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Herd Men's Soccer Heads to MAC Tournament

Herd Men's Soccer Heads to MAC Tournament


KALAMAZOO, Mich. - After a 10-7-2 regular season, the Thundering Herd men's soccer team will head to the Mid-American Conference Tournament with its first round game taking place on Friday at 3 p.m. against the host Western Michigan Broncos.

Marshall (10-7-2, 3-2-1 MAC) and Western Michigan (8-6-3, 3-2-1 MAC) have become very familiar with each other, having squared off three times over the last two seasons. This will be the fourth meeting since the start of the 2003 season.

The Herd owned a 6-0-1 advantage in the all-time series heading into last season, but the Broncos have won the last three meetings, including a 2-1 win over the Herd this season in Kalamazoo. In the 2003 tournament, WMU held off Marshall, 1-0, to advance in the tournament. They would later defeat Bowling Green to win the conference.

This will mark the third time the two teams have met in the MAC tournament. Last season, WMU took a 1-0 win while the Herd pulled off a 3-1 win in 2001.

Leading scorer Karim Boukhemis (Huntington, WV) will look to get the MU offense rolling. Boukhemis recorded seven goals and 16 points to lead the team in 2004. Junior Kirk Gibson (Allen, TX) and senior Firas Al-Samarraie (Malmoe, Sweden) have also been solid contributors on offense. Gibson is second on the team in points with 12 and leads the team with four assists. Al-Samarraie notched four goals and three assists in the regular season.

Junior Jeremy Ashe (Cinnaminson, NJ) had a stellar finish to the season on Sunday, tallying a goal and an assist in the 2-1 win over Radford. He assisted on Nicholas Ademolu's (Windsor, Ont.) game-tying goal and scored the game-winner with 18 minutes left to give the Herd the win.

Three games will take place in the opening round of the tournament on Friday. The action starts at 9 p.m. when third seed Northern Illinois will take on the sixth seeded Buffalo Bulls. The second game will feature second seed Akron and the seventh seeded Bowling Green Falcons. That game will start at noon, followed by the Marshall game at 3 p.m..

The winner of Marshall's game will go on to face the top seeded Kentucky Wildcats at 11 a.m. on Sunday while the winner of the first two games on Friday will face off at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

HerdZone will have an update after Friday's games.