xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Former Pallotti soccer teammates reunite as coaching foes

Annesia Rhodes, shown lecturing her world history class in 2012, is in her second season as head coach of the St. Vincent Pallotti girls soccer team. She coached against her former Pallotti teammate Randall Marshall on Sept. 10 when the Panthers played Laurel.
Annesia Rhodes, shown lecturing her world history class in 2012, is in her second season as head coach of the St. Vincent Pallotti girls soccer team. She coached against her former Pallotti teammate Randall Marshall on Sept. 10 when the Panthers played Laurel. (File photo/BSMG)

When Annesia (Faulkner) Rhodes needed an opponent to fill out her schedule this season, the second-year St. Vincent Pallotti High girls varsity soccer coach knew exactly where to turn.

Rhodes got in touch with Randall Marshall, the head coach at Laurel High and her teammate in the fall of 2006 when Pallotti advanced to the championship game of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM).

Advertisement

Marshall is in her second season as the head coach at Laurel, where she attended as a freshman and sophomore before transferring across town for her junior and senior years at Pallotti. The former teammates faced off as coaches for the second year in a row as the Panthers beat Laurel on Sept. 10.

In the fall of 2006 Rhodes, who then went by Faulkner, was the state nominee for the Gatorade national player of the year as a high-scoring forward as Pallotti was ranked as high as No. 18 in the national under former head coach Mike Vawter.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Marshall, then a junior, was overlooked by some on that team - but not by Rhodes. "She made us a better team," said Rhodes, who is married to former University of Maryland football player Chris Rhodes. The following year the Panthers, with Marshall as a senior, won the IAAM title as Rhodes (then Faulkner) began her college career. Pallotti was 24-6-2 in two years with Marshall, who was all-conference both years at the Laurel private school.

While Rhodes played soccer at the University of Maryland, Marshall also played at the Division I level, with three years at Delaware State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Association (MEAC). She is a product of the Laurel Wildcats youth program and was an assistant coach at Pallotti under Vawter while taking a break from college.

Marshall started on defense as a junior at Delaware State in the fall of 2011. Due to family reasons she returned to Maryland after three years at Delaware State and began looking into coaching opportunities. She heard about the opening at Laurel and took over the Spartans' program in time for the 2013 season.

"He was exciting. It was a lot of responsibility," Marshall said of her first season as head coach at Laurel. "It was more responsibility than I thought it would be."

Advertisement

Marshall handled both the junior varsity and varsity teams at Laurel last season.

"It was fun to teach the girls what I know. I could relate to them since I am not much older than they are," Marshall said. This year the Laurel JV team is coached by Darcy Pelz-Butler, who went to high school at Montgomery Blair in Silver Spring and was teammates with Marshall at Delaware State.

Marshall, who also works at a fast-food restaurant, said the Spartans finished around .500 last season, with one of the losses coming to Pallotti early in the year. "It was absolutely crazy. I could not believe my first game was against the team I played for in high school. It was very emotional," Marshall said of the first game of the 2013 campaign against Rhodes.

Laurel lost five seniors from last year's team, including four who were starters. But the Spartans do have senior standout Gislaine Loyah and won three of their first four matches this year. Two of those wins game against Northwestern and Flowers, teams that beat Laurel last season.

There are several administrators and coaches at Laurel High who were there when Marshall was a student, including principal and former boys basketball coach Dwayne Jones; girls basketball coach Tommy Harrison; and Eric Ferguson, a long-time track coach at Laurel.

Marshall said she is about 30 credits shy of her degree at Delaware State and eventually hopes to complete her studies there.

Rhodes, who teaches English and History at Pallotti, was an assistant soccer coach at Pallotti in 2012 and became the head coach last season. This year's team was 3-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play through Sept. 21. The Panthers host Ryken on Oct. 6 at Fairland Regional Park in west Laurel.

Rhodes is preganant and her baby is due in January. She said her assistant coaches, Andrew Lacroix and Troy Eggleston, will be stepping up to help.

. "My baby, I'm having a girl, is perfectly healthy, but is causing me some health complications related to the pregnancy, which is making it difficult for me to coach," she said.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement