Waterbury looks to use leadership to reach postseason

Women’s soccer senior leader and two-year captain Bailey Waterbury does more than just produce on the field. In her four-year tenure with the Lakers, Waterbury has tallied eight goals and 11 assists in 60 collegiate matches, 58 of which she started. While she produces on the field, she brings much more to the table than just impressive statistics.

“I try to lead by example in practice by working hard every day,” Waterbury said. “As I’ve gotten older I’ve definitely become more of a verbal leader in trying to say the right things and getting positive feedback from my teammates. I think knowing the difference between telling people what they should do and actually giving them feedback by speaking positively is very important.”

The Plattsburgh native has high hopes for her team moving forward as the Lakers play their next five games against SUNYAC opponents with league play coming to a close. A big part of the Lakers success up to this point and moving forward is their team chemistry.

“I think the way we interact off the field together is great, and so our chemistry on the field definitely benefits from that,” Waterbury said. “It’s important to the team that we include everyone when all of us hang out. It really brings us closer together as a team.”

Besides chemistry and skill, Waterbury’s leadership helps the entire team and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Head Coach Brian McGrane and the rest of the coaching staff appreciate it and understand the value of having a senior like Waterbury leading the Lakers’ 2015 campaign.

“She’s a great role model in the locker room,” McGrane said. “She’s clearly earned the respect from the coaches. I think being a two-time captain has also helped her earn the respect from her teammates.”

As the Lakers’ 2015 season is drawing to a close, Waterbury wants the underclassmen to learn from her and bring her lessons to next year’s season.

“Work hard and try every day in practice, because it will pay off,” Waterbury said. “When we get unlucky, I always try to remind them that the ball is going to bounce our way if we keep working hard day in and day out. I really just try to reinforce to them that their hard work is going to pay off.”

McGrane is confident in his team and said that Waterbury being one of the few senior leaders has helped her. She has learned firsthand from former girls on the team during her four-year career under McGrane and a member of the Lakers.

“Over the past few years we have had some great leaders and Bailey has been here for all of that,” McGrane said. “So I think she’s learned those values and it definitely shows in her leadership.”

With six more regular season games to go and then potentially playoffs, Waterbury wants to end her time as a Laker on a winning note. Her drive to win and work ethic are unmatched.

“We’ve had a really good season,” Waterbury said. “This team is very positive and I really love all of the girls. I’ve really enjoyed it and have had a lot of fun, so I want to go out winning.”
Waterbury, McGrane and the rest of the team are confident in each other and their ability to succeed.

The Lakers have posted a 7-4 record thus far with a 2-2 record in SUNYAC play which is currently tied for third. The top six teams in the conference will make the playoffs.

“I think we have all of the capabilities this year with the younger players improving and the leadership that we do have,” Waterbury said. “I really hope to go out on a winning note.”

While Coach McGrane has enjoyed his time with Waterbury and the rest of the seniors, they will all graduate. That is the hard part of coaching at the collegiate level, but McGrane realizes that and hopes for the best for Waterbury and the rest of the senior leaders.

“Four years is a long time and as a coach you really get to know your players, especially if they’ve played here for all four like Bailey has,” McGrane said. “She’s been a joy to coach for. It’s definitely going to be bittersweet at the end.”

Waterbury and Oswego State look to continue their success at home, where they have a 4-1 record, with back to back games against SUNY Fredonia and Buffalo State on Friday and Saturday at 3 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.