Sept. 30, 2009
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall University men’s soccer team received first half goals from freshman Tom Jackson (Duending, New Zealand) and junior Matt Butler (Wolverhampton, England) in leading the Herd to its third victory in the past four game with a 2-0 triumph against the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday night at Sam Hood Field.
The newly acquired Jackson, playing in just his second collegiate game, wasted little time in his home debut as he put the Thundering Herd ahead 1-0 just 2:26 into the contest. Jackson collected the ball in the box off a failed clearance by a VMI defender and made no mistake as he tucked away his first collegiate goal past the Keydets keeper, Brian Sowell.
Butler added another goal just six minutes before halftime as he collected a ball from freshman Fayanga Keita (Roanoke, Va.), put it on his left foot, and ripped the back of the net on the far post. The goal marked the juniors second of the year. Five of his six points this season have come at Sam Hood Field.
“It was a great team effort,” head coach Bob Gray said. “We worked on offensive combinations this week at practice and I think it showed tonight in the game. We were putting pressure on their defense all night and we just missed on a couple of through balls which may have resulted in more goals.”
The Thundering Herd (4-4-1, 1-0 C-USA) outshot the Keydets (1-7, 0-0 Big South) on the night by a mark of 18-9.
Freshman net minder Daniel Withrow (Rochester Hills, Mich.) stopped all four shots on goal he faced tonight, but none bigger than a point blank header from VMI’s Jacob MacIntyre which came from a cross that was whipped into the box from a free kick. Withrow was able to tip the ball over the cross bar and preserve the shutout.
Junior Kendall Sutton anchored the defense as he was all over the defensive third. “Kendall’s biggest attribute is his speed,” Coach Gray said. “He is making very good decisions back there and getting the ball off his foot quickly. But I am proud of our entire defense. I thought they all played well tonight.”
The win marks the Herd’s third win in its past four contests, and the four wins on the year eclipses Marshall’s win total from a year ago.
“It’s good to get a win before we head back on the road for a conference game,” Gray stated. If we can get another three points on the road and be and 2-0 in conference before we have even had a home game, that would be huge.”
Marshall heads down to Miami, Fla., this weekend as the Herd takes on Florida International (FIU) in its second Conference USA match of the season. Kickoff at the University Park Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Pictures from tonight’s game are available by logging onto www.herdzone.com