Western Recognizes College-Bound Athletes

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Marina Clark and Christine Domecq have been playing soccer together since they were 14 years old. And that won't be changing next year, when they take the field as college freshmen.

Clark and Domecq were among nine seniors honored at Western Albemarle on Tuesday for moving on to play sports in college. Both girls are headed to Lynchburg to play soccer next year.

"It was really by chance," said Clark. "I think I'd been looking at the school longer, and then she committed earlier than I did, and it worked out well. We both love the girls, the campus, and the team. So it just worked out well."

"I mean, I was there for a day and I knew that was where I wanted to go," Domecq said. "Yes, I definitely wanted her to come too. So it was awesome that we were able to get her on board. But I knew that in the end, this is probably where we were both going to end up, which is awesome."

Domecq and Clark aren't the only Western soccer players headed to the ODAC next season. Teammate Josie Rappold is headed to Emory and Henry next year to continue her soccer career.

Rappold says the three have talked about becoming college rivals next year. But she expects it to stay a light-hearted rivalry, with little trash talk.

"Oh, none. We've actually been planning like, "Oh, I'll see you then,"" she said. "It's all been friendly right now. And it's going to stay that way, because first teammates, family for life."

Three of the Western seniors recognized on Tuesday will head to Mary Washington in the fall. Anna Corley will swim, while Emily Wood plans to play lacrosse, and Caroline Deale will join the field hockey team.

"I'm so excited," Deale said. "Especially, it's just been my dream to play in college. College is fine, but just to have that family and that competitiveness there. I'm just ready for it; I'm so excited."

Corley and Wood will be roommates at Mary Washington.

"It's definitely a soothing feeling to know that I'll be going, and knowing I'll have someone that I'm close with, and someone I can talk to," said Wood. "Even if they are on a different team."

"And when I was deciding, I was a little bit nervous of going there," added Corley. "Because usually a lot of people don't go to Mary Washington from this school. But when I found out she was going there, it made me really happy."

The other Warriors recognized on Tuesday were volleyball player Laura Bergin, who will play at Gettysburg in college; lacrosse player Drew Abernathy, who is headed to Christopher Newport; and runner Kelsey Pitman, who chose Army over VMI.

"It means a lot. I mean, I love the sport," Bergin said. "This is my seventh year of playing. It's what I do; it's part of me now. So just to keep going will be great."

"It's honestly a dream come true," said Abernathy. "It's just a solid opportunity to be able to continue my lacrosse career at a great school like CNU."

"I had never thought that I'd be a runner in college. So it's pretty exciting, and a little nerve-wracking as well," admitted Pitman. "But I'm ready for it."


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