Where are they now? 1988 girls varsity soccer team

Sam Klein and Kendall McGowan

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The girls varsity soccer team lost this November in the first round of the playoffs. 26 years ago, the 1988 girls varsity soccer team also lost in the first round of the playoffs.

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The team members from 1988, drawn from the classes of ‘89 through ‘92, are now long past high school and into adulthood. But until this fall, the 18 girls from the team were members of the most recent girls varsity soccer team to qualify for the playoffs.

The team, under the coaching of rookie coach Richard Coombs, went 11-8.

Shortly after the 1988 season, the girls soccer team moved from the Suburban League into the more difficult Bay State League, where they found little success for the next quarter-century.

Associate Dean Melanee Alexander played with many of the athletes on the team in 1985, but then switched to playing volleyball. However, she is still in contact with many of the people from the 1988 team.

 

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MEG HOURIHAN

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MEG HOURIHAN

Meg Hourihan

Meg Hourihan ‘89 spent a year teaching English as a second language in Cuernacava, Mexico the year after she graduated. She said she was inspired by her Spanish 3 Advanced teacher sophomore year when she went on the Mexico exchange trip. That teacher was Patricia Harrington, who retired in 2013.

“I was kind of young when I graduated; I was 17, and I just didn’t feel like I was that excited to go to college, to really appreciate it,” Hourihan said. “So I went to Mexico and taught English. I didn’t really travel much because I didn’t really have any money, and I was working. But I met a lot of people, and just kind of immersed myself in a totally different place, culture and lifestyle.”

In college at Tufts, Hourihan said she stopped playing soccer and switched to crew full-time, which she captained her senior year. Hourihan majored in English, but later became involved in computer programming.

After graduating college in 1994, she moved to San Francisco, where she co-founded Blogger, the personal blogging software which Google purchased in 2004. Hourihan moved to New York City, where she now lives with her two children, Ollie, 7, and Minna, 5.

Hourihan’s memories from the 1988 soccer season are few, but she remembers relief when the extended season ended because it meant time off before the start of the ski season. However, she said she was surprised that the team did not continue to have such success.

“I can’t believe that our team was the last team to go,” Hourihan said. “Now I feel badly that I did not even appreciate it enough.”

 

Tina Hennessey

Tina Hennessey ‘89 did not end her successful sports career in high school. At Cornell, from which she graduated in 1993, Hennessey played varsity lacrosse for four years and was a three time All-American. She also played intramural soccer and basketball, both sports she played in high school, but when she was inducted into Cornell’s hall of fame about 10 years ago it was for her accomplishments in lacrosse.

After college, Hennessey moved to a Colorado ski town for a year, then back to Boston for three more, then to New York City. She held jobs in marketing and sales with companies such as Brine, a sports equipment company. She also has an MBA from Columbia University. For the past 17 years she has worked for Time, Inc., a publishing company which publishes magazines such as Time, People, Sports Illustrated, and Real Simple, and she is now a Division Vice President with them.

Hennessey does her work from her home in Philadelphia, PA. This allows her to spend more time with her children, who play soccer just as Hennessey and many of her high school teammates did at their ages, she said.

“From the time we were little living in Brookline we all played youth soccer and so when I got to Brookline High School it was a natural extension to continue playing,” Hennessey said. “It was a lot of the same people that I had ended up playing town travel soccer with from the time we were young, so it was a really fun experience with soccer.”

She believes this early connection and other shared sports between many of the members of the team played a large part in making it as successful as it was.

“We played a lot of sports together, we played basketball in the winter, then a lot of us played lacrosse in the spring together so it was a really solid unit of players,” Hennessey said. “I would say it was probably just that we had played together for so many years and with a really talented group of athletes on the field.”

 

PHOTO PROVIDED BY NANCY KANE WARN

PHOTO PROVIDED BY NANCY KANE WARN

 Nancy Kane Warn

Sports were an early interest of Nancy Kane Warn ‘89 as well. Along with soccer, she played lacrosse, both during high school and at UMASS Amherst, which she graduated from in 1993.

After college, Warn quickly followed her passion for teaching, all the way to Hawaii. She taught there for a year and then returned to Massachusetts, teaching at Needham High School for ten years before getting involved in other educational work. Currently Warn lives in Needham with her husband and two kids, twin seventh graders, and works in the Milton public school system.

Warn remembers Brookline’s first game of the state tournament being against her current home of Needham.

“I think it was 0-0 at half and then they scored one, and after that they scored a couple,” she said. “But it was an exciting game, I remember it being fun.”

She has fond memories of the team in general, also citing the history of playing together for many of its members as a reason for its success.

“One of the things that I think made our team successful is that we did have a whole group that had played together for so many years,” Warn said. “It was just years of being together, so we had some coaching switches and stuff like that which were a little bit frustrating, but I think the fact of the matter was we were so used to playing with each other and our parents were coaches throughout the years, and I think that also helped.”

 

Diana McClure

  • Played soccer at Columbia University
  • Still plays soccer
  • Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Photographer

 

Nicole Costa

  • Sweeper on 1988 team
  • Works at Harvard University

Sam Klein and Kendall McGowan can be contacted at [email protected]