Women's Soccer Announces 2006 Recruiting Class

March 09, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 9, 2006

NORFOLK, VA - Old Dominion University announced today its 2006 additions to the Lady Monarch soccer roster. Among the seven newcomers, three hail from the Hampton Roads area, while the others come from New York and the Westchester FC, and the Cleveland (OH) Internationals Soccer Club.

"We are very excited with this years class, it not only addressed our immediate need, the back line, it also added lots depth and versatility to a very strong returning group," head coach Joe Pereira comments. "We are also delighted with another strong local class to add to our great representation from the area."

Jodi Knorowski hails from local Newport News, VA where she played midfield for Menchville High School and Beach FC Fyre. While playing for Menchville, Knorowski lead her team to the district championships for four years, earning All-Region second team honors in ninth and tenth grade, and All-Region first team last year. Knorowski was Peninsula Player of the Year, The Daily Press All-Star first team, All-Region and All-District first team, three years running. She was also named the team's Most Valuable Player, and helped Beach FC Fyre become Virginia State Cup Champions in 2002 and 2003, and a finalist in 2004

Fellow Beach FC Fyre player Chika Umejei has also committed to the Lady Monarchs. Umejei resides in Virginia Beach where she is a forward for Bayside High School's varsity girl's soccer team. Umejei was selected to the ODP Region One tournament team in 2005, and the Virginia ODP State Team in 2004 and 2005. She is a two-time Club State Champion with Beach FC.

Kirstin Walker, from Falling Waters, WV, is expected to provide depth in the backfield. Walker was a defender for Hedgesville High School and FC Frederick where she helped her U18 Girls team advance to the Super Y League National Final Four in 2005.

Brittany Kortz comes to the Lady Monarch lineup from Yorktown, VA and Tabb High School. Kortz was part of Tabb's Region One Championship team, and was an All-Bay Rivers District and All-Region One pick in 2005. She is a member of the Tabb varsity field hockey team, and competes with the Virginia Rush Soccer Club.

Caroline Plank from New Rochelle, New York, played a combination of midfield and forward for Our Lady of Good Counsel Academy and FC Westchester. During her soccer career, Plank was selected to the Eastern New York ODP team in 2004, played for FC Westchester from 2001-present, and was named to the Super Y Westchester Flames from 2003 to 2005. While playing for OLGCA, Plank led her team to WYSL High School Division One Championship in 2004 after going undefeated. She received back-to-back Student of the Month awards for the months of January and February of 2005, along with a Student Leadership Award in 2004.

Danielle Hammer, is from Monclova, Ohio where she spent time in the backfield for Anthony Wayne High School and the Cleveland Internationals Club Soccer team. Hammer started playing competitive soccer at age nine, and during her varsity career she was a three-time high school MVP, made the All-District team in 2004 and 2005, and the All Northern Lakes team in 2004. She played for the USL National ODP team in 2005, and the Ohio ODP team in 2003 and 2004. Hammer was a State Champ in 2002, Region II Finalist in 2002, and a State Cup Finalist in 2004 while playing with the Cleveland Internationals. Recently, she was named NSCAA Scholar All Region, and All Academic Ohio for 2005. In addition, she was named to the Super Y-League National ODP U-17 Select team for 2006.

The final signee, Saratu Dodo, enters the Lady Monarch lineup from Fairlawn, Ohio where she played for Cleveland Heights High School and the Cleveland Internationals. Dodo was a 2001 State Cup Finalist and Windy City Classic Cup Champion. In 2002, she was a State Cup Champion and Region II Finalist. She was named to the national league three years in a row from 2003-2005 and was named to the USL Super Y-league National ODP Select team in 2005 and 2006. Dodo led her high school team in scoring her sophomore year and received the Lake Erie League All-Honor Award.

The Old Dominion women's soccer team continued to build off of last year's momentum in their 2005-06 season. The Lady Monarchs finished the season off with a 12-7-0 overall record, 6-5-0 in the CAA, their best record since back in 2000 when they ended the season 13-7-1. The Lady Monarchs opened the season by topping the Universities of Florida and Akron to win the Westfield Cup Exhibition Tournament. The team then went on to start the regular season off winning nine of their first ten games out of the gate, including a 5-1 win over Wyoming in their inaugural meeting, resulting in their best start in the history of the program. Old Dominion made it to the six-team CAA Tournament for the second consecutive year in a row as a no. 5 seed.