Testimonials From W&L Soccer Camp Alumnae

  

KELSEY ANDERSON: FRESHMAN, ALEXANDRIA, VA, Camper 2014  

I first came to camp at W&L the summer before my sophomore year. It was my first time on campus and I was coming alone so I didn’t know what to expect. I could tell there was something different about my feeling here compared to any other camps I had been to. The coaches, especially Coach Cunningham, were encouraging in telling us how we could improve and he knew everyone’s name by the second day. The players that worked the camp were so friendly and answered any questions the campers had. I knew the minute I left Lexington that this was where I wanted to end up. Unsure if my feelings would change between that moment and the time applications were due two years later, I returned to two more clinics during my junior and senior years which solidified my decision that I wanted to apply to W&L ED. I would highly recommend this camp to anyone at all interested in playing soccer here, because it gives you the chance to really get to know Coach and the players, along with the atmosphere of the campus and Lexington, where you could potentially be spending the best four years of your life.

LANEY SMITH: FRESHMAN, HUNTSVILLE, AL, Camper 2015  

I attended the W&L Women’s soccer camp the summer before my junior year and again the summer before my senior year. I remember coming to campus not really having any expectations but within the first day I knew something was different about the soccer camp and the feeling I had on campus. Between the coaching staff and the current players, I was able to have genuine conversations about soccer and about academics. I remember one of the players telling me she was so happy at W&L and honestly could not think of something she would change. After leaving campus that summer I knew that W&L was where I wanted to end up. So I returned the next summer and had the same experience, which reassured my decision to apply ED. The camp really does give you such a great perspective of the competitive soccer environment Coach Cunningham fosters as well as W&L as a whole.

CAROLINE PETERS: Sophomore, Charlotte, NC, Camper 2014  

After attending the Washington and Lee women’s soccer camp the summer before my senior year, I was almost positive I knew that I would end up here. Although I was recovering from a concussion while at camp and couldn’t participate in any contact drills, Coach Cunningham still told me he would love for me to come to get a better feel for his program and the school. Because I could only participate in about half of the drills, I had the opportunity to have genuine conversations with several of the current players on the team. Simply hearing the positive things others had to say about the program and school, I knew I would fit in perfectly here. In addition to meeting several of the players, I was able to get a feel of Coach Cunningham’s coaching style and the team dynamic through the small-sided games and drills in which I was allowed to play. When I got to participate in drills, I loved the competitive yet fun atmosphere that Coach created. I would definitely recommend attending Cunningham’s Soccer Camps!

SYDNEY ABRISZ: Sophomore, Chesterfield, VA, Camper 2014 

I attended the Washington and Lee women's soccer camp the summer before my senior year of high school, and at the time, W&L was already number one on my list. The summer camp just sealed the deal for me. I loved the environment that the campus provided and the current players all seemed to be really good friends. Coach was very welcoming and engaging and of course he knew everyoneS names. Off the field, the current players really took an interest in getting to know the campers, so I was able to have a lot of my questions answered. By the end of the week, W&L women's soccer was truly a program I could picture myself being a part of for 4 years.

OLIVIA HUNTER: Junior, Tallahassee, FL, Camper  

After attending two women's soccer camps, I was positive that Washington and Lee was the correct choice for me. Although I had attended a spring day clinic and fell in love with the school my sophomore year, the camp allowed me to truly understand the dynamics of the soccer program and understand Coach Cunningham's coaching policies. Not only that, but living so far away from Washington and Lee, it was an excellent opportunity for Coach Cunningham to see me play as well. Furthermore, I was able to spend time with some of the players, many of which became some of my best friends after I came to Washington and Lee. Being so close to players at camp allowed me to really see that I would fit into the team and the playing style of the program. If you are unsure of attending the camp, I would highly recommend it as it truly cemented my decision to attend W&L!

KATE SARFERT: Sophomore, Winston-Salem, NC, Camper 2012 

My experience at Neil Cunningham's Soccer Camp pushed Washington and Lee University to Number 1 on my college list. The small size of camp allowed the experience to be personal: I was able to have all of my questions answered, both about the soccer team and about the school itself.  The little things during camp showed the true character of Coach Neil and the members of his soccer team.  Coach knew everyone's name by the second day of camp, and he made a point to talk to each camper individually.  The week at camp is one that I will never forget.  I had the opportunity to play soccer at a high level while also learning what it is like to be a member of the women's soccer team at Washington and Lee. The team is truly a family and I am proud to say I will be a part of it in the fall of 2013!

KATIE CLEMMONS: Sophomore, Phoenix, AZ, Camper 2012

In the summer before my senior year, Washington and Lee was one of my top choices, but after camp I knew that it was the place I wanted to go. Camp had the perfect balance between fun and work and the current players were very enthusiastic. Coach Cunningham was at every training session, and he really got to know all of the campers personally. At the beginning of the first training session, he could already recite all of the seniors’ names! I would definitely recommend this camp to anyone who is even a little interested in Washington and Lee.  

REBECCA DUNN: Junior, Houston, TX, Camper 2011

Attending camp made a world of a difference in my college application process and in my ultimate college decision. The experience of camp really gave me a feel for the dining hall, housing situation, coaching staff, and some of the soccer players at W&L. It was a time where I got many of my questions answered by current student-athletes and got a feeling of the coaching style of Coach Cunningham. Through camp, I was also exposed to coaches from other schools, such as Coach Gluck from Haverford, and got to meet some girls my age that ended up being my future teammates! I would 100% recommend camp to anyone that has time because not only did we get to play the game we love but the coaches also planned other activities such as a campus tour, information session, movie nights, and scavenger hunts that made the week very worthwhile and memorable. My favorite part of camp was playing small sided games and getting to talk to current players on the team while I subbed out. I could tell through these conversations how close the team is and how much they all have a passion for not only soccer, but also academic success. 

ADDIE HEALY: Junior, Waterford, VA, Camper 2010 and 2011

The food! Charades! Skills ladders! There were too many great and memorable experiences at camp to possibly express. I went to camp two times; once the summer before junior year and then the summer before senior year. The first time I went to camp, I had very little expectations because I did not know much about the school and I was only beginning to think about college. However, by the time I left I had basically fallen in love! One thing that separated camp at W&L from the other camps I went to was how close I felt to the coach and the players. He was out at every training session and, although sometimes he just quietly watched, he would often lead the sessions himself. He also pulled many players aside individually and coached them. Outside of soccer, Coach would talk and joke around with us, so even though it had only been four short days, by the end I felt like I already knew him. The players were great at reaching out too; they were so approachable. This was key for me because I knew that the best way to get a true picture of what the school was like was to talk to the players themselves. In doing so, I got a lot of serious questions answered but I also saw how they interacted with each other. I had never seen a team that got along so well; there was no odd one out and they all seemed incredibly happy. Choosing to go to W&L camp that first year was probably one of my best decisions. I had an amazing experience and set the standard high, early. From then on, I went to other camps and toured schools but there was simply no comparison. W&L was it for me! 

ERIN HARVEY: Junior, Mission Hills, KS, Camper 2012

Camp was awesome because we spent so much time playing soccer and so little time sitting around.  There was a nice balance between training and playing, and the coaches and college players kept every session fun, yet competitive.  Coach Neil made a great effort to get to know every player and was very involved throughout the camp.  My favorite part were the evening games, but Charades was a close second.

HALEY WARD: Senior, Federal Way, WA, Camper 2009 and 2010

One day I got home from school and opened one of those general letters sent out to prospective students for Washington and Lee University. Having never heard of the school before this, I read the letter, became interested, then searched online and found that it would be a good school for me to look into. It seemed to have everything I was looking for. So after contacting Coach Neil, I decided to go to the camp to see the campus and witness for myself the level of play I could expect from this team. Before making the trip across the country to attend soccer camp at Washington and Lee University, I knew the school was towards the top of my list, but after only the first training session, I realized this was the perfect place for me. I had so much fun I came back for a second year.

What made the camp so unique was not only the close attention from the coaches, but everyone’s positive attitude towards camp; I felt like the coaches and players really cared that every girl had a good experience. I’m pretty sure Coach Neil even pulled an all-nighter to talk to every junior and senior girl interested in attending the school. It was this effort put in by the coach paired with the positivity of the current players that made me realize that I would really love to play soccer as a General one day.

While at camp, I really got to know Coach Neil and the current players. Hearing about the team and how the season generally goes from the current players positively influenced my decision to attend W&L; I knew exactly what to expect come time to be a General myself. The training sessions all focused on specific skills, pushing every player of every caliber to their fullest, but they were still fun. Although we worked hard, no one ever complained that it was dull or unnecessary work. I truly believe I'm a better soccer player after attending W&L's camp.

KATHERINE RUSH: Senior, Cornelius, NC, Camper 2010

Of all the soccer camps I have attended, the Washington and Lee camp was my favorite by far. Not only did I receive valuable coaching from enthusiastic and friendly coaches, I also got the chance to learn about what it's like to be a soccer player at W&L. Unlike other college camps, Coach Cunningham was present at almost every training session and game. He really took the time to get to know each player personally, and even took the time to sit down with every recruit to give them an honest evaluation of their skills.

Between the three camps that I attended the summer going into my senior year, Coach Cunningham's camp left me with no doubt in my mind that Washington and Lee was the place that I wanted to spend my next four years studying and playing soccer. While at camp, I was able to tour the campus with a current General, and all of my questions could either be answered by Coach Cunningham or a player.

HOLLEY BEASLEY: Senior, Virginia Beach, VA, Camper 2010

Washington and Lee camp is one that stands out from all the rest. If you have any interest at all in attending Washington and Lee, camp will definitely be a worthwhile week of your summer.

I attended camp last summer because I knew Washington and Lee was one of my top choices in schools but I was having a really hard time deciding which path I wanted to take in playing college soccer. My experience at W&L soccer camp gave me exactly what I was looking for. I was able to get a feel for what it would be like to go to school and play on the soccer team there and it gave me the opportunity to really get to know the coaches and current players. At every other college soccer camp I have attended, the coaches and current players have been unreachable, and campers were lucky if they got one session in with the head coach. At Washington and Lee camp, Coach Cunningham was always around. He walked to and from the fields with us, he attended all of our scrimmages and almost all of our training sessions, and I received numerous coaching tips from him on a daily basis. Additionally, the current players made huge efforts to talk to us at meal times and during our breaks.
 Soccer camp at Washington and Lee was unlike any program I had previously attended.

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KJ LANCASTER: Senior, Atlanta, GA, Camper 2010

This camp helped me tremendously with the college recruiting process! I was not completely decided about playing soccer in college, but the various college coaches certainly helped support my decisions. Coach Cunningham especially showed dedication to everyone's future, as he met with each and every player on the last night–even if the only available time was at 3 AM!

I am very happy that I decided to attend W&L Camp. It is a truly great experience for all soccer players.

MAGGIE SUTHERLAND: Pittsburgh, PA, Pittsburgh Strikers, Camper 2005

No recruit received this attention at the other college camps that I attended. At the other camps, the head coach as well as many of the assistant coaches rarely showed up on the field. To finish the week, Coach Cunningham offered a college question-and-answer session as well as an open and honest one-on-one opportunity to all 11th grade girls to discuss our possible futures on the W&L college team. I am headed to Washington and Lee on August 26th with two of my good friends from Washington and Lee soccer camp for the start of soccer preseason. The Washington and Lee soccer camp gives every girl an opportunity to improve her skills and show her abilities. Without such a chance, I would not have been able to achieve my dream of playing soccer at a college level.

ROSALIND KLANN: Denver, CO, Colorado Rush, Camper 2005

We practiced and played at a very competitive level, and continued to have a great time throughout the entire week. The coaching was completely supportive, and friendships with other players were made on and off the field. Everyone’s goal was to get better while simultaneously having fun! We also learned a lot about Washington and Lee, as well as about life as a General.
I attended four different college soccer summer camps, including the Washington and Lee University soccer camp. Of these four, only the Washington and Lee University soccer camp stands out from the rest. Although I believe my skills were improved by the excellent coaching staff and the high quality of instruction, what was particularly important to me was the attention I received as a potential W&L recruit. Coach Cunningham saw me play and develop all week.
 I came to camp to be viewed by the coach of a school that I liked and thought may be a place I wanted to apply and play soccer. However, I also wanted to get a better idea of what type of competition I would see in division III and the caliber of players who typically play at that level. I felt I received great instruction while at camp, I polished my fundamentals while learning better techniques in the future. Each drill was specifically designed to focus on an area of your game, which allowed you to perfect each skill. Usually at night the camp would hold scrimmages where you could practice all the skills you learned in camp that day.


The coaching staff was excellent, each coach was friendly and willing to focus on personal skills you may need to work on. It was very helpful to have current players on hand, especially if you are looking to play at W&L, I was able to talk to them about life at W&L and the experience of playing soccer in college. Also, it allowed me to simply meet more current students and hear their likes, dislikes, and advice with regard to making a college choice.

KIKI MOREO, Westport, CT, CFC Arsenal

I am very happy I chose to attend the Washington and Lee soccer camp. It helped to solidify my decision that Washington and Lee University was the school for me. However, I would recommend the camp to those not planning to attend Washington and Lee University as well. You will meet some very interesting people, learn the possibilities for your future soccer career after talking with Coach, and enjoy every minute of the few days you get to spend in Lexington, Virginia.

By the end of the week, I had a very good idea of the team's chemistry, Coach's coaching style, and how I thought I would fit in. The camp really prepared me for the college soccer process and I had fun while I was there. If you are confused about whether or not Washington and Lee University Soccer is for you, you should definitely attend the camp.

CAROLINE LAMBERTI: Oakton, VA, Camper 2006

I was having trouble deciding between a few schools and I wanted to be able to make an educated decision. I decided to attend the summer camp. When I arrived at camp the actual players, the coaches, and Coach Cunningham’s family all greeted me! Coach introduced himself, his wife, and his son Daniel; it made me feel comfortable. The week of camp just increased this feeling. While pushing me to play my hardest the coaches also created a fun and enjoyable atmosphere.
After my junior year of high school, I thought I wanted to play college soccer. After the 2006 Washington and Lee soccer camp, I knew that I wanted to play college soccer. Never had I received the personal interaction with coaches that I received at W&L. Camp allowed me to get a lot of touches on the ball, play in full field competitive scrimmages, concentrate on improving my weaknesses, while being instructed by a dedicated and enthusiastic coaching staff.


The camp also gave me the opportunity to tour campus with a current player and truly get a feel for what it is like to play soccer while attending college. Deciding to attend camp made my college selection process easier. I was overwhelmed by the college process but when I sat down with Coach Neil at the end of camp, I knew that W&L was my first choice and he gave me his honest opinion about my future as a potential W&L player. If you are a high school aged player considering playing college soccer, you should attend the W&L soccer camp. Even if you do not end up going to school at Washington and Lee, you will leave camp as an immensely improved soccer player.

TAYLOR GARRETT: Birmingham, AL, Camper 2006

When I went to camp I was still trying to decide where I wanted to go to college. Camp was a great experience because I got to know some of the team members, Coach Cunningham, and the other recruits. Every day we worked on a lot of skills with a great coaching staff that made sure we were learning and improving. At night we scrimmaged to put everything into practice. Since I was missing practices with my club team I was relieved to find that the intensity at camp prepared us for game like competition. Coach Neil was always there to offer tips and he coached some of the sessions so he got to know all the players personally. The last night of camp Coach Cunningham was able to offer a question and answer session for anyone interested in the college process. He gave everyone an evaluation of her abilities and advice about the recruiting process.

I had a great time at camp and it helped me decide to come to W&L. Attending camp is the best way to show off your abilities to the coaches, and you will experience what playing soccer at W&L will be like.

ALLIE ESPINA: Gaithersburg, MD, Camper 2007

The Washington and Lee soccer camp is a great opportunity to improve skills, learn from experienced coaches, and obtain insight on the ins and outs of the college searching process. The morning and afternoon sessions were tailored for a particular skill and taught by experienced and dedicated coaches. Scrimmages were played at the end of the day, allowing the players to practice the skills learned that day in a game like situation. At the end of each day, I felt like a better player than the day before due to the well instructed sessions.
Before attending camp, I considered Washington and Lee one of my top choices. But after attending camp, I was certain that it was my top choice. Not only did the camp provide an environment for improving my soccer skills, it also gave me a good sense of what it would be like to play at Washington and Lee.


The camp also offered advice on searching for a college that meets your interests and best fits you. W&L players lead a tour of the campus and provided input on the college experience, which helped me get a feel for the university. One of the camp's best feature was the opportunity to have a private conversation with Coach Neil about my interest in W&L and the possibility of playing in college. It is the only university camp that I have attended in which I actually believed the coach was interested in getting to know the prospective students and players. After my experience at camp, Washington and Lee moved to the top of my list of colleges.

Anyone who is interested in W&L and playing in college definitely should consider attending the camp.

PAGE MINTON, Bowling Green, KY, Camper 2007

The warm and welcoming atmosphere of W&L camp is what makes it stand out above the rest. At other camps, you rarely see the head coach, but at the W&L camp, you are able to work with Coach Cunningham and develop a feel for his coaching style and his personality. Not only this, but Coach also sat down with each 11th grade girl to discuss their possible future at Washington and Lee and provide advice on the recruiting process.

The entire coaching staff is attentive to each player and very approachable for any questions you may have about playing college soccer. Camp is a great way to meet people, show your soccer abilities, and experience what playing soccer at W&L would be like.

KATHERYNE LAWSON: White Post, VA, Camper 2007

I attended my fair share of soccer camps during the summers after my sophomore and junior years of high school but none of them stand out in my memory like the Washington & Lee soccer camp. At the W&L camp the players better their skills and increase their level of play as they would at most soccer camps but with an increased amount of individual attention, which is what makes the W&L camp different. Coach Cunningham and the rest of the coaching staff are at every session to help each player reach their soccer goals, whether that is to play in college or to simply learn a certain move to use in their recreational game.
I decided to attend W&L's soccer camp to meet the coach, the team, and get a feel of what level of soccer I would getting myself into. The camp alone finalized my decision. Eating meals with players who had currently been on the team allowed me to hear first hand about how the soccer season ran.


Another aspect of the W&L camp that I enjoyed as a prospective W&L player was the opportunity to meet and talk with Coach Cunningham, some of the current players, and other prospective players that would eventually become my teammates. Thus the W&L camp prepares players for college soccer at Washington and Lee University both by improving their skill set and knowledge of the game and also helping them to transition into the team if the school proves to be a match for the player.

ALEX TODD: New Orleans, LA, Camper 2008

Every question I had could be answered by a Lady General on the soccer team. I got to have one-on-one time talking to the coach, as well. This camp was different from any other camp I had ever been to because there were fewer girls, so more attention was aimed at each player. Coach knew my name by the first day, and he was able to tell me specifically what I needed to work on individually in order to make myself a better component to the team if I chose to attend and potentially play in the future.

The interactions with Coach was the best part about the camp. Certain drills were aimed at helping the team as a whole, while after drills coach might pull you aside and tell you how you can improve even more.

It was overall the perfect combination of fun and work. Camp definitely made my college decision an easy one. I would recommend it for any player even considering playing Division III soccer. If you are not sure if you want to play yet, it is a great way to help your decision and help you see exactly how great the people you could potentially be playing for are.

Patrick McHugh VAFC Travel Coach & Soccer Parent

I wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you for all that you and your staff did at team camp to help my players get the most out of their time at the Washington and Lee Girls Soccer Camp. You should be very proud of your entire staff for providing such an educational, challenging, and a genuinely enjoyably experience for my team, and all of the campers.

You and your staff have been a great asset to my team as a trainer. You are in tune to all aspects of the game of soccer. You are capable of incorporating technical as well as tactical concepts in your clinics and drills. I have seen improvement in individual players' ability as well as team cohesiveness after having Neil and his staff work with my team.

You do an excellent job working with individual players. His one on one sessions with my players helped them gain their confidence in their abilities and improved their touch and awareness on the field.

I highly recommend Washington and Lee Girls Soccer Campto anyone interested in learning the game of soccer, developing as a player or coach and having fun in the process. The VAFC U15 Girls Strikers team will be back at your camp.