Silverberg returns for Senior Day

TIM HARRIS/HERALD Senior defender Jamie Sliverberg walks off the field after WKU’s 2-0 loss to the South Alabama Jaguars on Sunday afternoon’s Senior Day game.

M. Blake Harrison

Seven games and 28 days after playing in her last match, redshirt senior defender Jamie Silverberg returned to the field Sunday for Senior Day.

Silverberg’s appearance against South Alabama symbolized the culmination of her five-year journey as a Lady Topper.

A pulled right hamstring kept Silverberg off the field for the bulk of WKU’s Sun Belt Conference games this season. Silverberg, who started and played 22 minutes Sunday, said “it felt really good to finally be back” after her final regular-season performance at the WKU Soccer Complex.

She said watching from the sidelines as her senior season slipped away was the most difficult part of her absence. 

“At times, it’s hard to sit there and watch,” she said. “But the role I had to take was to be the best teammate that I could and be positive through it all.”

Freshman defender Katrina Ott said Silverberg went beyond being a good teammate.

 “This being her last year, I know it was probably really difficult for her,” Ott said. “She was still being very supportive — when we would travel I would still get texts from her — so she was right there with us in spirit even though she wasn’t there on the field.”

Ott said that Silverberg’s experience makes her a valuable teammate on the field too.

“I know as a freshman that it’s nice to have someone back there that’s been there for five years,” she said.

Silverberg said watching from afar allowed her to pick up on things she doesn’t always notice while she’s playing.

Details have been the Lady Toppers’ focus all season long, and Silverberg said she noticed quickly when they weren’t being perfected.

“It’s just the little things that we have to take care of better all around as a team to achieve our goal of winning a conference tournament,” she said.

Junior goalkeeper Libby Stout said Silverberg’s return meant something to her on a personal level.

“It’s great,” Stout said. “Jamie’s one of my good friends, and it makes me happy to see her out there being able to play.”

Silverberg has appeared in 10 of the Lady Toppers’ 17 matches this season, starting nine of those.

Head Coach Jason Neidell said Silverberg’s status is day-to-day for now, but watching her play on Senior Day was special.

“It was really meaningful for me,” Neidell said. “Jamie’s been such an integral part of our team for five years. We were going to get her on the field even if she had to crawl out there.”