When Sissonville forward Lydia Murray informed University of Charleston soccer coach Todd Diuguid that she would be joining his program, it was one of the happiest days of her life.
"It was something I had been thinking about for a while," Murray said of committing to UC. "I felt like I made a really good decision to play for a great school and a great coach.
"They are like one big family, which is one of the biggest reasons I decided to play there. Family is really important to me. My mom and grandparents are very supportive of me and attend every game, whether home or away."
Since Murray started playing soccer at the early age of 3, she always dreamed of going to college one day and playing soccer.
"If soccer was on the television, she would be right there glued to the screen," said her mother, Shelly Murray. "She would say 'I want to be like them.' Mia Hamm was her favorite player."
But that dream almost never came true.
In January 2011, during Murray's sophomore year, her father passed away after a long battle with cancer, and she strongly considered hanging up her soccer cleats.
"I was having such a tough time with his death," Lydia Murray said. "I figured it would be just easier not to play because he wasn't here anymore.
"He was my biggest fan. He came to all my games. He wasn't even a big sports fan. He wanted to be there to support me because that was the single-most thing to him."
Ultimately, it was her father's undying support and sacrifice that led Murray back to brushing off the cleats and embracing the sport again.
"Even though he is gone physically, I know he is still cheering for me to this day," Murray said. "I didn't want to let him down. I wanted him to be proud of me."
The word "proud" would be an understatement of what Gene Murray would feel if he was still cheering on his daughter from the stands.