When the Tar Heels come to town

Saturday night, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels came to town. In the second game of the preseason, the Spirit beat the Tar Heels 5-0. This game was the very first time the Spirit played a match in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Getting to D.C. on Saturday was incredibly fun. When I got to the airport, I found out the Brockport Student Government president and chief of staff were also on my flight. They were headed to the AIPAC Policy Conference. The University of Rochester Student Government was also headed to the conference, so we had the opportunity to talk with them as well.

For the game itself, it was a beautiful night. I went from low 40s and raining in Brockport to 75 and sunny in northern Virginia. It was definitely a change that I was ok with. The stadium that the game was played in was very nice.


This complex is definitely somewhere I want to come back to if I get a chance. Just beyond the soccer field, there is a high ropes course and adventure park. I talked to one of the friends of the owner and he was telling us about how much fun you can have here.


The press box was also gorgeous. It was all wooden interior with a very nice finish. Also, we got to sit in very comfortable rolling office chairs. Finally, they served us some amazing barbecue chicken sandwiches that I totally was into.

Look for another post from this game. I am going to put together a video package of postgame interviews with Kristie Mewis, Shelina Zadorsky, and head coach Jim Gabarra. That should be out later today. Tomorrow I’ll be going back to D.C. for round three of preseason. The Spirit will be welcoming the Duke Blue Devils to town. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. and you can follow along on twitter, where I will be live tweeting @jols98 or @spiritcoverage.

Until next time,



The First of Many

Yesterday I talked about the Spirit’s preseason opener from this past Saturday. Today I am going to do something a little different and talk about the first time I was given a media credential.

June 18, 2016 was a very special day. The Washington Spirit was hosting the Orlando Pride on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Germantown, Maryland. The game that ended up occurring on the field was not what I will remember about that day. I will remember the impact that weekend had on the community as this game was the first sporting event played by an Orlando team after the horrible Pulse Night Club shooting just six days prior.


The grounds crew at the Maryland SoccerPlex created this beautiful piece of field art for the game.

This game was the first game that I was credentialed media for and I was so excited. I could not wait to get to the field and pick up my press pass. I had graduated high school just two days prior, so this was like a graduating gift for me.

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When the game was over, we walked down to the field for post-game interviews. It was really cool to be on the field after the game. It was a whole different view of the stadium.

As you can tell, I was very excited.

Because of the events that had led up to this game, most of the talk in the interviews after the game was not actually about the game itself, but what soccer could do to help the mourning community in Orlando. Here is a clip I took of Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris speaking after the game:


Once the game was over, I was walking back to where my parents were waiting for me. While I was walking, I managed to bump into Sebastian Salazar. He was working for Comcast SportsNet at the time, but now he works for ESPN. Long story short, Salazar is one of my favorite journalists and I love his work. I stopped to talk with him and we even got a picture together. Such a nice guy.


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Sebastian Salazar and I after the press conference.

That weekend was one I will never forget. It was the first step in what I hope to be a very long career in sports journalism.

Don’t forget, I’ll be back next week to talk about the Spirit’s second preseason match against the University of North Carolina.


Until next time,




Preseason is here!

Hey, guys! Hope all is going well. It’s that time of year again, preseason! That means soccer is back and the regular season is just around the corner.

This past Saturday, the Washington Spirit opened up preseason against the Penn State women’s soccer team. Instead of playing two forty-five minute halves, they played three thirty minute periods.

The Spirit started a lineup that will probably look very similar to the opening day roster. 20170318_SpiritvPennState_0043.jpg

Other than three goals in the second period, the game was fairly back and forth. It was exactly what you would expect for an opening game of preseason.

Kristie Mewis and Kassey Kallman made their Spirit debuts after being traded from the Boston Breakers in the offseason. Canadian international and 2016 draft pick Lindsay Agnew also made her debut in the match.


Well, that’s all for now because we were unable to get interviews this week. I’ll be back in DC this weekend as the Spirit take on the University of North Carolina in the second preseason match of the year.

Until next time,


Fun in the sun

Well, this week was quite the adventure. On Monday, my dad and I arrived in Sarasota, Florida to spend the week with my aunt and grandmother. During our time in Florida, we were able to attend three spring training baseball games.

On Wednesday, we went to our first game of the week. We saw the Pittsburgh Pirates play the Baltimore Orioles in Bradenton, Florida. It was a very exciting game that ended with a 6-5 win for the Pirates. As Pirates fans, my dad and I were very happy. Our seats were on the first base side, almost all the way down to the outfield wall. Because of this, we were right in foul ball territory. A man a few rows in front of us caught a ball that was coming in very fast. He ended up having to be checked out by the medical staff which was scary, but I think he was alright. I’m sure that hurt the next day.

Thursday was our long day. My dad and I got up early and hit the road right away. We drove three hours across the state to Palm Beach on the east coast of Florida. Driving through central Florida was very interesting. There isn’t a lot to the area, just cattle ranches, orange farms, and lots of churches.

Once we got to Palm Beach, we headed straight to the stadium because it was almost game time. The stadium where the Washington Nationals play is brand new and looks like a mini Nats Park. Since the park is brand new, everything was very clean and nice looking. Our seats were once again on the first base line, but this time we were even closer to the field. We were so close to the right fielders the whole time, you could hear them talking to the bullpen right behind them. Bryce Harper, who is my favorite player on the Nationals, was so close to us and he hit his home run right down the line in front of seats. Talk about a cool experience.

thursdsay game.JPGMy favorite part of this whole experience was getting to watch the bullpen throw and having the Racing Presidents run right past us. Bill 27 won the race, but I think he cheated. In the end, the Nationals beat the New York Mets and Gio Gonzalez threw five no-hit innings for a great performance.

presidents race

To wrap up our trip, my dad, aunt, and I went to one more Pirates vs. Orioles game at Lecom Park in Bradenton. This time the Orioles won 8-5, which made my aunt happy. Before the game, I stood down by the Pirates dugout hoping to get a few autographs. While I didn’t get any from the players, the Pirates manager Clint Hurdle signed my hat.


We could not have asked for better weather for the week. It is incredible to see how cold people in Florida think it is when it is 60 degrees out. My dad and I were walking around all week in shorts and t-shirts while there were people out in jackets and long pants!

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I could not have asked for a better trip. It is always a good time when I get to hang out with my dad and watch sports. Sorry for not getting this update out earlier, the internet where we were staying was not working last night.

Anyone watching March Madness? How are your brackets doing? Mine are doing fairly well, at least for now.

Until next time,


West Coast Adventures

This week is spring break for all the students here at The College at Brockport. I knew I did not want to hang out in the cold weather of upstate New York for another minute. So for the first weekend of break, my mom, dad, sister, and I traveled out to Los Angles, California to hang out, go to the beach, and watch a few sporting events.

On Saturday morning, we went to Manhattan Beach for breakfast. We ate breakfast at a little place called Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. Once we were finished, it was off to the beach. While we were over there, we came across a women’s college beach volleyball tournament that included UCLA, FSU, and LSU.

My sister and I on Manhattan Beach.

The next day, we traveled over to UCLA for the women’s soccer team’s spring match vs. Santa Clara. It was really cool because it was the first time Jessie Fleming of Canada’s women’s national team and Mal Pugh of the United States’s played together.


The field where the match between Santa Clara and UCLA was played.


UCLA is a beautiful campus. The architecture on the campus is unlike anything I have ever seen. It was also cool to be on the campus where so many amazing athletes had attended school.

That evening, we hit the road and traveled east to Anaheim, California for the Washington Capitals vs. Anaheim Ducks game. Our seats for the game were in the upper deck of the arena, but we were able to go down to the glass for warmups.

The game was not very exciting as the Caps lost 5-2. As soon as the game was over, it was back to Los Angles to catch out flight back out east. While my mom and sister had to head back to Virginia for school, my dad and I flew to Sarasota, Florida to begin the second half of our spring break trip. That’s all from me for right now. I’ll update you guys on my adventures in Sarasota very soon.


Until next time,




SheBelieves in women’s sports

Tuesday night I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. I was able to cover the SheBelives Cup for BacklineSoccer.com. The first game was England vs. Germany followed by France and the United States.

When I got to the stadium, I picked up my press pass and headed up to find my seat in the press box. When I got there, I found out that I was sitting in between officials from the German National Team’s press core and a member from the German Embassy.

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The first match was back and forth, with no team really creating many quality opportunities. Germany scored right before halftime and would eventually win 1-0 thanks to that goal. Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 2.11.03 PM.png

After that, the US and France faced off for a shot at winning the SheBelieves Cup. France came out pressing hard and would eventually win the game by a score of 3-0. If you want to check out my article on the match, you can find it here.

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I am really glad that I got to sit up in the press box because the weather was not good. It was a driving rainstorm the whole time, so being in the dry press box was very nice.

After the game, we watched the trophy ceremony before heading below the stadium to interview the coaches and players. The room we interviewed US head coach Jill Ellis in was very tiny and cold, but it was nice to be so close to her.

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Jill Ellis (left) talking about her team’s performance in the tournament.

Once Ellis’s press conference was done, we headed out to the hallway where a mixed zone was set up for the media to interview the players. Because this was a big tournament, members of the French media were also in attendance. Listening to them interview players in French was very cool.

All in all, I got to interview around ten players, both French and American. It was a really amazing experience to be so close to players I have grown up watching.


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Becky Sauerbrunn of the United States.


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Amandine Henry of France.


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Camille Abily of France. She had the first and third goals for the French.

This experience was unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Thank you to everyone who was involved in this day because it was a wonderful time.

Until next time,





The Stars shine in D.C.


Monday night, I had the opportunity to go the Washington Capitals game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. I went to the game with my dad, my sister, and her boyfriend.

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My sister, Sydney, and her boyfriend, James. I guess the guy in the back wanted to be in our picture

The Caps did not play well. They went down early to the Dallas Stars and ended up losing 4-2. But it was really fun to be back at the Verizon Center. We got to the game at 6:30 p.m. for a 7:30 game. We watched warmups from our seats and ate some really good pizza.

One of my favorite parts about Verizon Center is the public address announcer Wes Johnson. During the third period, he plays a video that is supposed to pump up the fans and make the building very loud for the final few minutes of the game. Here is a quick peak at part of the “Unleash The Fury” video:

While we were at the game, we passed by the England Women’s National Soccer Team. They were at the game as a team bonding trip before they played the German National Team the next day as part of the SheBelieves Cup (more on that in my next post). It was really cool to see them out exploring D.C.

I’ll leave you with this panorama I took of Verizon Center before the game started:

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Until next time,


Looking ahead

Hey, everyone!

While I’m excited to get started, I haven’t been to any sporting events this week. But don’t worry, next week I will have plenty of content for you, so stick around.

On Monday of next week, I will be at the Washington Capitals vs. Dallas Stars game with my dad, sister, and her boyfriend. I can’t wait to be home and be able to see my favorite NHL team play.

Then on Tuesday, I will be covering the US Women’s National Soccer Team’s final game of the SheBelieves Cup vs. France. This will be my first time covering the national team so I’m super excited for that. I also will get to see a lot of my friends at the game which will be cool. For this game, I will be trying to get as much behind the scenes action as I possibly can.

What kind of content do you guys want to see from these games? I’d love to hear your feedback. I’ll try to make a vlog if I can.

Until next time,


Well hello there

Welcome to my blog! As an avid sports fan, I plan to take you on a trip to explore different sporting events that I attend. Each week I will explore a different trip that I have gone on and take you along for the ride. Some weeks it will be about the Washington Spirit games that I cover and other times it will be different sports that I attend as a fan.

When I am at Spirit games, I will take you behind the scenes of what it is like to be credentialed media at a women’s soccer game. For other events, I will show you the experience of being a fan across multiple sports.

My goal in making this blog is to not bore you with game recaps or stats that you can find on any major sporting network. It is more to show you the experiences of being a fan or media at these games. I hope you enjoy

I hope you enjoy this blog and its content. If you like the way that I am doing something, let me know and I’ll try to continue doing that. If there is something that you don’t like or think that can be approved, please let me know because I am trying to make this more enjoyable for you.

Until next time,


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