It was hard not to notice Dani Weatherholt in Saturday’s match against the Washington Spirit. The midfielder who proved her fitness in the preseason was all over the pitch for the full 90 minutes, making impactful plays on both sides of the ball. While her name doesn’t feature on the score sheet, she’s already making a name for herself in her sophomore season.
Weatherholt’s strong start comes as a significant improvement following her rookie season, where the young player was asked to step into a lot of roles and learn a lot of new things. Head Coach Tom Sermanni also credits part of her development with the time she spent with the U-23 U.S Women’s National Team before the start of preseason.
“She came into preseason in great shape,” Sermanni said. “She got called into the U-23 National Team just before preseason started, and I think that was a big step for her because I think that gave her the confidence to feel that she belongs because she’s gone into the national team at that level. And she’s just gradually grown and grown from there.”
Weatherholt distinguishes herself from other players because she has the strength and endurance to go keep going when other players get tired. Her energy level and her confidence help her win battles in the midfield, and create both scoring opportunities and defensive saves.
“The great thing we’ve got from Dani is that she’s got such unbelievable endurance,” Sermanni said. “She’s like the Duracell Bunny-- she gets wound up and she’s still going at the end of the game. And so when the game starts to stretch out, she becomes more and more influential.”
Weatherholt’s sophomore year is only beginning. But it’s off to a pretty strong start-- and there’s only room to grow from here.