April 16, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall men’s soccer Coach Bob Gray has announced the 2014 Thundering Herd schedule for the 2014 season. The Herd will face three teams that appeared in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, one of which appeared in the College Cup semifinals.
“We are pleased with our 2014 schedule because it is a balanced schedule that hopefully allows up to get off to a good start playing four out of our first five regular season matches at home,” said Marshall coach Bob Gray.
Fourteen members of the Herd who played their freshman season in 2013 are back for 2014, along with an offseason of conditioning to add experience. Including its preseason exhibitions, the Herd will have 13 rematches from the 2013 season.
The season will begin with a pair of home exhibition contests at the Veterans memorial Soccer Complex, which opened last season. Former Mid-American Conference foe Bowling Green will visit for the first exhibition (Aug. 20), followed by a visit from Radford (Aug. 23).
The regular-season opener will be played Aug. 29 against Duquesne, with a contest against Cleveland State (Aug. 31) closing a two-match opening weekend in Huntington. Marshall faced Cleveland State in 2013 on the road with the Vikings having downed the Herd 1-0.
After having failed to collect a road win through nine attempts last season, Marshall will look to avoid the same fate in 2014 with a trip to Rochester, Mich. to face Oakland (Sept. 5) in a rematch from the 2013 season which the Golden Grizzlies won 2-1.
Capping off a stretch of six home matches in seven contests will be meetings with Liberty (Sept. 7) and Appalachian State (Sept. 15) at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex. Marshall visited the Mountaineers last season for the regular season opener which ended in a scoreless draw through two overtimes.
“Additionally we will participate in the Evansville tournament against two quality opponents in Bradley and Evansville University,” Gray said.
The longest road stretch of the season will begin with the Pro Rehab Classic in Evansville, Ind., which will include contests with Bradley (Sept. 19) and Evansville (Sept. 21). The four-match span will end with the Herd’s Conference USA opener at South Carolina on Sept. 26 and a non-conference game at St. Francis, Pa. on Oct. 1.
“As always of conference schedule will be extremely difficult with four of the eight opponents having been ranked in the 20 last year,” Gray continued. “The highlight will be traveling to New Mexico for the first time who last year make it to the 2013 College Cup semifinals.”
Having spent 2013 as their inaugural seasons in C-USA, Florida Atlantic (Oct. 4) and Old Dominion (Oct. 8) will make their first visit to Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex for rematches from last season. The Herd played to a scoreless draw with the Owls and were shut out by the Monarchs, 3-0. ODU reached the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament and will be the first team the Herd will play in 2014 who reached the postseason last year.
A two-match stay in the Bluegrass State will be next on the docket with a conference match at Kentucky (Oct. 12) and a step out of league play to face Northern Kentucky (Oct. 15). Both of which will serve as rematches from last season as Marshall fell to Kentucky at home, 2-0, after tying the Nose, 1-1, also in Huntington. Following its Kentucky swing, the Herd will travel to Birmingham, Ala. for a date with the UAB Blazers (Oct. 18) after having fallen to UAB, 2-1, in the 2013 season finale.
Marshall will face its second opponent who saw the 2013 postseason when it welcomes Charlotte (Oct. 21) for a Tuesday-night tilt. The Herd dropped its road finale to the 49ers, 3-0, last season in Charlotte with the 49ers having later gone on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after winning the 2013 C-USA Tournament Championship as the host.
Due to a Saturday home match against FIU (Oct. 25), the start time is still to be determined as the Marshall football team plays at home on the same day. The Herd suffered a 4-0 defeat in Miami last season to the Golden Panthers.
Possibly Marshall’s biggest test of the regular season will come in its 2014 road finale in Albuquerque, N.M. against a New Mexico (Nov. 1) squad that reached the 2013 College Cup as a No. 7 seed. When the two sides faced off last season in Huntington, the Herd battled but eventually fell to the Lobos, 3-1.
The Herd’s 2014 regular season finale and senior night will come against Asbury (Nov. 8) out of C-USA play at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.
For more information on Marshall men’s soccer, follow @HerdMSoccer on Twitter or visit HerdZone.com.