Volleyball team welcomes new head coach

Madeline St. John

Staff Writer

Enter the front doors of the Sports and Recreation Center (SRC). Navigate through narrow corridors, past workout equipment, past students doing sit-ups on the floor, up and down stairs. You will come upon a door. It will most likely be on the left. Through this door, you will be greeted by the young and friendly face of Coach Kelli Wilkinson.

Don’t let her youthful appearance fool you. Goucher’s new volleyball coach is seasoned and experienced. Prior to coming to Goucher, she coached for 12 years at St. Paul’s School for Girls, for 8 years at Notre Dame (Md.), and for two years at Stevenson. “It’s my passion,” she says, a glow in her eye. “I’ve been coaching for over 20 years.”

In Goucher’s women, Coach Wilkinson sees a future full of possibility. “It’s a great group of girls and a small team, so they will all get a lot of minutes [of] playing time. And there is a lot of potential recruiting-wise.”

Last weekend, the team challenged Stevenson, Hopkins, and Bridgewater in the Greg Giovannazzi Memorial Tournament. Coach Wilkinson is proud to represent Goucher. “I am thrilled to be here, working with a great group. I am looking forward to building a winning program.”

Luckily, the team seems to be just as excited for the season. According to team captains Hannah Kuehl and Michelle Tweedie, Coach Wilkinson has some winning qualities, she is “straight-forward, encouraging,” and “approachable.” In her, they see potential for change. “It’s a really positive environment,” says Kuehl. “I can’t think of a better word for it than positive.”

“She believes in us,” says Tweedie. Kuehl and Tweedie, who have been on the team the past two years, are enjoying Coach Wilkinson’s direction. “She cares about us,” says Kuehl. “Not only as players, but as students, as friends. She takes in all aspects.” “And she took us to the movies!” adds Tweedie, with a laugh. “10 points, right there!”

The team has enjoyed each other’s company in a number of settings: participating in a scavenger hunt, going to a movie, and having lunch together. “When you spend time together outside of practice, you can relax and get to know each other,” says Coach Wilkinson. “You see each other in a different light.” And since volleyball season is a short and intense two-and-a-half months, the team must come together quickly.

Even after 20 years, Coach Wilkinson has not grown weary of doing what she does. “I wanted to give back to a game that gave so much to me,” she says. “I want to inspire these girls to give back.” So far, Coach Wilkinson seems to be achieving this goal.  According to Kuehl and Tweedie, they “just love to come in and play.” “It’s a support system outside of school,” says Kuehl. “It is really nice to have that support system away from home. And we get to do something we love every day.”

“The more passionate you are, the harder you’ll play,” says Coach Wilkinson, with a smile. “I love getting them to love the game.”

Athlete in the Spotlight: Jessica Leffers

Megan Meluskey

Sports Editor

The women’s soccer team has yet to allow a single goal to be scored against them this season in neither their season opener draw nor their back-to-back wins. Class of 2016’s defensive back, Jessica Leffers, has played a crucial role in these early season shut-outs. Since the graduation of All-Landmark, defense woman, Caroline McDowell ‘14 , Leffers, a Dean’s list, psychology major from Germantown, Maryland has stepped up as one of the leaders on the team’s defensive unit.  While the team is composed of a young back line, they have along with their goalkeepers, Lexi Rudolph and Liz Stradtman, allowed only 19 shots against them in three games while their Gophers offense has managed an effort of 34 shots in three games. According to Leffers, the backline “works really well together and there is a lot of communication…we always drop in and have each other’s backs.”

Some new preparative measures the team’s head coach Tati Korba has taken include the use of a defensive belt during the team’s training sessions. This belt has been used by many other college programs nationwide and works to keep the shape of the defensive line by tying the four backs together. The belt forces the line to fall into proper position when other members of the line step up to play the ball. While Leffers questions whether or not her coaches are using the new equipment just to laugh at their struggled movements, she admits that it has been extremely helpful. Moving forward with the season, Leffers is optimistic about the team’s expectation for more shutouts. “We’re just looking really solid,” states Leffers.

Off the field, Leffers is a hard-working psychology student. This summer, she participated in a prestigious internship at Johns Hopkins in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit. Her work there included surveying the effects of different drugs on an individual’s decision making. “It was a great experience and gave me insight on possible career paths after I complete my education,” Leffers said. She hopes to either be a psychology professor or conduct research in the field of psychology.

Field Hockey Team fundraises for trip abroad

Litza Jimenez

Staff Writer

For the first time in Goucher history the field hockey team will travel abroad to strengthen their field hockey skills and their bonds as a team. All twenty-two players will travel to Argentina to train in a rich field hockey environment, filled with stiff Argentinian competition. “There are three countries known for Field Hockey: Australia, Argentina and the Netherlands,” explained team captain Justine Ruhlin ‘15. Argentina has most recently won the Women’s Field Hockey World Cup.

The team will have many unique experiences while abroad. “When we get there,” Ruhlin added, “we will be working with some of their national and Olympic coaches.”  In order to compete abroad, Goucher’s field hockey team must learn the international field hockey rules which are often passed down until they become official rules in college. Taylor Striar, a sophomore on the field hockey team, explained they will “see what the new rules are for international hockey,” enabling them to better “know what to expect for college,” in coming years.

Even before planning their trip to Argentina, the women on Goucher’s field hockey team formed a tight bond. While starting in a new school can be difficult, Striar remembers that with field hockey, “it wasn’t just like you were that awkward freshman, you automatically came in with a family.” But as head coach Megan Williams explains, getting to “be away with the team in a new place, getting to see new things,” will allow the team to grow even closer together in what is “definitely a hotspot for hockey.”

In order to embark on this trip the team has been working hard to fundraise on top of preparing for their current season. Goal clubs have made up a large portion of the money raised so far, which allow donors to pledge donations to the team for specific achievements such as goals, shut outs, or defensive saves. The team has has designed and sold t-shirts, but as Ruhlin points out, “a sophmmore did that, it’s not just the coach or the seniors, everyone is participating.” Through these fundraisers, Goucher’s field hockey team is over halfway to their fundraising goal. Now they are in their “final push,” according to Coach Williams, as they leave for Argentina on December 12th. The team will continue to sell t-shirts and baseball game tickets on campus. You can also “like” the team on Facebook to stay informed on their latest fundraisers and events. While the trip may only be 10 days, team captain Ruhlin is sure “the effects from Argentina will be seen for a long time after.”

Christine Cherry
Sports Editor

This past weekend, the Goucher Track and Field team finished up their season with the

Danielle Granger ‘16 competing at Gettysberg College (Photo: Goucher Athletics)

Danielle Granger ‘16 competing at Gettysberg College (Photo: Goucher Athletics)

Landmark Conference Championships held at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. With two beautiful days of weather and an almost-new track, the Gophers were granted excellent conditions for their final meet. Even if they didn’t score, many of the athletes had personal bests and put their hearts into their events. The meet was also special for five seniors on the team: Troy Browne, Hugh Geller, Christine Cherry, Shea Staab, Kathryn Walker, and Katelynn Zidanic.
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Athlete Profile: Sarah Lummis, Equestrian

Sarah Pardus
Chief Copy Editor

The Goucher College Equestrian Team is known for its success nationwide. Just last

Sarah Lummis, a member of the Equestrian Team (Photo by: Anna Martin)

Sarah Lummis, a member of the Equestrian Team
(Photo by: Anna Martin)

weekend, the team placed sixth overall at the 2014 IHSA National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA. Obviously, without a talented group of riders, the team wouldn’t be as successful as it is. Sarah Lummis, a freshman at Goucher, is one of the new additions to the team this year. Lummis competed at Nationals last weekend with her teammates placing seventh in the walk-trot-canter event.
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Women’s tennis wraps up season with highs and lows

Christine Cherry
Sports Editor

After a loss to Juniata on Wednesday, April 17, the Goucher Women Tennis team’s season wrapped up a

Kelsey Turner sets up for a backhand in a conference match. (Photo: Christopher Riley)

Kelsey Turner sets up for a backhand in a conference match. (Photo: Christopher Riley)

difficult season. Because of their loss to Juniata, the Gophers were not able to get a bid in the postseason tournament. The final four are Scranton, Juniata, Catholic, and Moravian. In the preseason poll, the Gophers were ranked third, with the Landmark Conference officials stating, “[The Gophers] will have the potential to contend for a top four spot if they receive sufficient contributions from the bottom of the lineup.” Interestingly, coach Sally Baum had a similar statement at the season’s end. She said,
“We had strength at the top of our lineup with Amanda Bercovici ‘15 at No. 1 singles and Amanda and Alex Walsh ‘15 at No. 1 doubles. After that, we struggled to put together consistent performances.”
The Gophers had a very young season, with six freshmen joining the team.
The consistency in the No. 1 singles with Bercovoci was a highlight of the season. Regionally ranked, Bercovoci had a 21-4 overall record, and a 6-0 conference record. On April 17, she defeated Waring of Juniata 7-5, 6-0. This was quite an achievement after the Gophers fell to Dickinson in every singles match just a week prior to facing Juniata.
One of the Gophers’ strengths is in doubles play. Walsh and Bercovoci were undefeated in conference doubles matches in #1, and senior Hanora Barron and junior Emily Ruff bested Juniata in No. 3 doubles. However, Juniata defeated Goucher in the No. 2, 3, 4, and 6 singles matches, and ended up defeating the Gophers.
However, Coach Baum is hopeful for the future. “Some of our younger players could step in very capably next fall for our departing seniors Hanora Barron and Ryan Derham,” Baum said.
Additionally, the players in the No. 1 position are juniors, and certainly can continue to improve their skills to be even more successful next season.

Athlete Profile: Claire Lippay, Women’s Lacrosse

Jessica Gude
Staff Writer

Claire Lippay, a freshman from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, has been playing lacrosse since the seventh

Claire Lippay ‘17 on Beldon Field (Photo: Anna Martin)

Claire Lippay ‘17 on Beldon Field (Photo: Anna Martin)

grade. When her local softball league didn’t have enough girls to make a team, Lippay decided to try a different spring sport. After some encouragement and positive peer pressure from some friends, Lippay joined the lacrosse team. That decision was a good one, as she realized she “loved it immediately.” Six years later, during the arduous process of choosing a college, Lippay stumbled on Goucher, but not through the lacrosse program.
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