This is the end… At least for now

Hey guys,

So as I mentioned in my last post, the semester is almost over. That means is it almost time for summer vacation.

With that in mind, I am going to probably stop posting on here. It isn’t that I don’t like posting on here, I just feel as if it is a burden sometimes. I am more interested in bettering my content for Follow Your Spirit and Backline Soccer than keeping up with this blog.

All of that said, I have really enjoyed keeping you guys updated on my travels. It has been a crazy few months. I may post on here every once and a while to keep you guys updated on what I’m doing, but it won’t be nearly as often.

If you want to continue following my writing, you can catch see all of my work with Backline Soccer and Follow Your Spirit by clicking on the names for the links. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jols98.

One quick shot out before I go. To Kelley Piper, thank you for letting me use your photos on not only this blog but also for Backline and Follow Your Spirit. I don’t know where any of this would be without you.

Until next time,



Week 2 of the NWSL Season

Hey guys,

How is everyone doing? I’m currently a little stressed because the end of the semester is quickly approaching and there is so much to get done!

This past weekend was the second weekend of the NWSL season and it was an exciting one. The Washington Spirit picked up their first point of the year in a 1-1 draw vs. Orlando. Since this game was in Orlando, I was not able to make it to the game. So today’s post is just a bit of a recap of all the things I’ve done and put out in the past two weeks.

First up, I have become a full-time panelist on The Scouting Report. We do a show once a week on Monday’s at 8 p.m. Here are the first two episodes of the season:

Week One

Week Two

I also have been working with two great writers in Luis Hernandez and Leigh Nieves on a new series for Backline Soccer. It is called “6 Takeaways from NWSL.” Here are the first two weeks of that. Week One and Week Two.

Now into the Spirit Coverage content. Tim and I have been working really hard to hit the ground running this season. One of the main elements of our site is the weekly podcast. Here is our Week One episode. Week Two was filmed last night and is not yet available.


Also, I have been doing weekly recaps in both written and podcast form. My written recaps on Week One and Week Two can be found on our website. And below you will find my Week One and Week Two podcast recaps:

Week One

Week Two

Once school is out, I have plans for so much more great content. I can’t wait to share what I am working on.

Until next time,


Photo Credit: Kelley Piper

Opening Weekend at the Plex

On Saturday, April 15, the Washington Spirit hosted the North Carolina Courage to kick off the 5th season of the National Women’s Soccer League.

North Carolina picked up the 1-0 win, but a strong performance from Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé kept Washington in the game.


While the scoreline did not favor the Spirit, the more important news that came out of the game was the injuries to midfielder Joanna Lohman and forward Cheyna Williams. Lohman is out for the season with a torn ACL while Williams is out indefinitely with a groin injury.

It was so nice to be back at the Maryland SoccerPlex for a regular season game. It just feels like it has been too long. After the game, we talked to Labbé, Tori Huster, Lohman, Jim Gabarra, and Shelina Zadorsky.


Steph Labbé


Here are our interviews with Huster, Lohman, and Zadorsky:

The Spirit will be back in action this weekend as they take on the Orlando Pride in Orlando. This will be the Pride’s first game in their new stadium. Kickoff will be at 4 p.m. on Lifetime.

Until next time,


Washington Spirit Media Day 2017

This week I had the opportunity to head down to the Maryland SoccerPlex for the Washington Spirit’s Media Day. It was an amazing experience and I’m so glad I was able to attend.

I got to D.C. on Tuesday night and was able to eat dinner with my grandpa, my uncle, and my dad. Then on Wednesday morning, I got up really early and went to work with my dad. After eating breakfast and talking to some of my dad’s coworkers, I hopped in the car and headed over to the Plex.

Once I got there, a few of us media folks were able to sit and watch the team train for a couple of hours. This was really fun for me because I love getting to see people train. I think you can learn so much from watching them. My favorite part was watching the goalkeepers run through their individual workouts.

They ended training with a small sided scrimmage type activity. 

Once practice was over, we went up to the stadium for the press conference. This happened in two groups, providing us with more people to talk to. The first group was more of the veterans and leaders of the team. The second group was more of the new players with exception of one.

After the group interviews were over, it was time for individual interviews. This is where we had the opportunity to interview players one-on-one. I had the chance to talk with goalkeeper DiDi Haracic and forward Katie Stengel.



Team Follow Your Spirit out at the Washington Spirit Media Day.

Overall, this was a great day. One thing I did learn from this experience is that sunscreen is always a good choice. But in all seriousness, this was a great learning experience for me.


After we attended media day, Tim Lawson and I sat down to do a quick podcast before the season opener. The Spirit open up the 5th NWSL season at home against the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m.

Until next time,



A very orange-oyable weekend

Wow, this week has gone by so fast. I almost forgot to post today, but fear not, I am here to talk about some softball.

This past weekend I was able to go over to Syracuse University to watch the Orange take on the #1 ranked Florida State Seminoles. I went over for the weekend and spent Saturday night with my grandparents.

On Saturday afternoon, I went to the game with my aunt and uncle. My uncle’s niece plays for the Orange so we ended up seeing a lot of their family there. Since they aren’t really my family, I very rarely get to see them so it was very fun to catch up.


Here we are after the first game of the weekend. It was very cold so we couldn’t feel our hands or feet. 

While Syracuse didn’t come out with the win in this game, I got to see my friend from high school pitch for the Orange. I even got to see her get her first career strikeout. After the game was over, we went to the mall and the Cheesecake Factory. That was the first time any of us had been and I loved it.


We had great seats for the game.

Then on Sunday, we got up and went to the second game of the doubleheader that day. The game was fantastic. It was back and forth the entire time, with Syracuse holding the lead late in the game. But a home run in one of the last innings allowed FSU to come from behind and win.


After the game on Sunday. It was a lot warmer this day.

Overall, I had a great time. It was nice to see a couple great games. It was even better because I was able to hang out with my family. But this was only the beginning of my crazy week.

Until next time,





Update Post

Hey, guys! Hope everyone is having a great week. We made it to April!

So this post is going to be a little bit different. I’m just doing a quick update post to let you all know what has been going on lately and what to expect coming up.

First up, with it being preseason time, that means there is a lot of previews happening. In the past week or so, I’ve been on The Scouting Report twice to talk about the Washington Spirit and the Chicago Red Stars with Sandra and RJ of Backline Soccer.

We talked about the Spirit on March 30. On here, we talked about the goalkeeping situation, expectations for the year, the vibe after the offseason from hell, and then we took questions.

On this episode, we talked about the Chicago Red Stars. The Red Stars happened to drop a wonderful marketing campaign just before the show so we were able to talk about that, the lack of defenders on the roster, Christen Press, and then we took questions. If you have not seen the marketing campaign from Chicago, check it out here because it is amazing.

Another project I have been working on is Washington Spirit player previews on Follow Your Spirit. Next week I will be rolling out a preview on each forward every day next week. If you want to check those out, click here.

Next week on Backline Soccer, we will be putting out our season previews for all 10 NWSL teams. Also, Washington Spirit media day is on Wednesday, April 12. Be sure to follow along on twitter @jols98 and @spiritcoverage for updates from that. Then on April 15, the NWSL’s fifth season opens up.

Until next time,



Photo Credit: Kelley Piper

Escaping the Blue Devils

Well, last weekend was an adventure. It was another quick trip home for the third Spirit preseason game of the year.

If you didn’t know this already, I fly standby thanks to my mom. She used to work in the airline business and now we are blessed with the ability to fly a lot. As you can tell, I take full advantage of that opportunity. This weekend, I managed to get the very last seat on a flight to D.C. because someone did not show up. Like we always say in our family “bless the non-rev gods.”

Once I got to Washington, my family picked me up and it was off to Germantown for the game. This week, the Spirit faced off against the Blue Devils of Duke University.


Washington Spirit vs. Duke Blue Devils. April 1, 2017

Despite a few players being gone for international duty, the Spirit still managed to pull off the 4-3 victory. All of the players that scored in the match have represented the Spirit at some point. Both Imani Dorsey and Kayla McCoy played for the Washington Spirit reserves last summer.

After the game, we talked with head coach Jim Gabarra about the lessons learned from playing a team like Duke, how the midfield is shaping up, and how Francisca Ordega did in her first game of the preseason.


Next up, we talked to Estelle Johnson on what it was like wearing the captain’s armband this week, what it’s like playing in a threeback, and how the rookies are adjusting to the professional level.


Finally, we spoke with rookie Arielle Ship about coming to Washington, adjusting to the professional level, and the different formations. Unfortunately, I did not get video interviews this week. Hopefully, I will have them again soon.

This weekend, the Spirit play host to the University of Virginia Cavaliers. I will not be at that game this weekend because I will be over in Syracuse, New York watching the Syracuse University softball team take on number 1 ranked Florida State University.

I’ll be back next week with updates from Washington Spirit media day on Wednesday. Follow along on twitter @jols98 and @spiritcoverage. We will be putting out a lot of content this week as we gear up for opening weekend.

Until next time,






UNC vs. Washington Spirit Postgame Interviews

As I mentioned in my last post, the Washington Spirit took on the Tar Heels of North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. If you want to hear about my weekend and the game, head on over to my last post for that story.

The nice thing about preseason games is that you learn so much about the team and what the season is going to be like. The first interview that I will share with you today is with head coach Jim Gabarra. Gabarra talks with us about his new system, where players will start this season, how the rookies are doing so far, and an injury update on Caprice Dydasco.

Next up, newly named captain Shelina Zadorsky spoke to the media about being named captain, her partnership with Whitney Church, and adjusting to the three back system.

Finally, midfielder Kristie Mewis spoke about coming to D.C., playing in a 3-5-2 system, and on leaving her hometown of Boston.

The Spirit will play on April 1 as they host the Duke Blue Devils for the third match of the preseason. Washington opens the regular season on April 15 when they welcome the North Carolina Courage to town.

Until next time,


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,


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