BEVERLY, Mass. – During the entire 2018-19 academic year, the Endicott Athletics & Recreation Department will celebrate 25 years of men's and women's athletics at the NCAA Division III level. This landmark achievement will be commemorated throughout the year via special events, alumni spotlights, giveaways, and much more. To kick off the year of celebration, www.ecgulls.com reconnected with women's soccer Hall of Famer Shannon Corliss '00 to highlight her experiences as a Gull. Here's what Corliss said about her time at The Nest.
ECGULLS: Describe your overall experience as a student-athlete. What does it mean to you now/what did it mean to you while you were a student-athlete?
CORLISS: My overall experience as a student-athlete meant a great deal to me. My teammates and I all came from different places, had different backgrounds and so on, but we all had one thing in common and that was love for the game of soccer. There was a sense of pride to be a part of a team. A sense of belonging to something greater than oneself. Being a part of a team meant commitment to the game, but more to the team as a whole. Our team became family. Now, I look back and cherish the memories I have from being a part of the Endicott women's soccer program, and it truly is one of the greatest times of my life.
ECGULLS: What did it mean to you to be a part of the first-ever conference championship team in women's soccer program history?
CORLISS: Being a part of the first-ever team to clinch a conference championship was unbelievable. As a kid, you dream of those moments, you dream of scoring the winning goal, you dream of wanting the picture-perfect shot. You don't really ever know that it will happen. You rehearse over and over what it could be like or what you hope it will be like. All of which came true for me. I was a part of something I practiced for, day after day, season after season, time and time again. I can remember running down the soccer pitch watching it all unfold before my eyes, telling myself I must get on the other end of this ball and score this goal, end this game, make this count, find the back of the net. I remember having to jump in the air against the defender and goalkeeper, trying to get my head on the ball and give it just enough flick to go in the net, and falling from mid-air in the pouring rain to a giant mud puddle trying to see where the ball ended up. Then it happened, the screams from the crowd roared; the type of yelling I still hear in my mind today! "We won", "they won" was all I heard from the crowded North Field and the whistle blew. We made school history. I got up from the mud and celebrated with an embrace from my sister Becky who met me in the mud puddle. The crowd rushed the field as you see it on TV, bench-clearing celebrations! It was hard to believe this was happening. It was absolutely amazing to be a part of that moment in Endicott history, a memory that will forever hold a special place in my heart!
ECGULLS: Your graduating class is a big reason for the success of women's sports here at Endicott. What does that mean to you?
CORLISS: Being a part of Endicott women's soccer history is a great feeling, and knowing that my class had an impact on the future of women's sports at Endicott is truly remarkable. There were many fantastic female student-athletes in my time at Endicott, and being a part of a movement like that not only makes me feel proud of my hard work, and my dedication and love for the sport, but also the opportunities it may have presented for future female student-athletes at Endicott. My days on the pitch paved the way for me to succeed. It gave me the opportunity to attend Endicott College and grow to be the person I am today, and I can only hope that it provided a similar opportunity to future athletes as well.
ECGULLS: What was your favorite memory of being a student-athlete?
CORLISS: To pick just one single favorite memory of being a student-athlete at Endicott is nearly impossible. But, if I had to pick one of many memories, I'd pick the one from Roger Williams University. It was a postseason game and we were looking to make school history; this game was the final moment, we were playing to be the first team ever to go to the NCAA tournament. When the bus pulled in to the parking lot, the coaches gave us the speech, and then coach Dina Gentile and her staff exited the bus. Being one of the captains of this team, I jumped up out of my seat and decided to give my speech. Now, I don't remember every word, but what I do remember saying was "I would not get back on this bus unless we were getting back on as champions and going to the big dance." The game was the longest game I played in my career, 90 minutes, two overtimes and then sudden death. Who was going to win this game? ... Endicott College was going to win this game... I had my moment in time, my famous Brandi Chastain moment. Another chance to score a winning goal of what was the most important game of my life at the time. Never did I think I'd get another chance to have that moment twice. After blasting the ball to the back of the net from the most precise cross from Sarah Ellis '01, school history was made. I took off running down the field, stripping my jersey from my back, displaying the black sports bra just as Brandi Chastain did in her famous moment. Meeting my teammates, coaches, fans, and staff... I was at the bottom of a pile of people. I didn't want that moment to end. School history was made and we entered back on that bus just as I said, CHAMPIONS.
ECGULLS: What do you miss most about your Endicott experience?
CORLISS: I miss it so much, Endicott meant so much to me. I truly have no regrets. I know Endicott was the best place for me and I am so lucky to be able to say that. I am forever proud of the Blue and Green, and the friendships that were created. I'd say I miss my "Endicott Family" the most, but no matter how much time goes by, I know they'll always be a part of my life and who I am.
ECGULLS: What are you doing now, professionally? How did your overall experience at Endicott get you to where you are today?
CORLISS: In my professional life, I work full-time as a rehab assistant at a small physical therapy office. In addition, I sometimes work as a personal trainer with small group training classes, and also maintain my massage therapy license. I believe my experience at Endicott not only prepared me with the educational skills to be ready for the working world, but also the soft skills necessary to maintain great working relationships. Endicott's motto is "Discover the Experience," and while at Endicott I discovered lots of things... work ethic, compassion, empathy, discipline, etc. In my career, I try to focus on giving to others, giving each person an experience that helps make them better and/or gives them a sense of feeling important and confident in the care they will receive, whether in our physical therapy office or during a group training session. I try to be the person who can make a difference in someone's life.
ECGULLS: Give us your thoughts on Endicott's continued success both athletically and as a college as a whole.
CORLISS: The continued success of Endicott athletically and academically speaks volumes. I am proud to say I'm an alum. I credit the great Dr. Wylie for his endless efforts to make Endicott College an extremely special place on so many levels. His commitment to the college to make it the best experience one could have was always top on the list. Dr. Wylie knew you by name, he called you that name with passion in his eyes; it made you feel connected. I feel in my heart Endicott was the best choice for me, it helped make me who I am today and I am honored to be a part of such a fantastic community. It's always a Great Day To Be A Gull!
MORE ABOUT SHANNON CORLISS '00
Shannon Corliss was one of the best players in Endicott women's soccer history. She was a prolific scorer and became the program's leader, and still is, with 77 career goals by the end of her career. She also holds the program record for career points (184) and ranks second all-time in assists (30).
Corliss led the team to two conference championships and Endicott's first NCAA Regional Tournament appearance at Wellesley College 1999. She was the GNAC Rookie of the Year in 1996 and was the conference Player of the Year for the next three; GNAC in 1997 and CCC in 1998 and 1999. For her efforts, she was selected in 1999 by both NSCAA and NEWISA as First Team All-New England which allowed her to participate in the elite New England Senior Bowl.