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Thundering Herd Women's Soccer Inks Six for 2006

Feb. 7, 2006

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall Women's soccer head coach Chris Kane announces the signing of six student-athletes for the class of 2006. Joining the Thundering Herd next fall will be Sue Ahrens, Rachel Huff, Liz Orton, Molly Snead, Eileen Venechanos, and Meghan Wetzel.

"Overall, I am very excited about the potential of this class. These young ladies are very talented athletically and academically. But even more important, they are great people who all come from wonderful families. The staff and the team did a fantastic job at identifying these individuals who will not only add to the personality of the program but who can also help us get over some of the hurdles we faced this year and take the program where it deserves to be. I am confident that we have addressed our needs with this class, especially in the areas of goalkeeping and in the attack."

Ahrens, an incoming junior from Waterford, Pa, joins Marshall from the University of Southern Alabama where she played as a forward and defender for two seasons. As a freshman at USA Ahrens scored two goals and five assists as a forward and helped lead USA to the Sun Belt Conference Finals as the starting right back. The three sport star from Fort LeBoeuf high school will continue her studies in Adult Fitness.

"Sue is an unexpected but welcomed addition to the program. Her experience in playing up top and in the back will provide much needed depth in both positions. Also, coming from a program that has won the last two years Sue understands the mentality we are striving to create here at Marshall."

Huff is a three year varsity letter winner from Northern York HS in Dillsburg, Pa. She was the starting goalkeeper for Northern York and was named to the all-conference team twice. On the club level Huff plays for Super Nova where she helped take them to the 2005 Orange Classic Finals. Academically, Huff is a Yeager Scholars Candidate, senior class vice-president, Key Club president and a member of the National Honor Society. Huff has also lettered in both swimming and tennis for Northern York.

"Rachel is a very smart goalkeeper with excellent footwork. Her work ethic and leadership ability on and off the field will be immeasurable for the program. She should contend for playing time immediately."

Orton is a four year varsity starting goalkeeper from nationally ranked Fort Collins HS in Fort Collins, Co. In both 2004 and 2005 Orton was named all-state and all-conference along with being named the 2005 Rocky Mountain News All-Colorado team. Orton is also the starting goalkeeper for the Colorado 88 ODP team since 2003. During her time on the Colorado 88 Orton has helped lead the team to the regional semi-finals in 2004 and finals in 2005. She plays club soccer for the Ft. Collins Arsenal Gold. Off the pitch, Orton has lettered in basketball for two years and is student body president.

"Liz will compete for the starting job right away. Her presence between the pipes and her experience in Region IV will give us what we were missing at the goalkeeping position last fall."

Snead, a forward and midfielder, joins the Herd from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she attended Anderson HS. During her senior season she scored 15 goals, had seven assists, named the team MVP and was named to the all-city team. Snead was named to the all-conference academic list four times and all-conference first team three times. The Ohio Elite Soccer Academy, Snead's club team, placed second at the Holland Cup in Amsterdam in 2003 and second in the Orange Classic in 2004. Snead helped the Ohio Elite Soccer Academy reach the Ohio South USYSA semi-finals in 2004, as well as becoming a US Soccer Club national qualifier in 2004.

"Molly is gifted left-sided player that can fill numerous roles for us on the pitch. Her experience up and down the left flank along with her speed and tactical abilities will be a welcomed addition to the squad."

Venechanos is a four year varsity letter winner at The Pratt School in Charlestown, R.I., where she played forward. Venechanos was three time first team all-division selection. Venechanos holds the school scoring record which she broke in only two years. In 2005 Venechanos led the Pratt School to its first Rhode Island high school championship. On the club level, Venechanos has started for the Rhode Island Rays since 2000 and has helped win five consecutive state championships while playing in the midfield and as a defender. Besides playing high school and club ball, Venechanos has been a member of the Rhode Island Olympic Development Program since 2001.

"Eileen's versatility will give her an opportunity to compete for playing time all over the field. Her mental strength and athleticism will bode well for us in Conference USA."

Meghan Wetzel from Aiken, S.C. played three years varsity soccer at Aiken HS and two years on South Carolina's ODP team at the midfield and forward positions. In 2004 Wetzel helped to lead the U-18 Charleston Fusion Premier team to a second place finish in the state cup. The following year Wetzel won the State Championship with the U-18 Carolina Elite Soccer Academy premier team where she will travel to the Region III Finals in Little Rock, Ark. in June. Wetzel comes to the Herd from the same club as current Women's Soccer player Ali Lizotte.

"Meghan is a solid addition to the team who we feel can make an immediate impact next fall. Her speed, athleticism and physical approach to the game will be a major asset on the field."