No. 6 Marshall Upsets No. 3 Kentucky in C-USA Quarterfinals
Himes recorded eight saves and Stergiotis scored for the Herd
Box Score (PDF)
NORFOLK, Va. – On a cold, wet and windy night, the No. 6 seed Marshall men’s soccer team upset the No. 3 seed Kentucky Wildcats, 1-0, in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament Wednesday. The Thundering Herd moves on to Friday’s semi-final match, and will take on the winner of the (2) Old Dominion versus (7) South Carolina contest.
Seniors came up big for the Herd (8-9-1) as goalkeeper Nate Himes recorded eight saves in the shutout, and Dion Stergiotis scored the match’s only goal in the 33rd minute. Himes has delivered two shutouts against Kentucky this season as he recorded five saves in Marshall’s 1-0 home win back on Oct. 14.
Both teams took some time getting into rhythm on offense due to the wet field as it had been raining nearly all day in Norfolk, Va. The first shot was finally registered in the eighth minute as Chris Taibi attempted a header that Enrique Facusse saved for Kentucky. The Wildcats had numerous chances with 13 shots in the first half and seven on goal, but Kentucky just could not get one passed Himes.
In the 32nd minute, Himes made two back-to-back, acrobatic saves, and a third after a corner kick to keep the game scoreless. After Marshall cleared ball, the Herd took off down field as freshman Lewis Knight led the way. Knight attempted a crossing pass that was knocked out by the Wildcat defense. However, the ball didn’t get far enough away as Stergiotis was right there to put in the rebound from about 15 yards out. It was the first goal of the season for the graduate transfer from Carson-Newman.
The Marshall defense amped up its control in the second half. The Wildcats managed seven shots with just one on goal. The Herd offense had nine shots with three on goal.
This is the first time that Marshall has defeated Kentucky twice in one season. It is also the first time the Herd has won two-straight over UK since 1990-91.
Head Coach Chris Grassie
“Great team performance tonight. We seem to match up really well against Kentucky. Our lads were incredibly disciplined tonight and defended very well. In the first half, we played really nice possession soccer, and in the second we defended really well. We had a great performance from Dion [Stergiotis], and he got us a great goal. And that save from Nate [Himes], was maybe the best I’ve ever seen live and in person.”
Marshall returns to the pitch on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. The Herd’s opponent will be the winner between the No. 2 seed Old Dominion Monarchs and the No. 7 seed South Carolina Gamecocks. Marshall defeated South Carolina at home, 2-1, back on Sept. 16. The Herd lost its regular season match at Old Dominion, 1-0, on Oct. 21.
The match will be broadcast by CUSA TV.