NYIT hires pair of pro soccer players as women’s soccer assistant coaches

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Kim Marra, left, is one of two professional soccer players added to the NYIT women's soccer staff as assistant coaches. (Photo courtesy of NYIT)

Karim Diallo became head coach of the Long Island Rough Riders women’s soccer team earlier this summer. Now, he is bringing a pair of his players from that United Women’s Soccer league squad to NYIT.

Melissa Guglielmo and Kim Marra have been added to the NYIT women’s soccer staff as assistant coaches. They will join former NYIT players Jonathan Rico and Dina Simonian, who both graduated in May, on Diallo’s staff.

Diallo ascended to the head coaching role with the Bears in April after previously serving as an assistant coach for two seasons.

Guglielmo, a product of West Babylon High School, is no stranger to Diallo or the East Coast Conference. She starred as a goalkeeper at Dowling College while Diallo was on the staff. A four-year starter, she was named ECC Goalkeeper of the Year as a senior and played on two conference championship teams.

Guglielmo had a 0.79 GAA, 216 saves and 24 shutouts at Dowling from 2011 through ’14.

Her sister, Grace, will be a freshman midfielder on the NYIT soccer team this fall.

“Melissa knows the conference really well,” Diallo said. “She was very successful for us at Dowling. She will be working with our goalkeepers, which will be a tremendous help for them.”

Marra played for Sayville High School, where she was named to the all-state team and earned the Suffolk County Small School Player of the Year award in 2011. She continued her career at Iona College and captained the Gaels her final two seasons, in 2014 and ’15. During her collegiate career, she appeared in 68 matches, tallying four goals and one assist.

A midfielder, Marra began her career with the Rough Riders with a bang in 2017. She was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Year while captaining the squad.

“Kim is a great leader on my team right now,” Diallo said. “She was a successful Division I player, very competitive. We share similar views in terms of the way the team is organized and plays. She is very organized. As a matter of fact, I don’t have an assistant coach with the Rough Riders. She’s my assistant coach on that team. She’s hard working. I think her experience will help the kids on the field.”

This season, the Rough Riders are 4-3-2. Marra has a goal and assist while starting all nine games. Guglielmo has limited opponents to five goals in 225 minutes and has made 16 saves while appearing in three matches.

Guglielmo also has trained the Smithtown Kickers Soccer Club and has assisted running the Rough Riders’ youth summer camps.

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