Girls Soccer


Varsity Head Coach | Jim Bruno

Jim Bruno has since 1988 built the Our Lady of Good Counsel girls soccer program into one of the finest in the nation. He has led the Falcons to 13 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships and helped dozens of players earn college scholarships. Three are playing professionally.

ABC7 called his program “nothing less than a powerhouse.”

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Girls Assistant Soccer Coach | Jesse Balsamo
Since becoming a girls varsity assistant coach under Jim Bruno in 2016, Jesse Balsamo has helped Good Counsel maintain its status as one of the nation’s finest soccer programs.

During his first five seasons, Balsamo has contributed to the Falcons posting a record of 58-16-11 (.747 winning percentage).

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Roster

# Name Class
1 Olivia Benzing 2024
11 Drew Bernard 2023
3 Peyton Bernard 2023
19 McKayla Carr 2025
0 Maya Cheeseboro 2024
23 Madison Conklin 2023
5 Isabelle Daw 2024
98 Mary DeBrandt 2024
13 Laila Falcon 2024
15 Nalani Flores 2024
2 Madison Isaacs 2024
9 Margaret Kerr 2024
18 Courtney Key 2024
20 Elle Kristo 2023
8 Paige Kush 2024
16 Lilyana Laryea 2024
00 Ana Natale 2023
4 Arianna Nnawuchi 2023
7 Naiya Pearce 2024
24 Chesney Robinson 2024
22 Ella Schwartz 2023
26 Angelina Serrano 2023
25 Morgan Shannon 2026
21 Mayah Soliszewska-Dengu 2023

Varsity Girls Soccer Schedule 

Team Opponent Date Time Location Result Score
Soccer - Girls Varsity vs.
Quince Orchard
Kline Stadium
Soccer - Girls Varsity vs.
Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Soccer - Girls Varsity vs.
Bethesda Chevy Chase High School
Kline Stadium
Soccer - Girls Varsity vs.
Crofton High School
Crofton High School
Soccer - Girls Varsity vs.
The John Carroll School
Kline Stadium

JV Girls Soccer Schedule

Team Opponent Date Time Location Result Score
Soccer - Girls JV vs.
Quince Orchard
Kline Stadium
Soccer - Girls JV-B
Route 108 Field Good Counsel High School
Soccer - Girls JV vs.
Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Soccer - Girls JV vs.
Bethesda Chevy Chase High School
Kline Stadium
Soccer - Girls JV vs.
Crofton High School
Crofton High School


 

Jim Bruno Bio Continued... 

Bruno will enter his 34th season as Good Counsel’s only girls soccer head coach in 2021 with a career record of 493-114-70 (.780 winning percentage). He has never had a losing season.

Under his leadership, the Falcons have been ranked in the United Soccer Coaches’ national Top 25 15 of the past 19 years. Three times (2000, 2011, 2012) the Falcons attained an in-season ranking of No. 1.

Bruno has guided Good Counsel to WCAC championships in 1995, ’98, ’99, 2000, ’01, ’09, ’10, ’12, '13, ’14, ’15, ’18 and ’19. In nine seasons, his teams have won 18 or more games. GC’s best record came in 1998 when it finished 22-0-3.

Bruno has coached The Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year a record nine times: Corey Hewitt (1994), Katie Moore (1997), Valerie Lawrence (1998), Vicki Anagnostopoulos (2005), Crystal Koczot (2009), Midge Purce (2011, 2012), Imani Dorsey (2013) and Heather Hinz (2018). In 18 of the past 21 years, he has had at least one player named first-team All-Met.

In 1998, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (now United Soccer Coaches) honored him as National Private School Girls Coach of the Year. The Post named him Coach of the Year in 1994, as did the Pigskin Club of Washington in 2015 and ’18. He’s been recognized as the top coach in Maryland seven times (1998, 2002, ’03, ‘07, ’09, ’12 and ’13) and by the WCAC on five occasions (1994, ’98, 2011, ’13 and ’18).

Purce is a member of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team and has a good chance to play in the next Women’s World Cup. After graduating from Harvard, she was the ninth overall selection of the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft. She and two other former Falcons (Dorsey, Megan Hinz) play for NJ/NY Gotham FC.

When hired in 1988, Bruno was Good Counsel’s first girls coach in any sport. His club finished 12-5-2 that year and, without any seniors, advanced to the Division II championship game. The WCAC was formed in 1993.

Bruno holds the Premier Diploma and Advanced National Diploma from United Soccer Coaches. He also coaches two girls Potomac Soccer Club travel teams that play in the Club Champions League. He holds summer camps at GC and teaches a leadership course for athletes. In 2001, he was inducted into the Good Counsel Hall of Fame.

Bruno attended DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., for two years before graduating from Walter Johnson (Bethesda, Md.) in 1966. He was drafted into the military that fall and served a tour in Vietnam as an Army medic.

While working as a Montgomery County (Md.) police officer, Bruno studied criminal justice at the University of Maryland and graduated in 1978. Upon his retirement from the police force 10 years later, he became athletic director at St. Peter’s Parish in Olney, Md., until 2006.

Bruno was born in Bethesda and lives in Brookeville, Md., with his wife, Maggie. They will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on June 26, 2021. Their two sons played soccer at Good Counsel. James graduated in 1996 and Christopher in 1999.

Good Counsel Girls Soccer Year-by-Year under Jim Bruno:

88    12-5-2
89    11-9-1
90     9-7-3
91     9-7-2
92    12-3-1
93    12-5-4
94    20-2-1
95    18-4-3
96    16-6-0
97    19-2-3
98    22-0-3
99    21-3-1
00    18-3-2
01    17-2-1
02    10-2-1
03    20-1-0
04    16-4-2
05    17-3-4
06    16-6-2
07    16-5-1
08    13-6-1
09    17-2-5
10    19-3-2
11    19-1-0
12    16-1-2
13    13-1-6
14    15-4-2
15    12-1-4
16    12-6-3
17    13-5-3
18    14-1-4
19    15-2-1
20    4-2-0*

Overall record 493-114-70 (.780)

33 seasons

* Played in spring 2021

Jesse Balsamo Bio Continued...  
 
Since becoming a girls varsity assistant coach under Jim Bruno in 2016, Jesse Balsamo has helped Good Counsel maintain its status as one of the nation’s finest soccer programs.

During his first five seasons, Balsamo has contributed to the Falcons posting a record of 58-16-11 (.747 winning percentage).

“He brings enthusiasm, is a really good X’s and O’s technical coach and a great motivator,” said Bruno, who’s in his 34th year at Good Counsel. “He brings an added dimension and a voice. He sees things a little bit differently than I do. It’s a good balance.”

Other highlights during Balsamo’s tenure include The Washington Post naming Heather Hinz 2018 All-Met Player of the Year and two Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships (2018, ’19).

Balsamo began his coaching career in 2004 as co-founder of the Vitoria Football Club with mentor Joao Carlos Martens. The Rockville, Md.-based organization, which lasted until 2012, featured boys and girls teams from U11 to U17.

From 2012-14, Balsamo was head coach of the Montgomery Soccer U9 and U10 boys academy program. He spent his first three years at Good Counsel as an assistant JV boys coach (2013-15).

Since 2014, Balsamo worked with the Potomac Soccer Association as head coach and age-group coordinator for 2009 and 2011 girls. His teams compete at the highest level in the United States Youth Soccer (USYS) National League and South Atlantic Conference, as well as Club Champions League.

Balsamo enjoyed his greatest success when he led the Potomac Blue 2004 boys to the 2017 and ’18 Maryland State Youth Soccer Association State Cup Championships. His 2017 club also won the USYS Eastern Regional League title.

In 2018, United Soccer Coaches honored him as East Region Boys Youth Coach of the Year.

Balsamo has also since 2015 coached in the Maryland Olympic Development Program. The goal is to identify high-caliber U13 to U17 players to vie for spots on U.S. youth national teams that compete internationally. In 2022, he will be in his third year as head coach of the program’s U15 boys.

“He’s a terrific coach,” Bruno said. “He does a great job with his teams. You can see through his developmental skills that he’s able to bring kids to a higher level.”

Balsamo holds the following certifications: United States Soccer Federation C License and United Soccer Coaches National and Goalkeeper Diplomas.

At the Sound School in New Haven, Conn., Balsamo was a member of the sailing team for four years, played hockey for three and soccer for one. He graduated in 1999.

Balsamo was born and raised in New Haven. He and his wife, K-Lee, live in Silver Spring, Md.