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Williams Promotes Assistant to Lead Women's Soccer Program

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WILLIAMTOWN, Mass. — Veteran coach Sarah Raymond, an assistant at Williams the past four years, has been named Michelyne Pinard's successor as the head coach of the Williams College women's soccer program.
The Ephs have won three of the last five Division III national championships and made two Elite 8 appearances in the years they did not wear the crown. 
Raymond has 14 years of head coaching experience at the Div. III collegiate level. She spent six years as the head coach of Clarkson University prior to her arrival at Williams, and eight years before that as head coach of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Her career mark is 126-98-27. 
Raymond's appointment was announced by Williams' Director of Athletics Lisa Melendy, who said the search for Pinard's successor began in early November immediately after the conclusion of the soccer season and attracted 84 applicants from around the globe. 
"I am very excited to announce Sarah Raymond has accepted our offer to be the next Williams women's soccer coach," Melendy said "She distinguished herself among an extremely strong field of candidates. The committee was impressed with her deep knowledge of the game of soccer and her equally deep understanding of the role of athletics at a liberal arts college. She has a demonstrated history of putting students and relationship building at the center of her coaching. I could not be more pleased to have her step into this new role at Williams. I am confident the team is in good hands as it begins the next chapter of Williams women's soccer." 
Pinard announced in July of 2019 she would depart Williams after her 18th season. She will become the athletic director at The Thacher School, a private boarding school in Ojai, Calif. Over the last four years under Pinard and Raymond, the Ephs have gone 68-8-10, winning the national championship in 2017 and 2018. The Ephs also captured a NESCAC championship in 2017 and a Little 3 title in 2017. 
"I would like to thank Lisa Melendy and the search committee for this amazing opportunity to be the next leader of the Williams' Women's Soccer program," Raymond said. "Williams has been a standard bearer for excellence, competitive success and empowering young women. It has been a privilege to be part of this program over the past four years so I know first-hand what incredible women I have the honor of interacting with on a daily basis. I want to thank the players and outgoing head coach, Michelyne Pinard, for their belief and support throughout this process. I am so excited to continue the standard of excellence that Williams women's soccer is known for and through my passion for the game, inspire the next generation of Ephs. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by the coaches in the Williams athletic department; driven, competitive professionals who deeply care about their athletes and who I can learn from every day."
At Clarkson, Raymond guided the Golden Knights to their first winning season since 1992 in her second year at the helm of the program; 2011. She was selected as the 2011 Liberty League Coach of the Year. Raymond repeated that feat in her final season, 2015, as Clarkson finished 8-7-2. 
Raymond served as the head women's soccer coach for Skidmore College from 2003 through 2009, posting a record of 89-42-20 over that time with seven conference tournament appearances and a pair of NCAA Tournament invitations as well. Under Raymond, Skidmore recorded double-figures in victories in each of her last seven campaigns at the helm, reaching 13 victories in 2004, 2005, and in 2008.
A native of Darwin, Australia, Raymond was a member of the Australian Women's National Team from 1991 to 2001, playing in the 1995 and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments. Additionally, Raymond was the captain of the Australian team in 1996, and she also represented the World All-Stars team in a pair of 12-game exhibition tours against the United States National Team in both 1999 and 2000.
During her time with the Australian National Team, Raymond became the first female to be awarded a soccer coaching scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport, assisting in the training of Australia's elite junior athletes. She followed up that high honor when she served as an ambassador and presenter for Australia at the World Health Congress in Chicago in 2000. She was also a SOCOG Team Leader at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in her native Australia. She gained her NSCSAA Advanced National Coaching License in 2006.
Prior to her eight-year run at Skidmore, Raymond was an assistant coach at Long Island University, obtaining her master's degree in computer science. Previous to her playing career, Raymond had gained her bachelor's degree in applied science (physical education and mathematics) Phillip Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia in 1991.
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Williamstown Theatre Festival Cancels On-Stage Season in Berkshires

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Theatre Festival announced Tuesday that it will not produce the summer 2020 season in Williamstown as planned.

The season was scheduled to open on June 30 on the Main Stage with Tennessee Williams' classic "A Streetcar Named Desire." Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald was scheduled to star as Blanche DuBois in this production directed by Robert O'Hara, with Carla Gugino as Stella and Bobby Cannavale as Stanley. 

The season was scheduled to end on Aug. 23 on the Main Stage with "Photograph 51" by Anna Ziegler, which honors the work and contribution of Rosalind Franklin as she closes in on a discovery around the DNA molecule, and on the Nikos Stage season with "Animals," a world premiere by Stacy Osei-Kuffour. 

"This is a very difficult situation for everyone at the festival," Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield said in the announcement, emailed to supporters. "In the event the governor's or other civil authority's positions or requirements are amended or updated, we will let you know if these changes affect our ability to mount the season in Williamstown, as planned."

Greenfield said 2020 season ticket bundle buyers will receive a separate email detailing how bundle purchases may be converted into a donation, credit voucher or refund.

WTF will forge ahead with the new work that had planned but making it in a different way.

"We will create seven new productions with Audible, the world's largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, in a format safe to elevate, entertain, transport, reveal, unmask and transform audiences from the comfort of their homes," she wrote. "The stellar group of artists who planned to spend the summer in Williamstown, will deliver — with fearlessness and redoubled passion — on the promise they made to create this work for you. 

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