The bus approached a locked gate and when it tried turning around, it then got completely stuck in the grass with the entire team on board.
“We were sitting there trying to figure out what to do,” Caskey said. “The bus driver was pulling out all the stops, trying to shift it to neutral and trying to shimmy it out but it wasn’t working. So we got off the bus and were like, ‘Let’s just give pushing it a try.’’’
Prior to getting off of the bus, junior midfielder Mikaela Buoscio said that the team was eager to try and help in any way possible.
“We were all on the same page,” Buoscio said. “No one wanted to wait it out. We were standing on the bus, we were ready to get out there, we just wanted to take it into action. We were all in it together.”
The 33 person team then unloaded the bus and decided to collectively push it.
“It was a group decision,” Caskey said. “We didn’t have to ask anyone to step up, they all wanted to.”
After a few strong pushes, the bus was freed from the mud and grass. The team immediately celebrated its hard work and efforts, as seen through the cheering in the video.
“Knowing that they’re capable of doing something, knowing that they’re able to push a bus, not everyone can say that,” Caskey said.
Buoscio said that working as a team to move the bus was important and helped to bring them together.
“Whatever problem arises, we always have a solution,” Buoscio said. “We’re all eager to help each other and have each other’s backs in whatever’s going on. When there’s problems that we can solve, it makes it even better when you have 33 girls to have your back on it.”
The team was able to translate this mentality across its weekend, beating George Mason 14-13 Feb. 23 and Coastal Carolina University 16-15 on Feb. 26.
“We’ve played in four one goal games this season already, so our girls have definitely dealt with the pressure,” Caskey said. “I don’t think the bus necessarily changed anything, but it did give us a sense of empowerment and a sense of team unity. It really has been something that the girls can fall back on.”
Caskey and Buoscio both said getting noticed virally has been really exciting for the whole team.
“All of us are totally surprised by how fast this thing spread across the globe,” Buoscio said.
Caskey said that this video, as well as the team, are inspiring young girls across the globe to work hard and overcome any obstacles that they might face.
“They love it because they can show that girls can be role models,” Caskey said. “It’s really important for them to have that presence for young girls. At the end of the day, it's just a fun video and it's supposed to uplift people. The amount of women and men commenting on it about girl power, it's cool that we can be that video or uplifting message for someone who needs it.”
The Phoenix is set to face the University of Virginia at noon March 3, and will hopefully use the message gained from pushing the bus out of the mud to persevere, no matter the obstacle.
“There's a lot of parallels that show what it really means to be a team,” Buoscio said. “It's not just putting the ball in the back of the net. It's also things that happen off the field that make me even more proud to be part of this program.”