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Minium: New Locker Room Adds a Touch of Class for ODU Women's Soccer Team


NORFOLK, Va. – When the Old Dominion women's soccer team takes the field at the ODU Soccer Complex tonight, the Monarchs will briefly acknowledge their second consecutive conference championship before getting down to the business of taking on Campbell in their home opener.
But another victory of sorts that occurred during the offseason won't be visible to fans when the game kicks off at 6.
Head coach Angie Hind and members of the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation raised $100,000 from long-time donors. That money was used to renovate the ODU locker room into a facility you'd expect to find at a Power Five program.
Each player has wooden lockers marked with their names outlined in Hudson Blue, a locker individual storage unit for valuables, hooks and a seat. The showers and other bathroom facilities look like they're from an upscale hotel.
The lighting system can be dimmed into a dark blue hewn that gives the facility an ethereal look. When players enter their locker room, they are greeted by a roaring lion with "Win The Battle. Earn The Right to Play" etched next to his mane.
The new digs connect to an existing players' lounge.
"We absolutely loved it the first time we saw it," said Ece Turkoglu, the graduate student from Istanbul, Turkey, who is ODU's top returnee. "It's so much better than what we had."

The new facility opened just before summer practice, though Megan Watts, a graduate student from Stafford, Virginia and Gry Boe Thrysoe, a junior from Karup, Denmark, said most players peaked into the locker room from time to time and thus weren't surprised when it was finally completed.
Turkoglu, Thrysoe and Watts are ODU's captains this season.
The locker room was made possible by Dr. Alison Kensler, a former ODU women's soccer player who is now an orthopedic surgeon in Idaho, and Jon and Stacy Hays, a Northern Virginia couple with long ties to ODU.
"Our players are ecstatic about the new locker room," Hind said. "You could just see in their faces it meant the world to have a locker room they were proud to call their own.
"I think it made them feel more respected."

Not that this program lacks respect. The Monarchs won ODU's first Sun Belt Conference title in the modern era last fall a year after winning the 2021 Conference USA crown. Two years ago, they nearly upset No. 1 Duke in the NCAA Tournament.
This year's team has a lot of new faces and is missing some older faces. Gone is Carla Morich, the graduated senior who led ODU with eight goals and is playing professionally in her hometown of Hamburg, Germany, and defender Emma Terefenko, who logged 1,579 minutes last season, fourth highest on the team.
Watts was second last season with five goals and Turkoglu third with two goals for a defensive-oriented team that jelled late in the season. Andrea Balcazar Algarin (Mexico City, Mexico) returns from an outstanding freshman season in which she was fifth in scoring with three points.
Befitting the era of the transfer portal, 11 of the 29 players are newcomers, including eight freshman.

"That's something we've never had," Hind said of all of the newcomers. "We have a lot of talent and a lot of depth. That means as coaches, we've got to get it right."
Defender Alaina McKnight, a Williamsburg native, transferred from USC Upstate and forward Rhea Kijowski, a junior from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, from West Virginia.
McKnight will help bolster the defense, which has traditionally been strong. Danae Harper started nine games on defense last season and Hind likes what she's seen from freshmen defenders Sydney Somers (Highland Ranch, Colorado) and Ashlynn Kulha (Holly Springs, North Carolina).
Malia Mariano, a midfielder who played at Norfolk's Maury High School, returns for a fifth season, as does Anna Torslov, a forward from Copenhagen, Denmark.
Mariano, Turkoglu and Thrysoe give ODU "quite a mature and talented midfield," Hind said.
Jenna Daveler (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and Anessa Arndt (Cary, North Carolina) have also been impressive, Hind said.

Thrysoe has come back strong from an injury that knocked her out last season, but the Monarchs lost Yuliia Khrystiuk, a senior from Vinnytsia, Ukraine for the season to another injury. Khrystiuk hopes to return for a fifth season in 2024.

"We're really pleased with the talent in the freshman class," Hind said. "We have good players. We'll see how quickly it takes for them to mature."
Several freshmen played well in ODU's opener, a 3-0 victory at George Mason Thursday night.  Riley Mullen, a freshman from Staten Island, New York, had an assist, as did Kulha.
Sophomore Thalia Morisi (Massapequa Park, New York) added a goal and sophomore Madison Micheletti (Islip, New York) also had an assist.
Emily Bredek, the goalie from Huntington Beach, California, who had two shutouts in last year's Sun Belt Tournament, pitched another shutout at George Mason.
Devaler played 88 of 90 minutes at George Mason.
"I love the chemistry of this team and how hard they've worked," Hind said. "We've made good progress, but we've got a lot of work to do."

And after a long day's work, a luxurious place to shower and change.

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