Female Staff

Koa provides coaches for athletes at all levels. Our professional staff creates a fun and safe environment for kids in all of our Koa programs, from Summer Camp, to After School, to the Select level. Our coaches have played at least a level above the teams they coach. They demonstrate a passion for the sport, while keeping a level head and not getting too emotionally charged. Our select coaches generally have collegiate or professional experience, which can help players reach their full potential. Many of our coaches have years of experience in youth sports, and can provide non-biased and objective opinions. Full-time staff provide our coaches with behind-the-scenes support, including scheduling, practice plans and more–making sure our coaches are focused on teaching your player!

All Koa Coaches pass a background check and are trained according to our Coaches Code of Conduct. Meet your coach-read below!

Mindi Susskind

Mindi is our Director of Parent Relations, but she could also be called the Director of Getting Everything Done!  She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in Marketing. Following college, she was a Sales Associate for Horizons Unlimited for 10 years. She is now the cheering mother of three children Р1 Whitman student and 2 graduates! Mindi resides in Bethesda, MD with her husband, Evan. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her family.

        Julie Toland  

Coach Julie is Koa’s Female Athletic Director. She attended Hartford High School in Vermont where she lettered in soccer, ice hockey, and softball. She earned All-State honors in both soccer and hockey, as well as All-League honors in softball.¬† Julie also captained all 3 teams her senior year. While in high school, she was invited to the USA Hockey development programs and competed for Team Vermont.

Julie went on to attend Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and graduated in 2011 with a BS in Sports Management. She continued to compete in many sports recreationally and also coached soccer at a local school during her time in Connecticut.

When Julie isn‚Äôt coaching and working as Koa’s Female Athletic Director, you can find her playing golf and tennis when she can. You can be sure she also makes time to follow ALL Boston sports ‚Äî she‚Äôs a huge fan!

Brenda Chambers 

Assistant Athletic Director Brenda Chambers graduated from Methodist University (Fayetteville, NC) in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a minor in Strength and Conditioning. While at Methodist she played soccer for the Monarchs. Her team appeared in two consecutive NCAA sectional tournaments and won two conference championships. Brenda received the Sportsmanship Award and made the USA South All Tournament team her senior year. In her free time, Coach Brenda continues to play soccer, slow pitch softball and flag football.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Kelly O’Donnell

Assistant Athletic Director & Director of Recruiting Kelly O’Donnell is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in Communication and Public Relations. She‚Äôs a six-time UMD Intramural Champion in various sports, as well as a three-year starter for UMD’s club softball team, serving as President of the Terps Club Team in 2011. In high school, Kelly lettered in Field Hockey, Softball and Basketball her freshman year and went on to captain the Softball and Basketball teams. In hoops, she earned All-Area Honors her sophomore through senior years and led the team in rebounding. On the softball field, Kelly was a 4-year starter, earning All-Area nods for 3 consecutive years. During her final years on the team, she led the county in home runs, batting average and RBIs. She also spent her summers playing travel ball with the Pocono Pride, earning several tournament MVPs. Coach Kelly loves being on the field and is excited to share the enthusiasm with Koa athletes!

Kelly Bowse

Coach Kelly attended Mount St. Joseph’s Academy in her native Vermont, and played basketball, softball, and football! Her hoops team won the State D-3 Championship in 2002 and her AAU team took the AAU Championshipsand competed in Junior Nationals in 2003. A 20-game MVP, Kelly averaged 16.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. As shortstop and cleanup hitter for the MSJ softball team, Kelly earned Marble Valley All-League honors three times. At MSJ she was also a 4 year football player and led the JV team in touchdowns and receptions her freshman year. On Varsity, Kelly won the Dedication and Twelfth Player awards. She was also the 1st and only female in the state to catch a pass in a D-1 Varsity football game.

Kelly went on to Harvard University where she was captain of her JV hoops team and earned her degree in Visual and Environmental Studies. After graduation, Kelly coached youth basketball and joined the Boston Militia women’s semi-pro football team, starting at wide receiver. The Militia won the 2010 Independent Women’s Football League Championship (ask to see her ring!). A passionate New England sports fan and artist, Coach Kelly lives in Rockville and enjoys working with the area’s amazing young athletes!

Jess McNurlen

Jessica McNurlen graduated from Mercyhurst College (Erie, PA) in 2008 and earned her Masters Degree at UMD in 2010.  While at Mercyhurst she played D-II softball and was named to the Second Team All Conference in GLIAC and the Daktronics First Team All Region.  Superstar Jess led her team senior year in homeruns, RBI’s hits, doubles, triples and batting average (.328)!! Whether working with the kids or mentoring new coaches, Coach Jess’ experience, positive energy and passion for sports always comes through!

Nicole Korson

If Coach Nicole looks a little familiar it may be because she is the kid sister of Koa founder, Tony.  Like
Tony, Nicole attended Walt Whitman HS in Bethesda.  Athletes run in the Korson family and while she was in high school, Nicole played softball for the
Whitman Vikings.  After graduating in 2003, Nicole went on to attend the University of Maryland, College Park where she was a Business Marketing major and graduated in 2007. During her UMD years and after, Nicole kept playing softball in local co-ed softball leagues.

When she’s not working at a McLean advertising firm, or coaching at Koa, Nicole may be watching sports – she loves all sports!  Coach Nicole also loves being outside and working with kids!


Terri Lakowski
 

Coach Terri is not just a lifelong athlete, she‚Äôs chosen to pursue a career in sports, as well! Terri is the CEO of Active Policy Solutions and an expert on youth sports policy in the United States. ¬†Terri earned both her Juris Doctorate and bachelor‚Äôs degree from American University-Washington College of Law (graduating Summa Cum Laude‚Äîboth times!) While at Washington University, Terri participated on the D-1 women’s varsity basketball team for three years. Terri has taught as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Continuing Studies: Sport Management Program at Georgetown University, Diversity & Social Responsibility in Sport and in the Department of Exercise Science at George Washington where she taught Sports Law. ¬†Coach Terri enjoys running and exercising during her free time, and is excited to share her experience and enthusiasm with Koa‚Äôs basketball players!


Melissa Conners 

Melissa joins the Koa staff as an assistant coach in Koa’s fastpitch program. After being a four-year letterwinner and starter on the softball team at Wellington High School, the team captain and First Team All-Conference winner took her talents to Georgetown University. A four-year starter, Coach Melissa was voted “most improved over four years” by her teammates as a senior, which she attributes to all of her hard work and off-the-field training! Melissa is excited to add her pitching expertise to the program, and to share her knowledge and love of the game with the Koa athletes.

Christina Aiken

photoCoach Christa is a local athlete who attended Holy Child (2004 graduate) where she played varsity basketball and tennis. During that time she was also a member of the AAU National Basketball Team. Christa went on to attend Roanoke College (C’2009) as a D-III athlete in tennis and cheerleading and still managed to find time to keep up with her hoops in the intramural league.

Since graduation from Roanoke, Christa has stayed very involved in sports. She’s coached JV Basketball for Holy Child, instructed in tennis and is currently a Redskins Cheerleader.

mecoachmelis (2)Meredith Starr  

Meredith is from Richmond, Virginia where she began playing basketball when she was just four years old.  She was a four year varsity basketball letter winner at Monacan High School on a team that was consistantly ranked Top Ten in the state!  She went on to play four years of collegiate basketball at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where she was a four year starter at the point-guard position and is ranked second for all-time carreer assists in women’s basketball.  Meredith continues to play in adult leagues around the DC area.


Amie Goldfarb 

Coach Amie has been playing softball since the age of 6, along with soccer, swimming and horseback riding. She started to play competitive fastpitch at 14 and¬†was a member of¬†several tournament teams, including Storm, Damascus Hurricanes and Maryland Crusaders. She attended high school at Quince Orchard where she lettered in Softball her sophomore year. As a freshman, Amie was voted Offensive Player of the Year after being brought up to Varsity. Amie continued her fastpitch career playing at MC Rockville and Columbia Union College. She is currently the JV coach at Wootton High School and has assisted two tournament teams. She still plays adult Co-Ed through Montgomery County and is an 8th grade science teacher at Westland Middle School where she coaches the boys’ team.

Monica McCoin

Monica grew up in a small town in Texas and played on her first softball team when she was 5.  Every spring, (that’s February in Texas!) she would play catch with her Dad until it was too dark to see. Monica played shortstop, pitcher, and first base in her youth softball league, and was named the best shortstop in the district. In High School she played Varsity Softball, Basketball, and threw the discus and shot put in Track. Monica was a Varsity Softball right field starter and received a District Honorable Mention.  She also played first and 3rd base throughout high school.  After HS Monica attended Baylor University and played on the intramural softball team at first and 3rd as well.  She graduated in 2010 with a BA in History.

Coach Monica loves watching football and goes to every Baylor Bears game that she can. She is also an avid dog lover, has a black lab named Zelda, and works with dogs on a daily basis.

Germaica Bradley

Germaica Bradley is from Virginia Beach, VA where she attended Tallwood High School, playing Varsity Softball all four years.¬† Germaica went on to attend South Carolina State University on a softball scholarship, graduating in 2003 and earning her bachelor‚Äôs degree in Business Administration.¬† While attending SCSU, Germaica received the Hustle Award in 2000 and the Most Improved Player Award in 2001.¬† Currently, Germaica still enjoys playing competitive softball and in recent years has received All-Tournament awards for participating in the U.S. Military Worlds Tournament — 2010 and 2011! Coach Germaica is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and skills of the game with young girls who have an eager desire to learn.¬† She is excited and looking forward to this new opportunity!!

Samantha Peters

Samantha Peters is a 2010 Georgetown University graduate with a Human Science degree.  While at Georgetown, she started all four years at shortstop for the Hoyas D-I softball program and was co-captain her junior and senior years. Sam was named 2008 All Independent Player of the Year and 1st Team Shortstop. She holds records for career RBIs (122), walks (85), HR (29), runs (118), hits (191), and stolen bases (44).  Sam grew up in Suwanee, Georgia, where she attended Collins Hill HS and played varsity softball all four years. During her senior year, she was named Georgia 5A Player of the Year and won the 5A State Championship!

In addition to coaching Koa softball, Sam works at Children’s National Medical Center and looks forward to attending George Washington to become a Physician Assistant soon!  In her free time, Sam loves to run and be outside as much as possible.

Meredith Auerbach

Meredith attended Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda wheres she played basketball, softball and was on the crew team where she was captain senior year. During high school, Meredith played travel
softball for the Damascus Hurricanes for¬†3 years and was a captain for two.¬†¬†She went on to play softball at St. Joseph’s
University (Philadelphia) her freshman year before transfering to George Washington University where she graduated in ’08. Her senior year at GW, Meredith joined the Thompson Boat Center Club Crew team where she continues to row.

In addition to coaching for Koa, Meredith is the Head Softball Coach at Pyle Middle School and the Asst. Varsity Coach at Whitman High School. You can also find her substituting in Montgomery County classrooms!

Dena Bunnel

Dena Bunnel attended Kansas State University and graduated May ’10 with degrees in Agricultural Communications and Political Science, plus an International Studies secondary major!! While doing all that studying, Dena also found time to play catcher for the K-State Women’s Fastpitch Softball club team. The Wildcats rocked while Dena was there, making the National ClubSoftball Assoc. Tournament 3 times, including placing 4th at the NCSA World Series in 2009 and 7th in 2010! Coach Dena’s teammates selected her for the Team Leadership Award and voted her Most Motivational Player. When she’s not coaching Mudcats and motivating our Koa athletes, Dena works for the Foreign Agriclutural Service.

Rachel Freeland

A product of the US Field Hockey National Futures Program (2000-2003) Rachel Freeland attended Bryn Mawr College and during her time there was a four-year field hockey letter winner and three-year starter at forward.¬† She graduated in 2007 with a BA in Psychology and Biology.¬†Rachel went on to be leading scorer of two championship indoor field hockey teams in 2008 and a member of the University of Maryland club field hockey team in 2008 and 2009 while attending graduate school at UMD. She received her Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice from UMD in 2011.¬† ¬†Rachel has coached the JV Field Hockey team at St John‚Äôs College HS in DC for 2 years.¬† Besides field hockey, Coach Rachel also loves animals — especially her 2 dogs, 2 cats and her fish!

Stephanie Cherkezian

Stephanie graduated from James Madison University in 2001 with a B.A. in Political Science and from The George Washington University in 2009 with a M.P.S. in Legislative Affairs. She’s putting those degrees to good use as the Senate Services Director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). After playing field hockey, lacrosse and swimming throughout high school in New Jersey, Stephanie played club field hockey at JMU. A lover of all sports, you can find her cheering for her beloved Yankees and Giants, completing triathlons and playing on her work softball team and intramural, co-ed football team with friends. While Stephanie misses the Jersey shore during the summertime, she loves living in D.C. and being part of the Koa team.

Alyssa Romano

A 2010 graduate of American University, Alyssa was a four-year starter for the Eagles lacrosse team and captained the team in her senior season. She was also an All-Patriot League First Team (2010) and Second Team (2009) selection and was a member of the Patriot League Honor Roll for  three seasons.

Before coming to Koa, Alyssa coached with the Hempstead Lacrosse Academy on Long Island for four summers where she developed daily camp programming and worked with girls ranging in ages from 6-17. Additionally, she coached various clinics and tournaments at American University. On the sports business side, Romano currently works in marketing and communicatons at Octagon, the world’s largest sports and entertainment representation agency. After obtaining her Public Communications degree from American, Romano received her Master’s in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University.

A New York native (and proud Long Islander), Coach Alyssa is a diehard Yankees and Giants fan! After living in the DC area for the past five years, she does have a soft spot for the Capitals.

Lindsay Paul

A DC Metro area native, Coach Lindsay attended high school in Herndon, VA.¬† In 2006 she graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, where she played D-III softball.¬† Lindsay¬†is part of Guilford College softball history as a member of her college’s first ever fast-pitch softball team!¬† The most exciting moment during her softball career with the Quakers was when she pitched her first conference game and¬†lead her team to a win — Guildford’s first conference¬†victory!!¬† Her team¬†later qualified¬†for the¬†Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament their first year after being ranked to finish last in their conference.¬† Since graduating, Coach Lindsay¬†has worked at¬†an educational nonprofit and¬†coached softball in an Alexandria recreational league¬†before coming to Koa.¬† Besides spending her free time playing softball , Lindsay further pursues her passion for coaching kids as a volunteer teaching children with disabilities how to swim.

Caryn Harris

We’re going to learn more about Coach Caryn really soon!

Kate Gannon

Kate Gannon is a 2001 graduate of Walt Whitman High School, where she was a Washington Post All-Met and named to the Bethesda Gazette and Montgomery Journal All-County teams for field hockey.  She played four years of varsity field hockey at Harvard, where she captained the team to an Ivy League Championship her senior year.  While at Harvard, Kate was named to the All-Ivy Academic Team in 2004, All-Ivy Second Team in 2004, and All-Ivy Honorable Mention in 2002. Kate has coached high school field hockey at Newton Country Day School in Newton, MA and at Stone Ridge in Bethesda, MD. Kate is also a recent law school graduate.

Rachel Dockery

Midwesterner Rachel grew up outside of Indianapolis, IN. Less than 1 week old when her Dad first placed a ball in her hands, Rachel¬†began playing baseball at age 4. As soon as she could, she chose softball¬†and never looked back!¬† With hard work and much dedication, Rachel worked her way to the Mt. Vernon HS Varsity Softball team as well as playing on a few travel teams. She earned Defensive MVP, but is most happy with a bat in her hand and the chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh! After graduating in 2010, Rachel came to DC as a pre-law student at American University. As a freshman, she joined the Rowing Club to stay active because AU stopped offering softball. She reestablished the AU Softball Program the next year and is currently its president. Coach Rachel views every chance to step on the field as a blessing, and while she’s probably the most competitive person you’ll ever meet, her top priority is having fun and loving what you do!

When she isn‚Äôt playing or coaching softball, Rachel is usually doing homework, watching ESPN, or spending time with friends and family. On Sundays, you can always find her cheering on her Indianapolis Colts‚Äîwin or lose. An avid fan of all sports, softball reigns supreme in Rachel’s heart and in her life.

Stewi Downer width="30" />

width="184" align="left" hspace="10" vspace="12" /> Coach Stewi is a 2005 graduate of Oakton High School, where she earned all-district, all-region, all-state and Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention for field hockey. At UNC, Stewi played varsity field hockey where she was named practice player of the week multiple times, placed 6th overall in the UNC Athletes Super Ram competition (where all UNC athletes compete in agility, conditioning, strength, flexibility and speed tests and the top 10 “most athletic” are named “Super Rams”) and played for a National Championship team from 2005-2007 (National Champs ’07).

Betsy Rogers

Growing up in Bethesda, MD, Betsy attended Walt Whitman HS.  A two sport Lady Vike, Betsy played varsity field hockey and lacrosse and began coaching clinics in both sports while she was in high school.  She went on to study at Vanderbilt University and graduated in 2007 with a degree in Early Childhood Education.

Since graduation, Betsy has been teaching elementary school at Farmland ES in Rockville for 4 years.  Coach Betsy combines her early education expertise, her enthusiasm and her passion for sports when working with the Koa athletes.

Morgan Kaufman

Coach Morgan played Division I field hockey at Bucknell University, and graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in English. During her time at Bucknell she was a four-year starter collecting honors as second and third in single season assists, third in career assists, and seventh in all time career points for the Bisons. She was also an NFHCA All-Region Second Team player. Coach Morgan attributse all of her accolades to her coaches and hopes she pass on what they have taught her. In addition to coaching with Koa Sports, Morgan coaches JV Field Hockey for B-CC high school and works for Charles River Laboratories doing biomedical research.

Courtney Gaine

A local Walt Whitman HS graduate (and All-Met Field Hockey player), Courtney Gaine, PhD, RD has a passion for sports and sports nutrition. Coach Courtney played hoops for U Conn as a full scholarship athlete for the powerhouse Huskies team. She graduated with a degree in dietetics and then stayed and earned her doctorate in nutitional science. While doing her graduate work, Coach Courtney also served as a sports nutritionist, counseling athletes and teams. After completing her studies, she was an assistant prof in the Dept. of Exercise and Sports Scienct at E. Carolina. When she isn’t consulting in the nutrition/food industry, Coach Courtney is psyched to be working with all the awesome Koa athletes!

Roshan Promisel

Roshan is a graduate of Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland and is currently attending Penn State! ¬†She has played field hockey for 6 years and lacrosse¬†for the past 4. ¬†This WCHS Bulldog plays Field Hockey and Lacrosse and she was named Offensive MVP for the Varsity Field Hockey team last year. This year she is a “Player to Watch!”¬† Roshan also plays club field hockey for the Maryland Jackals.¬† Coach Roshan has also played soccer and run track plus she swims and lifeguards during the summer.¬† When Roshan is off the field she serves on the Executive Board of the SGA and¬†is an Ambassador for her high school.¬† In college, Roshan hopes to play club field hockey and study International Business using her fluent French!

Natalie Geisler

A graduate of Winston Churchill High School, Asst. Coach Natalie is a multi-sport athlete who now attends Duke University. Natalie played softball for the Bulldogs as a freshman and co-captained her sophomore year. She has also played for Churchill’s basketball team her freshman, sophomore, and junior years, co-captaining her junior year. Natalie loves working with kids and for the past three summers has coached boys and girls ages 4-12 at an all-sports summer camp! When she’s off the court, Natalie is Co-Editor-and-Chief of her highschool newspaper,¬†The Observer.

Caroline Seibel

Asst. Coach Caroline is a Senior at Walt Whitman HS in Bethesda. Caroline plays Field Hockey, Girls Lax (goal keeper) and Dives for the Vikings.¬†In addition to HS field hockey, Caroline plays for the Mo Co travel club team Jackals and has played at the National Indoor Tournament as well as the USFHA’s National Hockey Festival the last several years. She has also participated in the US Field Hockey Futures program. Caroline has loved sports from an early age. She started swimming and diving competitively at 4 in the local summer league, played soccer for MSI and MSC through middle school, and played softball for the Pyle Middle School team. If she’s not playing sports, Caroline’s watching the Caps and Nole Djokovic! Caroline will be heading to Wake Forest this fall to root for the Deamon Deacs!

Robyn Susskind

Coach Robyn is a scholar athlete. She grew up playing baseball and flag football, then switched to softball and basketball. A 2010 Walt Whitman graduate, “Red” was a 3-sporter, playing basketball, lacrosse, and her favorite, field hockey. Robyn continues to pursue her passion for working with children at Townson State Univ. where she is majoring in Special Education!

Shanna Ewoldt 

shannaCoach Shanna graduated from Waubonsie valley HS in Illinois, where she played Varsity Softball. She then attended Augustana College, where she played both soccer and softball collegiately!! Shanna transferred to Alfred University where she finished up her soccer/softball careers as a starter and captain on both squads. During her junior year of college, her softball team achieved co-champ status in the empire 8 conference, as well as finishing as runners-up in the NCAA regional¬†tournament. Shanna received many accolades on both teams, including All-Conference nods and Empire 8 Defender of the Week! Shanna joins Koa Softball for her first season as the 12U West Assistant Coach, and she’s looking forward to working with the girls in all facets of the game!


Ariel Herm  width="30" />

Ariel is originally from Bethesda, Maryland and attended Walt
Whitman High School. She played four years of field hockey at Whitman and indoor field hockey for SouthEast Field Hockey Club.¬†After graduating from Whitman in 2006, Ariel played four years of field hockey at the NCAA Division III level for Haverford College. She was named to the Centennial Conference Offensive Honor Roll her sophomore year and also led the conference in defensive saves during her senior year. Ariel helped to lead the Haverford field hockey team to its first semifinal round of the Centennial Conference Championship Tournament. ¬†She¬†has also had the opportunity to travel abroad to play field hockey. She toured with her high school teammates in Holland and Barcelona, Spain. In college, she played for a hockey club while studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. Additionally, Ariel traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina with the Haverford field hockey team to receive training from Argentine Men‚Äôs National Team Coach, Pablo Lombi, in 2009. She¬†has had experience coaching field hockey camps and teams as well and enjoys coaching for Koa! In her spare time, Ariel trains for marathons and has run 4 so far, hoping to one day qualify for the Boston Marathon. She works full time doing clinical asthma research at Children’s National Medical Center and hopes to go to medical school in the next two years.


Kelly Bruvik 

bruvikKelly graduated from Bucknell University in 2011 with degrees in environmental studies and psychology.  She played for the Division I field hockey program and captained the squad her senior year.  She was named 2010 Longstreth/NFHCA All-Region Second Team, selected unanimously First Team All Patriot League, and was also selected to the Patriot League All Tournament Team.  Kelly is one of the top ten scorers in career points, single-season points and career goals all time for the Bison.  She was a member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll all four years.  Prior to Bucknell, Kelly attended Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, NJ where she played field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse.  Kelly set the school scoring record in field hockey and was named Player of the Year both her junior and senior seasons.  Kelly played in four county championships and three state finals, capturing one state championship and two county championships.  She went on to be named First Team All Decade.  Kelly led the lacrosse team in scoring and points her freshman through junior year.  She was named Third Team All Decade despite missing her entire senior season due to an injury.  Kelly has coached several college field hockey camps, field hockey and basketball at Stuart and lacrosse with the Princeton Lacrosse Club.  Kelly currently attends The George Washington University and will receive her Masters in Public Health in 2014.


Sarah Costa 

sarahCoach Sarah, grew up outside of Boston, MA, where she played Field Hockey, Lacrosse, and Basketball as well as running track for the Westwood Wolverines. Sarah attended Clemson University and played club field hockey while earning a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Coach Sarah works as a behavioral therapist for students with Autism at a school in Rockville,MD. Coaching for Koa lets Sarah’s love for teaching and sports come together for an awesomely positive experience!

Changing Kids’ Lives Through Sports