Patrick Corbett hired as new head coach for girls varsity soccer

Hadley Carr

At the beginning of the school year, the girls varsity soccer team had no coach, no competition, no practice, and no regular season—their fall season and practice was postponed to February 14. The team is now set to receive a new coach, Patrick Corbett, in replacement of former head coach Kate Murphy.

After Murphy reached out to Athletic Director Mitch Gore expressing her interest to coach collegiately, Gore began looking for candidates for her replacement. Corbett was put into contact with Gore through Jennifer Gootman, Stoddert Soccer Executive Director and a player parent. Following an interview in October with Gore, Assistant Athletic Director Nadira Ricks, and Volleyball Coach Perette Arrington, Corbett was hired by the school as the new head coach of the Wilson girls varsity soccer team. 

Corbett first started coaching after he suffered a back injury playing soccer his freshman year at Howard Community college. He realized that “playing wasn’t going to happen for [him] long term, so [he] jumped immediately into coaching.” Before his injury, however, Corbett played soccer his whole life. His father was from England, so Corbett “was pretty much kicking the ball before [he] could walk.” England also plays a role in Corbett’s style of play: the Premier League serves as his inspiration for style of play. A fan of Arsenal FC, Corbett hopes to play “possession-based creative style soccer,” adding that “winning is a priority.”

Corbett began his coaching career of 13 years at Thunder Soccer Club in Maryland in 2007. Throughout his coaching experience, Corbett has coached at Beach FC in Virginia Beach and the Soccer Association of Columbia (SAC) in Maryland. He went on to coach collegiately as the head coach for the Women and Men’s Soccer Team at the Community College of Baltimore, later coaching as the assistant women’s soccer coach at both Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach. After coaching college students for three and a half years, Corbett decided he wanted to coach youth again, so he returned to the DMV where he was hired as the Head Coach at Stoddert for the Stoddert U15 and U16 Girls.

For junior Liza Lindblom, this would be her third year playing center-midfielder and center-forward on the varsity soccer team. Lindblom is “excited for a new perspective that can hopefully help [the] team grow.” However, in light of COVID-19, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming soccer season, with no concrete idea given to players of practices or games. Lindblom is skeptical of the upcoming season and was saddened by the thought of potentially missing the opportunity to play in states. According to DCIAA Executive Director Dwayne Foster, “[as of November 16], there will be a few non-league contest opportunities that can be scheduled with teams in the District of Columbia.”

Regardless of confusion and uncertainty, Corbett wants to communicate his competitiveness to potential players. The new coach is ready to win and hopes that players are “ready to jump on that bandwagon, push forward, and go for it.” 

The status of the upcoming season remains a fluid situation, so Gore is left to plan the reopening of Wilson’s facilities to be ready for future in-person workouts. “Coach Ricks and I have worked hard on our facility and how we would use it and access it, but at this point we haven’t been given any green light to move ahead and do that yet,” said Gore.

Sports previously scheduled for the fall like soccer, volleyball, and cross-country are set to begin February 1, and Gore currently has not been notified otherwise. He plans to hold an online meeting for student athletes and parents with Corbett to begin introductions and address any questions. 

Ultimately, Corbett recognizes that the season may be limited this year due to COVID-19, so he advises players to “come ready to roll.”