Oct. 21, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.- The Marshall men's soccer team is set to host the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers at 7:00 p.m. this Saturday at Sam Hood Field. The game will be a key showdown between two of Conference USA's top teams at the moment, as Marshall enters with a 3-1-1 conference record, and UAB arrives on the heels of a 1-0 win over No. 8 ranked UCF.
The Thundering Herd's eight-game unbeaten streak ended last Saturday, as the University of South Carolina usurped the Herd at the top of the league table with a 3-1 win in Columbia. Tom Jackson scored the lone goal for Marshall in the game, carrying his team-leading total to nine goals on the season. Jackson is ranked fourth in C-USA with nine goals this year, and the team still leads the conference with the lowest goals-against average.
For the Blazers, Babayele Sodade has posted a team-leading eight goals on the year, while compatriots Mladen Lemez and Diego Navarrete both follow him with four goals apiece. Goalkeeper Carl Woszcynski has been named C-USA Defender of the Week on three separate occasions this year, and has posted three shutouts on the season, with the most recent being in the 1-0 win over UCF.
Marshall will be hoping that this year's meeting bears no resemblance to the last one, when UAB eliminated the Herd's hopes of advancing to the conference tournament with a 2-0 win in Birmingham last November. Both Lemez and Sodade scored in the win, and the Marshall defense will be trying its best to keep the duo from striking again.
The Herd is 7-5-1 overall on the year, while UAB is 8-3-2 and ranked No. 24 in the NCAA National RPI Rankings. Saturday's match will be the Herd's third-to-last for the 2011 regular season, and is the second match in a crucial four-game conference stretch to end the year. Standing at second place in the C-USA with 10 points, a win would go a long way in granting the Herd a place in this season's C-USA Tournament.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Sam Hood Field. Live stats may followed by clicking here
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