Northern Illinois Women's Soccer Coach Marci Miller Headed To China For Four Nations Cup

GO HUSKIES
GO HUSKIES

GO HUSKIES
January 9, 2006

Northern Illinois Women's Soccer Coach Marci Miller Headed To China For Four Nations Cup

Los Angeles, CA — For the third time since taking over the Northern Illinois University women’s soccer program, head coach Marci Miller (St. Charles, IL) has been invited to play with the U.S. National Team. Miller saw limited action in her first game, but played all 95 minutes against Australia as the two teams tied in a friendly on October, 16, 2005. Now as the team heads to Guangzhou, China, for the Four Nations Cup, where the U.S. will face Norway, France and China, Miller will join the team as they look to capture their third trophy in four years.

“It is awesome to be considered, and I am extremely excited that we are going to this tournament and facing some of the top teams in the world,” said Miller. “It is all a learning process and experiences like these make you a better coach. I am constantly taking notes and am very fortunate as a younger coach to be around some of the best players and coaches in the world and learn from them.”

Miller is the only representative from the Land of Lincoln named to the team. The former WUSA standout played for the Atlanta Beat before returning home to take over the NIU program. Miller is just the second coach in the history of NIU women’s soccer. In her first season the team finished 5-11-2, which considering the inevitable transition that occurs when a team learns a new style of play, the Huskies are in good shape for the future. Included in the Huskies’ wins were victories over local rival DePaul University and a win over Central Michigan University, which was in first place at the time. While with the National Team, Miller will have the chance to continue to learn from her college coach at Southern Methodist University and current National Team boss Greg Ryan.

“This is a great accomplishment for Marci,” said NIU Director of Athletics James J. Phillips. “We are really proud of her and this is a testament to her hard work and dedication. It is reflective of the kind of coaches that we have here who epitomize the world class experience that we provide our student athletes.”

Among Miller’s many accomplishments and honors during her first year in DeKalb, was her induction into the St. Charles East High School Hall of Fame. Miller was one of four recipients of the Jodie Harrison Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Being inducted is a huge honor for me,” said Miller. “Jodie was the athletics director when I was at St. Charles. He was an awesome man and his integrity meant a lot to me. High school really shaped me, and my coaches Brett Hall and Tim Daily taught me a lot of life lessons that help me every day in life and in coaching.”

A three-year all-state soccer player, Miller was also named to the all-state tournament teams in 1993 and 1994. Following her career at St. Charles East High School, Miller ventured north to Madison, WI, for two years at the University of Wisconsin, where she earned All-America honors while playing for the Badgers in 1995. After two seasons with Wisconsin, Miller followed coach Ryan to Southern Methodist University for her junior and senior seasons. While at SMU Miller captained the Mustangs to a Western Athletic Conference championship in 1996, was named WAC Player of the Year in 1996, and twice recognized as a national All-American. After finishing her career at SMU, Miller played internationally before joining the WUSA and the Atlanta Beat.

The January journey is the fifth trip for the National Team to China to participate in the Four Nations Cup, also competing in 1998, 2002-04. The U.S. women won the Cup in 1998, 2003, and 2004, and look to pick up their fourth trophy when they open against longtime rival Norway on Jan. 18, 2006. All U.S. games will kick off at 2 a.m. CST.

(For further information, please contact Daniel Solow) -NIU-