Each athletics season brings the possibility of new athletes, fresh competition and excitement. As the half-way point for the fall athletics season approaches, coaches and athletes reflect on their goals for the season.
The cross country team has a lot of young talent and some experience with ASL’s best finisher, Maddy Whitman (’22), returning. Former winner and captain, Aidan Norris (’19), also returns for his fourth and final year on the team. “I want to see everybody improve on their times and what they’ve done so far, and hopefully do well as ISSTs and leave there thinking that we did our best,” he said.
Head Coach Matt Twiest wants everyone to improve individually every practice and every meet. “I want to make sure that everybody comes away feeling like they have pushed themselves as hard as they can,” he said. Twiest believes that it will be a successful season regardless of the results, if everyone improves each day.
In their most recent race at Frankfurt International School, the team came second overall racing against five teams. Norris believes the race was a great start to the year because a lot of people got personal bests on one of the “harder courses” they run. “Seeing personal bests this early on in the season is a great sign of things to come,” he said.
Girls varsity soccer comes into the season with 10 seniors giving them a lot of leadership, especially with there being one new freshman and three sophomores. This leadership is important to Head Coach Pranay Dhanani, who thinks that it will help them grow better as a team over the season. “Quite a few of them have played varsity [soccer] for three years at least so they’ve got loads of experience,” he said.
Natalie Vann (’20) hopes the team can learn from each other this year, “working as a team to find each others’ strengths and use them to our advantage.” Vann believes that the team is very strong this year and has a great chance to win ISSTs, which they won the previous year.
The team’s most recent results were a 2-1 loss against ACS Cobham on September 19 and a 1-0 win against TASIS on September 26.
JV is looking to develop as a team and win their LSSA tournament in November. “Hopefully this team can improve together and we can all become better individuals by LSSAs,” Kylie Murray (’21) said.
After losing 14 seniors last year, the varsity boys soccer team has a lot of new talent, with three sophomores and a freshman on the team, as well as 10 new players. Head Coach Ricky Machel loves all the young talent the team has and is excited to work with the players in the years to come.
Machel’s goals for the year are clear: he wants to get better each day and for the players to improve individually. “I want teams to finish playing us saying, ‘Oh, those boys play a really good brand of [soccer].’” He wants the team to be remembered for the way they play not just because they win games.
Recent results include a 5-4 loss against Frankfurt International School (FIS) on September 15, a 1-1 draw against FIS on September 16, and a 1-0 loss against TASIS on September 26. Bertie Cassidy (’21) thinks that the games against FIS were a great learning experience for the team. “Those games made us realize that for every game we need to be ready at the whistle and come into the start of each game prepared,” he said.
The JV boys team is looking to win the LSSA tournament this year as well as making sure all of their players improve every day. Captain Gabriel Menzies (’20) said he wants everyone to “take away something that will benefit them in future years.” He thinks that JV is important for improving each player’s skills and it is a great learning opportunity for everyone.
JJV head coach Alex Caparros (‘97) echoes this point within his team, wanting “every player to improve as an individual and as a team player.” He also wants the team to win the LSSA tournament at the end of the season but realizes it can only be done with hard work and teamwork.
Field hockey has a much bigger team than previous years and has a designated A and B team to compensate for the increase in numbers. Head coach Randy Richardson said he wants to “help the girls that are either new to the sport or who have a really sincere and intense desire to improve.”
Richardson looks to the captains, Theo Longboy (’19) and Martha Duff (’19), as the leaders of the team. “One type of leader that… is the strongest type of leader is a leader by example,” he said. “Both Duff and Longboy have demonstrated last year and this year that they have all of the attributes to be a leader in a sport as challenging as field hockey.”
The team’s most recent results were a 3-0 loss against Aldenham on September 25 and a 1-1 ties with St. Augustine’s on September 26.
Girls varsity volleyball is coming off a fourth-place finish in ISSTs last year and is hoping to improve this year with seven returning players. Assistant coach Alison Muthig knows that the team needs to stick together throughout the season if they want to win. “The girls need to stay united as a team so that we carry a united front through the season and into ISSTs,” she said.
Captain Monet Streit (’19) thinks the team will be successful because they work well together with a lot of them having played together already, either on club teams or varsity. “I think the whole team would agree that our goal is to win ISSTs, but if we don’t we just want to play our absolute best and leave it all on the court,” she said.
The team’s most recent results were a 2 set win against TASIS on September 26 and a 2 set win against Putney on September 25.
The JV team’s goals this year are to win their LSSA tournament and improve as a team. Head coach Katlyn Wren said her goal is “to develop each girl with their skill level and their fundamentals as well as developing a great team dynamic.”
The JJV volleyball team is more focused on developing this season, hoping to work on their skills and develop as players and a team. “We need to work as a team to get better and push each other to thrive,” Stella Schabel (’22) said.
After winning ISSTs last year, the boys varsity volleyball team comes into the season with the same goals and almost the same team, losing only one player from last year’s gold medal team. The team has played well this season already beating ACS Hillingdon, ACS Cobham and the International School in the Hague. The team hopes to continue this success throughout the rest of the season.
Reeves Bradford (‘21) thinks the team will win ISSTs again as “this team has a lot of experience and players with a lot of potential, which will hopefully come out this season.” He thinks that this is one of the best teams ASL has ever had because of their experience winning ISSTs and returning again this year.
The JV team looks to win the LSSA tournament in November and is hoping to develop as a team and individuals. Yaqoob Ahmed (’22) hopes that by the end of the season, everyone will have improved. “I think we need to work on the simpler things like our serving, our positions and then we will have success this year,” he said.