By Quinn Kammer ‘23
On Monday, the girls’ varsity soccer team met on the turf to practice as they do most days of the week. With temperatures in the eighties and substantial humidity, the air felt heavy. Still, the team was in high spirits, the field abuzz with shouts of “on the touch,” “take it” and “shoot!” The loudest cheers, more often than not, came from Rory Murphy ‘23. Never afraid to call out fellow teammates and push them to be their best, Murphy ‘23 is poised to lead the varsity team to victory this season alongside co-captain Julia Chiang ‘23.
The two are perfect complements of each other according to Head Coach Jessica Magnuson who is quick to praise Chiang as “a leader by example and a model of consistency” who “never takes a drill off.” Murphy for her part brings intensity, grit, and talent. “The heart and soul of the team,” Magnuson dubs her. Since Second Form year, the pair have been honing their skills in games and during practices, learning the ins and outs of the program at Lawrenceville. Beyond contributing to the team’s successes, the two have also gained perspective during rebuilding periods. Win or lose, their coach insists that both have managed to “stay true to themselves in the way they lead others.”
With their position as co-captains comes many duties ranging from encouraging others during push-ups to leading pre-game drills and stretching. “This year is all about putting the work in,” Chiang stated. “We have a lot of potential as a team and we have the talent it takes to have a really good season.”
It is neither captain’s first rodeo and they each have a clear sense about the challenges this season will bring and how they can best apply themselves. For Murphy, it all begins in warmups, getting her teammates in the zone and ready to work as a cohesive unit. She understands that as great as individual talent is, a team sport requires more. All the pieces must come together, each individual player ready to work as one well-oiled machine. With their first couple of games behind them, the captains are determined to continue to bring the team together and continue improving.
One thing Chiang has always loved is the sense of community created by Lawrenceville soccer. “Freshman year we had so many role models to look up to,” she explained. “That really shaped my Lawrenceville experience and now we get the privilege of being the role models for these underclassmen.”
It is a “full circle moment” which the Fifth Former relishes as she embarks on her final season at the school. Though shouldering plenty of responsibility this year, both captains are rising to the occasion with more passion for the sport than ever. “After a long Lawrenceville day, getting out on the field with friends and coaches is the best feeling,” Murphy said. “That’s why we’re here.”
The next home match for the girls’ varsity soccer team is on Sept. 2, 2 p.m., vs. Choate Rosemary Hall.
For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at email@example.com.