Coach Calabrese Introduces Incoming Women’s Soccer Class of 2026
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh head women’s soccer coach Lauren Calabrese introduced the Mountain Hawks’ incoming class of 2026 on Monday, which features a diverse group of student-athletes from across the country. The class was originally announced on social media over the course of the last several months.
“We are thrilled to welcome eight student-athletes to our incoming class of 2026,” said Calabrese. “Collectively, the incoming class represent six different states and reflect a compelling dedication to competitive achievement and academic excellence.”
Emma Burke • M • Medford, Mass. • St. Paul’s School • Seacoast United
Burke played six years of varsity soccer, most recently at St. Paul’s School. She was named a Lakes Region All-Star in 2020 and 2021, and garnered 2021 Boston Globe All-Prep Scholastic recognition. She was also a recipient of the all-around St. Paul’s School Soccer Award. A varsity captain as an upperclassman, Burke was a Max Preps Selected Player in 2019 and 2020. She was also 2018 MVP at Medford High School, and played club soccer with Seacoast United. A multi-sport athlete, Burke served as varsity captain as a junior and senior in basketball. She graduated with distinctions in Languages, Fine Arts and Humanities and received the Rectors Award at graduation.
Why Lehigh? “I chose Lehigh because of the welcoming environment of the coaching staff, players and student body. With the perfect balance of academics and athletics, I am beyond excited to continue to pursue my passions in both regards. I’m extremely grateful and eager to be pushed out of my comfort zone alongside supportive teammates and coaches. I especially look forward to learning from all the amazing athletes in the program.”
Coach Calabrese on Burke: “Emma’s vision and composure on the ball will evidently cohere with our team’s possess-to-press philosophy. More specifically, Emma’s distribution and ability to creatively problem solve space in the final third will produce quality goal-scoring opportunities.”
Paige Christakos • D • Scottsdale, Ariz. • Chaparral High School • Phoenix Rising ECNL
Out of Scottsdale, Arizona, Christakos was named 6A Region Defender of the Year in 2021-22. Team captain and the team’s Most Valuable Player, she was also named Scottsdale Charros Female Athlete of the Year and earned a spot on the All-City of Scottsdale team. She helped Chaparral to the 2019 varsity state championship, then were runners-up in 2020. Also in 2020, she was first team Defender of the Year for 6A and Co-MVP at Chaparral High School. In the classroom, the honors student posted a 4.875 grade point average, and was a member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. A member of the 2021-22 All-Academic team, she was an AZ Academic All-Star of the Week on numerous occasions and was named Sports 360 first team All-Academic. Christakos was a founding member of the Phoenix Rising No Place for Hate initiative, and a National Charity League member since 2015.
Why Lehigh? “I chose Lehigh because it checked off all of my boxes athletically, academically and socially. I was born in Maryland and I am really excited to be heading back East for college. I feel like Lehigh is going to be the perfect place for me to grow on and off the field. I am really excited to spend the next four years competing in the Patriot League representing Lehigh.”
Coach Calabrese on Christakos: “Paige’s athleticism, ball-striking ability and strength in tackles are skill sets that will add to the competitive profile of our back line. In addition, Paige displays a willingness to get forward into the attack and has the ability to score goals, which make her a dynamic and threatening opponent.”
Emily Holzer • F/M • Closter, N.J. • Northern Valley Regional High School • World Class ECNL
Ranked No. 11 in the New Jersey Class of 2022 by Top Drawer Soccer, Holzer was a four-year varsity starter at Northern Valley Demarest High School. She finished her high school career with 61 goals and 29 assists. During those four years, she led the team to its first-ever appearance in a sectional final, along with two semifinal appearances in the Bergen County Tournament. Holzer was a two-time finalist for North Jersey Player of the Year. She was named to NJ.com first-team All-State Group 2 in 2019. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, she was selected first team All-Bergen County. Holzer was also named a “Top 20 North Region Player,” as selected by the New Jersey Girls Coaches Association. Winner of the NVD Scholar-Athlete Award, Holzer was Student Council President and a member of the National Honor Society. A multi-sport athlete, she also competed in varsity track and field. In addition, she was awarded the prestigious Mickey Corcoran Scholarship for high moral character and being extremely coachable. Holzer was Girl Scout Gold Award eligible as well.
Why Lehigh? “I chose Lehigh because of the combination of the exceptional soccer program and stellar academics. The moment I stepped on campus, I knew this was where I wanted to spend the next four years.”
Coach Calabrese on Holzer: “A hard-working and versatile player, Emily will add depth up top and in our midfield. Emily’s technical aptitude paired with her movement off the ball will complement our style of play in the midfield and the final third.”
Sophia Lis • F • Princeton, N.J. • Princeton High School • PDA Blue ECNL
Lis played varsity soccer all four years at Princeton High School, serving as captain as a junior and senior. As a senior, her team won the Group 3 Sectional Championship and was NJSIAA Group 3 State Finalists for the first time in school history. Also during her senior year, Lis was selected to the United Soccer Coaches Fall Girls High School All-East Regional team for the second time (2020 and 2021). In 2020 and 2021, she was also chosen by NJGSCA as top 20 in the state and top 20 in the NJ Central Region. Lis was named first team NJ.com All-State, first team Group 3 and CVC Player of the Year. The Times of Trenton Girls Soccer Player of the Year and Trentonian CVC Player of the Year, Lis also garnered Area Player of the Year recognition (second team in 2020) and first team All-CVC (first team in 2020 and 2021). Lis was Colonial Valley Conference Girls Soccer Coaches Player of the Year, Forward of the Year and first team All-CVC (2020 and 2021). An All-America Game nominee, she was also selected to Mercer 33 and the ODP Region 1 Team. Lis finished her senior season with 38 goals and 21 assists, which was the second-highest single-season goal total in CVC history, and ended her career with 64 goals and 34 assists, despite sitting out her sophomore season. At graduation, Lis was the recipient of the Alison Gwen Fraker Award for outstanding leadership qualities in the community of the school and on the athletic field. In 2020, Lis was the NJ.com CVC Comeback Player of the Year after returning from an ACL injury that prevented her from playing in the 2019 season. In 2018, she also received All State Recognition. Lis’ club team PDA U18/19 Blue were ECNL Northeast Atlantic conference champions in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons, and in 2018, were Champions League National Finalists. In the classroom, Lis posted a GPA approaching 4.0 with an unweighted GPA approaching 4.5. In addition, she was a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) honoree for the National Association of Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Why Lehigh? “I chose Lehigh because of its great combination of academics and athletics. My goal was to play soccer in a competitive environment surrounded by a great group of girls and after visiting the campus, I knew that I would have that experience at Lehigh. I am beyond excited to grow both as a player and a student at Lehigh for the next four years.”
Coach Calabrese on Lis: “Sophia’s history as a prolific goal scorer makes her an exciting addition to our front line. Her ability to strike a ball from distance and finish in the box are dangerous attacking qualities. It will be fun to see how Sophia will get on with our other attacking personalities.”
Maggie Ousouljoglou • GK • Bridgewater, N.J. • Bridgewater-Raritan High School • PDA Blue ECNL
Ousouljoglou was a four-year varsity starting goalkeeper and three-year captain at Bridgewater-Raritan. Named her high school team’s MVP in 2021, she was also named to the New Jersey All-State team, Courier News All-Area team and named to the High School All-American Watch List. Ousouljoglou was a four-time All-Skyland Conference team member and three-time NJ Girls Soccer Coaches Association All-State honoree. She helped Bridgewater-Raritan to three Somerset County Championships (in 2018, 2019 and 2021), a 2018 Skyland Conference Championship and 2018 New Jersey Group 4 State Sectional Title. Ousouljoglou was a 2019 North Jersey Group 4 Sectional Finalist and 2020 United Soccer Coaches All-East Region team honoree. Ousouljoglou played club soccer with Players Development Academy (PDA) Blue. She helped her club to ECNL Conference Championships from 2019 through 2022. Ousouljoglou was an ECNL Champions League Nationals semifinalist in 2021 and U.S. Development Academy Conference Champion in 2018. She also competed in the U.S. Soccer National Training Center/U.S. Soccer Northeast Combine from 2014 through 2018, and took part in the ECNL College Selection Program (CSP) in June of 2019. Ousouljoglou was a U.S. Futsal Northeast Regional Champion in U16G in February of 2019, and National Champion in U17G in July of 2019. Along with soccer, Ousouljoglou was a three-year varsity basketball player.
Why Lehigh? “When I toured campus and talked with the players and coaches, I knew Lehigh was the place I wanted to continue my academic and athletic career. The campus and surrounding area were what I was looking for in a college campus atmosphere. I am excited to get on campus and get started.”
Coach Calabrese on Ousouljoglou: “Maggie exhibits a commanding presence in the box and demonstrates organizational leadership necessary to direct the back line. More specifically, Maggie’s shot-stopping ability and aptitude for navigating crosses in traffic will allow her to adapt quickly to the demands of a college environment.
Dakota Russell • M • Gainesville, Va. • Patriot High School • BRYC ECNL
Russell was a two-time captain at Patriot High School and the team’s leading scorer as a sophomore and junior. The leading scorer in the Cedar Run District as a junior, she scored 15 goals in 10 regular-season games. Russell was twice named first team All-District, helping Patriot to a regional championship in each of her final two years and state finals as a junior. She played club soccer with BRYC ECNL, serving as a team captain as a sophomore, junior and senior. Russell was BRYC ECNL’s leading scorer twice as well. Strong in the classroom, she ranked third in her class of 750 individuals, earning top 10 distinction. She was the Principal’s Student of the Year as a senior, while also garnering AP Scholars Academic Distinction. Active off the field and outside of the classroom, Russell served as Vice President of the Science National Honor Society and Science Olympiad. She was also ECO Club President.
Why Lehigh? “After attending an ID Clinic where I had the chance to meet the coaches and be on campus, I knew that Lehigh was the place for me. The rigor of the academics, the beauty of the buildings, and the welcoming feeling I received from the players all supported my decision.”
Coach Calabrese on Russell: “Dakota’s technical ability coupled with her speed offer a compelling skill set that makes her well-suited to play on either flank. Similarly, Dakota’s work rate, approach to training and competitive habits will greatly contribute to the culture of our program.”
Abby-Lee Sanogo • D • Plano, Texas • Plano West Senior High School • FC Dallas
Sanogo was a standout at Plano West High School in Texas. She also played club soccer with FC Dallas, which was a finalist in the 2021 Dallas Cup Women International Championship. The club was ranked No. 2 nationally as part of ECNL-TX. Sanogo was also a member of Solar ’04 DA Girls Soccer from 2016-20, finalist at the 2017 Surf-Cup Tournament and was ranked second nationally in 2019-20. She was a finalist at the 2018 Dallas Women International Cup Championship. Outside of athletics, Sanogo was a member of the National Honor Society, treasurer of HOSA and member of the International Club. Active in her community, Sanogo garnered the President National Volunteer Award (hosting exchange students), was a Good Samaritan of Garland Volunteer and was part of the Youth Founder and Leadership Council for HUG 360 Foundation.
Why Lehigh? “I chose to further my education at Lehigh University for many reasons. One being I was recruited to play soccer which led to my first interest in Lehigh University. After learning about the phenomenal soccer program, I was pleased to know that the school is not only prestigious, but also has the types of standards and competition that I’ve been used to my entire life. I believe by going to Lehigh University, it puts me in a place where I’m surrounded by people that have the same drive and passion as I. I also feel that Lehigh will help me grow as a person and a soccer player equally.”
Coach Calabrese on Sanogo: “As a player who has competed at a high level, Abby brings a wealth of experience that will greatly contribute to our back line. Abby’s 1v1 defending, passing range, and command in the air will make her a formidable opponent in our league.”
Camille Smith • F • Mohegan Lake, N.Y. • The Masters School • New York Soccer Club GA
Smith comes to Lehigh from The Masters School where she was Girls Athlete of the Year on multiple occasions, including most recently in 2022. A two-time captain, Smith was the team’s leading scorer in 2019 (scoring 22 goals) and 2021 (scoring 10 goals). Girls Soccer MVP in 2019, Smith played in NYSAIS All-Star Games in 2019. She was also a captain of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams, setting school records in the 100M, 200M, 2X400 and high jump. Most recently, Smith was MVP in indoor track and field in 2022, and captured records in the indoor 300M (44.31), outdoor 100M (12.77) and outdoor 200M (26.97). She came in second place in the FAA Championships in the 100 meter dash. Smith was also a multi-year starter at Rippowam Cisqua School. While there, she was MVP for soccer, basketball and track, and won the Harry Barber Sport Prize (Female Athlete of the Year). She competed in club soccer with New York Soccer Club GA and previously with New York Xtreme FC as the team’s leading scorer from 2018-20. Off the field at The Masters School, Smith served as ONYX Secretary, Diversity Ambassador, Peer Leader and much more.
Why Lehigh? “I knew coming to Lehigh, I would be pushed academically and athletically. After all my encounters with people on campus, Lehigh felt like the place where I could explore new opportunities and grow as a person with coaches who want me to succeed.”
Coach Calabrese on Smith: “A fierce competitor, Camille’s physical presence, persistence, and nose for goal will enhance the depth and profile of our attacking contingent. Camille’s pace and ability to run in behind defenders will open up space for our midfield and cause defenders problems.”
|Name||Pos.||Hometown/High School||Club Team|
|Emma Burke||M||Medford, Mass./St. Paul’s School||Seacoast United|
|Paige Christakos||D||Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral High School||Phoenix Rising|
|Emily Holzer||F/M||Closter, N.J./Northern Valley Regional High School||World Class ECNL|
|Sophia Lis||F||Princeton, N.J./Princeton High School||PDA Blue ECNL|
|Maggie Ousouljoglou||GK||Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan High School||PDA Blue ECNL|
|Dakota Russell||M||Gainesville, Va./Patriot High School||BRYC ECNL|
|Abby-Lee Sanogo||D||Plano, Texas/Plano West Senior High School||FC Dallas|
|Camille Smith||F||Mohegan Lake, N.Y./The Masters School||New York Soccer Club GA|