March 3, 2010
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.- Marshall Women’s Soccer add eight players to its 2010 roster, as head coach Kevin Long brings in his second recruiting class with the Thundering Herd. MU bids farewell to seniors Molly Snead (Cincinnati, Ohio), Rebecca Voss (Raleigh, N.C.) and Liz Orton (Ft. Collins, Colo.) and welcomes newcomers; defender Abby Barber (Hurricane, W.Va.), defender Morgan Cain (Tarentum, Pa.), midfielder Elizabeth “Lizzy” Lemons (Louisville, Ky.), midfielder Casey Walsh (Chalfont, Pa.), forward Janine Valerio (Washington Township, N.J.), forward Bridie Hannon (Wakefield, England), goalkeeper Alexa Hughes (Everett, Washington), and goalkeeper Caroline Harwell (Mooresville, N.C.).
The incoming class will look to make immediate contributions to last year's 12-7 MU squad, that fell just one win shy of making its first-ever Conference USA tournament appearance. The group brings a lot of talent and is full of players eager to instantly make the program a success.
"It's exciting to see what our recent success has allowed us to do recruiting wise. We are talking to players that I think in the past weren't that interested in Marshall, for whatever reason we're getting some great feedback from some very talented players and this class is a sure sign of that," Long said. The classes in the future are also evident that the program is in the right direction. We're recruiting at a level where our wins and losses are helping us to attract some of the best players in the country."
West Virginia native, Abby Barber looks to join the Herd defense which tallied nine shutouts and allowed only 27 goals last season. Barber is a two-time All-MSAC and a two-time All-Kanawha Valley selection. She led the Hurricane High School defense to 16 shutouts during her senior season, where the team was AAA State Runner-Ups. In 2009 she was an AAA All-State first team selection, ESPN Rise All-American Honorable Mention and was named the Charleston Daily Mail Defender of the Year.
Barber has also enjoyed success, winning five consecutive West Virginia State Championships as a member of the West Virginia Soccer Club "Goal Girls."
"Abby is one of the more physical players that we are bringing in, she is tenacious, very hard physically and we expect her to be competing for time at outside back." Long said. "She's a fun kid to have, she's a local kid that brings a lot of Marshall history to the school, her mom and dad both were athletes for us. On our end it was really easy, she brings us great ball striking ability, she's again very physical and has pace and athleticism to burn."
Morgan Cain was a four-year starter at Highland High School in Tarentum, Pa. and a two-year captain. She was a three-time All-Section player and led her school in goals and assists in during two seasons. Cain was a three-year captain of her club team which won the Pennsylvania Premier Alliance League and was 2008 USCS Regional finalists, as well as semifinalists in 2009.
Cain was also a four-year member of the Pennsylvania ODP team which were Region I finalists in 2008. In 2009 she traveled to Sewickly, Pa. for the WPIAL All-Star game.
Marshall will look to replace the programs all-time leader in saves, shutout and goalkeeper minutes, Liz Orton, with the addition of two goalkeepers. "We're bringing in two keepers, we're very excited about our two goalkeepers. The first one is Alexa Hughes, she comes from the west coast, probably outside of our international players, the furthest recruit to come to the women's soccer team ever. Her club team was not only nationally ranked but went to the national semifinals, so she definitely understands the competitiveness that its takes to succeed at this level," Long commented.
Hughes helped her Archbishop Murphy High School team to a 22-0 record in her senior season, winning its second Washington State Championship. During her high school career she earned first team All-State, first team All-Area honors and was a two-time first team All-League candidate.
Hughes also found success as a member of the Washington Crossfire Premier, who are five-time Washington State Champions, two-time Region IV Champions, and one-time USL National Champions.
"She's a real athletic goalkeeper and has a commanding presence in the box and we expect her to compete immediately for a starting position," Long commented of Hughes.
"Now the fun part is that I get to say that about Harwell as well. We're bringing in a kid from North Carolina who verbally just runs the show. She is probably one of the more vocal keepers we have heard in our recruiting and she brings with her great athleticism, terrific training tendencies and is very difficult to get past on one-on-one and from a distance."
At the conclusion of her senior season, Harwell will be a four-year letter winner at Mooresville Senior High School. In her junior season she was named to the Northern Piedmont Conference All-Star Team, the All-Conference team and All-Region team. She was a three year member of the North Carolina ODP team and participated in the ODP Region III Championship in New Orleans in February of 2009. Harwell was an Orange Classic Champion, NC State Cup Finalist and a two-time United Cup Champion as a member of the CUFC 92' Green team. She has also participated in both the Premier League and the Region III League.
Janine Valerio will come in at the forward position hoping to continue to make Marshall an offensive threat. Valerio was a four-year starter and is now the school's career record holder with 53 goals at Washington Township High School. The team earned two Olympic Conference Championships and in 2008 reached the South Jersey High School finals. During her sophomore, junior and senior seasons she was named All-Olympic Conference, All-Gloucester County, All-South Jersey Area and All-Courier Post. She received All-State honors her senior year, was a 2010 Runner-Up Player of the Year Gloucester County Times and was named to the All-Philadelphia Inquirer team in 2009 and 2010.
Valerio participated in the South Jersey All-Star game and the All-State game, scoring the game-winning goal against the South team for a 1-0 victory. As a member of the TBAA Renegades, she earned state and regional championships, as well as being ranked as high as #2 in the country. She is currently a member of the CRUSA FC Bucks Fusion.
"All Janine did in her last six months of training was score goals like it was her job. It is very exciting to have another offensive minded, attacking player that is a proven goal scorer. We look forward to her being able to step in immediately to challenge and add to a formidable offensive team. We think she is a player that has endless potential," Long described Valerio.
Bridie Hannon comes to MU from Wakefield, England and makes the sixth member of the roster from outside the United States. Hannon was a member of the Doncaster Bells 2003-08. The Bells were League winners in the 2003-04 season and the 2004-05 season. Hannon also participated with the Sheffield Wednesday Ladies in 2008-09 and the Wakefield FC in 2009-10.
Last but not least the Thundering Herd will add two midfielders to the squad, Elizabeth "Lizzy" Lemons and Casey Walsh. Lemons is a two-year captain and a four-year varsity player at Eastern High School. She is a three-time All-District and a two-time All-Region selection. Lemons is a three-year member of the ODP Kentucky State team and recorded four Kentucky State Cup Championships with her club team. She also participated in the Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club for eight years.
Walsh played for Central Bucks High School South. She is a six-year member of the Pennsylvania ODP State team, a three-year member of the Region I pool and went to Portugal to play this past March with the Regional team. She has been involved with the FC Bucks Fusion, FC Delco Sting, the Vincent United and Region I.
"Casey Walsh and Lizzy Lemons are two distinctly different players. Both very good on the ball and certainly technical under pressure. Casey loves to attack, we like to call her a one-on-one artist. She loves to take players on and dribble at defenders. We look forward to her coming out of the midfield into the attack. I'm lucky enough to know Casey for a while and I know that she's going to bring a lot to the field, both as a player and as a person."
“They definitely bring some off-the-field personality that will add to the team chemistry and be fun to have around. Their play speaks for itself and I look forward to having them all in the fall.”
Long describes Lemons as a ”physical player, she constantly fights very hard for the ball on the defensive end. She’s a competitor. On her club team we have seen her single handedly defend some of the key players of opponents rosters and shoulder the bulk of defending in the center of the field in addition to starting play in transition.”