Oct. 30, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – On a night when Marshall needed a victory to keep its hopes for a Conference USA Championship berth alive, the Thundering Herd came up short on Wednesday by falling to Kentucky 2-0 on Hoops Family Field at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.
The defeat drops Marshall to 2-9-6 overall and 0-4-3 in C-USA play this season. With the road win, Kentucky now sits at 5-8-2 on the year and 2-3-3 in league play.
“We gave them one chance that they converted on and that sums up our season,” coach Bob Gray said. “We had several good looks that we couldn’t finish and they got one that they were able to put away. After that we had to change our approach to the game. Nobody has stepped up with a big moment this season like we have needed them to.”
The visiting Wildcats spent the first 10 minutes on the attack by controlling possession and working in Marshall’s side of the field. Marshall took control after settling in to record two shots on goal at a time on two occasions during the early going. Unfortunately for the Herd, nothing found the back of the net as Kentucky goalie Callum Irving kept the Marshall attackers in check.
At the half, the two sides were in a scoreless tie as Irving reeled in five saves through the first 45 minutes of play. Making his second-straight start in the Marshall goal after making his first-collegiate start against Tulsa (Oct. 26), redshirt freshman Bijan Gloston (Clarksville, Tenn.) only needed to make one first-half save.
Despite being tied in the goal category, Marshall led in shots (8-4), shots on goal (5-1) and corner kicks (2-0) to show for its attacking style of play through the first half.
With both sides back out for the second half; Kentucky took advantage of an opportunity in the 46th minute as Napo Matsoso found a streaking Tyler Riggs who buried the ball past Gloston and into the left side of goal, putting the Wildcats up 1-0.
From then on, the Herd fought to work its way out of a one-goal deficit in a matchup of two sides that were fighting for a C-USA tournament berth. The Kentucky backline was able to limit the opportunities created by the Marshall forwards and midfielders to keep its one-goal advantage.
A penalty kick awarded to the Wildcats in the 83rd minute was an opportunity they would not waste as Brad Doliner went high past substituted keeper Danny Sellitti (Las Vegas, Nev.) for a backbreaking goal that gave Kentucky a 2-0 lead.
As the Herd was unable to avoid being shutout for the sixth time in October, Marshall fell 2-0 at home with its C-USA Championship hopes lost for the season.
Marshall finished with more shots (14-11) and corner kicks (5-1) than Kentucky, but was unable to produce more goals than the Wildcats.
With Wednesday’s contest serving as the 32nd all-time meeting between the two sides, Kentucky now leads Marshall 15-14-3 in the series. The Wildcats have now won two straight against the Herd, both of which have been shutouts.
Marshall will visit Charlotte for the Herd’s final road contest of the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.
In-game Twitter updates @HerdMSoccer, results and a recap from the night’s action will be available at HerdZone.com.