When not at practice our own # 26 Meaghan Latella leads a secret life as a roving reporter and guest writer/columnist for many local and national news outlets. This week her story was featured in the Rockbridge Report and I know I for one loved it and can now proudly say we have a published writer in our midst. Great job Meaghan!
Congratulations are in order for several Generals!!!
Ashley Hogan: Rookie of the Year & All-ODAC First Team
Holley Beasley: All-ODAC First Team
Haley Ward: All-ODAC First Team
Addie Healy: All-ODAC First Team
Alexis Blight: All-ODAC Second Team
Lauren Abraham: All-ODAC Second Team
The following blog is written by our three, bitter, seniors:
This Sunday the Generals convened for their annual croquet tournament: a fight to the death to determine the custody of a very special garden gnome. While in past years the returning players have had somewhat of an advantage due to their knowledge of the course, this year posed a challenge to all at the new Cunningham estate.
As is tradition, the Generals suited up in white dresses, with the exception of Rachael who defied instructions and showed up in a colorful patterned shirt with white pants… She thought that her white pants were “good enough,” but we all know that good enough is the enemy of great.
After the four flights were announced, the competitors took the field and the rest of the Gennies flocked to Susan’s famous spread of deliciousness. Honorable mentions include the shrimp salad, the orzo, and every single dessert offered. Rookie referee Rachael stood her ground on some tough calls thanks to Daniel Cunningham and an Eddie Bauer croquet rulebook (amateur). After a valiant fight by senior Jasmine Soo, among others who will not be mentioned, Addie Healy stole the first spot in the finals.
The second flight started off with a heated argument between returners Erin Harvey and Holley Beasley. After harsh words were exchanged, the two raised their mallets, only to be broken up by Anna Cunningham. Senior Alexis Blight, who had been training all summer for this event, suffered a heartbreaking loss and the win went to Erin Harvey who showed extreme determination and focus throughout the tournament.
After two lost chances for the title, Kingsley Schroeder was the seniors’ last hope for victory. Tricia Jessee’s technique was questionable and she quickly adjusted to follow the veterans’ lead – who knows what would have happened if she had kept up that stance? The upperclassmen formed an alliance to defeat the sophomore class, who had already established their presence in the final, and Katherine Rush came out with the win.
Apparently, in the fourth flight, reigning champion Katie Rossi had an amazing comeback for the win, but no one was watching because Susan had unveiled the mint chocolate Oreo ice cream cake in the kitchen. Naturally, the whole team waited in anticipation for it to be sliced. With full bellies, the Generals headed outside to watch the finals.
The wildcard drawing was the seniors’ only chance to gain the gnome, but despite our bribes, Daniel randomly selected Katie Clemmons and Rebecca Dunn to compete in the finals. After bragging about their summer croquet escapades, Katie Rossi and Katherine Rush seemed confident in their skills and looked strong coming through the first three wickets. Katie Clemmons also represented her class well and displayed her talent for long-range shots (with little accuracy). In the last stretch of the competition, Rebecca Dunn tried to advise fellow teammate Erin Harvey, but thankfully for Erin, she ignored Dunny’s amateur remarks and pulled closer to the win. The competition was heated, and Katie Clemmons and Erin Harvey faced off in front of the final wickets. Katie Clemmons cracked under pressure and wound up for her last shot only to knock Erin’s ball into the peg, crowning Erin the new champion.
After an unnecessarily extravagant celebration by the sophomore class, Katie Rossi reluctantly handed over the gnome and her title. As seniors, we were slightly disappointed by the loss, but as any good General knows, all bets are off once the gnome leaves the Cunningham estate. Sleep with one eye open, Erin Harvey. We’re coming for you.
Thanks again to the Cunninghams for their hospitality and scrumptious food.
High fives and white dresses (except for Rachael…),
Lex, Kings, and JSoo
Back to back games awaited the Generals which would prove to be a great test of our fitness levels and ability to persevere in very hot conditions. Summer decided it would show itself in Lexington, VA this weekend and boy was it warm. A great win yesterday certainly put the team on track and we would see how first years and returners responded to an early season double-header.
The day started at 9am with a team jog around campus led by captains Alexis Blight and Holley Beasley as freshman orientation and move in day was about to begin for the rest of the class of 2017. Our first years looked upset that others were now moving into their space. Not sure what they thought was going to happen to all those empty rooms.
Game time was set for 1pm. Generals looked very sharp in their new blue uniforms and we were all hoping our appearance would match the performance.
The first half started very well and the Generals controlled large amounts of possession early on in the game. Rush, Rossi and Ward looked sharp up top. Abraham, Lancaster and Beasley won everything in midfield and our backs had an easy time of the early action. In the 8th minute the Gennies won a corner on the right wing and Wardy put in a beauty into the box for Abe to rise like a salmon and power a header home from inside the box. What a great start. The capacity crowd went crazy and maybe this was the start of a goal fest? No it was not! Many chances were created to try to take a 2-0 lead but they all missed the target and the keeper did make a couple of key saves. Wardy and Krush both hit the cross bar with great efforts and it seemed like it was going to be one of those days.
Fifteen shots but only one goal as the Generals took a slender 1-0 lead into the interval. It was a really good half. Dallas was well coached, athletic and very capable of hitting us on the counter attack.
Second half started a little sluggish as the Generals tried to find their rhythm. Some new faces in the starting line-up may have been a factor but a few minutes later things definitely picked up. Chances were created, balls flashed across the box from crosses and it seemed like a goal was going to come at any time. Wait a minute….it was supposed to be a goal for us but Dallas hit us on the counter and found way too much time and space in front of our defense and hit a 25 yarder in the top corner to tie up the game. I hate soccer!! Ok I don’t but seriously, one shot, one goal up until that point in this half. Cruel game. How would we respond? Can the freshmen pull it back together? Can the leadership of the team get through this first test?
Of course we can. We are the Gennies after all.
Five minutes later, Holley Beasley decided she was done playing around and freed Katie Rossi down the right flank. Rossi cut inside and hit a perfect curling shot with her left foot past the outstretched arms of the keeper. What a great winning goal. 2-1 Generals and the scoreline would hold for the remaining 12 minutes.
Great weekend for the team. Perfect 2-0 start. Much to love about the weekend and for the coaches much to work on this week at practice.
1. All the freshmen were superb. They all played their part in the victories and the future looks bright. Clemmons, Hogan, Tardy, Thornton and Riley did a great job at the back. Pettit worked hard in midfield and up top and Lejeune chased and put herself about in effective fashion.
2. Rossi’s winner was a gem
3. Tailgate was excellent. Thanks to the parents for organizing and providing the much needed refreshments and food.
Gennies game day 2013. Today marked the first game of the season for Washington and Lee and where better to play than at Watt Field on the most beautiful piece of real estate in Lexington. The field looked great with its new bermuda surface and we all shared the same excitement with the new look. Lush green grass, greasy surface, crisp white lines and the backdrop of the Blue Ridge mountains.
Game day started like most days in our program; with food. Team breakfast at the world famous Lexington Restaurant. Eggs, lots of pork products and the typical lashings of pancakes and French toast. On a side note I have been to France at least 5 times and have never seen this kind of toast anywhere. So, it begs the question why not just call it American Toast because you are the only ones that eat that rubbish. I had an English muffin and for the record we do not even have them in England either. Anyway back to the game.
The locker room before the game was a little tense with first game nerves and some jittery freshmen were visibly looking a little apprehensive. Too late ya muppets its game time! Two great weeks of practice would surely transfer into something that remotely resembled soccer. First game, 10 freshmen, 4 players out injured, new assistant coach, new field and I tweaked a hamstring reaching for a donut at breakfast. Oh boy….
Warm-up “music” was its usual pile of drivel. Kingsley was in charge so I guess we all asked for that. Team had a great warm-up and as 2pm drew close I could see that we were ready.
We started the game brightly. We played 3 freshmen backs and they all settled in very comfortably. It must have been all Erin Harvey’s talking to them that settled them down. Lots of college experience everywhere else however and it showed early as we got into a smooth rhythm at least for a first game anyway. A couple of early chances went begging, corners bounced around in the area and the Generals dominated possession without getting that all important breakthrough. Wardy and Krush had 15 shots each and then as the crowd headed for the concession stand Holley Beasley broke into the box and pulled the ball back for Katherine Rush who slotted the ball low into the corner for the 1-0 lead.
The crowd went crazy and the entire football team who were amazing to come out and support the Generals broke out into choruses of “Ole Ole Ole” I think they must have picked it up from playing Fifa on their XBOX. Loved it and it was very much appreciated.
Second half started with a couple freshmen forwards making runs down the flanks. Katie Pettit and Lucy Duet providing fresh legs were very effective in the early stages. Then 5 minutes into the half Lucy Duet ran about 40 yards down the wing, bulldozing through and around anyone in her way before playing the ball square to an unmarked Holley Beasley who placed it neatly in the corner for 2-0. The 2 goal cushion was much needed and as the crowd poured back into the stadium they were a little disappointed to have missed the early goal. Attempts were made to replay the goal but unfortunately the new Jumbotron could not handle the replay.
Several attempts later and by now the Generals firmly in control of the pace of the game we saw debuts for Camille LeJeune, Hollis Tardy, Kathryn Riley, Kate Sarfert and they kept up the level of play and intensity and in the 68th minute were rewarded when Haley Ward scored from a corner with a little help from a green guy.
3-0: Nice win against a very well coached outfit.
Notables from the game:
1. Ashley Hogan, Katie Clemmons and Abby Thornton had great debuts at the back
2. Erin Harvey was player of the game. She was a tireless worker all day down the flank.
3. Haley Ward had a good game as a forward and midfield player. She had 37 shots, 36 off target but had a great game.
4. First years are getting nicknames whether they like it or not.
5. Football team’s support was magnificent
6. Good to see former Gennies Emily Barker 05, Hannah Sackfield 13, and Alex Todd 13 at the game today.
The following entry was written by Lauren Abraham and Kingsley Schroeder:
Late Thursday night, the Generals squad found out that they had won an all-inclusive trip to the destination of a lifetime: Smith Mountain Lake. Excitedly, they all packed their bags and carry-on items and arrived at the flight deck on time. However, Rachael had rented a faulty vehicle and kept the team waiting in the blazing heat for what seemed like days.
All 10 freshmen piled into Coach’s van, despite there being only 8 seats. Coach felt a bit awkward in the silent van and stepped out to “get some air” and converse with the older players who actually had something to offer. Once Rachael returned from her journey to Enterprise, Coach led the way with his van of freshpants.
Two cars back, guest driver Maggie Roy not only scored a free vacation with the Gennies, but was also graced with the company of the beloved Lauren Abraham and Kingsley Schroeder. SEE BELOW: the entirety of the car ride is available for your viewing pleasure at the bottom of your screen thanks to a pair of 100% cotton socks.
After being on the road for five minutes, the Generals were famished and demanded we stop at a “high dollar” restaurant: Panera Bread. Although we didn’t rack up quite the bill that last year’s squad was capable of (thanks to the notorious Suz Medwid), all bread bowls were quickly cleared out of the restaurant and the Gennies hit the road with full bellies.
Finally, after several layovers in Hawaii, Fiji, and Morocco, the glorious Smith Mountain was seen on the horizon. Luggage, ice bags, and foam roller carry-ons were quickly unloaded and the team headed straight for the beach. The beach consisted of an expansive 15 feet of sparkly white sand, which we quickly claimed as our own territory. Although the takeover was mostly peaceful, one seven-year-old boy would not go down without a fight, yelling “No more girls!!” However, the Generals came out on top in the Battle of the Floating Dock due to Rachael’s quick wit and expertise in dealing with enemies under the age of five…
Lauren Abraham put on her game face (and her cracked Ray Bans) in the water volleyball match, manning the net and spiking the ball, forcing Katherine Rush to surrender. Although Kate Sarfert missed 95% of all shots in her area, she certainly added spunk to the game. Perhaps the biggest shock of the weekend was Wardy’s giggle episode, which may have been the most enthusiastic moments of her lifetime.
Erin Harvey reminded everyone that safety should come first and headed to the beach with her tube, lifejacket, and floaties in hand. Meaghan Latella followed closely carrying her Spongebob Squarepants towel. Meanwhile, deep in the sand, Kathryn Riley showed off her hidden talent. Who knew she would be a visiting professor for Arts 456: Advanced Ancient Pottery Methods? She also treated KJ Lancaster to a sparkly sand skin exfoliation. The next morning, Riley’s creations were pulled out of the kiln and displayed proudly on the waterfront.
Despite previous speculation, the freshmen indeed have personalities. While their interview skills may be sub-par, Lucy Duet proved that their interpretive dance moves are spot-on. They are also surprisingly opinionated, as shown by Abby Thornton’s strong preference for strawberry kiwi flavored water, which unfortunately was not available during our weekend getaway.
After hours of sunbathing, it was time to prepare the Gennies feast. Jasmine Soo and Alexis Blight manned the stove and oven and demanded that they be referred to as “Iron Chefs” (keep dreaming…). One floor below, Katherine Rush and Hollis Tardy were allegedly baking cookies but in reality were scarfing down entire tubes of cookie dough. In an attempt to make up for the sparse amount of fully baked cookies available to the rest of the squad, Camille LeJeune and Kate Sarfert claimed to have created a trident cookie that was later unidentifiable.
You could tell the Generals meant business when Katie Rossi whipped out her Rossi’s restaurant sweatshirt in the scorching tropical heat. After Meaghan Latella slaved away in the kitchen chopping tomatoes, Kingsley Schroeder added a few shakes of basil spices and claimed all credit for the crowd-pleasing bruschetta. Addie Healy was absolutely no help in the kitchen. She was seen wasting 6 bottles of olive oil and double dipping in the pesto pan. Tricia Jessee was sidelined due to an on-field injury. You know what they say… If you can’t stand the heat, crutch out of the kitchen.
After Katie Petit finished slicing all of the garlic bread, young sous chefs Katie Clemmons and Ashley Hogan helped create the bountiful buffet of pasta, Caesar salad, watermelon, garlic bread, bruschetta, chips and dip, and a total of three cookies. After the dinner bell was rung, each player filled their plates to full capacity and even the freshmen managed to get a few crumbs of bread. However, the mass amounts of food didn’t last long thanks to Holley Beasley’s famous appetite.
In an attempt to get to know the first-year players a little better, interviews were conducted. Interviewees were separated from the group in order to attain the cold hard facts of what was really going on in the minds of the young Gennies. Freshmen tried to fit in by saying that the food was the highlight of their days, but expert interrogator Lauren Abraham could tell that wasn’t the full story. However, the only thing revealed was Kathryn Riley’s disgusting blisters that had already been displayed several times throughout the week.
As is tradition in the Generals Soccer program, the team split up into groups to create their goals for the 2013 season. Despite warnings from Coach, we gave the freshmen a chance to have their own group, which only ended in confusion, although they did show a promising level of enthusiasm. Holley Beasley’s passion was revealed as she walked into the living room adorned in full uniform and cleats. The two upperclassmen groups have high expectations for this year’s squad and the first-years seemed to jump right on board. Loud chants of “Now is our time!” were heard echoing throughout the five star resort.
Due to severe food comas, the only feasible activity for the Generals was to lay down and watch a movie. First-year Ashley Hogan seemed to catch on quickly to the older player’s eating habits, forcing her teammates to stuff their faces full of popcorn minutes after taking their last bites of pasta (or for the lucky few, taking their last bite of a cookie).
The next morning, the Generals suited up and hiked miles to the nearest breakfast spot. Tricia Jessee was seen outside the resort walls hours before the rest of the team stretching on the concrete in preparation for the trek. Although we were promised a high-quality dining experience, Rachael led us to an abandoned building covered in caution tape and left us to starve. Luckily, the resourceful Generals managed to find food even in such a dire situation.
The team quickly headed back to the beach to soak up their last rays of sunshine. Kayaking was a huge hit- Lauren Abraham, Jasmine Soo, and Alexis Blight disappeared for hours and came close to being reported missing when they returned to the beach. Meanwhile, Rebecca Dunn was the star of the conversation near the volleyball net, captivating the first-years with her hilarious stories.
After a weekend of barely saying a word on camera, the first-years found their love for the iPad and began frantically interviewing each other in the last hours of the trip. Although they should be commended for their efforts, no worthwhile footage will be included in this blog.
Sadly, it was time to leave our little slice of paradise, but luckily we were destined for the scenic Lexington, VA. With rested legs and full bellies, the Generals seem excited for the week ahead and ready to prepare for their opening weekend.
The real mystery of the weekend is where Coach was during all of the festivities. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, please call 1 (800) FIND-NEIL.
Until the next Gennies Vaca,
Your favorite trip guides Abe and Kings
Hello and welcome to the first installment of the 2013 Generals soccer season. The 2013 squad reported for duty a week ago and it has been a very busy week. Last night was the team selection and I think we have an excellent group of young ladies and some of them are decent soccer players. Captains Alexis Blight and Holley Beasley have done an excellent job organizing the group. In addition, special commendation has to be passed to all our returning players who have shown outstanding leadership in helping mentor first year players (freshpants) into the “Gennies” way of doing things.
New assistant coach Rachael Sushner has done a first class job of fitting in whilst adding her own touches of experience to our program. We are all looking forward to seeing more of her passion and enthusiasm for the game as she makes her mark on our program.
Most of the things we do begin and end with food, and pre-season started as always with players making food requests so the locker room was sufficiently stocked. Most players requested a couple of favorite items and Dunny had a long list of 20 things that a star like Madonna would probably order for her dressing room. Cracklin Oat Bran Cereal, special yogurt made with goats milk and blueberry bagels with only 12 blueberries in each half seemed a little extreme and diva-ish but we all know how she can be. After all she is from TX. It seems the Nutella stash lasts longer without Toddy and Katie Rossi eats gum for breakfast. Tomorrow I have hired Henri who will be operating outside the locker room making omelets and crepes on request.
If you are still reading and slightly interested we have had a great week of soccer. Players looked sharper after a good summer workout program and we jumped right into shaping the team. Rossi and Rush, my mom’s favorite dynamic duo, picked up right where they left off last year with their energy and enthusiastic running. Healy and Schroeder, our keepers, dropped everything except their wallets and food, so nothing new there and Abe, KJ and Wardy are really nice people.
Erin Harvey, when not fogged up from the VA heat, looked in great shape. Meaghan Latella loves her new cleats which have her initials on them in case either she or the shoes get lost and Jasmine Soo unable to play this year due to a severely twisted sock has been inspirational to the players and a great help to the coaching staff.
We also have 10 freshmen out there but we will not mention any of them here for fear of damaging their fragile personalities. Maybe next week they will actually say something. May this serve as their one week reprieve from the sharp eye of the players and coaching staff and either stock up on Kleenex now or hire a therapist.
We have included some short clips of some pre-season activities. Please note that we shot the video in extra slow motion so do not be alarmed by your child’s grandma-esque movements and recruits please do not judge. (You may be here one day)
Coach Cunningham signing out.
Click here for video: Pre-Season: Week 1
Hello! My name is Rachael Sushner. I’d like to take a minute to introduce myself as the new W&L women’s soccer assistant coach.
Currently, I am sitting in Blackbird Café, a teeny, tiny coffee shop in Canton, NY, just 12 minutes from the Canadian border. I just finished up a week of soccer camp here and will officially say goodbye to what is known as, “The North Country.” Over the past two years I have lived up here, while coaching and attending business school at Clarkson University. While my heart hurts to say goodbye to my players, mentors, two stoplights, and the most colossal Walmart on the east coast, I am ecstatic about my move to Lexington in the coming weeks.
Prior to Clarkson, I spent two years coaching at Wellesley College and a year playing for the Boston Breakers reserve team. Both were incredible experiences and deeply impacted my decision to want to coach for a living. I still cannot believe this is actually considered a job.
I feel incredibly fortunate to be hired as the new assistant coach of the Gennies, and know I will learn and grow from Coach Neil and the players. After a week working the W&L soccer camp, I got a taste of what to expect. The players who worked camp are mature beyond their years and exceptionally respectful. I can see their desire to compete and I look forward to meeting the rest of the W&L soccer family. Something special is going on in Lexington, VA and I cannot wait to be a part of it.