This past month, Rachel Coutinho ’15 was selected as a member of the 2017 NCAA Division II Scholar All-American women’s soccer team. The Scholar All-American Program identifies and celebrates a small group of collegiate athletes from around the nation who have been both impact players for their teams and have excelled academically. Rachel was shocked to learn the news of her selection at her team banquet and proud to be the sole representative of her team on the Scholar All-American team.
The Scholar All-American honorees received awards recently at the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia, PA, which happens to be the largest annual gathering of soccer coaches in the world. Coutinho traveled with her father and college coaches to Philadelphia to accept her award and reports that one of the highlights of the convention was having the opportunity to meet one of her mentors, Hope Solo, the former goalkeeper for the US Women’s National Team and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. Another exciting surprise for Coutinho was bumping into her former Woodlawn soccer coach, Tim Helfrich, at the convention. Helfrich founded the Woodlawn Varsity girls soccer program in spring 2010 with both Coutinho and her sisters, Cassidy ’12 and Rebecca ’15, on the roster. Helfrich is now the head coach of the Varsity boys soccer team at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT.
While reflecting on her soccer career at Woodlawn, Coutinho shares that she misses the fun and energetic team environment. She shares, “There was no negativity out of anyone’s mouth on the team. Everyone was focused on the single goal of having fun and being supportive of each other.” Coutinho also adds that she enjoyed having the opportunity to experiment in a variety of positions during her time on the Woodlawn team. At Belmont Abbey, Coutinho plays primarily as a center back. Right now, Coutinho and her teammates are gearing up for their spring matches, and she looks forward to her final soccer season next year as a senior. Coutinho is currently a junior at Belmont Abbey College, studying Business Management with a 3.82 GPA and planning to graduate in May 2019.
Favorite Woodlawn Memory: Definitely Senior Night in the Lodge hearing all the roasts and lighting sparklers on the field!
Best thing Woodlawn taught you: Woodlawn taught me to try new things and befriend all kinds of people with an open mind.
Favorite Book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump
Advice to Woodlawn students: Try out for every sports team that you can!