Lady Monarch Soccer Announces the Addition of Four

April 24, 2007
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 24, 2007

NORFOLK, VA -- Old Dominion University head women's soccer coach Joe Pereira announced the signing of four players to national letters of intent. Pereira graduated four seniors off his school record 17-win squad and has signed four players to fill those holes. Alyssa Pietrobono (Newark, DE) will play up top, Emilia Odenkirchen (Bethesda, MD) and Ashley Kukura (Virginia Beach, VA) will play in the middle, and Kelsey Williams (Newport News, VA) was signed as a defender.

"We're extremely excited to add this class to an experienced group of players," said head coach Joe Pereira. "This class reflects our graduating class with two midfielders, one forward, and one back." Pereira coached the 2006 Lady Monarchs to a program best 17 wins and its first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Alyssa Pietrobono, a member of the Southern Chester County Soccer Association Dragons in Newark, Delaware, was a varsity starter all four years. She was named to the 2006 All-Conference and All-State soccer teams as she was among Delaware's leading scorers with 24 goals and 11 assists during her junior campaign. She was the leading scorer for her high school for the school's first ever state championship in 2005.

The forward also was selected for the Delaware Olympic Development Porgram. Her club team was both a Delaware State Cup Finalist and Champion. Also a member of the Pennsylvania Girl's Soccer League select team, Pietrobono will add depth at the top of an already adept scoring offense at ODU.

In the midfield, Pereira recruited a captain of one of the most proficient club teams in Maryland, the Bethesda Extreme. Emilia Odenkirchen was captain of the Extreme from 2002-04 and has won nine championships since 2001. She was a part of the Extreme's Maryland State Cup title four out of five years. In high school, Odenkirchen was a four-year varsity starter for the 4A Regional Champion Quince Orchard HS.

She was named to the All-County First Team, the All-Examiner Second Team, and was an honorable mention to the Washington Post All-Met Team. She was captain of the Maryland ODP 88's in 2001 and played with the Maryland ODP 89's from 2002-05. Odenkirchen also played in the 2004 Region I ODP Tournament Semi-finals.

Adding to the midfield and defense, Pereira stayed close to home and recruited two Virginia Beach players. The first, Ashley Kukura (Virginia Beach, VA) was one of the beach's most proficient goal scorers her junior year. She was the leading goal scorer for Kellam HS, the 2005 3A State Champions. She was team captain her junior and senior year when Kellam was ranked as high as fourth in the nation. Kukura is also a state qualifier in track and cross country and a member of the Virginia ODP.

She was named to the 2006 All-Tidewater Second Team, the 2006 All-Beach Second Team, and was also named the 2005 Beach District Rookie of the Year. One of her teammates on the third best club team in Virginia and 29th best club team in the nation, the Beach FC Majix, will also join the Lady Monarchs. Defender Kelsey Williams (Newport News, VA) comes to ODU as a member of the Virginia ODP including a part of the 2003-04, 04-05 state tournament teams.

Williams was selected to participate in the 2005 Regional ODP Camp after being selected to the 2005 All-Region Second Team and the 2005 All-Peninsula Team. The Daily Press named Williams to its All-Star Team in 2005 and she was also named to the 2004 Peninsula District Second Team.

ODU's graduating class of 2006 included defender Heather Jones, midfielders Tracy Donachie and Brittany Ransom, and forward Heather Vaughn. Coach Pereira's recruiting class addresses the needs at these positions. The Lady Monarchs finished 17-5-1 in 2006.