Thundering Herd Fall to No. 8 Akron, 4-1, in Road Exhibition|
Aug 20, 2013
Akron, Ohio - With an opportunity to prepare for the 2013 regular season against elite competition, Marshall fell 4-1 to No. 8 Akron in an exhibition at FirstEnergy Stadium on Tuesday night.
"We were a team that showed its youth and inexperience today against a legitimate top 10 team in the country," said Marshall head coach Bob Gray. "It was a good experience for us in a great atmosphere and we will learn from our experience and hopefully mature before the start of the season. A game like today actually did us a lot of good and I'm glad we had a chance to experience playing a team of that caliber."
Displaying the experience that comes with five consecutive NCAA Tournament Round of 16 appearances, Akron controlled the shot distribution over the entirety of the match as the Zips outshot the Herd 19-3 and had nine scorner kicks to one for the Herd.
Proving worthy of their No. 8 NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Preseason rank, Akron jumped out front just 8:35 into the contest on a ball passed into the box and buried in the top left of the goal to break a scoreless tie.
Not leaving any room for error, the Zips would strike again. Less than three minutes after the first goal of the night, Akron's Bryan Gallego headed a ball off a free kick and into the middle of the goal, putting the home team up 2-0.
With Coach Gray looking to see what his young team is made of, freshman Daniel Jodah proved something with 19:16 gone from the game clock. The Toronto FC product fired a shot from 30 yards out and sank it in the back corner of the net to bring Marshall within one.
The Thundering Herd and Zips continued to battle in the first half as Marshall looked to complete its comeback effort and equalize the score. Akron would not allow a comeback as a shot on the ground from 15 yards out found the goal with nine minutes remaining in the first half to get the lead back to two as the score read 3-1 in favor of the Zips at the half.
The game slowed down for both sides once the second half started as Marshall and Akron both cleared its benches with mass substitutions. The Zips were not done scoring for the night however as a goal from Adam Najem made it 4-1 in favor of the hosts at the 63 minute mark and conclude the scoring for the evening.
Marshall newcomers Tyler Atwell and Danny Sellitti both got chances to show their strengths in goal against an Akron team that fielded the 12th best scoring offense in the NCAA during the 2012 season. Having played the entirety of the first half, Atwell saved four shots on goal while surrendering three goals and Sellitti saved three while allowing one goal.
With the victory, Akron has now won seven of its ten all-time meetings with Marshall as the series record sits at 7-1-2 in favor of the Zips. The lone Herd victory came during the 2000 season, when Marshall won 3-2 at home.
Marshall will now return home for the grand opening of its new home. The Herd opens its new $8 million Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex on Friday, August 23 with a 5 p.m. match against an MU Alumni Team.
For more information on Marshall men's soccer, including tickets for the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex grand opening, follow (@HerdMSoccer) or visit at www.HerdZone.com.