During this time of the year, Kelli Toland and Angela Konstantaras are usually starting to get ready for spring practice with the Penn women's soccer team. This year was a bit different. Yesterday, Toland and Konstantaras returned to campus from East Petersburg, Pa., after three days of tryouts for the Philadelphia Charge of the new Women's United Soccer Association. Toland and Konstantaras, along with 2000 Penn graduates Andrea and Jill Callaghan, were among 18 players invited to try out for the Charge through this special free-agent camp. The Charge are one of eight teams in the league, which kicks off its inaugural season at the end of April. Charge coach Mark Krikorian told the participants at the camp that he will notify them of their status next week. Each WUSA franchise is permitted to carry 28 players on its preseason roster for training camp, which will begin in a few weeks. Teams must cut the rosters to 20 players by the start of the season. After an allocation of U.S. National Team players and two drafts of collegiate and international players, the Charge have 24 players on the roster. No matter the outcome of the tryout, though, the three days were fun for the former Quakers stars. "It was a really great experience," Toland said. "Whatever comes of it, it was fun. It was great just to play with [Konstantaras] and with Annie and Jill, who I haven't played with for a long time." Although the Charge must expand their roster to 28 players by the start of training camp, they have been looking in several directions. "They told us they were looking at some other players," Toland said. "I think the pool they're trying to pick from is bigger than we thought." While none of the 18 players invited to the camp is sure of her status, the tryout did give them a chance to work on their games. Morning and afternoon sessions were held at the LANCO Fieldhouse on Tuesday, and the camp wrapped up with a 40-minute morning workout yesterday. Wednesday's sessions were devoted to various skills workouts, while the coaches mostly just let the camp participants play on Tuesday and yesterday. "It was a good workout," Toland said. "We worked really hard." Going into the camp, Toland was still getting over an ankle injury that affected her throughout much of her senior season last fall. She was only cleared to run two weeks ago. Toland said the ankle started to hurt on Wednesday afternoon, but her injury did not force her to miss any parts of the tryout. While Toland, Konstantaras and the Callaghans are still not sure whether they will have a future in the upstart WUSA, each left a mark on the Quakers women's soccer program. Andrea Callaghan, a first team All-Ivy selection in 1999, graduated as Penn's all-time leading scorer with 68 points. Jill Callaghan was also an important reason for Penn's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1999. She graduated as Penn's second all-time leading scorer with 59 points, but was passed by Toland this season. Toland, who leaves Rhodes Field with 60 career points, was a four-time All-Ivy selection. Despite missing part of the 2000 season with the ankle injury, Toland led the Quakers in scoring and was a second team All-Ivy selection. She earned first team honors as both a freshman and junior. Konstantaras, one of the best one-on-one players in the Ancient Eight, was an honorable mention All-Ivy selection. She also earned honorable mention as a sophomore. If she does not get the chance to play with the Charge, Konstantaras said she might pursue an opportunity to play with a minor league squad in Memphis, Tenn.Comments powered by Disqus
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