Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Thursday, March 1, 2012 11:25 a.m.

Women’s soccer team gains assistant coach

Marla Nelson

Marla Nelson. Photo courtesy of GW Athletics Communications.

Marla Nelson was named the assistant coach for the women’s soccer team yesterday, joining newly hired head coach Sarah Barnes.

Nelson will work with recruiting and day-to-day operations of the program, and focus on defense and goalkeeper training during the team’s training. She spent the past three seasons as the second assistant women’s soccer coach at Utah State, and was with the program for a 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament Championship, WAC Regular Season Championship and a NCAA Tournament appearance.

While under Nelson’s guidance, the startting Utah State goalkeeper ranked No. 11 nationally for goals against average and No. 21 in save percentage.

“Marla brings the experience of knowing how to build a conference champion and an NCAA tournament team, which will be invaluable to our program,” Barnes said. “She developed a lot of talented players over her years of coaching and we look forward to the impact she will make at GW.”

Nelson was a member of the Cal State Fullerton women’s soccer team, where she was the starting goalkeeper in 1997, 1999 and 2000, earning Big West Scholar-Athlete honors and Titan Scholar-Athlete honors for four straight years. She began assisting club teams in 2000, and worked as the assistant coach for Lone Peak High School, where they won four region championships and made three appearances in the state finals. Nelson has also worked with the Utah Soccer Alliance, Infinity Soccer Club and Utah’s Olympic Development Program.