BEAVERCREEK — Marcella Cash encountered quite the dilemma while on a recent visit to Indiana University.
“I just didn’t want to leave,” the Beavercreek High School junior soccer standout said.
Cash eventually returned to Greene County, but she’ll be going back to Bloomington again. The Greater Western Ohio Conference’s top goal scorer verbally committed to play for the Hoosiers and coach Amy Berbary, choosing the Cream and Crimson over several schools, including Louisville, Texas, Mississippi State and Dayton.
“This connection I have with the coaches was just different than I had at a lot of schools,” Cash said. “I knew, wherever I went, I wanted to have a relationship with the coaches, because I didn’t want to go close to home and I knew I was going to be missing my parents a lot.”
It didn’t hurt that it was love at first sight with the campus.
“I got that feeling. Everyone talks about you’re going to get this feeling when you go there, and I went to other schools and I was like, ‘Well, am I going to get that feeling?’ These schools are all great. (But) when I walked there, all I was thinking about was I just want to go here. The school is just beautiful. Walking on the campus, I was like ‘Oh my gosh (these buildings) look like castles.’ “
NCAA rules prohibit coaches from commenting on players until they sign a National Letter of Intent. Cash said the Hoosiers — who went 8-8-2 overall and 4-7 in the Big Ten — need scorers. Indiana averaged 1.83 goals a game, while allowing 1.67.
“They have all the pieces, just the finishing portion they want,” Cash said. “Hopefully, I can bring that.”
If her high school career is any indication, the Hoosiers will get quite the return by investing in Cash. As a freshman, she was fourth on the team with nine goals as the Beavers were district champs. Last season, Cash scored 23 goals to lead the Beavers and finish third in the GWOC in goals. With her two assists Cash was fifth in the GWOC in points. This season, she had 32 goals and 14 assists heading into Tuesday’s Oct. 30 regional semifinal against Mount Notre Dame.
Cash was No. 1 in the GWOC in goals — including four hat tricks — tied for first with 78 points and third in assists. Among all soccer players in the Dayton area, Cash is third in goals and assists. She was also one of 40 invited to an elite soccer camp in Oregon this past summer.
“They’re getting a player who works extremely hard to be the player she is,” Beavercreek coach Steve Popp said. “That’s not only at practice, that’s when she’s in the weight room every day, with all of her fitness to make her stronger to give her that edge that, when we need a big play, she’s got the strength and the speed to make it happen. It doesn’t surprise me she’s playing as well as she is, because she’s a player who works very hard at the game and she’s just an exciting player to watch.”
And with the process over, Cash can focus just on her game and not worry about where she’s going after graduation.
“I’m glad it’s over,” she said. “It’s a lot of pressure lifted off and I feel like I can play a lot better, knowing I have somewhere to go afterwards, and I don’t have to worry about impressing, I can just play the way I want to play.”
Not exactly what opponents want to hear.