MEET OUR GRADUATES: Farewell to the Champions

Anchorwomen Basketball team

Four players on the Women’s Basketball team reflect on their team’s winning culture as they depart RIC.

As Rhode Island College Women’s Basketball players Sophia Guerrier, Izabelle “Izzy” Booth, Olivia Middleton and Jeniyah Jones move on beyond RIC, they savor the memory of an unprecedented 2023-24 season.

From top left clockwise: Sophia Guerrier, Izzy Booth, Olivia Middleton and Jeniyah Jones
Clockwise, from top left: Sophia Guerrier, Izabelle “Izzy” Booth, Olivia Middleton and Jeniyah Jones

Jones and Booth are earning bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and exercise science respectively. Guerrier, a native of Waltham, Mass., is receiving her master’s degree in criminal justice and will attend law school at Boston College in the fall. Middleton will enter a nursing program out-of-state this fall. The Barrington native earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at St. Lawrence University.

Although they’re leaving, the players say it won’t impact the bright future of a RIC women’s basketball team that went on a magical run with its first-ever undefeated season in 2023. The team finished among the top 16 in the 2024 NCAA Division III Championship tournament, but their season came to an end in March after a loss to Washington and Lee University.

“With Coach (Jenna) Cosgrove spearheading the team, I don’t see this team being anything other than successful,” says Guerrier. “She definitely has a vision in place for us to be among the best women’s basketball teams nationally.”

Booth, a Newport native, agrees.

“The team will continue to be a powerhouse as long as everyone shares their love and passion for the game,” she says.

For Middleton, last season was her first time playing in an NCAA tournament.

“Things didn’t end how we wanted it to, but it was very exciting to be part of the action,” she says. “As a team, we did historical things, like being undefeated for so long. It was such a rewarding experience.”

Booth and Guerrier say that they will miss the experience of not playing competitive basketball, a sport they’ve participated in since they were children.

“Basketball has been part of my life since I was 10,” recalls Guerrier. “I had a basketball hoop in my driveway that I’d play with my brother. Then, I’d go to the park to practice every day.”

Twenty-three-year-old Booth says her grandfather introduced her to basketball when she was seven.

“It’s kind of emotional and surreal to realize that I’m done with basketball,” she says.

Jones, a native of Braintree, Mass., says she may not be done with basketball.

“I’m looking into continuing to play ball overseas,” she says.

If that doesn’t come to fruition, Jones would like to use her degree to become an advocate for crime victims.

With similar aspirations for advocacy, after completing law school, specializing in transactional business law, Guerrier intends to advocate for athletes.

“In the sports industry, I want to help women get paid better by working with their contracts,” she says. “I hope to make an impact.”

Booth says she intends to make a difference through coaching and improving nutrition among athletes.

“It’s essential to factor in nutrition along with strength and conditioning to be the best athlete you can be,” she says. “Nutrition can be used by athletes to get to the next level.”

Through her coursework at RIC, Booth says she’s learned that it’s important to be confident and prepared.

“When you’re coaching young people, you have to be confident,” she says. “They’re looking up to you to be nurturing and honest about sharing your experiences.”

Just as Booth and the other players looked up to Cosgrove, who says this class of departing players will be missed.

“They were some of my first recruits I brought in to change the culture of the program,” Cosgrove recalls. “They not only changed the culture, but their legacy will be remembered as top tier. The standards they have set put RIC’s women’s basketball on the national map. Just as they had a profound impact on our program, I’m confident they will make as big an impact in what they do next.”