Senior Spotlight: Shean contributed as scorer, leader

Senior Spotlight: Shean contributed as scorer, leader

By Jewel Della Valle

Whitney Shean has stacked up impressive numbers during her four years on the field hockey team, but said it is the friendships she made and the rigor of playing a varsity sport she’ll miss most.

The senior forward played in 85 games for the Huskies and netted 40 goals, 31 assists and 111 points in four seasons, but said she focuses more on the team than her own numbers.

Her older sister, who played field hockey for James Madison, taught Shean the game when she was in seventh or eighth grade, Shean said. From there, her talent led her to Northeastern.

“I thought the program was very good [and] I felt like the coaching staff was very good,” she said. “Everybody was very team-oriented; the girls all felt the same way about the sport.”

As a freshman in 2003, Shean started seven games and had a goal and an assist, but picked up her play at the end of the season and started the first-round loss to Connecticut in the NCAA East Regional and the America East championship game, where she assisted the game-winning goal.

“It’s kind of a team effort, I don’t like to think of individual statistics,” she said. “[Assisting that goal] was fun, but I’m happy I could have done it for the team.”

Shean finished third in scoring her sophomore season with 35 points (14 goals, seven assists) and led the playoff push toward the end of the season with 23 points over the last 10 games. She assisted both goals in NU’s first-round 2-1 win over Connecticut in the NCAA Regionals, and scored both Husky goals in a 4-2 loss to eventual champions Wake Forest in the second round.

In 2005, Shean was made an assistant co-captain and started all 22 games, racking up 49 points, making her first on the team in scoring and seventh on the all-time single-season list. Her 19 goals also make her 10th all-time in a single season, and her 11 assists ranked second on the team.

In their first year in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), the Huskies faced off against Hofstra in the semifinals and Shean scored all three goals to give NU a 3-2 win. She was named to the All-CAA first team and All-Tournament team, the Northeast All-Region first team and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I All-America third team.

Prior to her senior year, Shean and senior midfielder Sarah Eckhoff were named co-captains, but Shean said her role on the team wasn’t affected by the selection.

“I don’t really think [my role] changed that much, just leading by example and having a good attitude,” Shean said. “I think that co-captain is just a name and I think that everybody can lead the team by example.”

Her numbers dropped a bit last season, but she still led the team with 12 assists and was second in points with 24, notching six goals. She was named to the All-CAA first team and NFHCA All-Northeast first team and had the first two goals of NU’s 4-1 first-round win over William ‘ Mary. Shean’s career as a Husky came to a close Nov. 4 when the Huskies fell 7-0 to No. 3 Old Dominion in the CAA semifinal.

The 2008 sociology major said she may play club field hockey after college. Her favorite memories of her time at Northeastern will be of her teammates.

“Just having the friendships with the girls on the team was the best,” she said. “The relationships that you make and the discipline that you learn [are what I’ll miss the most].”

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