Women’s Lacrosse: Interview with sophomore sensation Tobey Tick

By Joe Eachus

In the world of college sports, it’s typically rare for a freshman to come in and make an immediate impact for their team. However, then-freshman attacker Tobey Tick was a crucial piece of the 2021 Terrier women’s lacrosse team, playing in all eight regular season games, starting in four of them, and scoring six goals, including an impressive buzzer-beater against Colgate on Senior Day.


Now gearing up for her second season at BU, Tick is likely to once again be a key piece of the Terrier offense. After the season concluded last year, I caught up with Tobey to hear her thoughts on the past year and the 2021 season.

Joe Eachus: What’s it been like coming in as a freshman, both in general and considering the circumstances surrounding this school year and this season?

Tobey Tick: “Everyone tells you that your freshman year playing college sports is obviously a little weird, much different than high school. The main thing was that in the fall, we were limited to 10 people per practice, so not being with the full team was a little strange at first, especially as a freshman, since you don’t get to know everyone as quickly as you usually would. We were in ‘pods’ of 10 at the beginning, so us 10 got really close, and then the other ones not really. They did switch it up, so we got to know everyone on the team eventually. It was definitely weird, definitely different then a lot of other college experiences, but they honestly found way to make it all work, so it was pretty good. Pretty happy with how it worked out.”

JE: So they did let you switch up the pods over time?

TT: “Yeah, after athletics got shut down for a week or so, back at the end of the first semester, and they made the decision to switch them up. Us 10 got really close, but we weren’t as close with the others, and we didn’t get to practice with them, so they switched it up and we got to work with new people on the team that we hadn’t worked with before.”

JE: And how exactly were the pods broken up, at least to start? Was it by class, by position, something else?

TT: “For the start, they were all mixed up by position. We were all with different classes, which was nice. And then when they switched them up it was just random.”

JE: You mentioned back at the start how there’s big differences between the high school to the game and the college game. What are some of those?

TT: “The main difference is that everyone’s at the same level, so you’re playing with and against kids who are all very experienced. It’s much more serious. Our practices in high school, we just practice for a bit and go home, but here it’s a lot more competitive. It’s nice though, because everyone’s going through the same stuff together, so you have a group in that way, which is nice.”

JE: Back to the topic of the pods and early team-building, are there any older players that were helpful with your development and transition that stand out?

TT: “In the first pod, I got put with Kenzie Irvine and Ava Barry, two senior attackers.”

JE: Decent company.

TT: “To say the least! Exactly. They were unbelievable, always coming up to me, checking on me, there for any questions I might have, there for support. They’re really amazing. And then in my other pod, when we got opened up to all different positions, Bridget McCarthy was another person who always, till this day, really all three of them are always looking out for all the freshmen, especially me, so I feel like we have a good connection. It sucks that they’re leaving, but I was really glad to be a freshman while they were seniors.”

JE: When you first stepped on campus, did you have any idea what your role would be coming in?

TT: “I really didn’t. I just came in thinking ‘I’m only a freshman,’ since you don’t really hear about freshmen being like ‘Oh my God!’ Just the mentality of just wanting to feel out this year, and see where the team falls. Especially during Covid, I just wanted to meet people, especially on the team. We’re a really, really close group, which is a little weird because we couldn’t really be with each other all the time, but a lot of people are saying that we’re a lot closer than we were before. So in that way, it’s a good thing. But I didn’t really have much of an expectation and just wanted to come in, have fun, and not worry about it too much.”

JE: “Like you mentioned, it’s rare for freshmen to come in and make an immediate impact. But you played in every regular-season game, started in half of them, so how’d that happen?”

TT: “Honestly, it wasn’t me, it was really the team. I think there’s a lot of people who are really flexible with all different roles and positions, so there’s a lot of space for people to go into games and get playing time and experience. The coaches are also really good about getting everybody in. So yeah, it’s pretty fun to get some playing time.”

JE: Last thing about this past season, what’s the best memory you have from the season?

TT: I think Senior Day was a very, very nice day. We really wanted to make it memorable for the seniors, because this year was so weird, and their parents couldn’t be there, which we were all really bummed about, them especially. I think everyone just appreciated that day a lot more than they would have before because it was all new things that we hadn’t had in close to a year. Not to sound cheesy, but I think every day wasn’t taken for granted, since you never knew when the team is going to shut down, or if we were going to have practice or a game. So the time spent with each other, like even just being able to be in the locker rooms together, and all together on the bus, was just a really good experience for us to all be together in a time where we couldn’t really be with over 10 people. Senior Day was probably the most fun, but I think all the times we could be with each other, it was just all fun and laughs and smiles with everyone.

JE: On the topic of good memories, do you remember when you first started playing lacrosse?

TT: “Yeah, I grew up in Aspen, CO, moved there when I was six, so lacrosse isn’t a big deal there. It’s ice hockey, so I played hockey for the eight years I lived there. Lacrosse was just something me and my friends played to take time out of the day. I started playing when I was in first grade, I think, and it was just a lot of fun. All of the tournaments are fun, especially when you’re young, because you’re just there to have a good time and it doesn’t matter who wins or loses. No one’s scouting you. And then when I moved to Long Island, ice hockey wasn’t a big thing, and I tried field hockey and didn’t like it, so I got into lacrosse again, which is crazy on Long Island. I joined a club team with a bunch of girls from across Long Island, which I loved. My high school team, coming from Long Island, all of the teams are very, very competitive. Kendall Sims, another freshman, is from Manhasset, which is one of the top-ranked teams in the country, so we’re playing some of the top teams every weekend. But eventually, I had an idea that I might want to play in college, and I guess it worked out.”

JE: Can you talk a bit about your recruitment process? I know the rules changed within the past few years.

TT: Basically, September 1st of junior year was the first time coaches could contact us. Before, kids would be committing during freshman year, even in 8th grade. But then they made the rule, so before they could contact us, it was just emailing coaches, not hearing back, maybe seeing them on the sidelines of one of your games. That honestly was helpful for me, since I think I developed later than other people did. Like, in 8th grade there was zero chance of me getting recruited for any college program. Even the start of junior year was stressful. So the rule helped me tremendously. The recruiting process is honestly kind of crazy, especially during Covid, there’s a lot more dead periods, so there’s a lot less contact between coaches and players. But basically you just go to all these tournaments with your club teams, see all the coaches on the sidelines, can’t really talk to any of them, they can’t email you back. So yeah, it was crazy, very stressful, but I’m very, very happy with the way it turned out.

JE: What made you realize that BU was gonna be the place for you?

TT: “My club coach always told me that the school that passes the ‘broken leg test’ is the place for you. ‘If you break your leg on the first day of practice, what school would you be happy at without lacrosse?’ I had some family go to BU, so it was always a school I was applying to regardless. I was really excited to get an email from them, even if it was the most generic email ever to start off. I always thought it was going to be a bit of a stretch, but I came to a camp, got into contact with the coaches, met the girls on the team (which was the main selling point for me). One of my biggest things was finding a place where I thought I’d be friends with the girls on the team even if I wasn’t on the team. I loved the girls on the team so much, from the second I met them. I love the campus, all the things to do here, the athletics, academics, coaching staff, and I didn’t really have any choices that were even close to the fit here.”

JE: Did you get other offers too?

TT: “Yeah, I got offers from a few other schools. My whole mindset, since we still had a lot of time from September 1st of junior year to signing day, was weigh out all your options and take it from there. BU was actually the last offer I got. So I was telling myself not to get my hopes up, because I wanted it the most out of all of them, but then when I got the call I was 100 percent in. Easiest choice I’ve made.”

JE: Within your class, how close are you guys?

TT: “In the beginning, we’re just sort of put into a room with eight other girls, and the only thing you know you have in common is that you all play lacrosse. So, it takes a bit to get to know everyone and made really good connections. The fall was nice, because we were with each other a lot even though we could see other people. But then in the spring, when we were really limited to who we saw, us nine would do a lot together and got really close, probably a lot closer than other classes since we were kind of forced to all be together because of Covid. Definitely good connections and a really close group, which I’m very happy about.”

JE: What’s been the most challenging thing for you, both in general and from a lacrosse perspective, as far as the current situation with Covid?

TT: “Probably all of the limitations that were in place. We did pretty well with limiting cases, we really didn’t have a ton, which was nice, because when you get a case your team gets limited to a household-only sort of thing. When that did happen, that was difficult, not being able to hang out with everybody on the team. Obviously we were all really close, but we just had to do what was asked of us and stay separate for a little for safety’s sake. In normal life, there’s never been a rule that you can’t be in a room with nine other people, so even for people at other schools, it gets hard not being able to expand who you’re with. I came in really excited to meet other people, so I’m looking forward to next year when things are back to normal, being in face-to-face classes. So that excites me, being able to meet a whole bunch of new people, athletes and non-athletes.”

JE: What else are you looking forward to with next year, now that they announced we should be back to normal in the fall?

TT: “Yeah, that was great news to hear. For lacrosse, just being able to not have to wear a mask will be very nice, and the weight room being back to normal, having us all together for normal practice. Going into class to meet all new people, from all different places. Definitely looking forward to next year.”

JE: Looking ahead to next season, what’s on the radar for you and what are you thinking about in preparation?

TT: “I mean, we’re losing a ton of our seniors, which sucks. Everyone’s really upset about that. A lot of huge keys to our team. So I think the main thing for us is welcoming the freshmen with open arms, as much as we were welcomed this year. The sophomores were amazing when we came in, they were so welcoming, always told us where they were, where we should be with them. Just keep working hard, do what we’ve been doing, and hopefully go far next year.”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Featured Image: Tobey Tick (15) carries the ball behind the net during a game against Army last season. Photo by Joe Eachus.