Photo courtesy of the University of Maryland.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
April 16, 2013-Congratulations to Domenica Hodak, who tried out for the Washington Spirit as a Discovery Pick and made the team. She is playing for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) squad during the inaugural season of the league.
"I am so excited to play in the NWSL," she said. "I’m so glad a professional league for women’s soccer is back and I’m excited for the experience it will give me. The players on my team and the other teams are going to help improve my game and grow as a player."
The 21-year-old from West Sayville played for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) for five years and the Region 1 ODP Team for four years. 86% of the American players in NWSL were members of ODP as teenagers.
Under the tutelage of head coach Paul Riley, Domenica played for the Albertson Fury 90 of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), helping lead the Fury to four State Open Cup titles.
Using her nickname, Coach Riley commented, "Minn’s competitive nature makes her a very good pro prospect. She is bright, intelligent and reads the game really well. Love her subtle touch and she always makes good decisions on the ball. Minn has a pro mentality and is tough as nails. We are extremely proud of her and her positional versatility will make her a valuable weapon for Washington."
She also played for Riley when she donned the red and navy blue of the Long Island Fury of the Women’s Premier Soccer League in 2007 and 2008 against opponents a decade older than her.
Before playing for the Fury, Domenica played for the LIJSL’s Bayport Soccer Club and then for the LIJSL’s Massapequa Crunch for one year.
She was a three-year All-State and two-year Newsday All-Long Island selection at Sayville High School in addition to being team captain for two years. She was also twice named the Suffolk County Small School Player of the Year.
Domenica’s varsity coaches at Sayville High School were Beth Bolger in the latter part of her junior year and Joe Nasta during her senior season. As a freshman, sophomore and at the start of her junior year, John Schroeder, who was also her first coach in ODP, coached the Golden Flashes until his sudden death in the middle of that season.
"It’s crazy to think that the last time I spoke to him, it was about which college I should go to and I was listening to his advice," she reminisced.
That advice led her to the University of Maryland. Her college life as a Terrapins defender was eventful as, after seeing action as a freshman and sophomore, she played nearly every minute of every game as a junior and senior, being named to the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference All-Tournament Team as Maryland made the final.
In a nice twist of fate, Domenica made her professional debut for Washington in their inaugural game against the Boston Breakers on April 14, which would have been Schroeder’s 70th birthday. The game resulted in a 1-1 tie.
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. Eastern New York exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. Eastern New York is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.