June 20, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State soccer head coach Heather Cairns announced Thursday several changes to her coaching staff. Molli Merrill has been promoted to assistant coach after being an undergraduate assistant coach last season. Alyssa Lowry will step down as assistant coach to take the first assistant position at Utah Valley.
USU will also add three-time Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Natalie Norris, as an undergraduate assistant coach.
"Molli has been working with us as an undergraduate assistant coach since January of 2012, and I am excited to promote her to our full-time assistant coach position. Obviously, Molli was a talented player leading USU to its first-ever NCAA tournament, but she also has exceptional leadership qualities, a high soccer IQ and has developed into a talented coach," USU head coach Heather Cairns said.
Merrill had a stellar career as an Aggie, including being named the MVP of the 2011 WAC Tournament, as USU won its first-ever WAC Tournament against Fresno State. She earned first-team all-WAC honors in 2011 after leading USU to a 5-1-1 conference record, ending league action with a 0.28 GAA. Merrill also earned WAC all-tournament honors in 2009. She also earned six WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors during her storied career.
"Natalie has another semester of studies to complete her USU degree, and she will be serving as our undergraduate assistant coach. Norris was an amazing player for us and she has been training with FC Kansas City of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), and I am excited for her to be able to share those experiences with our USU players," Cairns said.
A Sandy, Utah native, Norris had a highly decorated Utah State career. Norris was also named the WAC Tournament MVP after leading Utah State to its second-straight WAC tournament title in November. A three-time all-WAC first team selection, Norris was the mainstay of a Utah State defense that allowed 13 goals.
"I am very excited that Alyssa has been offered the opportunity to work for Brent Anderson at UVU. She has done an exceptional job at USU, and I am excited for her to have the opportunity to take on more responsibility as a first assistant. I cannot thank her enough for everything she has done for USU soccer first as a player and then as a coach,"Cairns added.
Lowry has been both an assistant coach and player at Utah State. She was on the coaching staff for one season and worked for the athletic department for two years as a marketing intern. Lowry was a standout on the field as a four-year letterwinner. The defender is tied for ninth in the USU records books with 66 matches started.
Fans can follow USU soccer at http://twitter.com/USUsoccer for WAC Tournament updates and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.
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