The W&L Women’s Soccer Coaching Staff will be attending the following tournaments:
If you will be attending any of those events, please email the coaching staff with your schedule!
The following post was written by sophomores Katie Clemmons and Hollis Tardy…
After being apart for way too long, the Gennies finally reconvened on Saturday to help serve the community by enjoying the afternoon at the Mayflower Retirement Home in downtown Lexington. The residents were very excited to have visitors and loved making conversation about family, friends, and just life in general! The event was organized by Katie Clemmons and Hollis Tardy for the Generals Leadership Academy, a program that teaches W&L student athletes strong leadership skills for their athletic teams and future communities and careers.
As part of hopefully a series of reflective pieces some former Generals look back on what they miss the most about playing college soccer at Washington and Lee. We feature the graduating class of 2013 who are still weirdly an extremely close class but one that I personally miss a great deal. They were great ambassadors for our program and continue to support the team, me and the program at every opportunity. They all had a great perspective on what it means to go through a four year career as a college athlete. At the end of the day it is and will always be about people.
As your former coach, but life-long supporter, I appreciate your dedication to the program since graduation. Whether it is coming to games, texts before and after games, text pics of you all together still doing weird stuff, drinks at my house when you get back to campus (even Toddy spilling her drinks) or just knowing that you are watching games online is very much appreciated and never taken for granted.
Overall record at Washington and Lee: 54-15-8. Conference Champions in 2009
Alex “Toddy” Todd: Defender from New Orleans, LA. Soon to be a graduate of UVA with a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering.
I miss the feeling you have on game day, waking up super excited, extremely distracted from everything else (but not caring about anything else that day so it doesn’t matter), playing in your head what will happen later that day. I love the hours leading up to game time, when you go to the locker room, blast crazy music, listen to your favorite pump-up song, hang out in the training room, snack on granola bars, and finally walk up to the field, really pumped up and ready to succeed in a Gennies Win Day! When everyone on the team (all of your best friends) are on the same page and in the same mindset going into game-time, it’s the best feeling ever. Because you know the next three hours are going to be filled with your favorite thing – competitive soccer – AND you know that when you win, you will have Dr. Fulcher’s peanut butter balls waiting for you in the locker room and you worked so hard in the game that you can eat 12 and not feel guilty.
Ainsley “Ainsbutt” Daigle: Midfielder from Lafayette, LA. Senior research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board in DC.
I miss playing in games that actually matter. Even if you can find ways to keep playing after college (adult leagues, intramural teams, playing with friends, etc.), you’ll never have that feeling of the game REALLY meaning something. That feeling of absolutely leaving it on the field to win. In fact, in adult leagues it’s kind of just awkward when people take it too seriously and you also get in trouble for slide tackling!
Hannah “Snack” Sackfield: Midfield player from Louisville, KY. Health and Benefits Actuarial Analyst at Mercer in Richmond, VA
What I miss the most: getting pumped up in the locker room before games; playing up on watt field, which has the best, most incredible views of campus, especially in the fall; post-practice stretch circle shenanigans; and last but not least, the 6 a.m. beep test (NOT!)
Katie “K-How” Howard: Midfield player from Atherton, CA. Event Production Assistant for One Kings Lane, NYC
A season takes a lot of people pulling in one direction towards a common goal and it would be remiss of me to not take a more public forum to thank so many people for what they did for our team this fall. This BLOG that reaches millions worldwide is my public forum so please pass on my message to the technologically challenged people out there. These are not in any order of ranking or importance. It takes a lot of people to truly make a team better.
What a great group of loyal supporters you have been this year. You have traveled in numbers, watched online and the team and staff fully appreciate your efforts. Tailgates at home games, meals on the road, kind words to me personally and thoughtful letters are very much appreciated and never taken for granted. Your class at games always shines through, which is something you always appreciate when you hear the nonsense that comes from other people. I hope you watched the last game of the season and felt the same way I did at the end – sad to lose, but proud of the character and pride the team showed in representing the program and the school. You only see the games, I see it every day.
Thanks for coming to games both at home and on the road this season. It is rewarding as a coach to know you still care and think of the program so passionately. For those of you who could not make a live game, thanks for the numerous texts and e-mails both celebrating wins and commiserating the losses. Your support says so much about you as people. Once a General…..
3) Jeremy Franklin
If you do not know this fine young man you are missing out. He is the guy that broadcasts our games in his insightful and professional manner. If you listen to other school’s broadcasts you can appreciate how good this guy really is. He is knowledgeable, intelligent and above all else he truly cares about the team and makes every effort to get to know the players as more than just a kid in a jersey with a number on her back. It would be a very sad day if Jeremy Franklin left the hallowed campus of Washington and Lee.
4) Danielle Davis
Our new trainer, Danielle, did a great job this year at keeping us all as healthy as possible. It’s a long season and our training staff works some very long hours and I want them to know that every minute you spend with the athletes is appreciated. It certainly makes coaches lives much easier.
5) Reba Miller: Sports Information Office
The announcer at the games and the person responsible for getting stats updated and game reports out on the website in a timely manner. Reba has done an outstanding job in her first year at Washington and Lee and it is something I do not take for granted when games are staffed appropriately so we can concentrate on the coaching side of things.
6) Tommy and Baner
This sounds like a comedic duo and could easily pass for one… These guys look after the players every need during the season down in the stadium equipment room. Whatever the player’s need, Tommy and Baner take care of it with a kind word and an even bigger smile. Nothing is too much trouble. They enjoy the wins and have comforting words when things do not go well. We would truly be lost without these guys.
7) Megan Fulcher
Dr. Fulcher is the women’s soccer team’s faculty athletic mentor and has been a big help to our players when they need academic advice with classes, as well as really understanding them off the field (This means feeding them…they are not that complex). Megan’s Peanut Butter Balls (size of beach balls) are always a welcomed gift in the locker room. She and her family drive to away games and support the Generals through the goodness of their hearts and we appreciate the support.
8) Mike Mayo
Who? He hides behind the scenes and prefers it that way but Mike is responsible for making sure we have awesome fields to play and practice on every day. Over the last few years our fields have improved largely due to Mike’s attention to them and pride in his work. A great guy that goes above and beyond because he truly cares.
Student body, friends of players, faculty, school administrators and community people all come out to support the Generals. It means a lot to a player to see people fill the stands and that the faces are familiar. What would we do without Bob’s double bubble? One of my favorite things over the last couple of years has been the support of the other teams on campus who rearrange practice or just encourage their teams to support each other. Swimming, Women’s Basketball, Football, Men’s Soccer, Volleyball, Men’s Lax we owe you and look forward to returning the favor whenever we can.
10) Coach Rachael
I enjoy working with you. You have a great understanding of what it takes to be a coach and balance being accessible to players with a sense of no compromise either. Holding players accountable and pushing them to improve is why we are successful. You are a great role model on and off the field because you have truly walked in their shoes and continue to work hard every day. Nothing is easy, life can be tough but your attitude is refreshing in educating the players make that transition to college. I am truly blessed to work with you.
Parent of the Year: Phil Abraham
I know you all could be the deserving one but since when did anyone care about parents feelings. Phil has been the unofficial team photographer for as long as I can remember and I know I speak for a few people when I say thank-you for all your pictures. You have not only provided a service to the team and parents but from a coach’s perspective you have been a friendly face and committed and dedicated person and always had a kind word to say regardless of the performance and result. You will be missed on the sideline for sure.
Most Promising Freshman Player: Kelsey Jervis
It is difficult to start college and be thrust into a key role at the back for the Generals. Add to the fact that you are playing in a new system of three at the back and suffice to say you have been outstanding. You got better as the year went on and often that is not the case about first year’s in particular. A solid performer and an ever present at the back are excellent indicators to future success. Great job Kelso! I predict a very bright future and I know some stuff.
Best Breakthrough season: Tricia Jessee and Katie Pettit
Two sophomores that had amazing seasons. I know they received accolades and plaudits from the league but what the league does not see is how they got there. Pushing oneself out of season brings the biggest reward and these two ladies really got after it in the gym, on the track and the soccer field when nobody was watching and taking notes. The true mark of an athlete is what you do between seasons when things are not mandatory and the only thing keeping you going is a promise to yourself to be better. I have the utmost respe ct for anyone achieving these goals. Great season Tricia and KP.
Tipped to make a huge impact in 2015: Olivia Hunter and Abby Thornton
Olivia had a great second half to her freshman campaign. Once she got fit and mastered the art of playing quickly she proved to be an excellent performer at the back for the Generals. Arguably at the end of the season she was one of our best performers and a solid defender all around. I look for her to be a staple at the back for years to come. Abby spent the year rehabbing an injury and even though she shows great promise as a cone mover and videographer I am excited to see her back out on the green grass ready to make up for lost time. A fierce competitor on the field and a wonderful person to coach as well.
It is always rewarding after an excellent season that some individual team members receive recognition for their personal accomplishments. It is undoubtedly a team game and while we as coaches see these people in action every day we rely on other coaches voting for our players to be recognized.
Congratulations to Katie Rossi, Ashley Hogan, Tricia Jessee, Addie Healy, Katie Pettit and Holley Beasley for their fine seasons that helped us amass a 15-2-1 record.
KATIE ROSSI: Senior midfield player from Wyoming, DE
Katie is Ms. Dependable on our team and never has a bad day. She comes to practice every day committed to doing her job to the best of her ability and works tirelessly every day to make the team better. She has been our right midfield player all season and I have no clue what we will do without her next year. This first team all-conference selection is a fitting end to a stellar career. It is rare you come across an individual like Katie that can continue to improve, is consistent every day, holds herself to a high standard and is the perfect example of being the ultimate team player.
ASHLEY HOGAN: Sophomore defender from Richmond, VA
Until she got injured during the last 2 weeks of the season she was playing amazingly well. Building on her rookie of the year award from last year she picked up right where she left off and had an excellent season as a center back for the Generals. It is no secret that Hoagie is very consistent at practice and rarely puts a foot wrong. The ease in which she plays her position is so great to see every day. Ashley has a bright future ahead of her and will get even better.
TRICIA JESSEE: Sophomore forward from Roanoke, VA
Tricia led the line for the Generals all season and scored some huge goals all year. At the end of the season she was virtually unplayable and was influential in our ODAC run to the championship game. Tricia scored 14 goals for the team and had an outstanding season. She should be commended on her fitness levels and her dedication to getting stronger was the most noticeable improvement to her game. Tricia was stronger in possession and physically able to meet the demands of the game. I am proud of how much she improved from last year and she has an exciting future ahead of her. First team all- conference is a fitting end to her year.
ADDIE HEALY: Junior GK from Waterford, VA
Adele, Adelaide, Addie Healy had another tremendous year in goal for the Generals. Posting another 11 shutouts to her collection she also proved to be a valuable addition to the coaching staff bringing Shelbi Hendricks up to speed on the goalkeeping thing. Addie has worked hard at her game over the last couple of years, improved her decision making and has developed the ability to spot potential risks before they happen in the back line. I always appreciate her willingness to accept criticism in a mature manner, take it in stride and come out the other side better. It is becoming a rare quality these days with young adults. Addie is a wonderful kid and someone I always enjoy talking to on and off the field. Another great year for number 1 and hoping she saves her best for last.
KATIE PETTIT: Sophomore from San Diego, CA
Katie is the best example of what can happen to your fortunes when you work hard, pay attention, gain some confidence and perform better than you thought imaginable. What a year for someone that was primarily used as a role player as a first year in a variety of positions. Now as a sophomore she played central midfield in all the games starting 17 as opposed to 4 last year. KP was reliable at practice and just had an amazing season. KP should serve as a poster child for any player on the fringes of the team and be a role model for how personal responsibility and accountability can literally lead to a much larger piece of the pie. What a fabulous year for our California native and I know it will just get better.
HOLLEY BEASLEY: Senior from Virginia Beach, VA
What is there to say about this kid? She has been an inspirational player and leader for the blue and white over the years and has been my rock in the team. I am thankful for having spent time with Holley on and off the field as she is just a fantastic person. She has exemplified what it means to be a women’s soccer player in our program and sacrificed so much for the good of the team and program. It will be strange to put a team out there next year and have a different kid wearing the #6 as she has been such a positive influence on everything we have done. A fierce competitor, great teammate and dynamic leader Holley leaves our program in better shape but with a big hole in the middle of the field. Thanks Holley for all you have done.
Our Gennies retreat began with a “scenic tour of Lexington” as Coach likes to call it. In reality, we drove 15 minutes in the wrong direction and Rachael demonstrated her van-driving skills with a poorly executed 3-point turn. But give her a break, she just got her license last week.
Eventually we reached our destination. Attempting to describe it is nearly impossible; but it was awesome. Highlights included Ski Ball, a movie theater, Pinball machines, and a collection of guitars signed by every band or singer you’ve ever heard of. While the younger Gennies ran around exploring all the games, us old grandmas, aka the Seniors, posted up in the movie theater demanding snacks. And so the eating ensued.
First Course: Chips and salsa
Second Course: Pronto
Third Course: A cookie-dough, oreo, brownie concoction created by the junior class
Fourth Course: Sour Patch Kids
Fifth Course: Repeat courses 1-4 until you can no longer move
Once we finished eating, we moved on to the Gennies second favorite activity: games (pronounced james). Wardy, Kelsey Jervis (Kelso), Addie, Meaghan, Erin Duffy (Duff Masta), and others spent 20 minutes setting up Clue, but only 20 seconds actually playing. Kelso managed to guess who committed the crime in the second turn of the game. Noted: freshmen are cheaters.
Another gaggle of Gennies did their best Coach impersonations (multiple times) in a game of Charades. Apparently in Germany there is one universal dance to act out every Charades word; KJ did the same wiggle for “Teletubbies”, “candle”, and “Veggie Tales”. Eventually, Charades transitioned into Fishbowl, made possible by Kate Sourfoot’s hundreds of pre-cut paper squares. Who would’ve thought, Kate came prepared?
Meanwhile, the lazier Gennies pretended they knew what was going on in an English Premier League game between Arsenal and we’re not sure because we slept through most of it. For more information, ask Wardy. After realizing no one had seen Kathryn Riley for a good 8 hours, Abe directed us to a bench outside where Riley introduced us to her new pet cat, Miley. To be determined if Riley will ever forgive Coach for not letting Miley inside during the torrential rainstorm.
Next, the Gennies broke into groups to determine the team goals for the upcoming 2014 season. It appeared that great minds think alike when we reconvened with basically identical goals, including the desire to have the highest team GPA not just at W&L, but in the entire world. Winning ODACs may have made the list as well. Discussing our plans to make the ODAC our “stomping ground” pumped us up so much that it was time to refuel. We set out for our sixth course at the Baja Bean in downtown Staunton.
Thoughts from Rachael on the Baja Bean: “All of our food looks the same. It’s just in different shapes” “Why aren’t my fajitas sizzling? That’s the only reason I ordered these” “I hate Uncle Jamie” (in the highest voice we’ve ever heard from Rachael).
The delicious Mexican food was made better by the entertainment happening right outside the window as countless cars struggled to parallel park. The seniors, coaches, and Hollis “the Baron” Tardy harshly critiqued everyone who attempted to squeeze their car into the spot.
The last stop of the day was Staunton’s finest bowling alley. After listening to Rachael brag all day about bowling being her best sport, the Gennies were anxious to put her in her place. Good thing we had Shelbi to show her up because it turns out the rest of us should stick to sports where you aren’t allowed to use your hands. Bowling Awards:
Becca Morris- most gutterballs in a single game, and smiling the whole time
Kathryn Riley- most enthusiastic
Lauren Abraham- comeback kid
Camille LeJeune- most creative technique
Alexa Dreyer aka Dreyer Machine- best name
Shelbi Hendricks- MVP
Katie Rossi- N/A
Thanks to the coaches for organizing this awesome trip. It made for a fun day of team bonding and a great start to our championship-winning season.
After a couple of very successful weeks of pre-season and our first two contests this past weekend the coaching staff felt that our players needed to broaden their horizons a little….So various community projects are being handled with usual Gennies enthusiasm in an attempt to bring a smile to someone else’s face (human or animal).
It is easy to get wrapped up in our fishbowl at Washington and Lee and we hope these connections will serve us and the community well in the future. We all need to serve and before we start school we have an abundance of time to give for sure.
See the first two adventures below:
Our sophomore class led by our very own “cat lady” and overall animal enthusiast Kathryn Riley went to the SPCA. Rumor has it that they tried in vain to smuggle dogs out afterwards.
Our First year class enjoyed the afternoon with folks from the Mayflower Retirement Home. Mixing and mingling, enjoying conversation and bringing smiles to some folks that got a real bargain when 7 young females walked into their building today somewhere between Bingo and Dinner. Erin Duffy was our team leader and provided the pictures.
Being a member of the W&L Women’s Soccer team inspired me to do my 8-week Shepherd Internship with Soccer Without Borders in Kampala, Uganda. Interns and employees of SWBU instruct and play soccer, teach English and Life Skills classes and engage the local community. Through this model, the organization attempts to mitigate the lack of opportunity and education in the Nsambya neighborhood of Kampala as well as address various obstacles of the refugee population it serves.
SWBU began in 2006 through the collaboration of an American named Ben Gucciardi and a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo named Raphael “Rapha” Murumbi. Rapha is college-educated and speaks English, French, and Swahili, among other languages and felt he could make a difference in the community by using soccer to connect refugee children and forgotten youth. After the community showed immense interest and support in the preliminary Soccer Without Borders camp, the program officially kicked off and worked to combat the various problems facing Kampala youth; such challenges include the lack of available space and opportunity for youth to actively explore social issues and community challenges, a lack of social capital, and a deficiency in potential opportunities for education, employment and personal growth.
Working in Kampala, I witnessed so many things- corruption, chaos, suffering, joy, commitment, learning, sadness, the list goes on and on. My favorite part of the experience was connecting with the participants, especially one family in particular. The youth in the program are unbelievable; they look at things so simply and are independent beyond their years. I couldn’t stop smiling when we played at recess and I had a minimum of four kids hanging on me at all times. I cannot describe the feeling of seeing multiple small children running towards you down the road with open arms and loud, boisterous screams of “coach!” or “teacher!” making you feel like the most important person in the world.
Playing my first soccer scrimmage with the u14 boys is an experience I will never forget. Most of them don’t have shoes and played on the field, full of dirt and rocks, barefoot. That was very painful for me to watch but the boys weren’t fazed in the slightest and were just grateful for the chance to play. They didn’t treat me like a muzungu (white person) or a girl or anything different than the rest of the team, which was especially surprising because I never got my soccer touch on the dirt pitch!
SWBU serves a need that no other organization in Kampala is serving and without it, the smart, hard-working and ambitious refugee youth would have no other alternatives. Since our participants are all refugees coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan and Somalia, I learned a lot about the lack of rights/ hardships refugees face. They do not attend school because they cannot afford to attend and/or do not understand English (mostly speaking Swahili and French, languages not spoken in Uganda). Since English is the national language of Uganda, children need to speak some English to go to primary and secondary school and eventually to communicate for opportunities in the job market.
These beautiful children with deep eyes and ebony faces have experienced more in their short lives than I will ever go through. I learned on our celebration of International Refugee Day that many participants have personal experiences with violence in the DRC, one of the local staff was a child soldier and has experiences with PTSD, and other various anecdotes such as fathers being killed or still missing. In my life skills lesson on global refugees, the students answered my question of “what challenges do refugees face?” with food, money, jobs, shoes, clothes, education, house and a lack of a mother and/or father. One said that he likes Uganda because “no one [will] come into our house and attack us.” Before this internship, I didn’t realize the chaos and fighting that plagues all of the DRC and I am heartbroken about the many lives it has affected. Yet these upsetting stories are always followed with comments on how parents and children are so appreciative of SWB and how they are eager to learn English and Life Skills (covering a range of topics such as geography, exercise, diet, hygiene, leadership, etc.) and of course how much they love playing soccer.
This internship has taught me about true fulfillment and the rewards of working for a good cause. I am inspired by the dedication of the local staff, as they taught me about tenacious perseverance and unconditional love. Throughout my internship, my English 1 Advanced Class reminded me of our motto “kumbuka wewe ni nani,” which means always remember to be yourself. My time in Uganda taught me that I don’t need much to live on and be happy and that a child is begging for things I take for granted everyday (for example, three kids asked me after reading The Cat in the Hat if they could please take the book home with them). My kids undoubtedly taught me more than I taught them and I won’t forget how easily the roles of our lives could have been reversed.
At the beginning of my internship, I felt overwhelmed by what our participants and their families have to handle on a daily basis. A quote I came across while reading depicted my feelings in the first couple of weeks: “sometimes working in a third world country makes me feel like I am emptying the ocean with an eyedropper.” However, one of my good friends from W&L responded back to my concerns and frustrations with another quote: “my life amounts to nothing more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?” So although I was, at times, overwhelmed by the vulnerability and powerlessness of the refugees’ lives in Kampala, I was reminded daily of what SWB means to its participants, how overjoyed they were to see me and how proud they are of their accomplishments. The participants get to bond with their teammates, exercise and not worry or think about anything other than playing soccer. They get to yell at the top of their lungs and just be kids. They get to learn about different cultures, whether it is Uganda, the DRC, the U.S. or Canada, and be loved, hugged, high-fived, picked up, swung around, laugh and smile every day, something that none of them take for granted. I am completely confident that SWB is the highlight of everybody’s day – whether it is the kids, coaches or interns – and this experience will undoubtedly remain a highlight of my college career and always remain close to my heart.