2019 Fall Sports Recaps

Evan Vieth, Alex Cirino, Nacala Williams, Adam Helmer, and Chiara Purificato

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Boys Soccer, Evan Vieth

The boys’ varsity soccer team finished 6-4-3 in the regular season and were ranked second heading into the DCIAA playoffs. With only Bell ahead of them in the standings, the team seemed destined to make its fourth consecutive DCIAA championship. However, Wilson was defeated by Roosevelt, the third-seeded team, in the DCIAA semi-final match. This was the team’s final game of the season. 

Although the team started the year extremely well, winning five of its first six games, they hit a rough spell of ties and losses beginning in early October, featuring close home losses to Washington International School and St. John’s. Despite setbacks, the team solidified the second DCIAA seed after tying with Bell and beating Banneker to wrap up the regular season. 

The team experienced some difficulties throughout the season. The team started playing a week late because of Coach Jean-Claude Nkongolo’s absence and dealt with many internal issues around the end of the regular season. “Our team never truly got over the problems we faced,” junior captain Ethan Slager said. “Many players were unhappy and were not motivated to play this season.” Slager hopes that these problems can be fixed by the time next year’s season comes around. “The team has to become a true team next year to succeed. Players need to encourage and support each other and people have to be motivated in their play,” he said.

Though the team faced some adversity, Slager still believes that they were able to come together by the end. “I do think the team did a good job uniting and standing up for each other with the challenges,” he said.

Although the Tigers will not be competing in the DCSAA playoffs, they have plenty of returning talent with 14 juniors, two sophomores, and a freshman that will help them become even better next year.

 

Football, Alex Cirino

After starting the season 0-4, it seemed that the football team’s season was gearing toward disappointment. However, after each minor setback, the team made sure they carried a winning mindset into the next game and found positive momentum, finishing the season with a 4-6 record.

With a roster comprised of 19 seniors, the team relied heavily on their seniors’ leadership on and off the field in order to be successful. Win or lose, they knew that they still had each other, creating a positive environment to be a part of. “My team definitely knows how to take a loss and not cry about it. We’re able to get back to practice and focus on the next team,” senior Rashard Biggs said. Biggs carried the team throughout each game, rushing for 1,521 yards in the season, which lead the DCIAA. His biggest numbers this season came out of the team’s 29-0 homecoming game win. 

The team also had to deal with big offseason coaching changes. With new offensive and defensive coordinators, the team had to endure a brief adjustment period as they experienced drastic changes in coaching philosophy. “Coach Dre [DeAndre Parker] really turned our offense around, and our new defensive coordinator, Coach [Vincent] Cox, I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s allowed all of us to showcase our talents on defense and we know that he believes in us,” senior cornerback Trevor Williams said. Allowing the players to do what they do best allowed for many standout individual performances.

The team was able to string together three straight wins to start conference play. However, losses to the top two teams, H.D Woodson and Dunbar, have kept Wilson at the third seed heading into the playoffs. The tigers, now 4-2, must look to return to winning ways if they want to make promising DCIAA and DCSAA runs. 

As the season winds down and the team heads into the knockout stages of the DCIAA playoffs, seniors are faced with the reality that every game going forward could be their last in a Tiger uniform. “We’ve been playing with each other for the most part of four years, growing and making memories on and off the field, and I wouldn’t trade any of these guys for the world,” Williams said.

The team’s playoff run begins in the DCIAA semifinals as the Tigers take on H.D Woodson on Saturday November 16th

 

Girls Soccer, Nacala Williams

The girls varsity soccer team finished the regular season with a record of 10-7-1. They went 8-0 against DCIAA opponents and were able to shut out every team they played. They were less fortunate against non-league schools, however, ending up with a 2-7-1 record. The team won its fifth consecutive DCIAA title, but lost in the second round of state championships.

Entering the season the team looked to challenging themselves a lot more than in previous years by scheduling games against nine private school teams. With a large number of returning players, the team hoped that pre-existing team chemistry would factor into much of its success. “We have pretty good team chemistry since we didn’t get that many new players and the new ones fit in pretty well,” junior Kate Joos said.

While the team thrived in DCIAA competition, the team only won two of its non-conference games (Maret and Washington International). With many of its losses decided by just a goal, the back-and-forth matchup against Washington International School was one of the season’s highlights. The game was tied at zero for the first half; Wilson scored first and WIS answered with a goal causing the game to end in a tie. “In the closest games of the season, we have played very well, but we haven’t been able to pull it together by the end of the games. It’s been frustrating to come out with a loss in most of the tough games,” senior Saige Gootman said.  

On November 2nd, the team defeated School Without Walls 3-0, claiming the DCIAA title. The team then received the seventh seed as they entered the state tournament, where they defeated Washington Latin 7-1 in the first round. That victory earned them a spot in the second round of the tournament where they faced the number one seed, Georgetown Day School, a team that handed them two of its non-conference losses. The Tigers, unfortunately, lost by a 4-1 margin, as hopes for revenge against GDS were delayed until next year.

 

Cross Country, Adam Helmer

Wilson’s cross country teams enjoyed another year of extraordinary success. After both the boys and girls teams won the DCIAA championships, and the girls finished second in the DCSAA championship, the teams, both with senior-heavy rosters, have continued their DC dominance. 

This year, the teams traveled to Orlando, Florida for the Disney Cross Country Classic. There were strong performances throughout, with the boys varsity team taking second in their division and with freshman Peter Bolanis and senior Ava Nicely winning individual division titles. 

Many team members posted their best times of the season at the Third Battle Invitational in Winchester, Virginia. Nicely set the new Wilson 5k record this season with a time of 18:46 at the meet.

Though the girls were the state champions last year, they followed this year with a second-place finish. Seniors Claire Wigglesworth and Nicely took third and fourth, respectively. In the boys’ race, seniors Dylan Blumenthal and Joe Himmelfarb took sixth and seventh place, with the team finishing in third overall. 

Cross country has continued to improve, winning consecutive city championships and working towards their ultimate goal of achieving the state champion title on both the girls’ and boys’ side.

 

Field Hockey, Chiara Purificato

The field hockey team wrapped up their 2019 season with three wins, but more importantly, they were able to grow as a team and improve ball handling, dribbling, and working cohesively. Junior Emma Harris pointed out that the team “beat Walls (their biggest rival) both times [they] played them.” One of those games was their senior night on October 27th, in which they honored the six seniors on the team. 

Senior Lucy Strand explained that “the team bonded more than previous years and everyone became really comfortable around each other, which was a great feeling because it made coming to practices and games really fun.” Harris reiterated this, adding that their team chemistry was noticeable. 

Since field hockey is a club sport, they lost all funding for their team this year. “We were constantly trying to come up with ways to fund the team and necessary costs,” Strand said. One way they fundraised was with a team night at Potomac Pizza on September 12, where they raised $311. 

The team boasted five new players: four freshmen and one sophomore transfer. Specific strengths this season were “good ball handlers… especially in midfield, and passing and finding open players,” Harris said. Strand also pointed out that “good determination and [the] ability to stay in the game and focused” helped them have a successful season.