On the Pitch: ODU Senior Ashley Kukura
Oct. 11, 2010
"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand," a quote by Vince Lombardi. If you could paint a picture of Lombardi's quote, the image portrayed could certainly be that of Old Dominion women's soccer player Ashley Kukura.
"All four years she has been tremendous, a committed division I athlete to the highest standard," ODU head coach Joe Pereira said. "Her attitude and work ethic are great and always at the highest level."
Kukura, a senior co-captain, has been one of the most consistent Lady Monarchs the past four years. She has started 59 career games in the midfield, totaling seven goals and 11 assists, while also helping out defensively, helping goalkeeper Brianna Alvarado break ODU's record for shutouts in a season with six.
"Being a central midfielder Ashley is very important, the pulse of the group," Pereira added. "Her standards are quite high, which is great for us to tap into."
As a child, Kukura's parents got her involved in just about everything athletically, including baseball, basketball, cross country, gymnastics, volleyball, track and field, and of course soccer. "Soccer stuck with me," Kukura said. "I had to work hard to get to where I am today, but I'm glad that I did."
A Virginia Beach native, it was a fairly easy decision for Kukura to choose ODU. "I wanted to stay close to home so my family could come watch me play," Kukura said. "I also enjoy how after every home game, my older brother comes and talks to me about what I did well and what I need to improve. He's like a personal coach to me."
Her dedication and determination to get better and to continue her career in soccer gave her the opportunity to become the captain of the women's soccer team.
Kukura takes pride in being captain of the Lady Monarchs, and being someone that her teammates can look up to as a role model. Her leadership tends to be more by action and something that her teammates can follow.
"If my house isn't in order there is no reason for me to get on anyone about their stuff," Kukura said.
Off the field, Kukura is majoring in exercise science and plans to further her education by applying to physical therapy school. A two-time all-CAA honoree and 2007 all-Rookie Team selection, Kukura wants to become a physical therapist.
"I want to be a physical therapist, I want to help people heal from their injuries." Kukura said.
Kukura and the Lady Monarchs return home to the Old Dominion Soccer Stadium to begin a four-game home stand starting Friday when they host Northeastern at 7 p.m.
By: Cecilie Taylor & Brittany Pollard