The Ethel Walker School Soccer program competes in the Women's Western New England Preparatory School Soccer Association, WWNEPSSA, a division of The New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC). Walkers is a class "C" division competitor, and also competes in the prestigious Founders League. League competitors include Taft, Miss Porter's, Kingswood-Oxford and Kent.
Walker's soccer were CISAC champs in 2007 and 2008 and qualified for the New England Tournament in 2009 as the #1 seed. Last year Ella Ross 15' and Veronica Garcia 18' were both named to the WWNEPSSA All Star Team. In addition, as an eight grader!, Veronica Garcia 18' was named to the prestigious "Boston Globe All Star Team".
The Junior Varsity team is an integral part of the program, where players have regular opportunity to move up to Varsity. Past players have gone on to play at Division I, Division II and Division III collegiate programs.
Team members participate in premier leagues. Walker's varsity soccer team have been League champions for several years in a row and continue to build momentum, attracting strong players and students with a strong desire to learn and excel.
Head Varsity Coach Todd D'Alessandro was an All New England player at Farmington High School, All Big East selection at UConn, was drafted by the Boston Bolts of The ASL, and played semi-professionally for The Lowell Red Devils of the LASA League. Coach D'Alessandro believes in "total football", a style of play that emphasizes the entire team press forward on attack and defense. Coach D'Alessandro says, "It's a difficult brand of soccer because you have to be very fit. We focus on having the ball skills to play attractive soccer, and keep high pressure up for the entire game."
jinfurna [at] ethelwalker [dot] org
Coach Julie Infurna joined Ethel Walker for the 2011 season after coaching several years on the East End of Long Island. 2012 was her first year coaching the Varsity Lacrosse team and she looks forward to taking the helm of Walker's lacrosse program alongside the rest of the lacrosse coaching faculty.
As a student athlete, Coach Infurna participated in three sports during her high school career excelling in soccer, basketball and lacrosse. She lettered all 4 years in lacrosse where she also co-captained the team her senior year. During this time she earned all state/prep honors, as well as, honorable mention all American credits. At the collegiate level, Infurna focused her energies primarily on lacrosse where she lettered as a freshman at Williams College. She transferred to Cornell University, pursuing a desire to play at the Division I level. While at Cornell, Coach Infurna played all three years at the Varsity level, earning honorable mention all ivy honors as well as the honor of being elected co-captain again by her teammates.
Infurna regularly attends the US Lacrosse Association Convention and holds a Level I coaching certification.
The word "classico" in soccer is so interesting to me. Can eight letters really expresses so much emotion, tension, and passion, in a long standing rivalry between two teams? Well, yes they can, and that's exactly what Saturday'sgame was all about. Both teams came to play, and the Parents Weekend crowd was not disappointed by hard nosed tackles, near misses, and efforts by both teams to play quality soccer. We played a very good first half of possession soccer, and did an extremely nice job of keeping our tactical shape against a well coached Miss Porters Team that was composed, defended well, and good at working the flanks up and down the field. The entire team contributed, every player did their part, and we came out of half time tied 0-0. The send half saw us struggle to hold and posses the ball through the midfield due to strong pressure from the Miss Porters midfielders and backs. At the 60th minute a perfect ball over the top caught our defense positioned wrong. That left goalkeeper Kendall Edwards 16' one on one with the Miss Porters forward, and unfortunately unable to get in front of the shot. From there we pressed, and pressed but were thwarted by solid defending and goalkeeping by the Miss Porter's defensive line. We had our best chance to equalize with less than five minutes to go. A brilliant run down the right side by Veronica Garcia 18' saw her get to the baseline, and send a perfectly driven near post cross to Ella Ross 15', that a Miss Porters defender somehow was able to break up. A game to remember for all! A short break, and on to Westover!
A very bitter pill to swallow. Despite controlling the run of play for nearly the entire match, we made the long drive home from NY with absolutely nothing to show for it. This past week's training emphasis centered on our first phase of play, exploitation of the opponent's weak side, and finishing of our crosses. We did an adequate job of building up from the back, and transitioned fairly well to the weak side through our midfield. However, loose marking on a Millbrook corner showed them the near post, and once again we found ourselves down 0-1, despite clearly dominating play. In true fashion we fought back and Amber Carter 15' put back a deflection and we ended the 1st half 1-1. The second half saw us go down 2-1 in the 50th minute. Amber Carter 15' came up big again to net her second goal of the game to bring us back 2-2. Multiple missed chances, and two more defensive errors sent us to Davey Jones' locker. Millbrook's counter attack on the left side gave us fits, and their goalkeeper was sure handed the entire game in very wet conditions. She was brilliant at minute 79 in preserving Millbrook's win. Hannah Ayoobi 16' received a perfect through ball and streaked in on the goal alone, and let off a thunderous shot. The Millbrook keeper made a tremendous save to her left, and then that was it for us. We'll brush this off and move on to Saturday…….Miss Porter's! BE THERE!!!!
A thriller of a game to watch, a pressure cooker to play in, a heart attack to coach. This game 100% embodied the spirit and fun of high school soccer. We dug a deep hole for ourselves five minutes in, and had to dig out for the rest of the game. An early lapse in defensive concentration put us down 0-1 on a difficult playing surface against an experienced, and incredibly fast Christian Heritage team on the counter attack. It was a game of transitions and missed opportunities for both teams. Missed shots, after mistrap, after missed opportunity, after counter attack, after hitting the crossbar, after scramble in the box, after mistrap, after hitting the crossbar on a PK, after missed crosses…it went the entire game. We came out down 0-1 in the second half and 15 minutes in grabbed the equalizer with a goal mouth scramble that Ams Gillies 17' put away at just the right moment. From then on it was an all out effort to get the go ahead goal. Under intense stress, the team never gave up, and were duly rewarded at 79:58 when Hannah Ayoobi 16' put a driving serve across from the right side. Veronica Garcia 18' was right where she needed to be and that was that.
We came out with great intensity in the first half, and worked hard to pressure the Chase defenders high on the field. Midfielders Ella Ross 15', AB Borreill 15', and Nell Shea 16' were exceptional in keeping their midfield "triangle" compact through the middle of the field. They were able to clog the Chase passing lanes in the middle of the field and win the majority of the loose balls. Our second half did not match our first, and Chase came back with a vengeance. With the game 2-1 with less than five minutes left, AB Borreill 15' threaded a perfect through pass to Veronica Garcia 18' who showed First Division poise as she calmly feinted the Chase keeper and ran by her to seal the deal and net her second goal of the game. Aurora Naughton 16' continues to be a force with her defensive duties, and had her hands full the entire game as she marked Chase's top player. Jianna Footman 15' can not be left out when we talk about impact players, she saves us time and time again in the back. Ella Ross 15' scored the other goal in our 3-1 win. A nice win, but much more hard work needed, we can not rest for a moment!
This past week we worked on finishing our crosses into the box. It paid off immediately. We were able to consistently put dangerous balls into the goal area and come away with results. Ella Ross 15' and Veronica Garcia 18' both scored two goals apiece. Amber Carter 15' and AB Borriel 15' both netted one each as well. The team did a very nice job of working the ball from side to side, and were in command of the game from start to finish. Still work to do as we move into our last portion of the season!
A great overall effort by the team. Our team shape on the field was very compact through the middle, both up and down the field. We were able to win many loose balls in the middle and get forward quickly. We struggled some to consistently change the field of play, but when we did it had dramatic results. Nell Shea 16' was a handful for Chesire on the right side in the midfield with her dangerous 1-2 combinations. Ella Ross 15', Hannah Ayoobi 16', netted one and two goals respectively. Veronica Garcia 18' had her second consecutive hat trick to help bring home a nice win for us!
A classic Fall day, on a beautiful field and campus at The Watkinson School, what more could a soccer team ask for? A win of course. And we did just that. Improved support play by our outside backs, and increased final third pressure by our forwards created many chances on goal. After countless runs up the right side, Veronica Garcia 18' netted our first goal. Watkinson came back with a bomb of a goal from long range, and we ended the half at 1-1. Veronica Garcia 18' put away two more goals, and AB Borreil 15' added an insurance tally to make the final score 4-1 Walkers.
A wild game in the pouring rain at The Gunnery. We were able to immediately put Gunnery under pressure, and did an excellent job of holding our team shape up and down the field. Forwards Amber Carter 15', Hannah Ayoubi 16', and Veronica Garcia 18' were very active in our offensive third, and created many scoring opportunities in the first half. …and then it rained, …and rained,... and rained. The field retained large amounts of water and made playing conditions unpredictable, in turn the game evolved into a wide open affair with many chances being created by both teams. Gunnery kept pressuring us, and were able to bring themselves to within a goal, but stalwart defending by Jianna Footman 15', Aurora Naughton 14', Maise Smith 19', Trisha Smith 15', and Mackenzie Hine 16' helped us to preserve the win. Scoring players were Amber Carter 15', Hannah Ayoobi 16' , and the game winner by Caroline Smith 19' off a header.
Despite going down 0-1 in the first half, we dominated the run of play. Senior Ella Ross 15' evened the score to 1-1 about 10 minutes into the second half on a cross to the weak side from freshman Veronica Garcia 18', and we continued to command the run of play. Canterbury did not give up and had more than a few good chances on the breakaway when we blatantly lapsed in concentration defensively, GK Kendall Edwards 16' saved the day each time. Senior Jianna Footman 15' was ever steady in the back, and sisters Maise 19' and Caroline Smith 19' added spark off the bench. Again, many missed chances spoiled our win, and we walked away with just a tie.
We played a young, fast, and gutsy Masters Team. We were able to posses the ball, and work the ball from side. We got on the winning track with multiple players scoring, most notably senior captain AB Borreil 15' on a nice back post run with a neat finish just inside the post. Way to go AB!
We showed up for the game with low energy, and were completely outplayed by KO from start to finish. We were not marking tightly, had incredible difficulty stringing passes together, and struggled to switch the field of play. A difficult day for us all.
A disappointing result for the team. We did not properly prepare for the match, came out on our heels, and were justifiably punished 30 seconds into the game, giving away a breakaway goal. We remained flat and let two more goals in to the net. Senior Amber Carter 15' had a superb match, scored two great goals, and got us to 2-3 at halftime. We pressed hard the entire second half, and had Berkshire defending for long stretches. We created many chances, but could not convert. We lost concentration defensively again at three separate points, and let in three goals. My message to the team; "You practice like you play".
Saturday's game vs. Kent was a 0-0 draw at half-time, with both teams having missed good scoring opportunities. The second half saw our team tighten up defensively, apply stronger pressure higher on the pitch, and do a better job of working to switch the field of play. This all payed off 25 minutes into the second half when Mackenzie Hine 16' struck a beautiful direct kick from 25 yards out that tucked in nicely under the crossbar to put us up 1-0. Kent responded with threats on the break, but goalkeeper Kendall Edwards 16' was confident off her line, and came up strong every time. We were able to pull away to 2-0 when Hannah Ayoubi 16' let a thunderous strike go for a goal. From there Ella Ross 15' netted two goals, (one a picture perfect volley from the far post), and Liz Roach 18' rounded out scoring with a great tap in off a shot by Veronica Garcia 18'. A nice win, but we'll not celebrate for long, still much work to do.
A tough game for the Wildcats. We struggled to control the ball, and keep our tactical shape against a Hamden Hall team that was very dangerous on the break. In the first half we were down 2-0, but Ella Ross 14' was right where she needed to be on a corner, and she slotted home a goal to end the first 2-1. In the second half, despite our difficulty with possessing the ball and effectively defending, we leveled the score 20 minutes in on a super individual effort by Hannah Ayoubi 15'. We missed two great chances on goal, and paid dearly for it. Hamden Hall scored with 10 minutes left on a well taken shot from the left side. They netted one more five minutes later to seal it. We're committed to improving, and are eager to play this Saturday.
Saturdays game played in the rain on the turf at GFA was a thriller. Walker's was up 1-0 at halftime. Veronica Garcia ''18 hit the crossbar right before halftime. We got down 3-1 in the second half, but Hannah Ayoobi '16 scored with 15 minutes left. We never gave up the pressure, we hit the post and just missed on a breakaway in the closing minutes.
Something new I’ve tried at Walker’s:
I tried soccer in 7th grade and even though I wasn't experienced, I really enjoyed it and I want to keep improving. I will probably continue playing it throughout my time at Walker's.
- Gita, '16