Lady Monarchs Add Six Heading Into 2008-09 Season
Feb. 20, 2008
NORFOLK, Va. - Six recruits signed national letters of intent to join the ODU Women's Soccer team next fall. Lisa Bernardini (Langhorne, Pa.), Rachael Carroll (Worthington, Ohio), Victoria Diersen (Virginia Beach, Va.), Victoria Johnson (Norfolk, Va.), Kaylee Scholl (Fairfax, Va.) and Jocelyn Weidner (Harrisburg, Pa.) all committed to play for head coach Joe Pereira. The program continues to grow as ODU graduated just two seniors last year and are just one year removed from ODU's first ever NCAA appearance.
"This is a very talented group with lots of versatility and athleticism," said Pereira. "This class will have a serious ability to come in and have an immediate impact on a very experienced squad."
Bernardini, a 5-6 midfielder from Pennsylvania, was a varsity starter all four years in high school and team captain her senior year. She was selected to the All-State team her senior year as well as being named Player of the Year in her league. A four-time First-Team All-League player, she led her team in scoring all four years. She was also a member of FC Delco/FC Bucks Lightning, four-time Eastern PA State Champions, and played two other sports at George School in Pennsylvania. She was an All-League lacrosse competitor and team captain of the girl's basketball team.
Carroll, an attacking midfielder and forward for Thomas Worthington High School and the Blast FC club team, was a four-year varsity letterwinner and four-time Scholar Athlete Award winner. Following her senior year, she was named First-Team All-OCC Central Division and First-Team All-District, her third such honor. Carroll, who was born in Virginia Beach, led her team in scoring her junior season and was selected as the team's Offensive Player of the Year. She participated in the Ohio and South Florida ODP program and as a member of the Blast FC, helped lead the team to the U-17 Orange Classic Championship and USYSA Snickers Ohio South State Cup finals.
Local product Tori Diersen, a 5-11 defensive player from Kellam High School in Virginia Beach, helped lead her team to the 2005 AAA State Championship. After her senior season, she was named Second Team All-District on defense. She also plays for the Beach FC local club team and qualified for state championships in track at Kellam. A National Honor Society member and president of the Young Republicans, Diersen will compete for a spot on the Monarchs back line.
Diersen will be joined by another local standout, Victoria Johnson, a 5-8 forward from Granby High School. She was a leading scorer throughout her career at Granby as a full-time starter since her freshman year. Following her 2007 campaign she was named Honorable Mention All-State and was First Team All-District, All-Region and All-Tidewater as well. Selected for the VA ODP state team in 2006-07, she was a member of the Super 20's team that went to nationals and also played with the VA Rush Nike for four and a half years. A multi-sport athlete, Johnson was a First Team All-District field hockey player, a track star and a member of the tennis team.
Kaylee Scholl joins the team from Fairfax High School in Northern Virginia as an everyday starter since her freshman year and was named Second Team All-District in 2006. She also starts for the VISTA Hotshots, ranked second in Virginia, who won the 2007 Washington Area Girls Soccer League Champions Division championship. The team was a 2007 Virginia State Cup Finalist, a 2006 US Club Soccer National Champion, a 2006 Virginia State Cup Semi-Finalist and a 2005 Virginia State Cup Finalist.
Rounding out the 2008 class of signees is Jocelyn Weidner, a 5-6 central midfielder from Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A four-year starter for Central, Weidner was named MVP as a sophomore and was named to the Mid-Penn All-Star First Team and Patriot News Big 11 First Team as a sophomore and junior. Team captain her junior and senior seasons, she has helped lead the team to the district championships every year as well as the PIAA State Championship in 2007. The team was ranked as high as 8th nationally during her tenure and she has been a part of the Eastern Pennsylvania ODP since 2003. She was also a four-year varsity letterwinner in field hockey, named All-State and Academic All-State, as well as earning the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Player of the Year honor her senior season.
The Lady Monarchs welcome the six newcomers to the team after winning the CAA Championship two seasons ago and narrowly missed its fourth straight season over .500. The graduating class from a year ago includes just two, the departure of midfielders Beth Messier and Lisa McKenzie.
"At the very least, we will be very deep at all positions as well as assuring a very exciting future for our program," said Pereira.
ODU will return all but two players, including the top two scorers from the 2006 CAA Championship team Katie Watson and Shavon Knight, both returning following an injury. Watson is nearing full strength after an ankle injury before the 2007 season and Knight is currently rehabbing a torn ACL and is expected to be on the field at the start of the 2008 season.