Highlights from Soccer Camp at Washington and Lee

July 1, 2014 by

June 20th-23rd, 2014

The 2014 camp is over and it was a very successful four days of soccer. I want to thank our magnificent staff, including our college players for all their hard work and dedication to their chosen sport. It is always neat to see six of your college players working camp having been past campers themselves not too long ago.

Thanks to the kids on camp who made the camp so much fun and of course the parents for entrusting us with your daughter for four days. Hope to see you back next year with a friend or two.

Here are my favorite parts of camp for 2014:


Thanks to all the soccer players who returned from last year receiving their very sharp looking free camp ball. Special mention to the SOCA girls from Charlottesville for returning and also the Christiansburg Griffins for returning and adding some friends to the mix. Sad news is that Bailee Brown from Salem, VA completed her 5th and final year at camp and is now “too old” for soccer camp.


Keeping it in the family at this years camp were Katrine and Julia Berg; Sarah and Allie Bower; Gwynne and Morgan Symons Buxton; Megan and Valerie O’Toole and Mackenzie and Grace Neff. A family that plays soccer together stays together.


To be able to watch the game with 100 soccer loving people in one venue was very cool. We all went through the ups and downs of that game. The US comeback to go 2-1 up and then the feeling of disappointment in the last 30 seconds of the game. At least we did not watch England.


The kids were awesome all week. They did not cause anyone a minute’s trouble and approached everything with enthusiasm and great energy. We got stormed out the first night but everyone just rolled with it and worked even harder to make up for lost time. The training sessions were great and the games in the evening were both competitive and fun to watch.


Coach Rachael, Sandy, Kerry, Russell and Ross are not just very knowledgeable coaches but great people also. They did a great job educating the soccer players and serving as great ambassadors for the game. My players; Kate, Hollis, Addie, Wardy, Ashley and Jasmine are great role models for young aspiring female soccer players and worked hard for four days and were clearly exhausted at the end of camp. Hopefully some of the campers will come to one of our games this fall. I cannot fail to mention Josh, our trainer who looked after everyone’s aches and pains during camp (not just the kids).


It was good to see some top prospective players for 2015 and 2016 attend camp and the game on the last morning was very encouraging for the future of the General’s soccer team. It was fast, technical and very competitive.


Some years you just have that special kid on camp that exemplifies what young soccer players should be all about. 100% every training session, a mischievous grin, the thrill of competing, never giving up and being genuinely a nice person. Ellie Byram was our winner this year and receives a free week at camp in 2015.


Enjoy the pictures on our Facebook page by liking us @Washington and Lee Women’s Soccer  and please join us in 2015 and bring a friend or two and spread the word.


Best of luck to all in your season.


Coach Neil and Coach Rachael



World Cup 2014 Predictions

June 12, 2014 by

I LOVE THE WORLD CUP! I have been waiting patiently for the 2014 World Cup to finally start in Brazil and I thought I would share my thoughts on who will advance and also share some picks for the championship on July 13th. There are 8 groups of 4 teams and the top 2 from each group advance in a single elimination tournament once in the round of 16.


Brazil, Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon

Brazil and Croatia are my two picks to advance from this group. Brazil has all the superstars including Neymar, Oscar, Hulk and many others. Croatia has an outstanding playmaker in Modric and the goalscoring prowess of Mandzukic.


Spain, Holland, Chile and Australia

Spain and Holland are my two picks. This is I believe to be the most cut and dried group with two powerhouses in Spain and Holland making up the group. The 2010 World Cup Winners against the runners up. Chile will probably give a good account of themselves and the climate will suit them. Australia should just bring the Foster’s and start early.


Columbia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan

Ivory Coast and Japan are my two picks. This group may not sound exciting but it could be very interesting. Ivory Coast has some great senior players probably finishing their international careers; Drogba, Yaya Toure are both match winners on their day and will be a hard match up for anyone. Columbia will get some home support and Greece will just try to defend and bore us all to death and give the announcers nightmares at the same time.


Uruguay, Costa Rica, England and Italy

England and Uruguay are my two picks. I know what you are thinking. I picked England out of national pride or stupidity. I think for once we have a great mix of experience and some excellent young players with flat out speed. Put Rooney on the bench and we have a chance. Uruguay will be miserable at the back and have one of the best forward lines in the world with Suarez and Cavani so they always have a chance. Please Italy just go home early and save us from afternoon napping while we watch you kick everyone to death and roll all over the playing surface. Costa Rica should enjoy the Brazilian festivities.



Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras

France and Ecuador are my two picks: After being very disappointing in World Cup 2010, departing without even scoring a goal and arguing the whole tournament with each other they have rebuilt and will be a formidable force this time around. The second team to qualify will be a tough one but Ecuador plays France in their last game so I think the draw will suit them best. Switzerland is just too nice but love their chocolate and Honduras will just miss out.


Argentina, Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria

Argentina and Bosnia are my two picks: Tough that they play each other first game but I still think they will both qualify. Argentina always has a great defense and with Aguero and Messi as their forward line they will be awesome. Strength and depth will be their thing and Messi’s disappointing showing in 2010 by his standards will drive them on. Bosnia has a proven scorer in Dzeko and is a good solid team all around. Nigeria will be exciting and Iran is the other team.


Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA

Germany and USA are my two picks. I have no sentiment here and I am not politically correct either. Germany is a no-brainer and if the US gets a good start the USA/Germany match-up is the last game and may not matter. That’s my logic here. USA will be organized and has nothing to lose in my opinion. I think Portugal’s day has passed and Ghana will be dangerous but I think disappointing.


Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea.

Belgium and Russia are my two picks: Belgium has a great team of players that play in the best leagues in the world and the likes of Hazard, Lukaku and captain Kompany have a great chance in this World Cup. The hype may be a distraction but hopefully they can handle it. Russia is always a tough foe and being coached by the great Capello they will be extremely difficult to defeat. South Korea will play pretty soccer and Algeria does not have enough firepower.



Here are my picks and we also polled our team for who they think will win.

Coach Neil: ARGENTINA. Team to watch Bosnia

Coach Rachael: GERMANY


Besides nothing about soccer whatsoever here are their picks:

GERMANY: Wardy, Harvs, Camille, Tricia, Hollis, Hoagie and Clem

BRAZIL: KJ, Holley, Riley, KP, Abby, Krush, Lucy

ARGENTINA: Addie, Kate and Abe


We also asked our incoming first year’s for next fall

Germany: Alexa, Kelsey and Caroline

Portugal: Chandler

Brazil: Becca, Julianne, Olivia

USA: Erin


Adventures in Spain- By Rising Senior, Holley Beasley

May 28, 2014 by

This spring term I ventured off to Cádiz, Spain where I was given the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the Spanish culture for a month by living with a host family and attending classes at the University of Cádiz, as well as enjoy the most beautiful beaches in southern Spain. My typical day began with an hour-long breakfast of bread and olive oil with my host dad, because, as he insisted, every day must start with a “peaceful breakfast”. I went to class in the mornings and spent most afternoons on the beach playing sand soccer. The Spanish style of play is very different from ours, with a lot less pushing and shoving and a lot more fancy footwork and bicycle kicks, so I tried to take note so I could be able to whip out some Wardy-moves come August. We ate the biggest meal of the day at 3 every afternoon. The meals were huge and delicious, so going hungry was never a concern for me, and after lunch the whole town would completely shut down for siesta, or nap time. We’re missing out over here by only giving naptime to babies. I was also able to travel around southern Spain on the weekends to Madrid, Seville, Bolonia, and Jerez. While I enjoyed spending time in other places, Cádiz was definitely my favorite and I was thankful to have it as my home base for the month.

The best part of my trip was, by far, my host family. On the first day of my program, my host parents, both of whom I towered over, welcomed me with open arms into their home and into their family and I could not have asked for a better family to spend my month with. While I learned a lot in school and in tours of museums and historical buildings, I learned the most from simply sitting with my parents at meal times and in the evenings. We would exchange funny stories and talk about our favorite foods, sports teams, and holidays. I told them all about my family at home, my school, and my friends, and I don’t think a day went by where I didn’t give them a good laugh with my mispronunciation or misuse of words that often caused me to say strange or inappropriate things without meaning to.

This past spring term was the adventure of a lifetime for me, and saying goodbye was not an easy task. I had a blast and learned a ton, but here are some of the things that I took away with me that I don’t think I will ever forget:


1. Bread is your friend. It works better than a spoon to eat soup with, it is easier to use than a knife to push food onto your fork, and everything tastes better on a slice of it. It’s good at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and anytime in between.


2. Walking is the best way to get anywhere. It’s also the only way to get anywhere. Leave your heels at home!


3. Personal space is overrated. Give every one two kisses to say both hello and goodbye with lots of hugs in between, and why watch a movie on separate pieces of furniture when the whole family can squeeze onto the same small sofa?


4. Enjoy where you are and what you’re doing. Put the cell phone away, take a look around, breathe in the air, listen, and observe the scenery, the flowers, and the people. Don’t rush through a meal at a restaurant. Eating out isn’t about the food at all. It’s about the company. Don’t gulp down your coffee. Take small sips and enjoy the moments before you need to be anywhere else.


5. The only way to learn and grow is to face a challenge head on and enjoy every second of it.






Sophomore, Meaghan Latella, Week 4 in Italy

May 27, 2014 by

Chapter 4:

Farewell to Siena


I’d like to dedicate the last blog post of my study abroad experience to where I lived for the last four weeks: Siena, Italy. For me, living in Siena was easier to adapt to than I expected. Like Washington & Lee, it is a tight-knit community of friendly citizens. Siena is a beautiful little city, surrounded by high, stone walls and made up of winding, hilly, cobble-stone streets. In the center of the city is the Piazza del Campo, which is a large open area in the shape of a fan. People come to the Piazza to rest, to chat, to sit and eat lunch- you name it. The largest building in Siena sits in the Piazza del campo. Usually just referred to as “the Tower,” this building is a large clock tower that can be seen from any point in the city. My classmates and I spent many nights with our professor in the Piazza eating pizza for dinner. Those were some of my favorite nights!

The Piazza del Campo

The Piazza del Campo



View of the Tower from the top of the Duomo

View of the Tower from the top of the Duomo

What kind of Gennie would I be if I didn’t try to make it to an A.C. Siena soccer game? Fortunately, we had time to go see a night game last week. The crowd comprised mostly locals from Siena, and boy were they passionate about their team. Siena flags were waving in the stands and the fans were constantly bellowing songs and cheers. If only my Italian were better, I could’ve joined in.


In general, Siena is a fairly quiet city and is much less crowded with tourists than some of Italy’s larger cities. Once a year, however, Siena is said to “come alive” (according to our cooking teacher, Leila) for an event that has been a huge tradition in Siena for several hundred years. The citizens of Siena spend all year preparing for what is known as “The Palio” (this year it is in June). In simplest terms, the Palio is a horse race that takes place in the Piazza del Campo; but according to Leila, the race is so much more than just an annual form of entertainment.

Siena is divided into 17 “contradas,” which are sort of like teams within the city. Contradas are essentially neighborhoods or districts within the city, and the contrada that you “belong” to depends on where you live in Siena or where your family lived while you were growing up. Each contrada has a symbol and its own colors. Our translator for the duration of the trip, Sigrid, told us that she belonged to the “Tower” contrada, and that its color is burgundy.

Sigrid explained that your contrada is essentially like your extended family. Each has its own church, holds its own festivals, carries out its own baptisms weddings, etc. She told us that everyone in Siena has great pride for his or her contrada, which is why everyone looks forward to the Palio so much. During the Palio, 10 of the 17 contradas are selected at random to compete in the race. Each of the selected contradas is assigned a random horse from a pool of 120 horses, and then each contrada supplies its own jockey. Winning the Palio is a source of great pride and sense of accomplishment, and Sigrid told us that the winning contrada has huge celebrations after the Palio that can last for days.

I loved learning about the culture of this city. Siena has so much rich history that I really do not think I would have been able to learn about in such depth had I not been privileged to live there for a month. It has a special place in my heart, and I know that I will be going back some day.

Studying abroad this spring term has taught me so much about myself and about what living a full life really means. In addition to the invaluable life lessons, I’m so thankful to have learned about the cooking culture and the importance of food in Italian lifestyle. What’s even cooler is that I can now tell you about the science behind what’s really happening when you cook eggs, or make jam, or bake a cake, or sauté vegetables…as a non-science major, I have to admit that the chemistry behind cooking is actually pretty cool! Only at W&L would I be given the opportunity to take such a unique class, and for that reason I am ever indebted to our wonderful school.


Happy summer everyone, and see you in August!


Sophomore, Meaghan Latella, Week 3 in Italy

May 14, 2014 by

Chapter 3:

Cinque Terre Earns 5 Stars in My Book

This past weekend was spent traversing around the most beautiful place I’ve ever been: Cinque Terre. This part of Italy consists of five towns situated along the coastline. A railroad runs through the mountains, connecting each of the five towns together. In addition, you can hike between each of the towns or take water taxis. The buildings in each town are all painted different colors, making the Cinque Terre look like a rainbow when seen from afar. Much of Cinque Terre is designated as a national park; because of this, it is against the law in many parts of the region to repaint or renovate your house. The laws are in place to preserve the unique, antiquated beauty that each town boasts. Below is a picture I took of one of the towns, Manarola, as the sun was setting:


We spent a lot of time on the beach, swimming in the Mediterranean and skipping rocks. We also devoted an entire day to hiking through the mountains from Monterosso (the town we stayed in) to Vernazza (the next town over). We embarked on the hike thinking that it would take 1 hour 40 minutes, as that is what the sign at the start of the trail indicated. Somewhere along the way, however, we clearly took a wrong turn because after nearly 2 hours, we still weren’t in Vernazza.

Thankfully, we ran into a family of hikers (they were legit: equipped with snacks, hiking poles, proper footwear- the whole nine yards), who had a map on them. They were from France, but spoke English as well. It was nice to take a breather and to get to know people from a country that I know very little about. Seeing as they clearly knew where they were going, they kindly gave us their map to keep. After pointing us in the right direction, we said our goodbyes and they wished us luck. I love friendly people!

We finally made it to our destination after 3 hours of hiking. I’m actually happy we took an unexpected detour, because our accidental route provided us with priceless views of the coastline and the ocean:


Since Cinque Terre’s economy heavily relies on the ocean, we got the chance to try some great seafood dishes. We went to dinner in a different one of the five towns each night. Below is linguini with anchovies and tomatoes in a wine sauce:

Image (^ I hate to be disloyal to Frank’s penne a la vodka, but this was some of the best pasta I’ve ever eaten.)

It’s hard to believe that a month has almost gone by and that I will be back in the U.S. in a week. Stay tuned for one last post from the lovely land of Italy!


Until next time,


Sophomore, Meaghan Latella, Week 2 in Italy

May 6, 2014 by

Chapter 2:

Singing (Karaoke) in the Rain

            Week two of the Italy adventure took me and my housemates to Florence and then to Pisa. We arrived late Friday night in Florence and made the trek to our hostel. As we neared, we could see the welcoming glow of the infamous Golden Arches in the distance. McDonald’s, the only food establishment near our hostel that was still open at midnight, simply beckoned for us to come eat some grubby fast food. Although I felt like I was living up to every stereotype that people have against Americans, I couldn’t resist. (Note: in Italy, chicken nuggets and fries costs 7 euros….total rip off).

This “meal” did not compare in the slightest to all of the wonderful food we’ve been eating on this trip. Each week, our class attends two formal cooking lessons at “la Scuola di Cucina di Leila e Giulia.” Leila, the head chef, prepares glorious four course meals over the span of five hours. We volunteer throughout the lesson to help her make sauces, pastas, desserts, meat dishes- you name it. Below are some of the scrumptious meals we’ve prepared so far:


After a much needed good night’s sleep, we woke up to an incessant downpour. Seeing as we were only going to be in Florence for one day, we knew we had to brave the storm and explore the city regardless.

            Luckily, the sun came out after lunchtime and the rest of the day was beautiful. We ducked into many shops and roamed around several markets, taking in all of the sights. That night, we met up with some other W&L students from a different study abroad trip and we all headed to a karaoke restaurant for dinner. Let me just say, we represented Lexington very well. The Generals took turns belting out some pop favorites for a very receptive crowd. Some of the highlights included “Hey Ya,” “Single Ladies,” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” In short: we killed it. (Video available upon request).

            On Sunday, we stopped in the lovely city of Pisa on our way back to Siena. As everyone knows, the main attraction in Pisa is the Leaning Tower. Like all good tourists, we took several pictures of us “holding up the tower.” See below:


….classic. If you took a step back and just surveyed the entire Piazza, you could witness at least 50 different people at once taking these cheesy, over-done yet obligatory pictures. Pisa was a lot less crowded and much quieter than both Florence and Rome, so it was a very pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of the past two weekends.

            The following Monday, the fun continued with a class field trip to a family- run olive oil mill in Montenero d’Orcia. The name of the mill was “Frantoio Franci,” and it was founded by two Italian brothers in 1958. It produces only extra virgin olive oil, which is the most natural and highest quality olive oil that you can eat. The little village in which the mill was located was absolutely breathtaking. Here is a view from the rooftop:


Week two: a huge success. Next weekend it’s off to the Cinque Terre for some hiking and kayaking. Can’t wait for that!! Until next time, ciao!



Sophomore, Meaghan Latella, Gives Advice from Italy!

April 29, 2014 by

Hey Gennies fam! I hope everyone’s loving spring term and getting pumped for next season already. Although it’s hard to be apart from the team this month, I’m so excited to be spending spring term abroad in Siena, Italy. Since it’s difficult to communicate from overseas, I want to write weekly blog posts to keep you all updated on my adventures. Enjoy!


Image          Image



Greeting from Italy! This first week has already flown by and I’m still getting used to all of the new things over here. My classmates and I are staying in Siena, which is a fairly small city in Tuscany. It only took a few days of several long detours and wrong turns to navigate the 25-minute walk from my apartment to my school, but I’ve finally got the route down (I think). After a non-stop week of class and orientation meetings, my housemates and I decided we needed to get away. We hopped on a bus to Rome, and spent quite the weekend there. After arriving in Rome at 7:30 Friday night, we walked in circles for an hour until we finally found our “bed and breakfast”— I use that term lightly. Let’s just say the place made Graham Lees look like the Four Seasons. Regardless, the city was absolutely stunning. We spent all Saturday touring the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and various churches. I have to say, the sights really are better in person. I couldn’t believe it! All in all, the first week was a success in my book, and a big learning experience. Here are the five most important take aways for Week 1:


1.)  If you dream of a diet solely based on pizza and pasta, move to Italy.

The rumors are true. Yes, there are sometimes other options on the menu, but most restaurants serve exclusively these two foods. If you find a place in Italy that will make you a salad, ORDER IT. It may be your last for a couple of weeks.

2.)  Be prepared to walk. Everywhere. Always. Italy is not for couch potatoes. Most cities are extremely walkable, but the mileage definitely adds up. I bought a Fitbit before this trip so that I could keep track of my activity, and we’ve been averaging 20,000 steps (around 8-9 miles) every day. During our weekend in Rome alone, we clocked 21 miles. (Good prep for the summer packet, eh?)

3.)  Italian drivers are a bit crazy. Scratch that, they’re insane. “Yield for pedestrians” is not in the vocabulary of Italian drivers. They always have the right of way, and they expect you to dodge them. So always be on your toes!

4.)  Ordering a cappuccino after noon is a total novice move. Apparently it’s weird to order this drink once breakfast time has officially passed. Italians will judge you and it’s a clear sign you’re not from here. But oh well, I’m still going to do it. They’re just too delicious.

5.)  No one wears shorts. Pants pants pants. Even if the sun is shining and it’s 75 degrees, everyone in Italy wears pants. So be prepared to sweat.


That’s all for now. Miss you all!



Women’s Soccer Dominates the Classroom

April 22, 2014 by

Winter grades have just been released and women’s soccer tops the charts with a very impressive 3.709. Are you kidding me? It never ceases to amaze me how multi-talented our student athletes really are both on and off the field. The atmosphere of striving to be your best is something we take seriously in our program in everything we do.

I am so proud of this group and the high standards they set for each other and future Generals.


* 18 out of 23 of the team are scholar athletes with a 3.5GPA of higher

* Six members of the team had a perfect 4.0GPA.

Congratulations to Kingsley Schroeder, Jasmine Soo, Holley Beasley, Lauren Abraham, Rebecca Dunn and Kate Sarfert for the 4.0’s.

Read the full article below.




10 + Things I’ve Learned from W&L Women’s Soccer

April 4, 2014 by

By Coach Rachael


1) Using the phrase “tiny Thai girls” is acceptable.

2) Tucking your shirt into your shorts is so 2008.

3) Hair braids are stylish yet functional.

4) Hugging after a goal is scored must also include jumping simultaneously.

5) Completely peeing in your pants can be normal.

6) When Coach asks you “what else?” you better have an answer so come into his office with multiple subjects to talk about planned in advance.

7) Arrive to all W&L Women’s Soccer functions at least 1 hr 20 min. prior to the 30 min. early arrival time.

8) If the balls aren’t perfectly pumped, multiple players WILL comment loudly and kick them away for me to chase, pump, and get scolded at by Coach.

9) If I wear my hair in a different style, there will be comments. These include negatives ones, positive ones, and comments where I must read between the lines.

10) Routine, tradition, and superstitions are valued greatly. For example, before the first game I was told exactly where I had to stand pre-game and then was commented on the fact that I should have used two hands to high five, not one.

11) If you look at me like a deer in headlights when I coach you, you have no idea what I’m saying, but you’re going to be overly respectful and say “Ok, I understand” until I ask you 5 minutes later if you get what I’m saying and you say “no.”

12) “Timber” by Pitbull can be played on repeat 100 times and still sounds good.

13) Freshmen get all equipment, always…even when I stare at an upperclassmen in the face and ask them to pick something up.

14) If I ask for you to help me find ball kids or students you will email your sorority, let me know you emailed your sorority, and still not find me any ball workers.

15) Owning a white dress is a casual article of clothing that has many uses outside of weddings and Heaven.

16) It is not ok to be anything but humble about yourself…to the point where if one of you won the Nobel Peace Prize you’d not share. But it is acceptable to say you’re the best team on campus because that’s a fact.

February Break with Addie, Meg, and Harvey

February 28, 2014 by

Greetings, Gennies Nation! We, sophomores Addie Healy, Meaghan Latella and Erin Harvey, spent our February break together this year. Here’s a detailed account of the various shenanigans that took place during our exciting week in New England.


Meaghan’s Perspective: Over February break, Addie and Erin decided to brave the unknown and ventured to Connecticut to pay me a visit. Seeing as there is not an abundance of things to do in my tiny state, I decided that I would take them to the big city: New York! While there, we went to the famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. We had a great time taking pictures with all of the (fake) celebrities. Here’s a casual shot of us and our new best friend, Pelé.



Addie’s Perspective: We also ventured to Windham to go skiing! After loading our pockets with pb&j and Erin’s favorite Kidz Clif bars, we hit the slopes. The weather was perfect, a little bit of snow fell early on leaving the slopes covered in a soft layer of powder. Thankfully, for me, because I spent most of the day tumbling down them…stopping was not in my amateur skill set!

Erin and Meaghan, quite the avid skiers, slalomed like true Gennies to the Waffle Cabin! I’ve never eaten something quite as great as that delicious sugar waffle. One for the books!

ImageTired, full, (and in my case snow covered) we piled into Meg’s car and headed back to good ol’ Wilton, CT! Just another great day to be a Gennie!












Erin’s Perspective: Two words. Stew Leonard’s. This grocery store may be my new “happy place.” While this might sound extreme, hear me out.  The store is set up like a maze and has more sample stands than Costco. As if that’s not enough, there are stuffed animals doing flips, giant fake cows that “moo” upon request, and talking Twinkies. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  After a long day of skiing, our adventure to Stew’s was the perfect way to spend the day. I can’t wait to go back!



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