As a senior guard in her last collegiate women’s basketball season, Carly Boland is looking to be a leader to the rest of her team. Wearing number 32 on the court alongside classmate guards Kai Moon and Karlee Krchnavi, she is expected to play a prominent role on the team on and off the court.
“There are players like Carly Boland who have stepped it up,” said Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord. “Any time I ask her to do something or to work harder to get this team better for her senior year, she has stepped up and I can see her continuing to do that.”
Last season, Boland had 28 starts in 30 games, was ninth in the America East (AE) in assists and was third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.5 points per game. She had standout performances in games against New Hampshire and Hartford, where she scored 23 points and 19 points, respectively. Additionally, she has maintained AE Honor Roll status throughout her time as a Bearcat.
As one of the three seniors, she will be an integral part in helping introduce the freshmen to college sports, as well as creating a cohesive environment for the players to ensure upcoming success.
“Being a freshman can be pretty frustrating, so we’ve just got to keep them motivated and positive, keep their heads up and when they do get down, we’ll just pull them to the side, kind of instruct them on what’s going on,” Boland said.
When she was a freshman, Boland showed high potential, leading the AE in 3-point field goal percentage. Her freshman performance led to a combined total of 61 appearances through her next two seasons at BU.
“I think we’re a pretty competitive group of people,” Boland said. “With our expectations, we set them pretty high, and we go out and we work every day and we hope to see results in that.”
While Boland faces the challenge of delivering great performances on an individual level, she also bears the responsibility of helping the six new freshmen adjust to playing on a more competitive scale among a completely new team.
“I think the skill and mentality is there — I think they just need to apply it when they’re on the court,” Boland said. “Confidence will come as they get adjusted to playing against these quicker guards, like Kai [Moon].”
Coming off of a 12-18 overall result from last season, the 2019-20 season should prove to be competitive, but Boland knows the team can overcome the challenges it faces.
“Aside from physical injuries and fatigue, I think that at some point in the season it can be mentally exhausting, so we have to push through that,” she said. “When people are down, you have to lift them up. We have to stay together and sometimes practices and games are hard to get through, but if we stay together and stay motivated, we should be able to get through it.”
The Bearcats’ opener on Nov. 5 against Siena will mark the start of the final season of college basketball for Boland and her senior class, and she hopes to bring an all-or-nothing attitude to the team in hopes of making it a memorable final campaign.
“We have nothing to lose,” Boland said. “All three [seniors] are trying to go out with a bang and we hope to make it happen.”