Sidwell women’ tennis grinds it out; McNamara boys’ soccer begins 7-0

On the morning of what was certain to be a troublesome match in opposition to Nationwide Cathedral, Alice Xu took six anti-inflammatory drugs to assist her get into taking part in form. The No. 1 singles participant at Sidwell Associates has been coping with a shoulder harm since final season, and though she felt a bit compromised, she knew beating Nationwide Cathedral — which gained the D.C. State Athletic Affiliation championship within the spring — would take an enormous effort.

Xu misplaced the primary two video games of that match Sept. 13 in opposition to Nationwide Cathedral’s Hayley Shay, however after chatting along with her teammates, the senior felt revitalized.

“I was very in my head at first, me being like, ‘I’m tired, I don’t feel well,’ ” Xu stated. “But then after you play and you focus on what you need to do for your team and for yourself and you stop focusing on the things you can’t do, it really just allowed me to figure out a solution rather than just, like, mope out on court.”

Xu rallied to win the match 10-3, and Sidwell earned a 5-2 victory to proceed a powerful begin for a crew seeking to defend its Interstate Faculty League title.

“We knew National Cathedral was obviously going to be a step up in competition,” Sidwell Coach Logan West stated. “They’re the defending champs, and I certainly made sure to let the girls know that. And that was certainly something on our radar that we wanted to win the battle for Wisconsin Avenue and kind of reestablish that we’re the team to beat in D.C.”

There’s loads of challenges alongside the way in which earlier than Sidwell can carry its convention trophy once more, together with a matchup this week in Richmond in opposition to St. Catherine’s, one of many top-ranked squads in Virginia.

Churchill Coach Cay Miller was beneath the impression Mane Cerda Salazar was a defender. Although that’s the place the freshman had performed in Chile, Miller observed her shot and thought she’d be higher suited at ahead.

It has labored out, and Cerda Salazar has the second-most objectives on her roster (4) simply 4 months after she moved to the USA.

“The field is different … but nothing more,” Cerda Salazar stated. “In both countries, I’m just trying to be the best and play stronger.”

After coaching with the nationwide crew in Chile, Cerda Salazar joined the Washington Wolves membership crew a month after shifting to Maryland. At Churchill she joined a powerful group of returners, together with seniors Grace Jennings, Lexie Levitt and junior Emma Datch. Senior Jordan Lapidus, in the meantime, leads the Bulldogs with 5 objectives and two assists.

The Bulldogs are 3-0 getting into Tuesday’s county championship rematch in opposition to Bethesda-Chevy Chase. On Thursday they may play Whitman in a rematch of final yr’s 2021 Maryland 4A semifinal, which Churchill gained, 2-1.

Because the second month of fall sports activities approaches, Bishop McNamara remains to be clutching perfection. After taking down DeMatha and Eleanor Roosevelt in current days, the Mustangs are 7-0.

They’ve gained in dominant trend, averaging 4 objectives per recreation as they’ve sailed by way of a largely nonconference schedule.

This undefeated begin is the signal of a drastic turnaround for a program that completed winless in 2018, the yr earlier than Coach Mark Brown arrived. Even final fall, McNamara stumbled by way of a five-game shedding streak within the early going. Brown, then in his third season, tried to evangelise persistence, however frustration was unavoidable.

“We tried to never let them get down,” Brown stated. “We told them it was a long season, and it was. By the playoffs, we were ready.”

The breakthrough moments got here within the Washington Catholic Athletic Convention event, because the No. 8 seed Mustangs rode a string of upsets to a championship look, the primary in program historical past. Regardless of a 1-0 loss to Good Counsel within the title recreation, the expertise helped shift the Mustangs’ considering heading into this season. Returning seven starters from that squad additionally helped.

“Last year was amazing, and we don’t take that for granted,” Brown stated. “But I think the players knew we had talent coming back, and they’re on a mission to prove that we’re not just contenders in the WCAC but we’re one of the best teams in the state.”

Whereas attending a soccer showcase in Oceanside, Calif., in June, Caroline Garrard requested her sister, Emily, about her upcoming season at Episcopal.

“Are you excited to be the best player on the field?” Caroline requested Emily.

“I’m not going to be the best player,” Emily responded.

“Well,” Caroline added, “not if you think like that.”

That dialog has caught with Emily Garrard and reminded the junior ahead the facility of confidence. Along with her revamped mind-set, Garrard has scored 9 objectives by way of 4 video games, together with a hat trick in Episcopal’s 4-3 win over Elizabeth Seton final week.

“As an underclassman, I struggled more to take more chances shooting and in taking on players,” stated Garrard, who has led the Alexandria personal college to a 3-1 begin. “Once I got to preseason, I was immediately kind of overwhelmed with the lack of fear of messing up. I just have to think that I’m the best player out there.”

Final season Garrard was pushed into a number one function after Episcopal’s prime scorer suffered an harm a couple of month in. Whereas the stress of excelling affected her rising up, Garrard stated she has rekindled her love for soccer the previous few years.

“The best part of scoring a goal is getting to run back with my teammates,” Garrard stated. “It’s just a really good feeling to have everyone just so happy.”

The Wootton women had been eerily relaxed on the Bull Run Invitational beginning line.

Maybe, they thought, it was as a result of this was their first invitational of the season, and the excessive expectations that may cloud a program comparable to Wootton had not but shaped. Presumably, different occasions — together with homecoming later that day — had been extra acutely on their minds. However as soon as they took off, they went quicker than anybody else on the course, with a spirit senior Maya Gottesman described as operating with their hearts, slightly than their brains.

“Knowing that after races we have the whole day ahead of us, it makes every race not one-dimensional,” stated Gottesman, who positioned ninth total to guide the Patriots on Saturday in Parkton. “Usually after races we have the whole day ahead of us. You see familiar faces and coaches, so the whole race environment can feel like you are there to socialize and running is just the bonus.”

Although they normally look ahead to the postgame ceremony, the highest 5 runners — two seniors, two juniors, and a freshman triathlete-turned-cross nation runner — left earlier than the bulletins for the primary time of their careers, with respective post-race appointments. They discovered of the outcomes through textual content: 74 factors for Wootton, 75 for Tuscarora, a margin nearer than any Coach Kellie Redmond had seen earlier than.

After years of excessive placements on the Maryland state meet, the Patriots are wanting towards contending for the highest prize this season.

“We have more runners in the higher-up part of varsity that are closer to each other,” junior Tori Ketzler stated. “I think we can place higher than last year’s [sixth-place finish].”

Bethesda-Chevy Chase junior Varri Higgins (19:11) completed in third place and was the quickest native women’ runner. Severna Park earned bronze and was the highest native boys’ crew, with senior Liam Hagerty’s fourth-place end (16:26.1) anchoring the Falcons’ rating.

Earlier than Paul VI’s last recreation of a quad occasion Saturday in opposition to undefeated Episcopal, Coach Sam Farrar reminded the Panthers of his favourite lyrics by musician Jimmy Buffet: Breathe in, breathe out, transfer on. The Panthers wanted it, as issues hadn’t been going their method Saturday and even that week.

Throughout Wednesday’s apply, the crew’s beginning center blocker, Grace Maiden, suffered a extreme ankle sprain that may sideline her for an excellent chunk of the season. With Maiden sitting on the bench as a substitute of blocking on the courtroom, the crew was having hassle filling the 6-foot hole and had been shut out by Peninsula Catholic (Newport Information) and St. Catherine’s (Richmond) of their first two matches.

Farrar’s pep discuss resonated with setter Stephanie Strike, who considers Maiden an in depth buddy. “I realized mentally that even though she’s not there anymore, I have to play for her and just keep on pushing,” the senior stated.

Inhaling, respiration out and shifting on from the day’s earlier defeats, Strike and the Panthers pulled by way of for a victory in opposition to Episcopal. Stable defensive play by junior Lucy Sroka within the again row arrange the crew for offensive kills from exterior hitters Angie Desamours, Cate Ross and Sammie Fleetwood, and Paul VI (7-4) clinched the win with a 15-12 edge within the third set.

The profitable finish to the day rejuvenated the Panthers’ confidence, which they may want heading into Tuesday’s recreation in opposition to WCAC rival Bishop O’Connell. “If we can survive this week, we can do anything,” Fleetwood stated because the crew’s last huddle broke.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.