April 24, 2012
WASHINGTON - For the second-straight year, Georgetown University Head Women's Soccer Dave Nolan was able to speak to accomplishments set by his senior class that no other class in program history had ever reached before.
When Nolan, his coaches and student-athletes and their families gathered together for the team's season-ending banquet on Saturday evening at the Leavey Center, it was a chance to reflect on a senior class that was, arguably, the best in program history.
The group of nearly 100 gathered on Saturday to celebrate the Hoyas after their 2011 season, the most successful regular season in program history, as the Blue & Gray finished with a 15-6-0 overall record. The 15 wins were the most in a regular season and tied for the most in a season overall with the 2010 squad. Georgetown finished in second place in the American Division of the BIG EAST Conference, earned a first round bye and advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament for the second time in program history.
"We appreciate everything the players do and the sacrifices they make," Nolan said. "This season there was a sting in the tail at the very end but as I told the girls, we can't define whether we're a success or not by what someone else says."
The Class of 2012 came to the Hilltop on the heels of the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance (2007). The group - redshirt senior Ingrid Wells (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair), along with seniors Samantha Baker (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson), Kelly D'Ambrisi (Trumbull, Conn./Lauralton Hall Academy), Elisabeth Hanna (Waxhaw, N.C./Weddingotn), Gabby Miller (Wayne, Pa./Radnor) and Camille Trujillo (Albuquerque, N.M./St. Pius X) - compiled the most wins (55) in a four-year span in program history and also won more BIG EAST games (29) than any other class at Georgetown.
Along the way, the seniors helped lead the Hoyas to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and to four-straight appearances in the BIG EAST Tournament Quarterfinals, with the team reaching the semifinals in 2011 for the first time in four years. And while the 2011 season did not end with an anticipated NCAA Tournament appearance, Nolan said this season was still one he will remember fondly.
"I was able to walk away from this season thinking we did everything we could," he said. "We were so proud of what we did on the field. It was a very enjoyable season for us as coaches. Success is about doing your best and not walking away with any regrets and there's no question in my mind that this class and this team should hold its head up high."
The dinner was also a chance to honor the team's award winners from the season. After brief addresses from Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed, the team's 2011 highlight film was shown, showcasing the team's terrific season, including a highlight win at defending national champion Notre Dame, as well as the accomplishments of five players who earned postseason honors.
Nolan and his staff - associate head coach Naomi Meiburger and assistant coach Mike Calabretta - recognized the team's award winners. Three members of the team were selected to All-Northeast Region teams by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Wells earned first team honors, while D'Ambrisi and Trujillo were second team selections.
Wells, who was named the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year and a First Team All-America, was one of five players recognized with All-BIG EAST honors. Trujillo, D'Ambrisi and Wells were all named first team, while Baker earned second team honors and freshman Daphne Corboz (Greenbrook, N.J./Watchung Hills) was selected to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
The coaching staff also presented its team awards, with Corboz named the team's Rookie of the Year. Miller was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year and Trujillo was named the team's Offensive Player of the Year.
The members of the senior class presented gifts to the coaches and members of the support staff and addressed the team.
"I remember when we came in and there was something about us being the No. 25 recruiting class in the country, or something along those lines," D'Ambrisi said, speaking of her classmates. "And I remember us all looking at each other and trying to figure out who was that really good player to rank us that high. The bar was set really high for us and we weren't sure if we could live up to that standing. But over the four years, we've transformed the program, gone above and beyond expectations that were set for us four years ago."
"We had a great experience here," Baker said, "I know I speak for all of us in thanking Dave, Naomi, Mike and Hayley for the support they gave us. We never could have done what we did on the field without their support and the Hoya staff."
Miller, a four-year starter on the back line, spoke to the underclassmen, telling them to "play for each other and play with heart."
After the seniors spoke, the entire crowd viewed a video put together by the parents that captured highlights of the season, as well as the playing careers of the seniors, from the time they started playing the game, through high school and to Georgetown.
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