Sept. 17, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – With second half goals from senior Zach Hunter (Marietta, Ga.) and freshman Ben Holt (Knoxville, Tenn.), the Marshall men’s soccer team defeated VMI 2-0 on Tuesday night for its second straight victory on Hoops Family Field at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.
With the win the Thundering Herd now sits at 2-4-1 on the year and the loss drops the Keydets to 0-5-1 this season. The two goal victory allowed the Herd to win its fourth straight against VMI in the series history. In those four matches the Herd is outscoring the Keydets 14-1.
After having lost four straight, Marshall has now won two straight, both of which on its home field.
“It was just a grind it out kind of game,” coach Bob Gray said. “I give a lot of credit to VMI and they were effective in their defense because we didn’t get many clear looks.”
From the opening whistle, Marshall was in control of possession and the offensive statistical categories, but was unable to capitalize in the first 45 minutes of play. At the halftime break, the Herd led in corner kicks (4-2) and shots (6-3) while putting pressure on the Keydets defense.
The offensive pressure Marshall applied carried over into the second half and paid off in the 67th minute. Co-captain Zach Hunter drew a foul in the 18-yard box which led to a penalty kick that Hunter drove past the VMI goalie for his first goal of the season. The score broke the scoreless draw and provided the Marshall squad with comfort down the stretch.
Marshall did not turn down its offensive attack with a one goal lead in hand as less than three minutes later a freshman connection led to the second Herd goal of the night. Freshman Daniel Jodah (Mississauga, Ontario) found fellow freshman Holt on a cross into the goalie box with Holt tapping the ball home for his first-career goal. The goal in the 71st minute put the Herd ahead 2-0.
“After the penalty kick things opened up a little bit and then we got the second goal,” said Gray. “We thought we could’ve had a couple more at the end.”
Tending goal for Marshall in the second straight game, junior transfer Danny Sellitti (Las Vegas, Nev.) kept the Keydets scoreless to record his second career win for the Herd.
“We did what we needed to do to get the win and a couple guys played really well,” explained Gray. “Jahvon Allison (Kingston, Jamaica) played really well and it was nice to see Ben Holt get a goal. We had really nice play from the back end.”
With today’s matchup having served as the 31st meeting between the Herd and Keydets, Marshall now leads the all-time series 17-10-4. Marshall has posted a 10-1-3 record against VMI in matches played in Huntington.
Marshall will look to make it three straight wins as it takes on Northern Kentucky on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 2:30 p.m. from Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.
In-game Twitter updates (@HerdMSoccer), results and a recap from the day’s action will be available at www.HerdZone.com.