Oct. 13, 2012
HURRICANE, W.Va.- The Marshall University men’s soccer team grabbed a crucial Conference USA win over South Carolina after two first half goals propelled the Thundering Herd to a 2-1 win at Hurricane High School on Saturday night.
The victory is Marshall’s 10th on the season (10-1-1) and second in C-USA play (2-1), while South Carolina’s loss drops the Gamecocks to 4-7-2 overall and 1-4-1 in the conference. With the win Marshall catapults South Carolina in the C-USA standings with six points to the Gamecocks’ four.
Junior Zach Hunter and freshman Nick Edginton scored the goals for the Herd in the 11th and 22nd minutes respectively, as Marshall cruised to an early 2-0 lead. Hunter’s strike, his first of the season, came via a free kick from 20-yards out, while Edginton’s goal was volleyed home off an Andrew Ferguson corner kick.
The two set-play scores were enough to put Marshall up 2-0 heading into halftime, but South Carolina came out fired-up in the second half as it tallied 14 shots compared to the Herd’s three. One of those strikes, an 18-yard blast from South Carolina midfielder Braeden Troyer, found the back of the net in the 77th minute to cut the Herd lead in half.
It was just the fourth goal that Marshall’s senior goalkeeper Daniel Withrow has given up this season, but urged the Gamecocks forward as they continued to mount the pressure on the Herd defense. Withrow made five saves on the night, while junior defender Travis Brent cleared two South Carolina shots off the line as Marshall clung to its slender lead in the dying minutes.
“It was a nail-biter and a good result,” said Marshall head coach Bob Gray. “People don’t realize how good South Carolina is. They’ve played the seventh toughest schedule in the country, so a win like that will be huge for our RPI. They beat some good teams earlier in the year and are a tough team that doesn’t quit. We played very well in the beginning but kind of sat on our lead at the end and they got back into it. Either way, though, this is an important win for us, especially since our leading scorer, Tom Jackson, didn’t play. Three points in this league is huge and now we’ve got to prepare for another big match on Wednesday.”
Indeed, things don’t get any easier for the Herd as it finishes its regular season with five more conference matches, two of which are on the road. Up next are the visiting Kentucky Wildcats, who will face Marshall at Hurricane High School this Wednesday at 7 p.m.