Aug. 19, 2004
WASHINGTON - American University head women's soccer coach Michael Brady has announced that he has signed three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The Class of 2007 includes Kristie Fontana (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East), Christina Gonzalez (Valley Stream, N.Y./Valley Stream Central) and Jenna Abbondi (Landenberg, Pa./Avon Grove). Fontana plays both defender and midfield, and was all-league as a junior and all-conference as a senior. She captained Half Hallow her senior year, and won the Scholar-Athlete award. Fontana was also a standout for HBC Fury, a club team, that she helped to the E.N.Y.Y.S.A. state championship three times (1999-2002). HBC won Region I championships in both 2001 and 2002 and they were E.N.Y.Y.S.A. Premier League champs as well. She also participated in the Olympic Development Program from 2000-02. "We are really excited to have Kristie join us next year," said head coach Michael Brady. "She comes from a very good club team, who has played against the toughest competition in the country. She will bring experience and knowledge of competing against tough opponents to the table." Gonzalez is an extremely versatile athlete, who played every position except goalie as a high school athlete. She was all-conference as a sophomore, all-class as a junior and all-county as a senior. While soccer was her first love, Gonzalez was also a four-time All-County track athlete. Gonzalez played club soccer for the East Meadow Dream Team. East Meadow made it to the state finals and played in all of the major tournaments in the country. They were ranked as high as 22nd in the nation, and second in the region. She was also a four-year participant in the Olympic Development Program. "Since I have been here, Christina is probably the most versatile player this program has signed," said Brady. "She is very aggressive, tough and strong, while also being very composed on the ball anywhere on the field. We are really excited to know that she will do a great job for us anywhere we put her on the field." Abbondi was a First-Team All-League player all four years in high school. She captained the team as a senior, scored 77 goals in her career, and holds the record for most goals in a game with seven. She was the Senior Athlete of the Year for 2002-2003, and led Southern Chester County to the League Championship as a sophomore. Abbondi also played for FC Delco, a club team, that won the Pennsylvania championship from 1998-2000. FC Delco played in all of the major tournaments nationally. She was also a member of the Delaware ODP program in 1997, 1998 & 2002.She was also a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania ODP squad from 1999-2001. "Jenna will be our first true outside midfielder. She has great pace, played at a high level, and is both very aggressive and strong," said Brady. "We are really excited to use her in the outside midfield position, to get us forward more, and give us more of an offensive presence." The 2002 season was the best in the history of American University Women's Soccer. They won the Patriot League title, advanced to the NCAAs for the first time, had three players selected to the 2002 Patriot League Women's Soccer All-League Team and 14 named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll. American University, which fields a 19-sport NCAA Division I athletics program featuring 10 women's sports and nine for men, is in its second year of membership in the Patriot League. Since joining the Patriot League, the University has captured league championships in men's cross country, women's cross country, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis and women's volleyball, and regular-season titles in men's basketball and women's lacrosse. Chartered by an Act of Congress in 1893, American University features students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 160 nations worldwide.