ODU Athletics

Field Hockey Announces Four Additions for 2018

December 08, 2017
By ODU Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. -- Head coach Andrew Griffiths and the Old Dominion field hockey program announced a four-player signing class for 2018 on Saturday.

"I’m proud to welcome these four strong student-athletes to ODU Field Hockey," said Griffiths. "Each of them have had tremendous success with their high school and club teams, and they will bring personality and performance to our team."

Joining the Monarchs for next season will be Eliza Branch (Clifton Park, N.Y.), Jess Gabriel (Telford, Pa.), Rachel Lewis (Severna Park, Md.) and Riley Taylor (Virginia Beach, Va.).

"I’m excited to see them work hard at the collegiate level," said Griffiths. "And to see how they can develop and help our program."

View a detailed breakdown of each signee below.

ELIZA BRANCH / Clifton Park, N.Y. / Shenendehowa High School / ADK

“Eliza has awareness of the space around her on the field, and uses this effectively, she can be a dynamic playmaker. She is versatile, she has good ball control, she can pass and score, and she has the athletic ability to compete at a high level on both sides of the ball.” - Coach Griffiths

- Scored 17 goals and 8 assists during her senior season at Shenendehowa
- An All-Conference and All-State selection in 2017
- Tallied 26 goals and 12 assists in her career
- Helped guide team to state championship in 2016

JESS GABRIEL / Telford, Pa. / Souderton Area High School / True North

“Jess is an excellent athlete and has deceptive speed, she seems to glide past players in the midfield. Her natural ball-carrying position and footwork make her a threat with the pass or dribble, and she has a rare ability to make difficult skills look easy.” - Coach Griffiths

- A four-year starter and team captain as a senior at Souderton Area
- Named Team MVP and a Philadelphia Senior All-Star in 2017
- A two-time First Team Suburban One All-League selection
- Earned the Souderton Area Leadership Core Values Award in 2017

RACHEL LEWIS / Severna Park, Md. / Severna Park High School / WC Eagles

“Rachel is a strong, powerful player who has worked really hard at her game, and continues to demonstrate an outstanding work ethic. She plays in a demanding club program, and this has helped her to develop good ball control skills, and to use her reach to her advantage.” - Coach Griffiths

- A First Team All-County selection in 2017 at Severna Park
- Helped guide her team to a pair of state championships
- Played center midfield for Severna Park and was a three-year starter
- Practiced with the USA Field Hockey Futures at Level 1

RILEY TAYLOR / Virginia Beach, Va. / First Colonial High School / Saints

“Riley is a natural goalscorer, who can also create play coming through the midfield into the attacking end. She is a competitor who will fight for the ball and will lay out to dive for the ball when necessary. I’m pleased to have another top local athlete join our team, continuing our connection with the top high school field hockey programs in our area.” - Coach Griffiths

- A three-time All-Tidewater and two-time All-State selection at First Colonial
- Named the 2016 Conference Player of the Year
- Named to the Max Field Hockey Top 100 in 2017
- Helped guide First Colonial to a state title in 2015

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