Women’s soccer team primed for a strong finish to fall season

Positive attitude, deep bench poise Lady Generals for ODACs


Tricia Jessee, ’17, leads the team in goals with six on the year. Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Caroline Blackmon

With a record of 12-3 (8-2 in the ODAC Conference), the Washington and Lee’s girls’ soccer team is in a strong position entering preparation for the ODAC Tournament.

The team attributes its success to the unity of the team and the depth of its bench.

Goalkeeper and Captain Addie Healy,’16, says the positive team atmosphere that Head Coach Neil Cunningham fosters has helped the women throughout the season.

“There’s a lot of positivity and encouragement throughout the team while we also [stay] very focused and driven,” Healy said. “As a captain, I need to be the person on the field who has a level head, while also being a supportive person and a mentor to all the girls on the team.”

According to forward Tricia Jessee, ’17, the team has worked on playing the best it can play, which leads to the Lady Generals to being the best on the field.

“[Cunningham] has really instilled in us the idea of not taking each week to prepare for a specific team, but taking each week to prepare ourselves to play anyone,” Jessee said. “We play our best and we can beat anyone.”

The team lost to Shenandoah 0-1 on Oct. 14. Cunningham said he  believes this was a wake-up call for the whole team.

Center back Ashley Hogan, ’17, and center mid Katie Pettit, ’17, said they think the team has bounced back from the Shendandoah game.

“Teams like that pull away sometimes,” Hogan said. “In the tournament, however, we don’t have that chance to bounce back, so we need to stay focused and take each game as it is.”

Pettit said she thinks the captains make sure the women stay confident.

“The captains do a great job of getting us to focus and move on from tough losses,” Pettit said. “They’ve done a great job of keeping us focused and making sure we’re not stressed. You play soccer because you love it.”

Cunningham said he believes this year’s team has the best chance of winning the ODAC championship game than he has seen in a few years.

“There is a greater self-belief in this team and the attitude that they can win it all is very strong,” Cunningham said. “The players believe that this could be their year.”

Hogan says she thinks this team has a great chance at going far in the ODAC tournament due to the depth of their bench.

“We have a bench that can come off and play the exact same way as the starters. We win as a team,” Hogan said. “We believe in ourselves, we believe we can win, and we know we can win. We just have to show up and do what we do best.”

The girls’ soccer team has their last regular season game at home Oct. 28 against Emory and Henry. Emory and Henry is currently 3-10-2 this season, and 1-6-1 in conference play. Kickoff is at 4 p.m