Women's Soccer Announces 2005 Signing Class
Signees Include Three Local Players
Feb. 2, 2005
BOCA RATON, FL - The FAU women's soccer family just got bigger, as head coach Brian Dooley announced today the addition of five student-athletes to the 2005 squad. Signing national letters of intent on the first day of the national signing period were Natalie D'Oria, Jessica Badders, and South Florida stars Ashley Mannarino and Katie Howe. Also set to join the team is Ohio transfer Isdy Diaz. They will all join an FAU team that has won two of the past three Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championships.
"We feel we've improved the team in critical need areas with this class," said Dooley. "Along with that, we've improved the overall team speed and athleticism. We're excited to be bringing in student-athletes who come from the highest competitive backgrounds, as we can expect their transitions to be smoother as a result of that."
D'Oria, a 5-3 midfielder from London, Ontario, Canada, attends Catholic Central High School and played club soccer for London United. She was also a member of the Provincial Team and attended the National Training Center. Playing for Catholic Central, she was a member of the 2004 OFSAA Ontario girls' soccer runners-up (silver medalists) and scored the team's only goal, an equalizer, in the championship final.
"Natalie is a dynamic midfield player with an attacking flair," said Dooley. "Her speed and tireless work ethic make her a valuable attacking influence in the game. She has the ability to play centrally as well as wide, she creates scoring opportunities for the forwards, and she is very dangerous in the attack with her one-on-one ability."
Badders, a 5-8 goalkeeper from Southlake, TX, attends Southlake Carroll High School and played club soccer for D'Feeters Soccer Club, 2002-04 and Texas American Eagles SC, 1997-02. She has been a member of the NTSSA Olympic Development Program since 1999. In addition to earning All-District 7-5A honors as a goalkeeper, Badders was also named Academic All-District, earned several academic honors, and competed on the Southlake Carroll Track and Cross Country teams.
"Jessica is a strong keeper with exceptional distribution skills," said Dooley. "She plays high out of the penalty area and is equally adept at playing with her feet or her hands. She is a good shot blocker and controls the defensive third with her ability to organize the defense."
Mannarino, a 5-5 forward from Boca Raton, FL, attends Boca Raton Pope John Paul II and played club soccer for Team Boca. In addition to playing for the Florida Olympic Development Team, she also was a member of Class 3A State runners-up in 2004, and scored their only goal in the championship game against Melbourne Central Catholic. Selected to the 2004 All-State First Team by the Florida Sports Writers Association, she was also named First Team All-Palm Beach County by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as a junior when she led all midfielders in scoring with 30 goals and 21 assists
"Ashley is a fast and skillful forward who can beat a defender with speed or her incredible technical ability," said Dooley. "She is a passionate goal scorer who will shred the defense and bury the shot. She will make all our forwards better with her ability."
Howe, a 5-5 defender from Saint Lucie West, FL, attends Centennial High and played club soccer for Palm Beach United. She has been a member of the Florida Youth Soccer Association State Champions for the past three seasons (2002-04).
"Katie is a gifted athlete with an intense desire to succeed," said Dooley. "She adds incredible speed and physical play to our defense. She can play both centrally and wide. She has the ability to join the attack with overlapping runs and can serve a dangerous ball into the attack."
Diaz, a 5-7 defender from Boca Raton, FL, transfers to Florida Atlantic from Ohio University. A four-year letter winner with all-county, all-conference, and all-area accolades dating back to her sophomore season, she helped lead Spanish River HS to the Florida state title. With the Bobcats, she appeared in 16 games and started four times in two years. She rejoins former Team Boca teammates Christina Rodrigues and Cristina Chang on the FAU roster.
"Isdy is a strong central or wide defender with physical presence," said Dooley. "She will bring a technical presence in the defense with the ability to possess the ball and connect with the attack."
The Lady Owls, who finished third in the Atlantic Sun last season and lost just five seniors, should be a favorite to reach even greater heights this season. FAU's top six scorers from last season are all scheduled back in 2005, including first team Atlantic Sun honorees Denise Brolly, Katri Nokso-Koivisto, and Susanna Lehtinen.