Southampton High School senior Shelby Pierson signed her letter of intent to continue her field hockey career at Lindenwood University in Missouri last week, surrounded by her parents, coaches and mentors.
The five-year varsity player was actively recruited by the Division II school, and while Pierson was initially considering schools closer to home—including Ithaca and SUNY-Cortland—she settled on Lindenwood after falling in love with the school during an official visit.
Pierson had not heard of Lindenwood University until the school contacted her after seeing her in action during a tournament at Disney World with her travel team, East End Field Hockey, coached by Kim Hannigan. She said the fact that the school was located in Missouri stood out to her, specifically because her mother, Amy Pierson, grew up in Missouri.
“When I went [on a visit], I completely fell in love with the campus and the team and the whole atmosphere of the Midwest,” Shelby Pierson said. “Since my mom grew up in Missouri, when they found us, it was a little bit of a sign.”
Pierson was a five-year varsity player for Southampton and the focal point of the team’s offense as the starting center midfielder over the last few seasons, which culminated in her earning All-County honors this year. She’s not sure yet what her role on the Lindenwood team will be, but is excited to join a program that saw a significant jump in success this year, winning the ECAC Tournament and finishing the season with a 16-3 record.
Southampton varsity head coach Jackie Rattler said she expects Pierson to excel at the next level, not just because of her skills but also because of her attitude and love for the game.
“She’s been a great teammate and leader over the past five years,” Rattler said. “She was just a great player all around, and a role model for our younger players. She will be missed but I’m happy she gets to play for the next four years at a higher level. She’s worked hard for it, between the school team and all of the tournaments and competing with Kim at East End. She earned it and deserves this, big time.”