Aug. 20, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - The Marshall women's soccer team begins the 2011 regular season August 21, as they look to steal an early season road victory against the St. Francis University Red Flashes. The 1 p.m. match will be held Sunday at the Stokes Soccerplex.
The Thundering Herd is looking to build off of last season's success, where they made their first appearance in the Conference USA tournament in school history. MU finished 2010 with a three-game win streak to stamp its place in the tournament, but Marshall is eager to add to last season's momentum.
Coach Kevin Long and his team will be calling upon several seniors to showcase top-notch talent and leadership as 2011 begins. Two-year captain Freya Holdaway (Llanrindod Wells, Wales/Llanridod HS)and a 2010 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week award winner, Erin Blakely (Westerville, Ohio/Arizona State) will secure the defensive front for the Herd. Meanwhile, Angela DeSumma (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East HS), Megan Tabler (Ashland, Ky./Russell HS), and Sarah Vinson (Amelia, Ohio/Amelia HS) look prime to attack the net on the offensive side of the ball.
The Red Flashes return eight starters to their squad, who finished first overall in the Northeast Conference in 2010. SFU is also eager to build upon last season's success as they nearly edged No. 17 Ohio State in the NCAA Women's College Cup tournament.
Marshall has never played St. Francis during the regular season before, however, several spring exhibition games have shown Coach Long and co. that SFU is not to be taken lightly. Coach Long notes, "St. Francis will be an excellent early test for our squad. They have always appeared to be well coached and do a standout job at executing their game plan. This match along with several others in the beginning of the season should prime us for what's to come from the elite conference teams."
The Herd's leader entering his fourth season as head coach also stated, "I am really excited to simply start the season. We have new faces that are eager to contribute and during the non-conference schedule we want to see the women peaking as we arrive to the conference schedule."
Live stats for Sunday's regular season opener can be viewed here.