Oct. 19, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – In a match between two of the top-three active winningest coaches in Division I men’s soccer, Bob Gray’s Marshall squad recorded a 1-1 draw with Mark Berson’s South Carolina side in a battle of Conference USA competitors on Saturday on Hoops Family Field at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.
“I thought it was a really good effort and we had great opportunities,” coach Bob Gray said. “The game could have gone either way. We needed three points so we were trying to get it, but I am not going to argue with a tie especially against a good team like South Carolina.”
After participating in its second double-overtime draw in C-USA play in its last three contests, the Thundering Herd is now 2-7-5 overall and 0-2-2 in C-USA play. South Carolina now sits at 5-5-4 on the year with a 2-1-2 mark in league play.
Back home after going 0-2-1 over a three-match road swing, Marshall looked to get its offense firing at home where the Herd had posted a 2-2-2 record through the first six matches in the history of Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.
As both teams went back and forth for a majority of the first half, Marshall was able to capitalize when it got the ball deep in South Carolina territory in the 34th minute. The Herd front line forced a defensive breakdown in the South Carolina back end as junior Jahvon Allison (Kingston, Jamaica) sank one past South Carolina keeper Marco Velez and in the right side of goal to put Marshall on top 1-0.
With the Allison goal, Marshall broke a scoreless streak that had ended at 418:21 as the last Herd goal came against New Mexico (Sept. 30). The score also gave Marshall its first lead since Sept. 17 against VMI.
With Marshall holding a 1-0 edge at the half, the two sides were tied in shots (7) and shots on goal (2), while South Carolina held a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks.
In the 53rd minute, South Carolina took a free kick from just past midfield and in front of its own bench. A well placed cross from Kurtis Turner was sent into junior goalkeeper Tyler Atwell’s (Hurst, Texas) box and headed home by J.P. Rafferty to knot the contest up at one goal apiece.
Despite both teams having put themselves in position to score on numerous occasions in a 1-1 game, the Herd and Gamecocks headed into golden-goal overtime as the match remained scoreless at the end of the first 90 minutes of play.
With a 0-1-3 record in overtime, Marshall looked to grab its first overtime victory of the season, but so did the Gamecocks as they entered the extra period without having won an overtime contest this season. Neither side was successful however as at the end of the two 10-minute overtime periods, Marshall and South Carolina ended with a 1-1 draw.
Marshall now leads the all-time series against South Carolina 5-3-1, with the Herd posting a 3-1-1 record in the last four meetings between the two sides.
The Herd has a quick turnaround before heading to Norfolk, Va., for a midweek match against new C-USA member Old Dominion on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. Marshall is winless on the road through its first seven road matches.
In-game Twitter updates @HerdMSoccer, results and a recap from the night’s action will be available at HerdZone.com.