Hickman brings effort during her time at Eastern

November 10, 2015

Briana Hickman ended her career with the women’s soccer team with the eighth-most minutes played in team history. She did so while starting all four years in her Eastern career.

Hickman said her love for soccer began at an early age thanks to the influence of her parents.

“I got into soccer at the age of four,” Hickman said. “I think my parents just knew I needed to get involved in something. We’re a big sports family so soccer was what I tried, and I loved it.”

Hickman attended Springfield High School in Springfield, Ill. While there, she was strong both on the field and in the classroom.

She recorded 19 goals during her senior season and also earned a number of academic honors, including being a member of the National Honor Society.

She came to Eastern in 2012, and she said she was more than familiar with the school and program.

Her father, Terrence Hickman, played football for Eastern from 1989-92.

Briana said her father’s time at Eastern had an effect on her decision to attend the university, too.

“The fact that my dad attended Eastern did influence my decision a little bit,” Hickman said. “I have been coming to Eastern’s football games since I was 4 years old, so Eastern has always been part of my life.”

Despite being close to the program, Hickman said coming to Eastern was still an adjustment that took getting used to.

“Being away from my family was something I had to adjust to,” Hickman said. “It’s different when you can’t come home to your family every day.”

During her career at Eastern, Hickman produced positive play and was a leader for the team, according to coach Jason Cherry.

Cherry said Hickman meant a great deal to the team and played an important role.

“She led the team by example on and off the field,” Cherry said. “She set the tone every day with her work, heart and determination. You always knew you were going to get her best.”

Hickman played well over 1,000 minutes in each of her seasons at Eastern and, as Cherry described her, she was a consistent piece to the Eastern backfield. She also managed to avoid any serious injuries.

Off the field, the determination continued for Hickman as she is set to graduate at the end of this semester, which will be one semester earlier than initially planned.

She is earning her bachelors of science in business and accounting, all while maintaining a GPA of around 4.0.

Hickman said despite looking forward to moving on from Eastern, she is going to miss some of the things she loved doing while she attended.

She said her favorite memories at Eastern are from both on and off the field.

“I liked when we won six games in the conference tournament during my sophomore year,” Hickman said. “I also enjoyed beating Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in our last game. Another favorite would be being able to succeed in the business and accounting programs and making new friends there.”

After she graduates this December, Hickman said she will remain at the school to work toward her MBA with a certification in accounting. She said she also plans to work part time for State Farm Insurance.

 

Elias Albert can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]

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