Sept. 29, 2012
TULSA, Okla.- The Thundering Herd men’s soccer team lost its first match of the season after surrendering a goal in each half of its 2-0 loss to Conference USA opponent Tulsa on Saturday night at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium. Marshall falls to 7-1-1 (1-1) for the season with the defeat.
The Herd entered the match with an unbeaten record and just one goal conceded through eight games this fall, but succumbed to a Tulsa team (7-3, 2-0) that has defeated No. 11 Creighton, No. 3 New Mexico, and C-USA preseason favorite South Carolina in previous matches this season. Kyle Cummings and Omar Mata tallied the goals for the Golden Hurricane, netting their strikes in the 17th and 85th minutes of play.
Herd goalkeeper Daniel Withrow was seeking a Marshall record eighth clean sheet of the season during the game, but allowed the two goals despite making eight saves to deny the Golden Hurricane numerous scoring chances. His Tulsa counterpart, Mark Pais, was also busy, making nine stops to hand the Herd offense what was just its second goalless game of the year. The two teams combined for 39 shots, with Tulsa edging Marshall by a 23-16 margin.
“It was a pretty open-ended game against a very good side,” said Marshall head coach Bob Gray. “They are definitely one of the teams to beat in the conference this year and I would expect them to be nationally ranked close to the top-10 after this week. It was a hard fought game. We started out slow, but had our chances after making some adjustments in the second half. In the end they were able to steal a late goal with five minutes to play that ended our hopes of a comeback. We had our chances, though, and statistically speaking weren’t too far behind them. This road trip has been a testing one, and it will definitely be nice to return home this week. ”
The Herd loss also means the team fell one game short of tying the school record for longest unbeaten streak, set at nine by the 1997 team. With the loss to Tulsa and the win over Memphis, Marshall now sits mid-table in the league with three points and a 1-1 record. The Herd will return home to play Asbury at Sam Hood Field on Oct. 3, and must wait until its Oct. 13 showdown with South Carolina to resume conference play.