Herd Faces UCF in Must-Win Match
Men's Soccer to Conclude 2012 Regular Season on Saturday
Nov. 2, 2012
HURRICANE, W.Va. -- The Marshall University men’s soccer team (11-4-1, 3-4-0) and the UCF Knights (7-6-3, 4-3-0) will face each other at Hurricane High School on Saturday evening in a 7 p.m. senior day showdown with major postseason implications.
The game will be the Thundering Herd’s final regular season match of the 2012 season, pitting the squad against a familiar Conference USA foe in UCF. Sitting in seventh place on nine points, and two points behind sixth place Memphis, the Herd must win in order to secure a spot in the top-six and advance to the C-USA Championships.
Marshall Surrenders Regular Season Finale to UCF
The Thundering Herd men's soccer team fell 2-0 to the UCF Golden Knights on Saturday evening, surrendering third place to the Florida team and condemning itself to a lower seed in the upcoming Conference USA tournament.
Memphis will battle No. 14 SMU on Friday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel to decide the Tigers’ fate, as a win would clinch the Tennessee-based team’s spot in the postseason tournament. Marshall will be hoping SMU, who has already clinched the C-USA regular season championship and No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, will put forth its best foot in the nationally televised match and stave-off a Memphis team that has rallied to win three of its last four C-USA matches.
Yet even if the Tigers win, Marshall will still advance if it beats UCF on Saturday night, albeit with a lower seed. The Knights currently sit in fifth place on 12 points, meaning a Herd victory would give Marshall the three points needed to tie UCF and progress to the C-USA Championships by virtue of the head to head tiebreaker rule.
If the Herd downs the Knights and Memphis loses, Marshall would claim a highest possible seed of No. 5 in the tournament, and UCF would be sixth. Should both the Herd and Tigers win, Marshall would claim the final spot as the No. 6 seed and Memphis would move up to No. 5 in the standings with 14 points.
Either way, the Herd knows it must win in order to advance and will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s regular season finale when UCF downed Marshall 2-0 in Orlando, Fla. The Herd is 3-6-1 all-time versus the Knights and has not won a match against its conference rival since 2007.
In addition to being a playoff game of sorts for the Thundering Herd squad, Saturday’s match will carry additional relevance as senior night for the eight soon-to-be graduates on Marshall’s team. Indeed, Tom Jackson, Daniel Withrow, Devin Perkins, Aaron Dini, Fayanga Keita, Peter Bulat, Eddy Prugh, and Cade Parton will all be playing in their last home match for the Herd, and each will be hoping to extend his career with a monumental victory over UCF.
Admission is free for all wishing to attend the 7 p.m. match at Hurricane High School. For those unable to make it on Saturday night, live stats will be available during the game by clicking the link below.