The women’s varsity soccer team secured the ISL regular season title with a 2-0 win in a tense game against the National Cathedral School this afternoon — GDS’ senior night.
This is only the second time that a GDS soccer team has won the upper division of the ISL. The team has grown in recent years, and they made a strong showing at the DC State Championships against Sidwell last year. Every returning player on the team has been a part of the team’s move up from the lower division last year. The team returned, hungry for more.
Senior and captain Kate Strong confidently said she has “never seen a more determined team. We came ready to win.”
The game began with a slow first half. The Eagles and Hoppers were well matched, and the teams took time to hit their stride. But, at the end of the half, Danielle Burke made a clutch goal after a cross from Ayana Curto and a header from Schiff. In the jumbled box, Burke managed to score between the goalie and the post, turning the tide of the game. The goal served as a catalyst for an exciting second half. Players went into the half-time huddle with 1-0 on the scoreboard. Knowing that the title would be handed to rival Sidwell Friends School if GDS and NCS tied, the team returned to the field ready to fight.
Burke scored again to secure the 2-0 win. The women’s soccer team will continue on to play in the ISL and DC State tournaments. GDS’s biggest rival and only team to break the team’s undefeated season record is Sidwell Friends.
Kate Strong does not fear the “mighty” Quakers, saying, “We are going to make it to DC State finals, we are going to make it to ISL finals, and I am sure we will meet Sidwell along the way.”
The day ended with a ceremony honoring the team’s four seniors, Sophie Schiff, Kate Strong, Tayae Rogers and Nevada Lomax, along with manager Mimi Koenig. The underclassmen made posters and gave speeches honoring the five leaders. The younger players remembered that as soon as they stepped on the field during pre-season and were asked to create goals, the seniors were all set on winning the league.
“It was really a culmination of all our hard work over our GDS soccer careers,” captain and goalkeeper Tayae Rogers said. “At the end of freshman year this team got bumped down to the lower division, so to work our way back up to the upper division sophomore year and then win the division today was so special.”
Stay tuned for the rest of the GDS women’s soccer’s breakthrough season.
Photos by Reid Alexander ’22.
Story by Amelia Myre ’20 and Abby Murphy ’20.