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup at Wick’s beach house on the Jersey Shore.

“It’s fun to be leaders on such a fun and easygoing team that gets along so well this year,” Wick said. “It’s not like we have to do much. We all get along and we’re all leaders, so it’s really fun.”

After splitting their first two games of the season, the Bearcats are off to a solid start to their 2019 campaign. Several new contributors have emerged among returning players and a strong freshman class. From a leadership standpoint, the sentiments echoed by Wick, Spinnato and Theiller appear to be reflecting well across the entire roster.

“It’s not even just about us being captains, but about the 25 other girls behind us being their own leader than can take over the role when we’re not in the game or on the sideline or on the trip,” Spinnato said.

Early on in their final seasons as Bearcats, both Wick and Spinnato have one clear goal on their minds — winning the 2019 America East Championship.

“I have no doubt in my mind that we have the capability and the talent and the work ethic to get there,” Wick said. “Everyone’s so excited.”