ODU Men's Soccer Signs Five to National Letters of Intent
March 8, 2010
NORFOLK, Va. - The ODU men's soccer coaching staff announced the addition of five players to the team, signing National Letters of Intent earlier this month. Joining the Monarchs in 2010 are Gideon Asante (Sunyani, Ghana), Ryan Oakes (Virginia Beach, Va.), Mason Page (Chesterfield, Va.), Mitch Pfautz (Mission Viejo, Calif.), and Alex Vaughan (Virginia Beach,Va.). The class is an athletic group that will help address needs all over the pitch for head coach Alan Dawson.
Gideon Asante has spent three years at the nationally recognized Shattuck-St. Mary's Soccer Academy in Minnesota and is a speedy scoring threat up front and from the midfield. The academy boasts a nationwide-high of nine athletes committed to Division I programs around the nation, and ODU inking the forward/midfielder from Ghana continues a tradition of top African-born athletes to join the Old Dominion squad.
"Gideon is a perfect fit for our program," said Coach Dawson. "He is a dynamic playmaker who can change a game in an instant and above all else is a wonderful individual who will make a great teammate."
Ryan Oakes is a local product out of 2009 AAA State Champion Cox High School in Virginia Beach. Oakes also played for Cox reaching the 2008 State Quarterfinals and in 2007 reaching the State Semifinals. He has split time between offense and defense and was named the 2009 NSCAA/adidas High School State Player of the Year en route to an All-American nod as well. He earned NSCAA/adidas and ESPN RISE All-American honors in 2009, leading Cox in scoring in each of his first three seasons. Oakes is a highly decorated player, coming into his senior season as a three-time First Team All-Eastern Region, All-Beach District, All-Tidewater and two-time First Team All-State player. He has captained the Beach FC club team for six of his eight years on the team, and helped lead the team to the U18 State Cup Semifinals.
"Ryan is an extremely gifted and versatile athlete who is big and strong. His competitive instinct is what makes him special as he is a proven winner on and off the field," Dawson commented.
Mason Page is a midfielder from Matoaca High School in Chesterfield, Virginia. He is a three-time All-District selection and two-time All-Region player. Last season, he added All-State to his resume, along with All-Metro and All-Digital Sports. He was the team captain his junior season and has scored 40 goals paired with 20 assists in his career. He played on the Virginia State ODP team, traveling to the Super-Y National Camps. He is also an All-District kicker on the football team.
"Mason has all the physical tools to be a very productive college player," Dawson said. "We have high hopes he can contribute immediately to our midfield unit."
Mitch Pfautz is a defender from Costa Mesa, California. Pfautz was a center back in high school, earning First Team All-League honors and team MVP in his junior season. He was a part of the adidas National Elite Soccer Program in Denver and was a 2006 & 2007 Coast Soccer League Cup finalist. The four-year starter was most recently a Dallas Cup participant and West Coast FC Tournament Champion in 2008 and 2009, as well as runner-up in 2007.
"Mitch is an athletic defender who brings experience and composure to our squad. He has played at the highest level in Southern California which is a hotbed for youth soccer and we will expect him to be ready to make an immediate impact for our program," Dawson commented.
Alex Vaughan rounds out the group and is another local standout, hailing from Kempsville HS in Virginia Beach. Vaughan attended the 2009-10 Market Training Center for player I.D. into the National Team program and is the current leading scorer for the U17-U18 Virginia Rush Academy Team. He also led the Rush in scoring in the U15-U16 season earning All-Conference Starting XI honors and went on to play with the 2008 PSA World Youth Tournament Champion Rush Select XI. A two-time First Team All-Beach District player, Vaughan will join ODU as a talented attacking player with ODP and elite academy experience.
"Alex is a dynamic midfielder/forward who has an extremely quick first step and is clever off the ball," Dawson pointed out. "He has all the tools to be an immediate impact player as a rookie and is a perfect fit for our system of play."
The midfield-heavy recruiting class will address needs after ODU graduates two of their top midfielders in Bobby Foglesong and Nane Joseph. Joseph, an NSCAA All-American, was drafted in the MLS SuperDraft earlier this month. This season, the Monarchs reached the CAA Semifinals and were defeated by nationally ranked UNCW to finish off an 11-5-2 season. It was the seventh double-digit win season in the last eight years for Old Dominion.
Dawson finished: "We are delighted with our recruiting class to this point as we have added some quality players who will supplement our strong returning group. We will continue to explore all available options in hoping that we can add a few more impact players to our already stellar class."