Erin Seppi spent the better part of three years on the bench, seeing limited playing time with just enough starts to count on two hands.
She featured in two games as Boston College’s starting goalkeeper before transferring to Maryland women’s soccer for her sophomore year. And with the Terps, she had no guarantee of playing as she sat behind two-time third team All-Big Ten goalkeeper Rachel Egyed, who was just a year above her.
Yet Seppi — now in her senior season — has worked her way up as Maryland’s starting netminder, using the knowledge she soaked while waiting her turn over the years to exceed expectations thus far in 2019.
“The past three years I have taken every piece of information anyone has given me,” Seppi said. “I have learned from the best and I don’t see those years as wasted. I see that as my preparation and I was given three years to prepare for my senior year. I just take it as, it’s my time and if I can help the team in any way, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Seppi is fresh off a career week capped by being named Big Ten Co-Goalkeeper of the Week. Her clean sheet in a 3-0 victory over George Mason combined with a career-high 11 saves in a tie against George Washington led to her earning conference weekly honors — the first Terp to do so since midfielder Loren Sefcik in 2018.
“She’s a confident player, and we’re confident in her,” coach Ray Leone said. “So I was very happy for her to get recognized for what we already know, that she is a top-line goalkeeper.”
After early-season injury problems to Maryland’s lineup, Seppi has helped stabilize a team trying to piece together its starting squad. Her leadership has resonated with players such as forward Mikayla Dayes, who found the back of the net twice last weekend.
“She’s been really hard on us,” Dayes said. “And I appreciate that because that’s what we need. She’s been really vocal on the field, and I really appreciate that ‘cause that’s also what we need.”
Not every game has gone Seppi’s way this season, though. During the Bulldog Classic, she conceded nine total goals to the Auburn and Georgia offenses — but she’s still been a key leader for the Terps.
In its next match, Maryland will take on Temple (1-3-1), which will bring a two-game goalless drought into Ludwig Field on Thursday.
Leone hopes his team builds upon its recent success, stressing the importance of moving the ball quickly and keeping possession if his squad plans to continue the Owls’ rut.
“That’s something that wasn’t good on Sunday for sure,” Leone said. “They just have to relax and move the ball.”
It will all start with Seppi out of the back, as she looks to continue her form and lead the Terps as they try to outshine their No.13 Big Ten preseason ranking.
“I’m trying to play how Erin Seppi does,” Seppi said. “Sometimes I get wrapped in the tactics of the game, or what the other team is doing. But I know that moving forward no matter what, as long as I can play like I know I can with the confidence that I have, I’m able to make any save or try to make any save possible.”