Sophie Carpenter Speidel
Star player at National Cathedral School, college All America attacker, team captain and most valuable player, North-South Senior All-Star, graduate of the University of Virginia; U.S. national team member; coached at Western Albemarle High School and Roland Park Country School; current head JV coach at St. Anne’s-Belfield School, member of two halls of fame.
The sport of lacrosse was somewhat of a novelty in the DC area in the late 1970’s. For young Sophie Carpenter Speidel however, it was a passion that would continue to grow throughout her competitive career. Introduced to the game in high school, she excelled as a member of the varsity lacrosse team at the National Cathedral School in the District of Columbia. She has since been inducted into the NCS athletic hall of fame.
Playing an aggressive style that became her trademark, Sophie earned a scholarship to the University of Virginia - the result of a competitive tryout in Charlottesville that was permitted at the time on campus. She totaled 41 career assists at Virginia and captained the squad her last two years. Named team most valuable player and an All America selection (UVA’s second-ever), Sophie played her final college contest in the North South Senior All-Star game. Her playing career was extended with the U.S. national team (1982-85), the USWLA National Tournament (1983-86), and post-collegiate clubs in Virginia and Baltimore.
Sophie found a home in coaching right away. She was the first varsity coach at Western Albemarle High School and later coached Roland Park Country School in Baltimore to two straight runner-up finishes in the AIS championship. She was also an assistant coach at Virginia while earning a master’s degree.
Sophie is well respected by her players and fellow coaches for her character- forming discipline, her preparation, her indefatigable work ethic, and her commitment to fairness, truth, and communication. Her dedication and love for the game of lacrosse is infectious. She has developed lasting relationships while providing support and guidance toward the balanced development of young women who play lacrosse.
Sophie has served as school counselor at St. Anne’s-Belfield for the past 17 years and has coached the JV lacrosse team over the same time period. Still pushing her limits, she continues to compete in ultra-marathons.
Sophie resides in Charlottesville with her spouse Rusty, son Chapin (a sophomore who plays at Denison for her UVA classmate, Mike Caravana), son Carter (goaltender at STAB), and daughter Virginia, (playing lacrosse at STAB).