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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Emory's own World Cup in Washington, DC


The Emory alumni soccer team in Washington has been successful in not only keeping up their Emory spirit, but also in stomping other alumni soccer teams.

I had the opportunity to speak with one of the players, Krister Holladay 90C, who updated me on the team’s progress and success.

The Washington, DC Chapter of Emory Alumni, first joined the Capital Alumni Network (CAN) co-ed 7 vs. 7 soccer league three seasons ago. They were first coached by Steven Hunt 98Ox 01PH and his wife, Heather. Rob Rutland-Brown 01C coached the team with Tahir Duckett 08C last year, and in 2010, Duckett and Dana Alsen 06C led the squad.

Under their leadership, the Eagles alumni soccer team recently won the CAN sports league 7 vs. 7 soccer championship! “It was a long, hot couple of back-to-back games, but well worth it,” Holladay said.

The Eagles finished the regular season with five wins and three losses, but really hit their stride in the playoffs, first defeating Tulane (5-0), then Boston College (3-2, OT). In the semifinals, the Eagles started off slow in the sweltering summer heat against Elon College. Elon scored the first goal and then a second goal on a penalty kick in the first half to take a 2-0 lead.

However, the Eagles soared back in the second half scoring three unanswered goals, the clincher from Drew Mincheff’s 06C, to cap a 3-2 come-from-behind win.

After a much-needed half-hour rest, the Eagles took to the field again for the championship game and quickly scored two goals against Wisconsin. Emory dominated the rest of the game crushing the Badgers 4-1 to win its first CAN soccer title thanks to Philip Goo’s 06C hat trick and a goal from Jeff Collins 06C.

“I moved to Washington after college and found myself working in a small office of five people,” Alsen said. “Involvement in the alumni community was an opportunity to broaden my social circle and make friends in a new town.

“With the CAN team sports, it has been a way to see a group of alumni on a weekly basis, allowing us to get to know each other while working together as a team,” she continued. “And it’s been a great way to celebrate the blue and gold.”

Not only is being a part of the Emory alumni soccer team a way to meet new people, it is a good way to “win with class, have unselfish play, and perform with hard work,” Duckett said. “To win a championship in any sport you have to like your teammates, and that's never been truer for me than with this team.”

The rewarding experience of being a part of the Emory alumni soccer team stretches far beyond a championship. “Our Emory bonds have stayed with us long after we left campus, and that shared loyalty to Emory provides an instant network of friends who socialize, play, and in some cases, work together,” Holladay said. “The DC alumni group is a dynamic, diverse, and talented group of people of which I very much enjoy being part. We had a great soccer team this past season and winning the championship against our friends from other peer institutions was really a great feeling.”

Learn more about DC's CAN alumni softball team ...

-- Farah Shackelford, communications intern, EAA

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