Soccer: Lady Penguins Finish Strong

Posted on: November 25th, 2013 by Jennifer Boulanger

20131123 lady penguins

Lady Penguins Finish Strong

By Asha Pappajohn

This School Without Walls Lady Penguins have concluded their season of exciting and hard-fought soccer. This season the Lady Penguins, not including non-league games, had an overall record of seven wins, three losses, and no tied games.

The season was the first without long-time coach Bob O’Sullivan. Taking his place was Jason Gross, a native Washingtonian and a 2002 graduate of School Without Walls. As a youth, he was selected to the Olympic Development State, Regional, and National Pool Programs, which led him to play competitively across Europe, against clubs like Ajax, Chelsea, and Liverpool. After playing four years of varsity soccer at Walls, Coach Jason went on to play four years of Division I Soccer at Howard University (HU). His experience with the school and sport allowed him to fit in with the girls team and be a strong coach.

Along with the new coach the Lady Penguins saw a change in their practicing/game fields and schedules. This year the team began to practice at the Marine Barracks, leaving behind the unkempt and poor quality Duke Ellington field that they had practiced on for many years. The girls joined the boys at the Marine Barracks, a beautiful turf field with proper lines. This year they had two practices per week, which was a change from the everyday practice that girls were used to. The fewer and more intense practices were much more beneficial to the team. The girls also had all home games at Riggs LaSalle, a turf field, which was much better than the Duke Ellington field. Overall there was a major improvement in the conditions of the field for the girls this year.

This season marked the end of the SWW soccer career of seven seniors (including one foreign exchange student). These amazing and devoted seniors are Molly Charles (co-captain), Christina Alcorta Hollinsed (co-captain), Stephanie Guzmán (co-captain), Stephanie LaPorte, Camille Lynch, Rachele Delle Fratte, and Patricia Sander. This season there were also seven new players including sophomores, Kennedy Elmore, Eden Elam, Elayna Diggs, and freshmen, Emma Rebour, Sophia (Rocket) Claman, Simone Hinton, and Kira Lee-Genzel. All of the members of the soccer team worked hard and were able to make it to the DCIAA Final Championship match, coming in second place to Wilson. Throughout the game the girls were able to put up a good fight and score even with the opposing team up five goals. A lot of the support and spirit for this team comes from the new coach Jason Gross and the assistant coaches Ginny Boone and Natalie Crutchfield. This was Ginny’s second year assisting the team and Natalie’s first, they both came to practices and games assisting and giving the team helpful advice throughout the season.

The Lady Penguins will miss the seniors very much, but are excited to start preparing for the next season with new talented players and new opportunities to win the DCIAA Championship. With a new system of coaching and a greater intensity, the team will certainly be much stronger next season. The team would like to thank everyone that assisted and supported the team this season, while also congratulating all of the players for a great season!