Former George Washington Roommates to Square Off on Sunday
Sept. 15, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC -During her senior year at Penfield High School (NY) Tanya Vogel took a recruiting trip to The George Washington University to see the campus and more importantly, get an inside look at the soccer program. As is customary, an active player acts as a host to the prospective student-athlete, answering questions, offering advice and even providing a place to stay. Vogel was paired with then junior captain goalkeeper, Kerry Dziczkaniec.
Vogel, as it turned out, did in fact choose GW and was part of a large, odd-numbered incoming freshman class. As a result, the head coach at the time, Shannon Higgins-Cirovski, approached "Kerry D," now a senior, and asked if she would room with Vogel, a fellow New Yorker. "I was honored when Shannon came to me and asked me to live with Tanya," Dziczkaniec said. "With both of us from New York, and us having similar values, we got along right away."
"I was red-shirted my freshman year," says Vogel, who tore her ACL during her senior year in high school. "For me not to be able to be out on the field was tough. I would get down and get into bad moods, because I couldn't play. But Kerry was always there to push me, to help me get through my rehab. She was a huge mentor for me."
Save for some smelly keeper gear, the year passed without any major incidents (read: roommate fights). Both players began coaching immediately after their playing careers at GW, and now, 15 years after that initial meeting on a recruiting trip, they will oppose each other on the sidelines this Sunday, when they face each other as head coaches for the first time ever.
"Having two former players as head coaches at Division-I schools, and to have them face each other, really speaks to the passion that the GW soccer program has for the game of soccer," said Dziczkaniec.
Tanya agreed, saying that they love the sport too much to give it up. "Even if were weren't coaching, I'm sure we'd be giving back to the game in other areas, any way we could."
It is a passion and love for the game that was instilled at an early age and later reinforced at George Washington by coach Higgins-Cirovski. "Shannon was a mentor to me," Kerry says, speaking from Charlottesville, VA, the site of Vermont's Friday night game against #10 UVA (SoccerBuzz), and also where Dziczkaniec served as an assistant from 1994-95. "She's the one that lead me into coaching."
Vogel is in her seventh season at George Washington and has amassed a 45-59-7 record, including an 11-6-2 year in 2003. Now in her third season at UVM, Dziczkaniec is 17-18-2.
"This will be a great weekend for GW women's soccer," Vogel stated.
In addition to their game at noon on Sunday, the two coaches will participate in the alumni activities planned for Saturday. At the conclusion of the men's game on Saturday (1:00 pm against George Mason), there will be an Alumni Game (at approximately 3:00 p.m.). Both the men and women soccer alums are invited to play (or 'coach' from the sidelines). Following the women's noon game Sunday (at approximately 2:00 p.m.) the women's team will host a post-game reception for soccer alumni, players and their families.
Sunday's game against Vermont is the first of three consecutive home games for the Colonials to be played at Mount Vernon Field. On Tuesday they will host American and then a week later, on the 26th, Rider will come to town. Both games are scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. start time.