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17

May, 2018

IN THE NEWS! MD Rush Montgomery's Rachel Swartz

By Gina Dropik

Thirteen-year-old Rachel Swartz started playing soccer when she was six years old and hasn’t stopped since. She can be found on soccer fields across the region six days a week, practically year round. She started playing for the Soccer Association of Montgomery, which is the soccer club of the Maryland Soccerplex, and says she was drawn to the sport because of her competitive nature.

As a defensive player, Rachel’s main position is center back. Currently, she plays on three separate teams. As an eighth grader at Lakelands Park Middle School (LPMS), she has been a starter for the Falcons for two years. Additionally, she plays on the top U-14 team for MD Rush Montgomery Soccer Club, which is a travel team. Her MD Rush team, Rush Reign, plays in both the very competitive Elite Development Program (EDP) and National Premier Leagues (NPL). As if that weren’t enough, she also plays on the Maryland State Olympic Development Program (ODP) U-14 team, which practices weekly in Severn, Maryland. These highly competitive teams require try-outs every year.

During spring break in 2017, Rachel traveled to London, England, for eight days with her Maryland State ODP team. During this tour, the team played seven games against top English youth club teams, winning six and tying one.

Even with all of the time spent on the soccer field, Rachel also played on the LPMS basketball team in both 7th and 8th grades and was a member of the cross country team in 7th grade. Her favorite subject is English, and she has managed to maintain almost straight A’s throughout middle school.

Rachel has lived in the Lakelands all of her life with her parents Kristi and Dustin; older brother Brady, a junior at Bullis School; and their two West Highland Terriers, Buddy and Chewie. On Fridays, which is the only day she doesn’t play soccer, she enjoys going to midtown with friends. Her favorite spots are Cava, YoYogi and Not Your Average Joe’s. Rachel has been a member of the Lakelands Lionfish swim team since she was six years old and is looking forward to swimming with the team again this year.

Although she will be doing some private training this summer, for the first time Rachel is taking a break from a full time soccer schedule of camps, practices and tournaments. She said she loves being a part of the Lionfish and is really excited to spend time at the pool this summer. The family will take their annual beach trip to Fenwick Island. She also hopes to catch some country music concerts at Jiffy Lube Live and do some babysitting.

The future looks bright for Rachel. She plans to try out for the Quince Orchard High School soccer team in August and hopes to play soccer in college. Her parents are both Penn State alumni, and she says that although she wants to attend a big school, she is keeping her options open.

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