PRE-SEASON IS OVER: It’s about to get real.

September 2, 2016 by


warm upIt seems like we have been in pre-season for about a month already but then after watching the team play today it looks like I recruited players from the island of misfit toys. I am of course just kidding. It has been an exceptional training camp and the players, new and old have worked extremely hard to get us to the point of our first real competition.

We have stressed the need to compete during this
first couple of weeks: with yourself, teammates and this weekend with the opposipooltion. I feel confident that we will rise to the occasion and play very well this weekend.

Our challenges have been very real. We have 11 first year players (I think some of them may have played before, but for others it may be their first actual year) and it is always a challenge to bring in a big class and fuse it with some tough and ultra competitive veterans. Our first year’s have been well educated so far and they have not even attended a class yet.

seniorsOur senior class has been stellar and provided a thoroughly enjoyable working environment for all and as the Head Coach I have to say it has been a very smooth pre-season indeed. Returning players came in fit and ready for the challenge of competing for a conference title and our rookies just follow along like minions eager to please.

First day fitness test saw a new standard as junior Olivia Hunter and rookie Kelsey Chamberlin beat the previous record set by Erin Harvey just last year. They were closely followed by Becca Morris and Caroline Peters and signs were very positive. I will refrain from mentioning the bottom of the list because some of those characters have since redeemed themselves and are now allowed to eat with the team and not have to rely on Tricia Jessee’s pizza crusts. It’s
all about improvement!
The week and a half has consisted of hard soccer training sessions, video breakdown sessions, lectures on “life”, great food in the D-hall and off campus at some of our favorite places (Franks and Blue Sky) Ice baths, treatment sessions for hang nails and twisted socks, individual meetings and progress reports, Croquet parties, ice cream socials, movie nights, strolls on the Chessie Trail, meetings with faculty advisers, picking classes advice from the veterans, off campus housing tours, upper division housing tours, and I am sure lots of other stuff that coaches don’t get invited to.


  1. Eight of the top 10 performers in the fitness test were returning players.
  2.  The team has broken the record for the most strawberries consumed in a week.
  3. We have so far absolutely managed to be “all-in” every daygnome
  4. Seniors have been magnificent. KP, Clem, Hollister, TJ and Nugget; thanks for a great start
  5. We are undefeated
  6. Chandler Wickers is a GNOME (oops) Chandler Wickers wins the Gnome! Typo….
  7. Caroline Hahn wears her practice gear the right way around all week
  8. Kelsey Jervis has kicked every player thus far and clearly has me and the trainer in her sights.
  9. Practice uniforms are really good looking
  10. The new fields are excellent

Excited to compete this weekend with this group and see where we stand and more importantly see where we will finish in a few months.


Coach Neil






Gennies do some community work

May 18, 2016 by

Katie Pettit rallied some players and gave a little back to our campus community this week. After two weeks of rain and thunderstorms, the generals finally had a chance to volunteer at Washington and Lee’s back campus garden. This half acre garden grows vegetables and herbs used by both the W&L dining services and Campus Kitchens. It also has two resident ducks! (Apparently one is rather aggressive). The highlights include Syd and Megan planting a row of tomatoes, Kelsey and Carol raking out manure, and KP, Becca, and Peters being the ultimate weeders. Overall a very fun experience!




April 21, 2016 by

On Saturday April 9th three of us seniors (Addie, Meaghan, and Becca) took a break from “studying” for finals to participate in the Conway Cup, a benefit soccer tournament for ALS. Here’s a quick recap of our performance: Thanks to our teammates for joining us.

Games 1 and 2:

We walked onto the Liberty Hall fields (“the ones by the law school?” – senior-who-will-remain-unnamed) accompanied by a blizzard. Yes, in April. The first whistle blew before the rest of the team arrived and the youngins’ (KP and Liv) were ready to go… but for the seniors, their hearts wanted to play that full 25 but their bodies were telling them NO. Fortunately, the rest of the group hustled in just in time. About 5 minutes in, Meaghan went down for a tackle (which she won) but at the cost of pulling a groin…you don’t need two of those, right? Shortly there after Becca played a forbidden square pass (NO SQUARE PASSES, DUNNY!!!).

  • Results: Two draws.
  • Energizer Bunny award: Becca Morris
  • Referee: Biased for the other team
  • Morale Level: “We are just as good as everybody else!”

Game 3:

After a quick break at DHall, we returned, stomachs full (too full), for game number 3. Meanwhile, Meaghan was taking an exam (wait it’s exam week?) and the boys vacated for a cook out. Despite players down, the generals came out flying and quickly went up by 3.

  • Highlights: KP had a hat-trick, Dunny hit one top shelf, Olivia made a record number of tackles, and Addie enjoyed a sandwich in the goal.
  • Energizer Bunny award: Still Becca Morris
  • Results: 6 – 0
  • Referee: Not biased
  • Morale Level: “ON TOP OF THE WORLD”
  • Disclaimer: Opponent was a highschool girl’s team…

Game 5: (skipping game 4…#notbitter)

Next up, VMI cadets. But don’t let the uniforms fool you, they were sub-par. Despite the fact that no one could feel any of their limbs, the generals brought all they had left to the game. They clenched the W, outscoring the VMIs 6 to 1. VMI were such sore losers they insisted that we go into a PK shootout. After 1000000 pks later (one notably scored by Addie – this is surprisingly not a joke) we finally were determined winners.

  • Highlight reel:
    • KP took down a 250 lb, 6’2 burly man and came out with the ball
    • In the last minute, Meaghan had to hobble off due to an aggressive toenail injury (miraculously all is still in tact, although slightly)
    • Addie invented a revolutionary save technique – trapping the ball with her face from feet away
    • Dunny decided to spectate for this one (something about some extra studying on the sidelines?)
    • And Becca Morris didn’t shed a drop of sweat and still had a smile on her face the whole time. Does that girl ever get tired??

Overall, even though we can barely walk right now, we are really happy we participated in this event. It reminded us of how much we love this sport and how much we miss playing every day. Special thanks to Professor Dickovick for putting the team together! You’re the true MVP.

-Addie, Meggo, and Dunny

Conway Cup


Sydney Abrisz is “getting after it”

April 20, 2016 by

First year player Sydney Abrisz is not one to sit around in the off-season. Congrats to her and Dad for completing the RVA Monument Avenue 10k. At least Dad wore the colors!

Lauren Abraham Crosses Over To The Darkside.

April 19, 2016 by

Lauren Abraham, class of 2015 decides to give back to her school and the sport she loves. Mills Godwin Alum and Richmond Strikers club player talks about coaching and what it means to her.

“You Can Call Me Coach Abe”

It’s been well over a year now since I stepped out on the field for the last time wearing the blue and white. I remember as soon as I “hung up my cleats” it only took me a couple days to realize I couldn’t stay away from the game long.

Like most Grandma Gennies I started exploring my retirement options. Don’t be confused – I didn’t join a golf club or start playing bridge – instead I began trying out different indoor soccer leagues and pick up teams around the Richmond area where I live. While it was fun to get back out on the field, I felt pretty unfulfilled by these options. I’m not sure whether it was the guys on my team who refused to pass me the ball or hearing that my senior captain K-Law (who I always considered a freak of nature and indestructible) blew her knee out in a “friendly” league game, but whatever it was I felt like I needed something more.

Luckily, I had a right place, right time kind of moment and was offered the position as an assistant soccer coach at my alma mater, Mills. E Godwin High School. Going back to Godwin to coach meant not only returning back to a program that I was apart of for four years and meant so much to me, but it also meant coaching alongside my former coach, Ali Toole.

Ali, hands down, has been one of the most influential figures in my soccer career. As a former University of Maryland player and assistant coach, Ali ultimately returned back to Richmond to start a family and coach at Godwin where she also attended high school and played soccer. Ali and I always connected through the passion and love we had for the game. She taught me what it meant to be a good player, teammate, friend, and just overall person. As you can probably tell from my rambling, being asked to come back to coach with Ali was a huge honor and something I was over the moon excited about.

Coming back to Godwin to coach has not only filled that desire I was looking for after my college soccer career, but it also has provided me a different type of satisfaction and joy that I don’t think you can necessarily get from just playing this game. The group of young women that I have had the pleasure to coach is the main reason I have felt such fulfillment. The team is made up of nineteen players that are all different and unique, but each one of them bring something to the program that makes what we have extremely special. Similarly to the W&L program, we are a family at Godwin. We work to not only develop these girls as soccer players, but also as people.

Now don’t get me wrong – we are competitive on the soccer field. Thus far, we have six girls committed to play college soccer at the Division I level (still working on some future Gennies as well) and many of our girls play for ECNL teams. We currently have a record of 6-0 and have only let up one goal in regular season play. Our goal is to win a state title – something that no Godwin Girls Soccer team has done before – and there is no doubt in my mind that this group can achieve just that.

Since earning my new title of “Coach Abe,” I have learned more over these past two months of coaching than I really could have ever imagined. A few highlights… 1) Thank you Coach. I have to thank Coach for all the hard work that he does behind the scenes that often goes unnoticed. Without you there is no program and sometimes I think people forget that. You made my college soccer career what it was and I will always be grateful for the opportunities you gave me. 2) Less is sometimes more. I often forget that half of what coach’s say is in one ear and out the other. I have started to learn that being short and concise (you can imagine this is hard for me judging this blog post) when talking or explaining things to your players is far more effective then rambling on forever.  3) Individual relationships are so important. Sometimes coaching revolves so much around big picture, team stuff that individual relationships are overlooked or not given much attention. In my short coaching experience, I make the individual relationships with my players top priority knowing how important this is when helping them not only on the field, but also off of it. 4) You will always want to play, but you can’t. I’m pretty sure some of my players thought they were going to have to pull me off the field during our first scrimmage. There was a moment where I literally forgot I wasn’t allowed to sub into the game. I now recognize that all you can do as a coach is provide your players with the tools to succeed, but they have to do the rest. 5) Passion for the game. One of my favorite parts about coaching is being able to share my passion for the game with others. You can’t fake passion and players can feel this energy you bring everyday. My hope is that my passion for soccer inspires my players and helps them develop their own love for the game.

While I certainly miss working hard at practice everyday, lacing up for big games, and being out on the field with my teammates, I now have a new outlet where I can share my passion for this game that I love so much – coaching.

GHS Team Picture

Recruiting Opportunities: Send us your schedule.

February 23, 2016 by

The Washington and Lee coaching staff  will be attending the following tournaments. If you are still interested in being evaluated please send us your schedule. Make sure to include full team name, jersey number and position.

jeff cupMarch 24-26th, 2016


SSApril 9-10th, 2016


blue chip logoApril 15-17th, 2016







Generals in the Classroom

January 20, 2016 by

black adn white team picFall classes went well for the Generals as the team kept up their stellar tradition of being excellent student-athletes. It has become one of the things we are most proud of as the team posted a 3.53 for the semester. Three students: Katie Clemmons, Becca Dunn and Shelbi Hendricks posted perfect 4.0 GPA’s for the fall.




Captains 2015/2016

December 1, 2015 by

The team will be in good hands next season as three new captains have been selected. Katie Clemmons, Ashley Hogan and Hollis Tardy are excited about the challenge ahead. Players and coaches are optimistic that their leadership will be a factor next season.

When asked about their position they unanimously feel honored to be a captain for the Generals and look forward to the season ahead. They also recognize the importance of the whole rising senior class in achieving the programs goals of winning a championship.

As a Coach I think they will provide solid leadership in all areas of our program. They are people I admire for their work ethic, commitment and enthusiasm for competition. I feel confident they will manage to combine the right amount of intense hard-work with the required levels of fun, to ensure the “chill to work ratio” is appropriate (inside joke).

Go Generals


I am thankful for 5 people…

November 27, 2015 by

imageimageWhat are you thankful for today? This day hopefully makes everyone count their blessings and refocus on what we are truly thankful for. Here are five PEOPLE to which I am thankful: my graduating seniors.
I am not going to quote statistics because anyone that has been a coach understands they never tell the complete story.
# 1 Addie Healy: Goalkeeper
Addie has been a stalwart in the General’s goal for her time at W&L. I met Addie and her family what seems like about 10 years ago at our overnight soccer camp and the rest is history. Addie has gone from shy quiet freshman to rock of the team and leader of the Generals. Adele, Adelaide, Addison thanks for your maturity, honesty and a player a coach can trust. I will miss our meetings, feeding you and of course how will camp function without you being there to help make it tick? A four year athletic career at a college has many ups and downs and being a GK is the hardest job on the planet. You have maturity beyond your years and are so well equipped to be able to handle anything life throws at you. (Just don’t drop it)
# 11 Erin Harvey: Forward
Erin walked onto the team as a first year after attending soccer camp her senior year. Always one of the fittest people on the team and someone you could count on to make sure she was in shape every year. An extremely versatile player and a great example to some of our younger players that if you have a willingness to listen and learn and play a role that helps the team; you can one day Captain the team as a senior. From right back, to midfield to forward and done with minimum fuss and that crazy Harvs sense of humor. Harvs I hope you go to Law School because you can argue/debate with the best of them.
# 18 Rebecca Dunn: Midfield/Forward
Becca is another camp veteran and another great example of what it takes to be a team player. Becca has an amazing amount of enthusiasm for helping others and staying positive. Whether she is helping a younger player or a kid on another continent (yes Dunny went to Africa) she finds time to see that she can make a difference. The bigger picture is more important than the small things some people get consumed with and when called upon Dunny has managed to play a vital role in many games for the Generals. We need more people like Dunny in the world.
# 26 Meaghan Latella: Defender/Midfield
Meaghan was another walk-on that we “took a chance” on four years ago and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s impossible to an “outsider” to measure and show how much someone has improved as a soccer player and grown as a person over their college career. I have witnessed it with my own eyes and I wish other players had a fraction of this kid’s work ethic, drive and selflessness. No player in the history of our program has spent as much time coming early to practice to make both herself better and help improve the team. How refreshing to be able to have a conversation with a young person four years on and be proud of that person’s growth, self-confidence and level of independence.

# 28 Shelbi Hendricks: Goalkeeper
This girl has been an amazing addition to our program in the two years she has played for the Generals. She literally answered a desperate plea for a keeper and came and tried out not having a clue what she was getting into. Our soccer lives and personal lives have been enriched by her joy for playing sport, her attitude to learning and developing, and basically her positive outlook on everything. I wonder how good this kid could have been had she joined our team as a freshman. Shebli (this is not a typo), Shelbi Ding Dong you will be missed and remembered with great affection. Hopefully next year someone will have learned a little something from you and the way you manage to look at everything from everyone’s perspective, not just their own. Thanks for always explaining “how lucky we are to be on this team”

Here’s to you all and your very bright futures. Don’t forget your allegiance to the blue and white and don’t forget the friendships you have built and of course your old coach.
Here are some things to look forward to, or NOT:

No more fitness test or summer training​​- Sitting in a cubicle all day wishing you could go outside

No more dealing with Coach​​​- Your boss will be a complete idiot, but bite that tongue​
Happy memories of college soccer​​-Work colleagues don’t want to hear your stories
Not having to wear uncomfortable cleats- ​Oh yeah, work shoes are so much better
Living in a place with great food options​​- No more Franks, Blue Sky, Croquet Party Food


November 24, 2015 by

Twas’ 7 a.m. on a Sunday,
and all through the country
most people were sleeping
but one of the Gennies was running.

She awoke at 5:30, rolled out and stretched with care–
and headed down to the starting line,
a Santa suit she would wear.

Hundreds of Santas huddled together,
as the horn sounded for the race;
but because she only “trained” for 2 weeks,
she decided to run at a glacial pace.

Miles 1 through 4 were nothing–
“child’s play,” if you will;
but as she loped through mile 7,
her legs would start to kill.

A mom pushing a stroller passed by her
and she couldn’t believe her eyes;
and suddenly the Gennie within her woke up
and her heart rate started to rise.

Mile 10 she could see in the distance
so a new plan she devised:
“pass everyone you see in front of you,
even if you can’t feel your thighs.”

And then the ten-minute-miles faded,
as she passed the stroller, a grandmother
and a pair of newlyweds.
She clocked in mile 12 at 7 min. 40 secs.,
images of the fitness test flying through her head.

And suddenly it was over,
the finish line clear in sight;
as she crossed, they gave her a medal
much to the retired athlete’s delight.

She peered down at the shiny award:
“Participation,” it was for.
And she realized that she’d officially become a “N.A.R.P”…
…but that she’d still always be a competitor at her core.