Goran Bratic with a bicycle kick attempt.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Thundering Herd men’s soccer team found its goal scoring form in its final exhibition game at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex, with the game ending in a hard-fought, 2-2 tie. All four of the goals in the match came within a nine minute period, minutes 32-41.
AGAINST THE HIGHLANDERS
Both teams came out strong in the first half of play, especially late on in the first half. Freshman Goran Bratic (Belgrade, Serbia) opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with a shot past Radford keeper Nicolas Mertzokat from roughly 6 yards to the far corner.
Quickly after, Radford’s Mauricio Rancel received a pass from Kryzystof Nalborski from the right end line and buried a shot under Marshall Goalkeeper Bijan Gloston (Clarksville, TN) in the 36th minute to level the score at 1.
In the 40th minute, Highlanders forward Kieran Roberts received a corner kick from Kryzystof Nalborski and poked the ball into the near post, making the score 2-1 to the Highlanders.
Not to be outdone, the Thundering Herd earned a penalty kick in the 41st minute, which was converted high to the right post by sophomore midfielder Ryan Forde (London, England).
In the second half, both teams went scoreless, although not for a lack of attempts. The Herd finished the second half with 4 shots in the period, 10 total and 5 on goal. Radford finished with 12 shots total, 4 on goal.
THE GRAY AREA
Quotes by Coach Bob Gray on the Radford game:
“it was a good game. Radford is a good side. They did well in their conference last season. They have a veteran team this year and it was a physical game. I think that worked for both off us.”
On game conditions:
“I can’t imagine us playing in hotter conditions than Wednesday on Bowling Green and again today against Radford.”
On Freshman midfielder Christian Kershaw (Severna Park, Md.)
He’s a workhorse. He sweeps in front of the back four and seems to be everywhere and makes good decisions.”
NEXT TIME OUT
The Herd will open its regular season at home next Friday, Aug. 29 against Duquesne at 7 p.m. The team will then complete a two game home stand on Sunday, Aug. 31 in a game at Hoops Family Field against Cleveland State at 1 p.m.
LET’S GET SOCIAL
Keep up with the latest news about Herd soccer by liking the team’s official Facebook page: Marshall University Soccer. For live in-match updates and news, follow @HerdMSoccer on Twitter. Want to see photos and behind-the-scenes action? Give @HerdZone a follow on Instagram.