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Overtime Goal Dooms Marshall

Virgara led both teams in shots

Oct. 28, 2012

Final Stats

DALLAS, Texas -- SMU’s Tyler Engel scored a golden goal in the first minute of overtime to defeat the Marshall University men’s soccer team 1-0 at Westcott Field on Sunday afternoon. The loss condemns the Thundering Herd to its fourth Conference USA loss of the year and fourth loss to the Mustangs in the past three seasons.

No. 19 ranked SMU improves to 10-3-3 and 6-1-0 with the win, while Marshall falls to 3-4 in league play and 11-4-1 overall with just one regular season conference match to play. After Memphis defeated FIU 2-1 in overtime on Saturday night, the Herd now sits just one point above the Tigers in the race for the final spot in the 2012 C-USA Championships.

Yet in spite of the loss, Marshall held its own against the league’s number one team for a majority of the game on Sunday, tying the Mustangs in shots, 15-15, and dominating possession for large spells of the match. Junior midfielder Anthony Virgara was at the root of the Herd offense, taking a game-high four shots while serving as a constant threat to the Mustang defense. In the end, though, it was the shots on goal that mattered, and after Marshall managed just three of its own, SMU converted one of its five to steal the win in the first minute of overtime.

“It was a good game and we went toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the country, on their field, on their senior day,” said head coach Bob Gray. “I think a fair result would have been a draw, but we had our chances to win and didn’t take them. Now we have our backs against the wall and need a big win in our final home game this Saturday. I feel like we are still one of the top teams in the conference and hopefully we can show that against UCF.”

The Herd will conclude its regular season with a senior night showdown against conference foe UCF at Hurricane High School on Saturday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and admission is free to the public.