Nov. 14, 2007
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -
The Marshall University men's soccer team scored three unanswered goals to upset third-seeded Kentucky, 3-1 in the Conference USA Quarterfinal match, Wednesday night at West Campus Field.
"I was thrilled to get the win," head coach Bob Gray said. "It was nice to get a little revenge from the regular season loss. We felt pretty comfortable coming in and thought we matched up well against them."
With the win, the Thundering Herd (10-8-1) advance to the C-USA semifinal for the second time in three years. In 2005, Marshall defeated fourth-seeded Florida International, 2-0 during the quarterfinal.
Kentucky (7-10-2) got on the board midway through the first half, when Masumi Turnbull headed a Luke Maitland cross over Marshall's goalkeeper Brad Kennedy's head.
The Wildcats would have the lead for the next 16 minutes until John Daniele scored off a Sammy Boateng Cross into the lower left side of the net. Daniele registered his fifth goal of the season on the play, while Boateng recorded his second career assist.
The Herd captured the lead just before halftime when senior Avneet Shergill fired a free kick into the lower right corner. Shergill added his fifth goal of the season, which ties him for second on the team with Daniele.
Marshall increased its advantage to two goals at the 53rd minute, when junior Sterling Flunder scored his third goal of the season. Daniele passed to Flunder, who placed a shot in the low left corner beating the Wildcat's goalkeeper Dan Williams. Daniele was credited with his third assist of the season.
The Herd defense stayed strong the rest of the way and limited Kentucky's offensive opportunities. Defensively, Jeff Lenix
, a second-team all-conference nominee, commanded the defensive attack. Defenders Brandon Lacko
and Nick Daniele
also contributed in shutting down the Wildcats offensive pursuit.
Marshall's goalkeeper, Kennedy, recorded five assists playing between the pipes. Kennedy missed most of the season due to injury and since his return the Herd has played well. Kennedy now has 47 saves and lowered his goals against average to 1.43.
During the first meeting with Kentucky, the Herd traveled to Lexington, Ky., and fell to the Wildcats, 3-1, Oct. 24. The victory also secures a winning record for the first time since the 2004 season.
This will be the Herd's sixth all-time trip to a tournament semifinal. Marshall qualified for the Mid-American Conference semifinal from 1999-2002 and earned a spot in C-USA's semifinal in 2005.
Earlier in the day Florida International, the seven seed, tamed second-seeded SMU, 2-1. The Herd defeated the Panthers in Marshall's conference opener, 2-1, Sept. 28.
Marshall and FIU meet during the C-USA Semifinal, Friday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. at West Campus Field. The game can be viewed on GameTracker and footage can be seen following the conclusion of the match by visiting the conference website at www.conferenceusa.com.