Chamblee junior Solai Washington spent part of February in Australia as part of the Jamaican Senior Women’s National Soccer Team participating in the Cup of Nations Tournament.
“It was an amazing experience being in a professional public environment and I had to adjust to it,” said Washington. “I had never done anything like it before and had only participated in one camp with them before going to Australia.”
Washington and her older sister, Giselle Washington who had played with the Jamaican team for a while, got invitations to the team camp in Florida in January. A month she was on her way to Australia.
She got to play in two games during the tournament. Both were losses to The Czech Republic (3-2) and Australia (3-0) and the intensity of the games really left an impression on the high school junior playing with and against mostly older players.
“The intensity of the games was very high and I had to adjust to the pressure of such a highly competitive environment,” continued Washington. “My trainer and club coach, Garvin Quamina, prepared me well and I did not feel out of place playing against such a highly skilled group of international players.”
Washington feels she performed very well overall while applying what the coaches told her on the sidelines to create some scoring opportunities for her team during the games. She scored a goal only to have it flagged for offsides and disallowed.
“The experience was unforgettable and something I will forever be grateful,” said Washington. “Playing under an amazing coaching staff and alongside some of the world’s most talented players was a tremendous honor.”
The junior is now focused on helping her Chamblee team on its quest to win the soccer state title. The team won the title on the field last year only to have the GHSA rule they had violated a coaching rule.
“The situation last year after winning the state title was hard on everyone but it has not dimmed our motivation and we are excited to work to win the state title back this year,” said Washington. “I love playing with my high school teammates. They are my best friends so it is fun to share the field with them and have fun during the high school season.”
The Lady Bulldogs are having a lot of fun so far compiling a 15-0-1 record and clinching the Region 4-5A title undefeated at 5-0. They have one regular season game left next Thursday (March 30) against Atlanta International before they enter the state playoffs on April 11.
They have defeated six ranked teams along the way including Class 4A #8 Starr’s Mill (4-0), Class 5A #4 McIntosh (5-0), Class 6A #3 Blessed Trinity (3-0), Class 6A #6 St. Pius X (4-1), Class 7A #1 Buford (3-0) and Class 7A #7 Denmark (5-0) outscoring the group 24-1. The only blemish is a 2-2 tie with Class 6A #1 Marist.