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Marshall And Wenino Join NWSL

Discussion in 'University of Colorado News and Olympic Sports' started by cmgoods, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. cmgoods

    cmgoods Olympic Sports Mod Club Member

    Oct 15, 2011
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    Marshall and Wenino were teammates from 2006-08.

    Photo Courtesy: CUBuffs.com
    Marshall And Wenino Join NWSL

    Release: 02/08/2013 Courtesy: Marlee Horn, Graduate Assistant SID

    BOULDER - Former University of Colorado soccer standouts Nikki Marshall and Michelle Wenino have joined the National Women's Soccer League.

    Portland Thorns FC picked up Marshall, 24, as a free agent. Wenino, 25, returns to the Chicago Red Stars as a third round selection in Thursday's supplemental draft. Both players will serve as defenders. The former Buffaloes join another Colorado star, Amy Barczuk (Western New York Flash), in the newly formed league.

    While Wenino and Marshall were teammates at CU, the Buffs progressed to the third round of the NCAA Tournament three consecutive seasons. Though they will now be playing against each other, Wenino says she looks forward to seeing Marshall again and to elevating the spotlight on Colorado soccer.

    "It's great that I get to be out there again with Nikki," Wenino said. "She was such an honor to play with and still a good friend of mine. I'm really excited for Amy too. She's a great player! I hope to see more Buffs playing beyond college. I think it's good for the program and I also think Danny (Sanchez) is doing great things with CU's program. He's proven that he can make good players into professional players." Marshall, a Mead, Colo. native, stands atop the CU record books. Playing in the forward position from 2006-09, Marshall holds 20 program records. She is the Buffs' all-time leading scorer with 42 goals and leads the program with 93 points, 18 game-winning goals and 261 shots attempted.

    Marshall began her collegiate career with a vengeance and never slowed down. She set class records as a freshman and sophomore with 17 and nine goals, respectively. She scored the fastest regulation and overtime goals in CU history, taking less than 30 seconds to score against St. Mary's College in 2009 (8-1) and against Oklahoma in 2007 (2-1, OT). Marshall also ranks in the top 10 in 32 other career, season and single game categories.

    She was picked seventh overall in the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer Draft by the Washington Freedom. As a rookie, Marshall appeared in 25 games. The franchise moved to Florida in 2011 and became magicJack, where Marshall appeared in six matches before being traded to the Boston Breakers in July 2011. She most recently spent time as a member of the 2012 WPSL Elite Champions Western New York Flash.

    After playing for several teams in multiple leagues, Marshall hopes to make a lasting impression in a longer-lasting league, and adds that being in such a soccer-crazed city doesn't hurt.

    "I'm extremely excited," Marshall said. "It's awesome that a new league is forming and hopefully they have a business model this time that might survive longer than a few years. Overall, I think it's a great opportunity for young women to strive for. I'm excited to be playing for one of the best soccer-loving cities in league ... That's going to be awesome. I heard they had already sold out of season tickets, which is huge for women's soccer. Just being in city where people love soccer is big, and especially being connected to the Timbers. To play with big time players is awesome for me."

    As a defender, Marshall helped the Women's Under-20 United States National Team to the silver medal at the 2007 Pan American games. She and future Thorns FC teammates Becky Edwards, Nikki Washington and Alex Morgan went on to lead the team to the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup championship in 2008, where Marshall was named the Sierra Mist Woman of the Match in the 2-1 championship win over North Korea.

    She has also been invited to the Women's U-23 National Team player pool from 2009-11, appearing in numerous training camps and tournaments.

    "We are excited that Nikki will continue her professional career with the Portland Thorns," CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. "She has been a dominant performer in the WPSL Elite and WPS leagues, and I have no doubt that will continue in the NWSL. As Nikki continues to develop I hope that the new US Soccer National Team staff will give her a shot with the full National Team."

    Michelle Wenino (2005-08) also had a stellar career at CU. The Aurora, Colo. native ranks fourth in career minutes played at CU, with 7,192. She also ranks fifth with 81 games started and ties sixth with 86 games played. In 2007, Wenino was a first-team All-Big 12 and second-team NSCAA All-Central Region selection.

    At CU, Wenino was a threat everywhere on the pitch. She started 23 games her freshman season, scoring one goal and contributing one assist. In the first three games of her sophomore campaign she scored two goals. She proved to be a standout her junior season, helping the Buffs to 10 shutouts. That year, she logged 2,131 minutes (good enough for sixth on the CU season list), and her lone goal was the game-winner over Drake. She scored two more goals in her final season. Wenino continues her career in the city where she got her professional start. She began with the WPS Chicago Red Stars in 2009 and returned in 2012 in the WPSL Elite.

    "It is exciting that Michelle will be able to continue with the Chicago Red Stars," Sanchez said. "She was an integral part of their squad last fall and will do very well as they move into the NWSL."

    Wenino has experience in both national and international play. She also played for the Pali Blues (W-League, 2010) and Sky Blue FC (WPS, 2011) in the U.S. and SC Freiburg (Bundesliga, 2010) in Germany.

    "I feel very blessed that I get to return to the Red Stars for my third season and to continue on this journey with a club that I love playing for," Wenino said. "(Head coach) Rory (Dames) and (owner) Arnim (Whisler) have done an incredible job bringing in a variety of talent for this season. I think it's incredible that they decided to bring back a lot of familiar faces to the team. I think this will help continue growing our market and fan base. I'm really excited to be reunited with old teammates and friends, and to meet all the new faces in Chicago. My hope for this season is to bring more recognition to the women's game. We want people to be excited about the game and to provide future opportunities for players aspiring to be a pro soccer player someday."

    from cubuffs.com

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