SSU Womens Soccer Adds Former Empire Greats

Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

Adding an Empire flair to Sonoma State women’s soccer, four former local prep stars will add some bite to the Seawolves attack this season.

Leading the group are Gretel Amman and Elena Catania, former Montgomery High teammates who have transferred in from Division 1 programs. Joining them will be two All-Empire players last season, Kareli Rodriguez, also from Montgomery, and Margi Osmundson, who helped lead Casa Grande to a section title.

Also signing with Sonoma State is Carolyn Greco, an all-league player at Fullerton Union High School in Fullerton.

“I’m counting on them contributing right away,” said Sonoma State coach Luke Oberkirch. “We are adding Division I experience, goal scorers and competitive spirit, all of which we look to improve on from last season.”

Sonoma State expects to rebound from last season’s poor showing. In going 4-9-4, the Seawolves had difficulty scoring and struggled with injuries.

“It was just a down year,” Oberkirch said. “We definitely are looking to improve. We need to be a little bit more competitive and consistent with our performance.”

Both Amman and Catania already are in school and with the team now in training and playing spring games.

The pair were All-Empire players at Montgomery High in 2007.

Amman played two years for San Diego State as a defender/midfielder, starting 41 games for the Aztecs. San Diego State won the Mountain West Conference title and reached the NCAA tournament in Amman’s sophomore year.

“She’s been playing against some of the best players in the region. She’s fast, highly skilled and a good passer,” Oberkirch said. “She will bring experience and composure to our team.”

In two seasons at Cal State Fullerton, Catania, a midfielder, played in 23 matches, including one start.

“Elena is a very good forward who has the ability to help us score more goals,” Oberkirch said. “She is a strong, physical player with a very high work rate.”

The three freshmen will add depth to Sonoma State’s roster.

Rodriguez is a forward who helped lead Montgomery to a pair of North Bay League titles and the North Coast Section championship in 2009.

“She is a very skilled player with an extremely high work rate. She is a goal scorer with knack for getting in the correct positions in the penalty box, so we think she will help us score more goals in 2011,” Oberkirch said.

A midfielder, Osmundson helped lead Casa Grande to the 2010 section title.

“Margi is very good two way center midfielder who is also very good in the air. She has the ability to play the final ball in the attacking third of the field which, once again, should help us score more goals,” Oberkirch said.

Another midfielder, Greco was her team’s most valuable offensive player.

“Carolyn is a very versatile player who has played center back and midfield at the club level but forward in high school,” Oberkirch said. “She will contribute right away because she is athletic, skilled, and likes to tackle.”