Winningest Class in Women's Soccer History Kicks off 2008 Season on Saturday

August 15, 2008
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 15, 2008

NORFOLK, Va. -- The Lady Monarch soccer team takes to the field for the first time in 2008 on Saturday, at 1:00 pm, in a scrimmage against American University. The game is free of charge and will be held at the ODU Soccer Stadium.

After a season battered and torn apart by injuries, the winningest class in ODU women's soccer history will look to bounce back and lead the way in 2008 toward a second CAA Championship in three years. Nine seniors will return to the field for head coach Joe Pereira, including three scorers listed among the program's top ten in history. Leading scorers Katie Watson and Shavon Knight return to the field after season-halting injuries a year ago while starting lineup stalwarts Janna Pearson and Lizzy Brewster look to maintain their streak of consistency. They are joined by one of the best goalkeeping tandems in school history in seniors Lauren Tupman and Colby Owen, who will lean on Marilee Mastaler, Jenni Purdum and All-CAA midfielder Caroline Brown to help reinforce what was a dominant defense just a year ago. All nine have championship experience and will help lead a committed and skilled younger group back to the postseason.

"We will be deep. We will be deep and versatile," said Coach Pereira. "The last two years are a quality microcosm: we know what it's like to win and we know what it's like to lose. Now we have a chance to write the script, especially for these nine seniors."

Unlike most teams with such a large senior class, this team will also feature near unprecedented depth at every position for Pereira. Six true freshman come into the fold joining a talented sophomore class that contributed mightily in '07, while a large junior class, like the seniors, all have championship experience. The team returns nine starters, including a tenth who missed 2007 due to injury. Healthy, skilled, deep and experienced, this team has their sights set on winning another CAA Championship.

American will travel a solid returning core, including their top two scorers from 2007, who combined for over half of the Eagles points a year ago. Kelsey Brasher and Krystn Hodge scored 53 of American's 91 points in 2007 and will lead the offensive strike this year. In goal, senior Kelsey Wiggins posted three shutouts and a 0.80 goals against average as she split time as the starter in 2007.

ODU's first regular season game will follow, a road contest at High Point University on Friday, August 22. The teams have never met and kick-off will be set for 7:00 pm in North Carolina.