Herd Sharp in Regular Season Opener; Defeats Ball State 3-1


Chelsey Maiden battles for the ball against the Ball State Cardinals in Friday's opening day victory

Chelsey Maiden battles for the ball against the Ball State Cardinals in Friday's opening day victory

Aug. 17, 2012

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Freshman striker Erin Simmons gave the Thundering Herd a goal and an assist in her first collegiate soccer match and helped Marshall’s women’s soccer team defeat Ball State 3-1 in the regular season opener Friday at Huntington High School. 

“I thought the team played very well to start off the season,” said Marshall head coach Kevin Long.  “We weren’t sure we had enough time to fix some of the holes that Longwood exploited in our exhibition, but the team did a great job through training this week, and I am thrilled to see them get to such a great start.”   

Simmons broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when she made a nice finish after dribbling through the Cardinal defense.  The freshman’s shot, bent toward the far post, went off Ball State goal-keeper Aubrey Buehler’s outstretched hand before clanking the inside iron and finding the back of the net to give Marshall a 1-0 lead. 

Sophomore Alyssa Cathey added to the Herd lead in the second half (56’) when senior Chelsey Maiden played her through on the left side and set up another great finish.  Cathey added a few touches to Maiden’s pass before lifting her shot over Buehler and into the side netting. 

Marshall (1-0) goal-keeper Lindsey Kerns was put to work over the ensuing 20 minutes, needing several clearances and close-range blocks from her defense to keep the lead at two. 

“Ball State had a lot of weapons,” continued Long, “but I think our defense showed great strides from a week ago, and equally important, we were able to create outstanding chances on the offensive side of the ball.”

In the 70th minute, Ball State (0-1) scored off the foot of Shaniece Thorpe from inside the box.  Aubrey Hauenstein had the assist. 

Herd junior Lizzy Lemons answered for Marshall just 12 minutes later, playing a one-two from Simmons in the box and sliding a shot past Buehler to extend the lead back to two. 

Kerns made three saves for the Herd, which out-shot Ball State 14-11 (10-7 in the second half). 

Buehler made seven saves while allowing the three goals.