Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall women’s soccer coach Kevin Long announced the addition of 12 players to the Herd roster for 2016 on Wednesday.

“It is an exciting and big class,” Long said. “With big shoes to fill from this past year, we will be looking for immediate impact from our returners and incoming class. We brought in players with speed, assertiveness with and without the ball, and a fierce competitiveness. We covered all areas of the field and each player brings something different to our program. Building off the great year we just had (15-4-3 record), we look to this class to help us push even farther on our climb to post-season play.”

To help fill the void left by graduating senior goalkeeper Lizzie Kish (Boyertown, Pa.), fellow Pennsylvanian Megan Bonelli (Apollo, Pa.) signed with the Herd. At Apollo-Ridge High School, Bonelli was named the 2016 Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame Outstanding Senior Female Athlete. She was team captain and earned all-section and All-WPIAL first team honors. In addition to posting five shutouts, she scored four goals, including a game-winner in overtime. She also played basketball, competed in track and field and was the place-kicker for the Apollo-Ridge football team. She became the first female in history named to the Allegheny Conference football first team. Bonelli made 26-of-27 PAT attempts and was the No. 2 scorer on the team with 32 points.

Marshall lost All-Conference USA first team defender Jenna Dubs (Green Lane, Pa.) along with starters Taylor Fleming (Southbury, Conn.) and Lia Foster (Keswick, Ontario) to graduation, but added three on the back line.

Farah Abu-Tayeh (Williamsville, Ill.) holds the Williamsville High School record for most assists. She led her team to two regional championships and was named the team’s best offensive player and prime-time performer. She was an all-sectional selection and joins the Herd alongside her twin sister, Marah, a midfielder (see below).

Metz Gonzalez (Fontana, Calif.) traveled the farthest to join the Herd. The defender was named to the all-league second team and earned the Coach’s Award at Etiwanda High School. Her team won the Oak Hill Tournament title during her career. Gonzalez also had the opportunity to play at the U17 Mexican National Team Camp. Her grandfather, Jose Gonzalez, played soccer for Club Deportivo Atlas, and her great uncle, Arnoldo “El Nono” Gonzalez played for Club Deportivo Chivas.

Ally Kimbler (London, Ohio) was team captain and most valuable player for two seasons at London High School. She is a two-time member of the all-region second team and all-league first team. She tallied 42 goals and 25 assists in a three-year career. Kimbler founded and organized the Kick For a Cure fundraiser game at her high school, raising more than $2,000 for breast cancer research for two consecutive years.

With the graduation of Kelly Culicerto (Charlotte, N.C.), Brittany Entz (Glen Allen, Va.) and Erin Simmons (Gahanna, Ohio), Long beefed up the Herd’s midfield with five signees.

Marah Abu-Tayeh (Williamsville, Ill.) is one of the top five goal scorers in program history at Williamsville High School, earning all-sectional and honorable mention honors during her career. She was named the team’s best offensive player as a junior in 2014 and earned the title of prime-time performer for her region. Abu-Tayeh joins the Herd alongside her twin sister, Farah, a defender.

Ashley Dobbins (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) was a four-year letter winner at Archbishop Hoban High School, and acted as team captain during her junior and senior seasons. AHHS won the state championship during her senior year (2015), was the state runner-up her junior year (2014) and won district championships in each of her four years (2012-15). She earned 2015 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America and all-region honors, and is a two-time member of the All-Ohio first team.

Gabby Powers (Knoxville, Tenn.) enrolled at Marshall in January and will compete in the Herd’s spring season. As a senior, she had 12 goals and four assists as Hardin Valley Academy won District 4-AAA and Region 2-AAA championships on its way to the Class AAA state quarterfinals before losing to Clarksville, 1-0. She is a three-time first team All-KIL (Knoxville), all-district, all-region and All-State selection. PrepXtra, the Knoxville News Sentinel’s high school sports outlet, named her Midfielder of the Year twice. She led Hardin Valley to two district and regional championships while recording 61 goals and 29 assists during her high school career.

Karen Rogge (Naples, Fla.) began playing varsity soccer in seventh grade at Community School of Naples, ending her career as a six-year starter and letter winner in soccer. She was the team captain for her senior season, and was selected to the 2016 Senior All-Star Team with Community playing a spring season. Her team won the school’s first district championship in 2012, and went on to record three more from 2013-15. A three-time all-district selection, Rogge recorded more than 100 goals and 69 assists for her career.

Chloe Smith (West Chester, Pa.) was team captain for her senior season (2015) and was a four-year varsity letter winner at Unionville High School. She was the runner-up MVP in the American Division during her senior season and led the team in scoring, including four game-winners and one equalizer. She finished her high school career with 15 goals and 10 assists.

To complete the class, Long signed three forwards, including a West Virginia native.

Rebekah Cook (Beckley, W.Va.) was named the 2015 West Virginia Sports Writers Association (WVSWA) Player of the Year, as well as the Woodrow Wilson High School Girl Athlete of the Year. She acted as the captain of the WVSWA Class AAA All-State first team, and was a two-time all-state and all-conference selection. She was the team’s leading scorer for four years with 95 goals and 51 assists, starting all 82 games of her career.

Jordan Sackaris (Smithtown, N.Y.) was a four-year letter winner at Smithtown High School East, and was her team’s leading scorer for her senior season in 2015. She was the school’s booster MVP for girls’ soccer. Sackaris was a 2015 all-county selection and a 2013 all-league selection.

Alyssa Totzke (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was a two-time offensive MVP at Liberty High School and was an All-Colorado Springs Metro league 5A honorable mention, helping her team reach the state playoffs in 2015 and the state quarterfinals in 2014. She was selected to participate in the 2015 Colorado Springs 5A All-Star Game.

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