07/11/2014
Rain, 72.0°
 
Women's Soccer
 
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    Melissa Barnes, a four-year starter at goalkeeper and member of two NCAA Tournament teams at Furman, is in her fifth season as an assistant women's soccer coach at UNCW. She assists veteran head coach Paul Cairney in all facets of the program.

    Barnes has played a key role in helping UNCW reach new heights during her time with the program. In 2008, she tutored the Seahawks keepers on their way to recording a program-record nine shutouts as UNCW matched its record for CAA victories in a season and equaled their highest finish in the regular-season standings with a tie for second.

    The 2009 season saw the Seahawks netminders combine for eight shutouts as UNCW matched its single-season mark for victories, capturing its first CAA Tournament championship and made its first NCAA Tournament appearance.

    During the 2010 campaign, UNCW's keepers teammed up to record five shutouts and Caitlin Hunter became the first goaltender to earn All-CAA honors as she was a Third-Team All-CAA selection.

    "Melissa is an invaluable part of our success," said Cairney. "Her experience as a goalkeeper has helped our keepers get better and her knowledge of the game is excellent. She has a great presence as an on-field coach and she has taken great steps to enhance our game analysis and this has helped our team immensely. Her infectious enthusiasm and magnetic personality have been true assets to our program."

    Barnes joined the Seahawks after having served as an assistant coach for three seasons at her alma mater, helping guide the Lady Paladins to a 41-22-4 overall record and 20-6-4 Southern Conference mark. She played a key role in helping the program claim the 2007 Southern Conference Tournament Crown and make its fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

    A native of Prospect, Ky., Barnes starred in goal for the Paladins from 1998-2002 and helped Furman compile a 66-21-1 record in that span. The three-time All-Southern Conference selection posted the 10th best goals against average in the nation (.067) in 1999 and was named team MVP in 2000.

    Barnes began her coaching career as head varsity girls' coach at Spartanburg Day School in 2002 and 2003 before joining the University of South Dakota coaching staff in 2004, helping USD to a school best 15-9 mark and NCAA Tournament appearance. A member of the Region III Olympic Development Program's goalkeeping staff since 2005, Barnes also worked with the Lady Paladin program as a volunteer assistant during the 2002 campaign.


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