Regional Futures Tournament

What a great weekend! Coach Orrison and I got back from Virginia Beach yesterday and the weather could not have been more perfect. Although we pulled two long days out on the turf, we saw some great field hockey, caught up with old friends, and enjoyed the sun. Good luck to everyone who participated in being selected to Nationals!


College Connection

A big thank you to all the athletes who were at College Connection this past weekend – you guys brought it! The level of play was great to watch and Coach Orrison and I really enjoyed watching…and getting a tan. It was also fun to see other college coaches we haven’t seen in a while. Contrary to what happens on the field during season, coaches actually do get along! 

We are excited to hit the road again and head to Virginia Beach this weekend for the Futures Tournament where Coach Orrison will be a selector. We are hoping for another weekend of great field hockey and nice weather – although we might get rained on! Good luck to everyone playing this weekend! Can’t wait to see who gets selected to go to Pennsylvania!


“A Promise for Kelsey” by Senior Captain, Lindsey Purpura

         Since December 3, 2013, we have all been more aware of how precious our lives are. Since December 3, 2013, I have thought more about what the consumption of alcohol on college campuses really means. Since December 3, 2013, we have had conversations about our campus culture, about parties, about sober driving, and about the consequences of not being prepared for a night out. Since December 3, 2013, all we can hope for is that some of us are ready for a different culture and the discussions we have had will slowly start to implement change on our campus. We know that the keyword is slowly; this will not happen overnight, but by talking about it and inviting others into the discussion, we may be able to speed up that process.

           On December 3, 2013, we lost a classmate, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and an all-around wonderful person, Kelsey Durkin, in a drunk driving accident. I remember not understanding, in the days following the accident, how life would continue on, how the semester would still come to an end, and how the next one would start, even after what we had just experienced, but it did. It is for that reason that we continue to commemorate Kelsey’s life and continue to honor her.

Life continues on, it must, even when we feel like it needs to come to a stop, if just momentarily, but just because life continues on, that doesn’t mean that we forget.

            Shortly after the accident, blue wristbands began appearing all over campus with the engraving “12-3-13 A Promise for Kelsey” and in that simple act, the need for change was beginning to be addressed. The phrase “A Promise for Kelsey” has since developed into a movement, a group of students, pushing for change, and has become “The Promise Campaign: A pledge to the past and future to keep our community safe.” The group was born out of the General’s Leadership Academy, a group of student athlete leaders, but the discussions we had were aimed at involving the campus as a whole in order to reach as much of the student body as possible. The Promise Campaign’s goal is to help to educate all students, with an emphasis on incoming students, and those who are coming of legal drinking age, mainly juniors, about the consequences of drinking and driving and how quickly this poor decision can lead to tragedy. At the end of this past week, April 30-May 3, we held the first (of hopefully many to come!) Generals Week. There were four main events: the presentation of a video, made here on our campus featuring friends of Kelsey and other students who were in the accident, which will be presented during Orientation Week activities next year, a talk from a Washington and Lee graduate (who also experienced the loss of classmates in a drunk driving accident during her time here) about the need for change, a 5K in memory of members of the Washington and Lee community, and a concert.

            As members of the Generals Leadership Academy, MV (Mary Virginia, Senior Captain) and I were given the task of organizing and completing a community service project with our teammates. After the accident we knew that we wanted it to benefit the memorial fund created in Kelsey’s honor to benefit the Shepherd Poverty Program, and so we did just that. The pioneering forces behind Generals Week, Olive Waxter and Meade Brewster (also captains of the ODAC Champions Women’s Lacrosse team!), had spoken with organizers of the alumni weekend that Generals Week would be occurring during and came to me to let me know that they were looking for someone to help organize the “Stormin’ Norman Lord Memorial Fun Run,” a fun run held every Spring alumni weekend to commemorate a physical education teacher about whom an alumnus fondly recollected to me this weekend “he ran us into the ground, we called running for him ‘running for Lord,’ but we all loved him.” We took the opportunity to organize this run as an opportunity to expand its meaning to envelop commemorating the lost lives of all members of the Washington and Lee community, namely those we lost this year: Kelsey Durkin and Lara Gass, a Washington and Lee law student who lost her life in a non-alcohol related car accident in March of this year. 

            In the days leading up to the run, members of our team volunteered to man a table in commons to convey our message and sell Generals Week shirts. We asked students to sign a pledge that they would not drink and drive (in a similar vein to the pledge every student is required to sign to uphold the Honor System) on which we accumulated just under 200 signatures in just 3 days. We also sold Generals Week shirts and all of the proceeds from those sales will be donated to the Kelsey Durkin Memorial Fund and the Lara D. Gass Scholarship Fund. At the run, we brought together members of the Washington and Lee community in all capacities: current undergraduate students, current law students, alumni, parents of current students, and even pets. We ran in memory of Kelsey and Lara, whom our community mourned the loss of this year, as well as the memory of all members of the Washington and Lee community who are gone but not forgotten.

I have been honored to have had the opportunity to organize this event and hope that the efforts of The Promise Campaign and the message conveyed during Generals Week are ones that continue on through future generations of Washington and Lee students such that no future student has to endure what any student who has experienced the devastating effects of a drunk driving accident have in the past. I hope that we can successfully make a pledge to the future in honor of the past to keep our community safe.

Winter Scholar-Athletes

Congratulations to Megan Axelrod, Allie Barry, Lauren Boone, Riley Hampsch, Mary Virginia Long, Rebecca Mann, Lindsey Purpura, Lydia Ruhlin, Victoria Van Natten, Carter Ware, and Maggie Waxter for being a part of the Winter Scholar-Athletes! They achieved a GPA of at least 3.500. Shout out to Riley and Purp for a perfect 4.0!

The total (210 students) shattered the previous record of 190 students that was set during the fall term this year.  Additionally, 22 of the students honored achieved a 4.0 grade-point average, marking the third-straight term in which more than 20 student-athletes achieved a 4.0 GPA.  

So proud of these ladies and the rest of the W&L Student-Athletes! 
Check out the entire list!


2014 USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Coach Gwen Alexander for being named to the 2014 USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame!!! In June, Coach Alexander along with her team mates in the 1984 Olympic Bronze Medal Field Hockey Team will be inducted!!

Check out the article:

There are pivotal moments in sport where athletes and teams achieve an accomplishment so renowned that their victories undoubtedly inspire generations and elevate the game to new heights. These champions of sport carve out their presence in field hockey history and blaze the trail for others to create their own path to success. Their accolades derived from hard work and heart live within not the glass of a trophy case but in the youth that strive to emulate such greatness.  

To celebrate these athletes and teams, for the first time since 2004, USA Field Hockey is pleased to announce a new class of members to be inducted to the Hall of Fame this June.  USA Field Hockey received an overwhelming amount of qualified candidates for this year’s class, and we would like to thank everyone who contributed to this process for their enthusiasm and dedication to this event.

After careful consideration, the Hall of Fame Committee has selected seven new members and five Honorary Members to the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame.  We are excited to announce that for the first time in the history of this event, USA Field Hockey will be honoring a team and a male as members of the Hall of Fame. USA Field Hockey is extremely proud of all inductees for their accomplishments on and off the field. 

 2014 Hall of Fame Class includes:

  • 1984 U.S. Women’s Olympic Bronze Medal Team
  • Pam Bustin
  • Tracey Fuchs
  • Jill Reeve
  • Katie Kauffman Beach
  • Kate “Tiki” Kinnear
  • Nigel Traverso

Honorary Members:

  • Sharon Taylor
  • Linda Kreiser
  • Pam Hixon
  • Steve Jennings
  • Tom Harris. 

Congratulations to all of our honorees!  USA Field Hockey is extremely proud to bring back this prestigious event and honor those who have represented USA Field Hockey at many different capacities.

The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on June 28, 2014 at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa.