Women’s Soccer Players Stay Busy During Summer

Vanderbilt women’s soccer players Jen Lewis (Birmingham, Ala.), Esther Thompson (Waxhaw, N.C.), Lauren Whitt (Birmingham, Ala.), Kari Boersma (Littleton, Colo.) and Kim Perkins (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) stayed busy during this past summer in preparation for the Commodores’ 2002 season, as they all took part in the W-League. The W-League showcases some of best upcoming freshman and present college players from around the country.

Lewis and Whitt, who are in their junior seasons, and Thompson, who arrived at Vanderbilt as a junior after playing her first two seasons at Texas A&M University, played for the Charlotte Lady Eagles of the W-League this summer. The W-League, which is a branch of the Ultimate Soccer League, is for players presently playing collegiate soccer or who graduated the prior scholastic year.

Lewis, Thompson, Whitt and the rest of the Lady Eagles had an exceptional season making it to the W-League Championship game, which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Prior to the championship game, Charlotte and the Vancouver Breakers battled through two 90-minute periods and two 15-minute sudden-death overtime sessions before the game was decided on penalty kicks. Lewis converted the game-winning penalty shot to lead the Lady Eagles to the championship game.

In the championship game, the Boston Renegades were able to exploit the fact that the Lady Eagles had just played a grueling contest the day before. The Renegades went on to shut out the Lady Eagles, 3-0. Thompson, who was named the W-2 Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2001 prior to the W-1 and W-2 merging, was named to the 2002 all-tournament team.

As a team, Charlotte finished the season with an 11-2 record. Lewis started and played in all 13 games at midfielder, while Whitt was a back-up goalkeeper for the Lady Eagles. Thompson was sensational in net all season long as she started and played in 12 games recording an 11-1 mark. She recorded a goals against average of 0.90 while registering four shutouts.

Boersma and Perkins both played on the Denver Lady Cougars team, which along with Charlotte played in the W-League Final Four in Vancouver. Boersma spent the majority of her time as a defender, while Perkins also played defense before tearing her anterior cruciate ligament, which has caused her to miss the entire 2002 Vanderbilt season. Boersma has started and played every game this season (through October 6) as a defender, and Perkins is expected to see a lot of action when she returns next season.

Senior Katharine Carroll (Brentwood, Tenn.) and junior Michelle Bruntlett (Pensacola, Fla.) also had a summer full of soccer. Both players were on the Tennessee state team that competed for the regional championship in Dallas. While competing in this tournament, the players were evaluated by the regional coaches.

Following the tournament, both players were selected to participate in the U.S. Soccer Festival in Houston, which showcased the top players from each region. Unfortunately for Bruntlett, she was not able to play because of an injury. However, Carroll had a successful run through the festival, which led to her being selected to play in a pool game by the U.S. National B-Team coaches. Carroll now has the opportunity to the play from the national amateur team next Spring. Despite being injured, Bruntlett also has the chance to make the team as Carroll.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to get the extra games this summer in preparation for my final college season,” Carroll said. “The amateur program provides an opportunity for players who are too old to participate in youth Olympic Development Programs to play against he top players from other regions. It was nice just have another chance to seen by coaches at higher levels.”



Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
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