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Irish soccer star Moran signs with Gonzaga

November 16, 2018

Huntington St. Joe's McKenzie Moran (2) charges downfield as the Irish take on Cabell Midland during a girls high school soccer match in 2017 at the YMCA Kennedy Center in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — After averaging 1.39 goals per game this season, Gonzaga University’s women’s soccer team could use a scoring boost and on Wednesday they got it.

Huntington St. Joe High School star McKenzie Moran signed Wednesday afternoon to play for the Bulldogs, making official a commitment she made June 23, 2017. Moran chose the Spokane, Washington, school over offers from Marshall University, Boston University and the United States Naval Academy.

“When I went there, I fell in love with the campus, the coaches and the team,” said Moran, who said she likely will major in biology. “It’s a good program and was a good fit for me. After a couple of weeks, I knew that’s where I wanted to go.”

Moran’s decision to attend a college 2,200 miles away was made easier because she spent years in Utah before coming to Huntington.

“I lived in the West for most of my life, so I know what it’s like out there as far as the climate and the lifestyle,” Moran said. “At first, I was hesitant about going so far from home, but I have family out there and it will be nice to get out there.”

Moran scored a school-record 140 goals and issued 80 assists in four seasons with the Irish. A cross country state champion as a junior, Moran brings speed to a Gonzaga team that was 10-4-4 this season while finishing fourth in the West Coast Conference at 5-2-2.

Despite committing 17 months before signing, Moran said she didn’t waver on her allegiance to the Bulldogs.

A star as a freshman, Moran said she has grown significantly in four seasons.

“I’ve grown a lot as a player and as a person since then,” Moran said. “My training has improved and so have my skills.”

Improve she has. Last week, Moran was one of just 40 players throughout the country selected as a high school All-American. She is scheduled to play in the high school All-American all-star game Dec. 1 in Orlando, Florida.

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