Marla Nelson Named GW Women's Soccer Assistant Coach

Marla Nelson has been named assistant coach of the George Washington women's soccer team.

Feb. 29, 2012

WASHINGTON Marla Nelson has been named assistant coach of the George Washington women’s soccer team, first-year head coach Sarah Barnes announced today. She will primarily be responsible for recruiting and day-to-day operations, and will also be involved in all facets of team training, specifically with the defense and goalkeepers.

“Marla brings the experience of knowing how to build a conference champion and NCAA tournament team, which will be invaluable to our program,” Coach 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. Marla understands what it takes to develop a strong team culture and we are excited to have her on board.”

"To represent the name of this country's first president in the heart of the nation's capital is a great honor, and I thank Coach Barnes and the athletics administration for the opportunity to be a part of the GW women's soccer staff,” Coach Nelson said. “The reputation of academic excellence that this university holds, and the new strategic plan to give the GW athletic programs the resources to reach that same reputation, equals the opportunity to take the women's soccer program to new heights. It is an exciting time to be a part of GW athletics and I am looking forward to working with Coach Barnes and the members of the women's soccer team to continue to move the program forward."

Coach Nelson joins the Colonials’ staff after spending the past three seasons as the second assistant women’s soccer coach at Utah State, where she guided her team to a 2011 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament Championship, WAC Regular Season Championship and a NCAA Tournament appearance. Under Coach Nelson's watch this fall, the starting Utah State goalkeeper ranked No. 11 nationally for goals against average and No. 21 in save percentage, in addition to being named First Team All-WAC and WAC tournament MVP. The Utah State team as a whole earned a national ranking of 15th in goals against average.



The Cal State Fullerton grad has been coaching since 2000, when she started assisting club teams and coaching goalkeepers in Southern California. Upon moving to Utah, she was the assistant coach for Lone Peak High School's girl’s soccer team where she helped head coach Mike Lahargoue and the Lady Knights to four region championships and three appearances in the state finals. She coached for Utah Soccer Alliance in Salt Lake City from 2008-09, worked with Infinity Soccer Club in Logan in 2010 and has been a member of Utah's Olympic Development Program staff since 2008 as a goalkeeper coach and assistant coach.

Coach Nelson also spent time on the pitch as a player, as she was a member of the Cal State Fullerton women’s soccer team. As a Titan, she was the starting goalkeeper in 1997, 1999 and 2000, and a team captain during her senior season. She earned Big West Scholar-Athlete honors and received the Titan Scholar-Athlete award for four straight years. She also played for the Utah State Select soccer team in 2004 in a regional tournament in Southern California.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 2001 and completed her master’s of education degree at Utah State in 2011. She also holds NSCAA Advanced National and NSCAA Goalkeeper Level II Diplomas.

More Headlines