By Mason Cavalier
Jordan DiBiasi is adjusting to the pro level
DiBiasi had this to say about the professional game: “From college to pro, the physicality and the athleticism is definitely different, everyone is bigger, faster, stronger, and it’s been a learning curve, and exciting to overcome that obstacle at this new level.”
DiBiasi, the third chosen in this year’s NWSL draft, enjoys the support her teammates have for her, saying that the veterans on the team did not hesitate to show the rookies the ropes, including the standards and expectations that come with being a professional player.
DiBiasi described the environment as “competitive,” but said she has still enjoyed herself, saying, “I’ve had fun getting to know the girls, and getting to work on and off the field.”
Tegan McGrady is enjoying the transition to professional soccer
“I’m really happy to be here, I think I was a little nervous to have to make the big move across the country but it’s definitely one of the best decisions that I’ve made,” said Tegan McGrady, “I’ve had a really smooth transition and a great time being here and getting to be a professional.”
McGrady, originally from San Jose California, transitioned not only from the world of collegiate soccer to the professional scene, something she described as a, “completely different environment,” but also unearthed her west-coast roots and moved to the mid-Atlantic region to play for the Spirit.
Despite going through a major transitory phase in her life, McGrady described the transition as smooth, commenting that: “Having a smooth transition makes it really easy to be at your best on the field.” McGrady will be looking to do just that as the Spirit begins it’s set of preseason games against JMU on Saturday, March 16.
Sam Staab is ready to flip the script from last season
Staab knows the team did not finish strong last year, and knows she can help change it, saying: “We’re really looking to flip the script from last year, and I think we have the talent, have the drive, and the staff and the girls to do it, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Staab, like other Spirit rookies, is still getting her legs at the pro level, saying: “Speed of thought and the speed of play just has to be just a little bit quicker. I think that’s the biggest thing.” Despite the change, Staab knows her team supports her, stating, “Everyone has been super welcoming, they all help, they all talk you through a lot of stuff so it hasn’t been too difficult.”
Staab, selected from Clemson during this year’s NWSL draft, co-captained the squad during her senior year and understands what it means to be a leader, despite being new to the league.
Dorian Bailey can’t wait until the first preseason game
Bailey, like other rookies, is excited to be a part of the club, saying: “Preseason has been awesome so far, the girls have been really nice and welcoming,” she said, ”the coaches have been awesome too, and I’m really excited for our [first preseason game].”
Bailey recognized the speed of play that comes with the professional level, saying: “They play so fast… everyone is athletic, strong, fast, so that’s definitely been the biggest adjustment here.” Bailey’s adjustment has been aided by the support of her teammates, who Bailey says she’s excited to grow with on and off the field.
Bayley Feist is excited to make her presence known on the Spirit
Feist shared her outlook for the upcoming preseason game this Saturday, saying: “Preseason’s been great, a lot of fun, a lot of competitive soccer, a lot of new faces,” she said, “everyone is bringing something new and exciting, so it makes me really excited for the upcoming season.”
Feist also commented that she couldn’t wait to start playing for the Spirit: “I’m excited to just get going and start a new fresh year and make an imprint on our first preseason game and get the ball rolling.”
Despite all of the “new” that surrounds Feist as she begins her journey with the Washington Spirit, she said she felt strong chemistry with her teammates. While she admitted the connections are still being made on the field, Feist said the veterans of the team have made it easy for the rookies to feel at home.