Women’s soccer finalizes 2018 signing class

After adding another name to the roster this past week, the Marshall women’s soccer roster is complete for the 2018 season, bringing in both local and international talent to the program.

The signing class includes midfielder Laura Farrelly (New South Wales, Australia), goalkeeper Lindsay Langley (Springfield, Oregon), midfielder/forward Emery Biggs (Clayton, North Carolina) and midfielder/defender Tesia Schray (Huntington, West Virginia). Farrelly signed as an early enrollee and joined the team for the spring. Langley, Biggs and Schray will be immediately eligible in the fall semester.

Head coach Kevin Long said he’s hoping for a more competitive atmosphere generated by the returning members of the Herd, but the new recruiting class changes the game.

“By the time they get here, we hope our current roster can be more competitive both in training and in games,” Long said. “We know they are going to bring something to the table that we don’t naturally have. We have to develop a competitive nature that has been lost over the past couple of years. We are eager to see these young players bring it naturally from their club environment and hit the ground running with the competitive nature.”

The team has played three of its seven scheduled spring matches so far and will play its final home match April 18. It’s a period where Long said he’ll learn more about his squad on the field.

“I think we have a good balance of competition,” Long said. “We play some teams where I think everyone can have a little bit of success in some of the games we play, and then we finish our spring season against a nationally-ranked Virginia Tech team and test ourselves against higher competition.”

Injuries and inconsistency crippled the Herd this past fall season as it finished with an overall record 5-11-1 (3-6-1 C-USA). Marshall won just one match in regulation and finished the season with three consecutive losses and failed to qualify for the Conference USA Tournament for the second consecutive season after reaching the final in 2015. Long said the depleted roster has made its spring season just a bit more challenging.

Marshall had 10 injured players by the end of the fall season, including season-ending injuries midway through the 2017 campaign to midfielder Jayne Lawman and forward Kylie Slusser. Multiple other Herd players only played limited minutes in 2017 due to injuries as well.

“This spring is different than others beacsue we have a lot of players who aren’t playing right now, who we are going to rely on next year,” Long said. “While we are developing and seeing what we will look like in 11-on-11, we are sure hoping that come August next year, we have some different faces that we can use.”

Luke Creasy can be contacted at [email protected]