TWIN FALLS • In order to energize the Twin Falls girls soccer team’s sputtering season, the coaching staff delivered a challenge to Mehli Marcellus: reinvent herself.
The powerful box-to-box midfielder was the key to the Bruins’ pace of play, but they needed her to move forward and help bolster an increasingly anemic (at least by their standards) offense.
The senior did more than adjust – she thrived, leading the Bruins back to the state tournament and earning player of the year honors both from her conference’s coaches and the Times-News.
Her first year as a forward saw her play as a target forward, receiving the ball in a withdrawn position and playing it on to wingers and attacking midfielders who had a better run at goal.
“We changed our formation at the middle of the year to one lone forward to distribute, and they chose me, so I was honored,” Marcellus said. “The hardest thing for me was having my back to goal when I received the ball and distribute ahead of me, which wasn’t the way I was facing.”
Twin Falls coach Katie Kauffman said during the season that Marcellus drove the proverbial bus for the Bruins attack. She scored goals and delivered assists, even if out of her element – she converted from a more deep-lying playmaking role.
But, in her final season at Twin Falls, she said she was willing to do whatever it took to get back to the state tournament.
“I know that seniors have a big impact on the team and I wanted to do all I could. I just tried to be a good teammate,” Marcellus said. “
I finally got the hang of it and was able to compensate for my lack of experience up front. I had a few games that were ups and downs, and Katie was really great and helped me work through it, and I leaned on our old forwards to figure out what to do.”
Marcellus plans to play soccer at Division III North Carolina Wesleyan.