By Maegan White
Elm Staff Writer
Tom Reilly, the Shorewomen’s soccer head coach, joined the team in March of 2017. He graduated from University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in science in health and physical education and remains in the top 15 all-time leading scorers at South Carolina with 23 career goals.
Coach Reilly was introduced to Washington College by his former teammate, Shoremen soccer’s coach Roy Dunshee. Reilly had been to campus before and worked with Dunshee at soccer camps and with the men’s team. Dunshee encouraged Reilly to apply for the open position with the Shorewomen and five years later, he has left a huge impact on the team and its culture.
Reilly’s goal with the team over the past few years was to establish a strong team identity. Reilly said, “Our immediate goal is to have an identifiable style which would be our default position of how we want to play and that would be our identity. I think we have been able to establish that for the most part.”
He added that the current senior class was crucial in establishing that identity.
“The seniors have been influential on taking us from a team that never had an identity to one that does. They have forged what it means to be a part of this program on and off the field,” Reilly said.
Reilly and the team are looking to be the first Shorewomen team to make the Centennial Conference playoffs but are working hard to continue to advance the team and its culture on and off the field. “We are more or less trying to take things one game at a time,” Reilly said, “and trying to put our stamp on each game based on our identity.”
Reilly’s favorite memory as the Shorewomen soccer head coach happened early in his career. The Shorewomen celebrated their senior day against Franklin and Marshall. The game ended in a sudden death overtime victory for the Shorewomen. According to Reilly, “When the game ended, everyone ran out to the girl who scored and had a giant dog pile in the middle of the field. It was just a happy occasion. We haven’t had much success against Franklin and Marshall in the past so it was a big win on a big occasion. It was early in my career here so it was a signature event to make everyone feel good about where we were headed.”
Coach Reilly invited all members of the community to come out and see what the Shorewomen are all about. “We play a good style of soccer and it is important for the girls to know that the student body supports them and will come to games,” Reilly said. “We would love to have people show up and support us and keep this thinking moving forward.”
Photo courtesy of WC Athletics
Photo Caption: Coach Tom Reilly is working for a strong team identity this year.