HUNTINGTON - Marshall University athletic officials said building an indoor facility would help attract athletes.
Abi Hugh proved them right.
Hugh, a Huntington St. Joe girls soccer star, committed to play for the Thundering Herd. She said one key reason was Marshall's Chris Cline Indoor Athletic Facility.
"I had other schools recruit me, but none had the facilities of Marshall," Hugh said. "No one had anything like Marshall has with its indoor facility. That is so nice to have so when the weather is bad we won't have to miss a day of practice."
Hugh said she also likes Hoops Family Field at Marshall's Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex, which opened in 2013 and has been home ot the Conference USA soccer tournament.
Hugh chose Marshall over fellow C-USA member Charlotte, Longwood University and Fairmont State University.
She said playing in her hometown will be convenient.
"My family can come see me play," Hugh said.
Hugh scored 28 goals and assisted on 16 others last season in helping the Irish to a 19-4 record. St. Joe, which also featured Gonzaga University signee McKenzie Moran, lost to state champion Winfield in the postseason.
Born in Fairfield, California, near San Francisco, Hugh said she loves Huntington and Marshall, where she plans to major in Sports management and minor in journalism. She was a member of the United States East regional team that competed in Germany last year and has been invited to the East Regional tryouts again in Novemebr in Boca Raton, Florida.
A Class AA/A all-state midfielder, Hugh said she plans to work hard for playing time and is optimistic about the Herd program.
"The 2020 class coming in is good," Hugh said. "I hope to get on the field for a lot of minutes."