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Country Day Soccer Teams Recognized With Inaugural Outstanding Sportsmanship Award 

Country Day Soccer Teams Recognized With Inaugural Outstanding Sportsmanship Award 

PHOTO CAPTION:  From left to right: Greg Hirschauer (boys varsity soccer coach), Greg Keuhnel (president of the Midwest Soccer Officials Association), Sydney Hardesty `24 (Loveland), Megan Zimmerman `24 (Indian Hill), Elizabeth Zimmerman `24 (Indian Hill), Piper Farris `24 (New Richmond), Lucas de Alarcon `24 (Indian Hill), Theresa Hirschauer (girls varsity soccer coach) Rick Brizzolara (Cincinnati area referee assignor)


The Midwest Soccer Officials Association presented the inaugural 2023 Outstanding Sportsmanship Award to Cincinnati Country Day School for “providing the area’s best supportive and positive soccer experience.” Accepting the award on behalf of Country Day were Theresa Hirschauer, varsity girls soccer coach, Greg Hirschauer, varsity boys soccer coach, and their team captains Piper Farris `24, Sydney Hardesty `24, Elizabeth Zimmerman `24, Megan Zimmerman `24, and Lucas de Alarcon `24. 

“I think this is the ultimate award because it shows that our programs are trying to follow the best ethics and have character,” says Greg Hirschauer. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but something you always can control is how you conduct yourselves.” 

Team captains were also honored to receive the sportsmanship award. 

“Something we practice here at Country Day is good sportsmanship and this award proves that we value that,” says Farris. “It’s really important that you learn the value of good sportsmanship and that you have it with you your whole life.” 

Lucas de Alaron mirrors that sentiment. 

“It means a lot [to win this award] because I think all of Country Day’s sports programs pride themselves on sportsmanship and not only how we treat each other but how we treat the referees,” says de Alarcon. 

He believes a big reason why Country Day was selected for this award is because of the example the coaches set for the student-athletes. 

“We have a lot of really good coaches at Country Day who pride themselves on [setting a good example]. And it works its way through the program, starting with the seniors who then teach the younger players what the program is all about and how to play with integrity.” 

With over 50 soccer games canceled last fall due to a shortage of officials, the award was created by the Midwest Soccer Officials Association this year to encourage better sportsmanship throughout the soccer community. The association polled its 100+ officials to name their top four and bottom four school environments to referee. Country Day came out on top.  

“We are obviously having issues with some schools, but we want to show them that there is a good way to conduct yourself, which is something Country Day does so well,” says Greg Kuehnle, president of the Midwest Soccer Officials Association. “This school does well with their sportsmanship, and they are winning on the field, too. You don’t have to yell at the refs to have a good year.”  

“It doesn’t matter if you’re on the winning side or the losing side, these refs are out there doing their job and doing it to the best of their abilities,” says Theresa Hirschauer. “The fact that we are losing so many officials is only going to end up hurting the up-and-coming players and our students' opportunities to compete in high school athletics. We are really honored to win this award because it doesn’t mean you didn’t play hard or played to win, but it means you did it the right way.” 

For more information on becoming a soccer referee, please visit