Aug. 22, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Although redshirt junior goalkeeper Lizzie Kish (Boyertown, Pa.) saved a penalty kick attempt by Morgan Brian, an active member of the U.S. Women's National Team, the Thundering Herd fell, 3-0, to No. 3 Virginia in its season opener under Friday night lights at Klöckner Stadium.
The Herd's back line fended off a plethora of attacks by the Virginia offense in the first half, keeping it scoreless all the way to the 40th minute when U20 Women's National Team member Makenzy Doniak fielded a ball from Brian and struck from 15 yards out inside Marshall's far post.
Brian helped again when she crossed to Kaili Torres in front of the Herd goal, who made it 2-0 in the 56th minute. Three minutes later Alexis Shaffer extended the Cavaliers' lead to 3-0 when she long-balled a shot from 18 yards out, which deflected off a Marshall defender.
The Hoos looked poised to strike again when the Herd was called for a foul in the box in the 61st minute and Brian stepped up to take a penalty kick. Kish dove to her right and deflected the ball out, saving the Herd from a 4-0 deficit. Marshall's defense held strong for the remaining 29 minutes, and time ran out with the Cavaliers on top, 3-0.
AGAINST THE CAVALIERS
No. 3 Virginia led the Herd in shots (26-1) and corner kicks (9-1). Kish made six saves on the night while the Cavaliers' Morgan Stearns and Jessie Ferrari fended off zero shots on goal. Brian and Shaffer led the Hoos with four shots each, while junior Kelly Culicerto (Charlotte, N.C.) took the Herd's only shot of the night.
LONG STORY SHORT
Quotes by Coach Kevin Long:
On the Herd's performance against No. 3 Virginia
"We knew that we were going to see a lot of possession from Virginia. They didn't disappoint. They possessed it quite a bit in the second half. I think we just saw the work rate required to play at this level for 90 minutes. It's something we're not used to. We learned a lot about our needs and how we need to play as we go down the road. I'm excited to get after it again on Sunday."
Three members of the Herd have earned 2014 preseason honors. Senior defender Alyssa Cathey (Fort Collins, Colo.) was named one of Conference USA's Top 20 Players to Watch by Top Drawer Soccer, Friday. Cathey and junior forward Erin Simmons (Gahanna, Ohio) earned second-team honors by College Sports Madness (Aug. 1) alongside redshirt junior Lizzie Kish (Boyertown, Pa.), who was named first team goalkeeper.
HOME SWEET HOME
Marshall will host VCU, Sunday, in its home opener at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex. The Herd is 0-2-0 all-time versus the Rams, last meeting Aug. 26, 2011, in a 4-1 loss in Richmond, Va. Sunday will be the teams' first meeting in Huntington. Marshall is 9-6-1 all-time in home openers. The Herd won the first home opener at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex when it defeated Campbell last season, 3-0 (Aug. 23, 2013).
LET'S GET SOCIAL
Keep up with the latest news about Herd soccer by liking the team's official Facebook page: Marshall University Soccer. For live in-match updates and news, follow @HerdWSoccer on Twitter. Want to see photos and behind-the-scenes action? Give @HerdZone a follow on Instagram.