Fall Sports Season Previews

Boys soccer, Noah Gross

Last year, the Wilson boys varsity soccer team had a historic season in which they earned their second straight DCIAA championship. Wilson beat local private school powerhouses such as St. John’s and Maret, and ended the season ranked fifth in the DC area by The Washington Post. However, repeating last year’s unprecedented success may be a little bit difficult.
Sixteen out of the 24 players on last year’s team graduated, so the majority of this year’s team will be rookies. DC Gatorade Player of the Year Theo Biddle, among other stars like Ben Wilson, Eric Gwadz, and Simon Birnstad, will not be with the team this year. This season, the Tigers will have to lean on wily veterans including senior captains John Keating and Bless Tumushabe. “As a returning member and captain, I have a lot of responsibility to help the new people be comfortable and play in our system,” said Keating.
The team’s offseason turmoil was not limited to just its players, as last years head coach, Whitney Minnis, was replaced with former assistant coach and science teacher Jean-Claude Nkongolo. Despite all of the changes, Keating still believes the team can repeat as DCIAA champions and could be poised for a deep run in the state tournament. “We’re a really balanced team and can really cause some damage,” Keating said.

Field hockey, Ethan Leifman

Wilson’s field hockey team had a subpar season last year, finishing with a 2-3-5 record. It is among the few programs in the DC area that holds only one team, rather than separate JV and varsity teams. This means that often the team either soundly defeats or is soundly defeated by their opponent. The only other JV-varsity combination that Wilson played last year was their rival School Without Walls, who they easily beat.
Despite the team’s poor record last year, players are hoping for a better season this year. “This is gonna be one of our best teams in a while,” said junior captain Grace Kowal. Kowal’s optimism is overshadowed, however, by the fact that the team’s entire starting defensive line from last year has graduated or quit. “We lost a lot of seniors, but I’m confident we’ll be able to work together as a team,” said Kowal.
Much of that teamwork will depend heavily on a select few power players rather than a specific line as in the past. The success of the team is uncertain at this point, but their confidence and optimism will ensure a fun and exciting season.

Girls soccer, Alex Cirino

The Wilson girls soccer team is coming off of a successful 2017 season after winning the DCIAA championship in a 3-0 victory over Bell Multicultural High School. Following that, the team unsuccessfully made a run for the DCSAA state title. After a win against Washington International School in the quarterfinals, the Tigers’ championship run fell just short in a 3-0 loss to the eventual champions, St. John’s.
The program is led by second-year Head Coach Kate Murphy, who believes that the team’s success will come from the many leaders the team has, such as 2017 DCIAA Player of the Year Meghan Dayton and goalkeeper Bella Lujan, who are both seniors now. Aside from advancing to the state finals, Murphy mentioned that her expectations for the team include “achieving good team chemistry,” as well as developing each player on and off the field. The players believe Murphy is already making the team better and more hardworking through her fitness-focused training.
The team is eager to build off of the success of their previous seasons during games as well as improving every day at practice. Coach Murphy believes that the most important accomplishment is that, “the players have a memorable experience that they will remember for years to come.”

Volleyball, Adelaide Kaiser

Wilson’s volleyball team ended last season hoisting their third straight DCIAA championship trophy and also finished as DCSAA runners-up. This year, the team will look for revenge against St. John’s, who beat them in the state championship last season.
Last years team MVPs, Jalen Ciagne, Abbi Greenwood, and Lyric Snowden, are determined to help the team achieve its their goals and believe they are poised to make deep runs into the DCSAA and DCIAA tournaments. “I think we have the potential to make it to the DC state championships again this year,” Ciagne said.
The team left Thursday afternoon to compete in a tournament in Richmond over the weekend. They hope to start off strong to set a precedent for the rest of the season. The team is playing St. John’s in mid-September, a critical game since Wilson lost to them in states last year.
The team’s captains are seniors Chloe Turner and Scout Bowman, and sophomore Anna Wehebrink, and they believe the team is ready to start the season off strong. “At practice every day, all 13 of us work really hard to gel as a team,” Bowman said. “I think it’s important to highlight the amount of commitment we all have for the sport we love, and to each other.”