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.

Home Again: Part Deux

September 25, 2015 by

The next day after our first defeat saw the blue and white host Meredith College for the last game of the Washington and Lee classic. With Emory already presented with the silverware after winning both of their games it was up to the team to finish the weekend strongly with a return to victory lane.

Another beautiful fall day in Lexington greeted the players as they began their warm-up for this important regional clash. Scouting report was firmly locked in the vault and all we had to do now was find our legs after a tough game the day before.

The team started a little slow which was to be expected and Meredith had the better of the opening exchanges and ended up outshooting the generals by a narrow 6-5 margin. Not too many clear cut chances for either team but a pretty even half on the whole. Half time score 0-0.

In the second half Maggie Nolan, First year keeper, made her college debut and once she had brushed away the nerves seemed ready to compete and keep a clean sheet. A much more dominant Gennies team had some excellent chances and limited Meredith to just a couple of shots from distance. As the game looked like heading to overtime a counter attack by the Generals produced a numbers up situation. Megan Engeland turned her marker; the ball fell to Hollis Tardy who played in the trusty and reliable left foot of Caroline Hahn with 2 minutes to go in regulation. Caroline “Money” Hahn stroked the ball into the bottom corner of the goal for the match winner. Final score 1-0 to us. A great way to end a tiring weekend and mush rest clearly needed.

Notables from the Game:

  1. Addie and Maggie combining for our first shut-out of the season.
  2. Team finding a way to secure the victory.
  3. Two recruits hopefully somewhat impressed to want to be a part of the team in 2016.
  4. Great parent support once again.


Can You Figure it Out?

September 24, 2015 by

Two personalized peaches

Twenty-two muscles to smile

Three footlong subs and a happy meal

Five headers in the first minute of a game

One set of three sets of eight reps of controlled hamstring pre-hab star balances

Nineteen stupid sit-ups

Thirteen ankle cracks in 30 seconds

Twenty slices of pizza

Thirty-two times more flexible than someone 7 inches shorter

Twenty-five retweets, likes, and album shares

Nine pounds of spinach

Twenty-six pineapples under the sea, absorbent and yellow and porous is he

Eleven super sonic speed glute hamstring raises

Twenty-four huh??

Twelve ways to ask an inappropriate question

Fourteen grunts per practice

Twenty-eight consultants consulting about consulting

Seven אָלֶף־בֵּית עִבְרִ

Fifteen times more tiring than lacrosse

Eighteen books in a backpack

Ten dramatic ways of falling

Twenty-one gentle scoops

Seventeen miles covered in a game

Twenty-three fouls in a practice (during the dynamic warm-up)

Home again, Home again…

September 21, 2015 by

This week leading up to our first home games of the season and the Washington and Lee Classic was challenging to say the least. Freshman orientation was in full swing for the first part of the week and when a third of your team are made up of afore mentioned rookies planning practice is extremely difficult. It was like a revolving door for a couple of days which proved to be a nuisance especially after starting the season well and looking to gather some momentum.

However a bright ray of hope was the official “open for practice “of the new facility. The week also saw our first real rainfall since we started the season and we all needed that.

Practice was good, players picked up from where they left off after the weekend and we were hoping to get a few more squad member’s up to speed ready for the arrival of Emory University and Meredith College.

My biggest fear going into the game was how to concentrate on two very tough games, with some patchy preparation whilst being inundated with e-mails about the feeding of the 5000 after the game. At least if we stunk during the game we knew who was bringing the cookies, who was making barbeque for the longest amount of time, and even what each family member would be wearing during sunshine and rain. Thank heavens for the players who remembered we actually had a game to play.

GAME THREE: Emory University

At the end of last season one thing we all talked about was how to beef up our schedule and play some better non-conference games. There is no better test than inviting perennial NCAA qualifiers Emory University to Lexington. Coach Rachael had been studying film and scouting reports all week and her summary was that we needed to score one more than them. Insightful, factual and difficult to argue with true logic.

Players are always extra excited to play their first home game and there was a great atmosphere with the crowd, lots of parents and of course our trusty alums finding any opportunity to sneak back to campus to watch the Generals in action.


The first half started well and while Emory enjoyed a large chunk of the possession Addie in goal was rarely called into action to keep the score tied. At the other end we relied on a couple of pacey counter-attacks with Caroline Peters and Tricia Jessee proving to be a dangerous threat. Defensively we worked extremely hard and proved dogged in denying the opposition to get behind our backs. We had to deal with an aerial assault from the ball being pumped into our box but all in all we fared well.

I missed the half-time show but apparently we had a petting zoo, dancing clowns and a flyover by the air force. Not sure why I missed the whole thing. Did I take a nap?

Early in the second half we failed to clear a ball out of the box and it broke to an Emory player at the top of the box and she drilled a nice shot into the roof of the net for the go-ahead goal and eventual match winner. Ironically after the goal we played our best soccer. If it was not for an amazing fingertip save from Tricia Jessee’s 25 yard strike from the Emory keeper the game would have been tied and who knows what would have happened from there. However that was about as close as we came and in a tough game we went down 0-1 but the coaches left the game with great hope for the next game and beyond. We showed some great resilience and teamwork and stayed competitive with arguably one of the best teams we would face all season.

Final Score: Washington and Lee 0 Emory University 1


  1. Players preparation was magnificent and they all played awesome.
  2. Crowd was loud and showed great support.
  3. Tailgate from the parents afterwards was perfect. Lots of food and it was fun for players and parents to hang-out. Thanks to parents of seniors for organizing.
  4. Having alums at the game and coming over to my house afterwards for libations.
  5. Teamwork and a sense of disappointment after the game, but in a positive way.

And So It Begins…

September 8, 2015 by

THE Washington and Lee Soccer BLOG sometimes resembles the truth. You should by no means hang on every word. We have the right to embellish as we see fit, poke fun at players, staff and parents. You can unsubscribe at any time by delivering a brand new vehicle to Coach Rachael’s house, going into witness protection or well you know what. Read with the notion that it’s not going to win any awards and you will never be disappointed by its shallow and pathetic attempt at bad satire.


The Generals have had a great pre-season. The team has gelled nicely on and off the field and the returning players have done an outstanding job of welcoming our new players into the “Gennies” family. Team meals in the d-hall as well as supporting the local businesses of Franks and Blue Sky Bakery have been well received – as have been movie nights at the drive-in and bake-offs in the evenings at off campus houses.

The players worked extremely hard in every session despite being moved around many different facilities as we finished off some construction around campus. We even practiced on the baseball outfield. No complaints, no whining just a great positive attitude. Coach Rachael moaned a little but we are used to it so we just ignored her.

The 2015 squad has players from 13 states and is captained by Addie Healey and Erin Harvey. Their leadership and guidance have been outstanding throughout the first couple of weeks. The senior supporting cast of Meaghan, Dunny and Shelbi (Curly, Larry and Mo) have provided excellent input as well.

The opening weekend sent the Generals on the road to the Salisbury University tournament where they would play the hosts and follow that up with NCAA tournament team in 2014, Stevenson University. This beefing up of the schedule suited both coaches and players and we felt good about our progress as we approached our first games.


Practice started in the morning with a visit from our athletic director, Jan Hathorn who came to wish the team good luck and meet them all in person. We conducted our practice on the baseball field, which may not seem like the best venue to practice the day before the first game, but we certainly improved turning to the left so it’s not all bad. Sliding into bases toughened us up and standing on the mound made Ashley Hogan seem like a giant. I am sure most teams at this point finalized strategy, line-ups, and worked on the last couple important details. We decided instead to focus on our touch and competitive edge in the skills ladder. We had the usual shenanigans of cutting corners, teams being disqualified and more tattle tailing than in an elementary school playground… but despite all that, much fun was had by all.

On the completion of practice we sprinted over to Blue Sky Bakery for lunch and enjoyed great sandwiches, salads and of course a tray of desserts. Bus departure 3pm for Salisbury, MD and we wait for no-one. Bus loaded, lots of movies (I use the term loosely) because school has not started yet, and most took the opportunity to take a much needed nap after a long pre-season. I enjoy my work, love the team, but their choice in movies is quite appalling for intellectual young ladies. “Baby Mama” and “She’s the Man” are not even good enough to win a Razzie. I asked the driver to speed up to save me from the madness but thankfully he preferred safety and the law rather than my masculinity being persecuted.

No plans to stop for dinner but as we got closer to Salisbury, MD more and more players politely made food anecdotes, Tricia got her hand or maybe it was her head stuck in the snack bin, and Peters showed her first sign of aggression trying to find the Nutella jar. OK OK….Chipotle it is. Back on the bus, complete food coma silence and music to my ears.

chipotle pic

We arrived at the Hampton Inn to our luxury accommodation around 10pm and promptly checked out for the night. Dreaming of a good performance and visualizing victory was the last message to the group, or was it be quiet and go to bed. My memory escapes me.


Game Day One: Salisbury University

Finally I hear you say. Maybe some commentary about an actual game. True fact that we had never beaten Salisbury University at women’s soccer and the last two years had resulted in two ties so maybe “third luck’s a charm” as Toddy, one of our former players always said. Oh how we miss her insane sayings. Game time 2pm, beautiful sunny day (albeit a bit windy) and it was now officially time to go to work. Coach gave a rousing speech before the game, quoting from “She’s the Man” movie (yes I was listening) “KICK, KILL.” Absolutely masterclass and quite prophetic because that’s exactly what we did.

black adn white team pic

In the first half we started well and created a few really good chances. Forwards looked lively and defensively we looked rather solid. We were awarded a corner on the right and completely (true story) miss-kicked it to Katie Clemmons who turned around and chipped it into the far corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. Loved the fact that everyone thought we had worked on it at practice – but in truth complete accident – even though the finish from Clemm was no accident. Traveling fans of at least 200 went crazy (may have exaggerated the count) and the blue and white were off to a flier.

clems goal celebration

We continued to push for that second goal but could not quite breakthrough as Tricia and Peters both went close. Addie (Gk) took a nap at the other end because we controlled most of the half with some very nice slick passing.

addie diving

Half time: Generals up 1-0.

Clearly the first half was a matter of just getting used to each other because the second half we came out flying. Three goals in 15 minutes sealed the deal and we fully deserved the victory. The second goal was a shot from Tricia from about 20 yards that flew into the top corner, and the fourth goal was another rocket by number 20, but this time into the lower corner. Sandwiched in between was the goal of the contest as Tricia sent a cross to Clemm who headed it into the path of the onrushing Caroline Peters who knocked it past the keeper. What a great goal and her first collegiate goal. The team were ecstatic, bench was going wild and the coaches enjoyed every minute. Our parents were clearly made speechless by the quality of our play.


The game in hand at 4-0 we continued to press and Erin Harvey, Becca Dunn and Meaghan Latella all had chances to increase the margin of victory. With just 7 minutes to go our defense, including the keeper, decided to make it interesting and parted like the red sea and let Salisbury walk in a couple goals. Very charitable indeed but hard to be too mad at a team that had played so well, so I wasn’t. Rachael needed some calming down, Danielle the trainer stopped texting immediately in shock and I headed for my victory apple (my favorite snack).

harvs running

Final score: Washington and Lee 4          Salisbury 2

Notables from the Game:

  1. Caroline Peters and Danielle Spickard’s freshmen debuts.
  2. Olivia, Hoagie and Kelso were immense at the back.
  3. Clemm’s goal and an assist
  4. Tricia’s two goals.
  5. Coach Neil sitting down for 95% of the contest.
  6. Wardy coming to the game

After the game we headed back to the hotel for Coach Rachael to put the team through a much needed pool recovery session because another game was less than 24 hours away. Parents connected to their daughters and went out to dinner because apparently they missed them. Seems like the MD shore meant seafood so that seemed to be the order of the day. Coach Rachael took the “orphans” out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday while I went to Walmart to buy some breakfast and bus snacks and just so happened to stumble on my favorite restaurant while I was on my way: Dunkin Donuts!! I enjoyed the dinner of champions: 50 munchkins followed by a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream from Walmart.


Day two, game two, began with the customary team stretch/jog outside the hotel. Most players looked like they just got up, some always look like that, but for now I will not name any names. Quick team meeting to talk logistics, shortest scouting report in the world and back to scoff down some more breakfast. “ Waffles are good for you before a game” (true statement by one of our players well versed in diet and nutrition). Not sure they meant with whipped cream piled on top like a beehive.

Game time 1pm V a very good Stevenson team that were also fresh off a Saturday victory. Well coached and a very athletic team would prove to be an excellent opponent at this stage of the season. The game started like a middle school soccer game with two officials instead of three and with two minutes on the clock we had a perfectly good goal adjudged offside because someone with a flag, now had a whistle and was in charge. #worstcallever

I had to get off the bench for this one, cracked a joke nobody understood and went back to my chupa chups. Team showed great attitude and willingness to just get on with it. Tricia was robbed but life goes on. It was a very entertaining first 25 minutes as we opened the scoring with a great sliding strike by Katie Pettit (KP) and followed up 2 minutes later with a headed goal from rookie Peters. Both goals were assisted by Tricia Jessee but I think her Aunt Suzy taught her those moves so she is not getting any credit. 2-0 to the Generals and life was good. How quickly the game changes when a minute later Stevenson scored off a shot through a crowded penalty area and cut the deficit to 2-1. That score held for half-time.

The second half we seemed a little tired and started slowly. Stevenson had some long spells with the ball but never really troubled our keeper Addie Healy so that was all good. A late chance for Becca done went begging after a nice save but we held on for a great 2-1 victory. This capped an excellent weekend.


  1. Two saving tackles by Caroline Hahn and Kelsey Jervis showed amazing commitment.
  2. Great goal by KP
  3. Excellent Captain play on the wing by Erin Harvey at a critical moment in the game.
  4. Hogan’s solid defensive performance.


Coach Rachael as always makes everything run smoothly, is an excellent role model for our players and allows me to make fun of her. Danielle our trainer being with us all weekend was great and anyone that has to deal with feet deserves a medal. Parents and family members thanks for your support. We appreciate you making the trip and cheering us on.

hogan and mom

Jim and Kathy Clemmons a huge thank-you for providing lunch/food after the game so we could hit the road as quickly as possible. Very generous and much appreciated.

*photos provided by Becki Abrisz

EVERYONE Should Study Abroad

July 15, 2015 by

The following post is from rising junior (wow!), Hollis Tardy:

I am in Coach’s motherland this month for a study abroad program in London at Roehampton University. During the week, we have class in the morning, and then we’re free to explore the city in the afternoon.  On Monday of this week, I toured Stamford Bridge Stadium,  which is where Chelsea plays.  It was such a cool experience!  Our tour guide took us all over the stadium.  Most notably, we got to see the pressroom and the home and away locker rooms.
Then on Wednesday, I toured Wembley Stadium with some of the other people in my class.  Wembley is easily one of the most famous stadiums in the world, and nine of the 2012 Olympics soccer matches were played there.  It was amazing to see.
My time in London is flying by.  I’m here for less than two more weeks and there is still so much to do!

Latella Reports on the World Cup

July 7, 2015 by

Rising Senior and Journalism Major, Meaghan Latella, is currently interning at the Hartford Courant, a newspaper out of Hartford, CT.  Below is the link to her most recent article covering the the Women’s World Cup Gold Medal Game.

Hartford Courant


Royal Wedding Part II

June 27, 2015 by

This weekend I want to wish Roz Klann all the very best as she ties the knot in her hometown, Denver, CO. I first met Roz when she attended our soccer camp at the end of her junior year of high school. Having just spent a few days in Denver before the wedding I am not sure why she left the state but I am thankful she did. Roz had a stellar career for the Generals ending in an ODAC championship her senior year and her influence on the team has been sorely missed.

Roz is one of the most selfless athletes I have ever coached and she would do anything for the program. This was exemplified her senior year when she voluntarily gave up playing her preferred central midfield position to play left midfield because it was the best thing for the team.

Roz was a fierce competitor that hated to lose in any game at practice and was a coaches dream( at least this coach). What I personally miss since Roz graduated in 2010 is her sense of humor, her passion for mischief, and her willingness to push herself and her teammates to be better players and people.

Roz (and her sidekick Maggie) invented the stealing of the gnome after the croquet party and that tradition is still alive and well. She was the first player I remember that started the bright soccer cleat phase, culminating in some bright orange rascals her senior year. She also produced at least one memorable attempt per season to score off a bicycle kick which was always entertaining ( she will claim she scored one if you stick around to listen).

I have been truly blessed to have known you now 10 years and I appreciate you staying connected to the program. It means a lot to receive your texts and other messages. Your successes at W&L and since graduation are not a surprise and I could not be happier for you and Brendan. What could be better than marrying another General?

Much happiness to you both and there is always room at Chez Cunningham for you guys. Looking forward to sharing your special day. It’s truly my honor to be there.

Much Love,






Let the Summer of Weddings Begin

June 12, 2015 by

This month is wedding month for a couple of former Generals. First up this weekend is Page Minton our very own southern belle/tough KY kid from Bowling Green, KY. It seems like just yesterday (actually it does not, but people say that) that I sat in Memphis, TN on a cold Saturday night to watch Page play for Tennessee Futbol Club. We then convinced her to come to campus and attend our ID camp and the rest, as they say, is history.

Page was a phenomenal servant to the program and a loyal advocate of doing things the ‘Gennies way.” She is one of the most influential and versatile players we have ever had in the program. Page would play anywhere for the team and absolutely anywhere I asked her to play. In my time at Washington and Lee I am confident in the statement that she is one of the only players to have played at the back, midfield and as a makeshift forward from time to time.

Page was always a ferocious competitor who hated to lose and more importantly she had the mentality to come to practice every day and play her best. She had that southern way to demand the same from her teammates in a non-threatening manner and was an extremely popular player: voted Captain her senior year.

Coaches will always miss players like Page because they are selfless, dedicated and understand what it means to be truly accountable. I miss Page as much for what she did on the field as what she gave me in terms of laughs, intelligent office conversations and the ability to relate to anyone and everyone.

Page and Corbin, I wish you well and a lifetime of health and happiness. I thank you most sincerely for the opportunity to share your special day on Saturday. It means a lot. See you in “God’s Country.”

Once a General, always a General.

Enjoy the Soccer Pictures









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