PDA midfielder headed to Syracuse

RELATED LINKS: ESPNHS Recruiting Central | Class of 2013 Division I Commitments

Jenny Olensky, a Class of 2013 midfielder and defender from Shore Hills, N.J., has verbally committed to Syracuse, her family has confirmed to ESPNHS.

Olensky has been a member of the PDA Charge since its inception, currently playing in her ninth season. She plays for PDA U18, twice a finalist in the ECNL National Championship and recent US Youth Soccer Region I champion.

In high school play at Millburn (Millburn, N.J.), Olensky is a three-time NJSCA All-State recipient. During her freshman season in 2009, she was named Essex County Freshman of the Year, and during her sophomore campaign in 2010, she helped lead the Millers to their first ever NJSIAA Group 3 State Championship.

Olensky becomes the second confirmed commit to Syracuse for the Class of 2013, joining forward Emma Firenze.

Other Schools Considered: Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Boston University, Lehigh

Why Syracuse?: "After visiting some quality universities with excellent women's soccer programs, I felt Syracuse was the perfect fit for me. Syracuse has an intimate feel, even though it is considered a larger university. When I walked around the campus I felt the overpowering orange pride. Orange school spirit is tied to everything and the alumni really carry on the passion for the school. I'm very interested in broadcast media and Syracuse's SI Newhouse School of Communications is world renowned.

"Along with having outstanding academics and awesome school spirit it was very important to me after all my years at PDA to play collegiate soccer at the highest level possible. I was extremely excited when I heard Syracuse would soon be moving to the ACC. I feel the ACC is the premier women's soccer conference in America and I was up for the challenge.

"After visiting Syracuse last spring, I first met head coach Phil Wheddon during an Elite Prospect camp. I was instantly impressed with his coaching style, tactics and the way he treated his players. After last Septembers overnight visit, I knew I wanted to go to Syracuse. I spent a lot of time with the members of the team. All the players were so nice and made me feel as if I was already wearing Orange! Watching a practice session and a few games that weekend, I felt every player worked hard and for each other. Coach Wheddon pushed each player to be the best they could be and that was important to me. Never take a play off is my motto."

What surprised you the most about the recruiting process?: "I was very fortunate to have played up all these years. By being the youngest player on the Charge the recruiting process was a bit accelerated for me. All of my friends and teammates gave me a lot of advice and prepared for what was to come. However, that being said, I was really most surprised how early the process actually starts. I was getting prospect camp e-mails and letters as early as my freshman year after national showcase events. It seems kind of early, however it seems to be more the standard now."

What advice would you give to younger players?: "I tell my younger sister Jamie, a member of U11 NJ State Cup Champions, the most important thing is to enjoy the game. Don't put pressure on yourself to perform or be perfect. Just try to get a little better everyday and always work as hard as you can because you never know who is watching!"