Herd Set for Opening Weekend at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex

Sophomore Kelly Culicerto

Aug 21, 2013

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Friday, Aug. 23 | 7:30 p.m.
Huntington, W.Va. | Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex
Live Video ($) | Live Stats | Twitter

Sunday, Aug. 25 | 1 p.m.
Huntington, W.Va. | Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex
Live Video ($) | Live Stats | Twitter

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall women's soccer will open the 2013 regular season at the new Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex, hosting Campbell Friday, Aug. 23 and Kent State Sunday, Aug. 25.

For both contests, GameTracker will be available to fans for no charge and live video streaming will be available for a fee through HerdZone.com. Follow @HerdWSoccer on Twitter for more information.

Prior to the start of Friday's match, Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick will lead a dedication ceremony for the new $8 million Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.

The Vet will host 10 home matches for Marshall this season. Conference USA action kicks off Friday, Sept. 27, when the Herd takes on Old Dominion at 7 p.m. Admission is $3.

Campbell dropped both its exhibition matches during preseason, losing, 3-1, at UNC Wilmington and 6-1 at No. 15 Wake Forest. Freshman Kine Thorsvik netted the lone goal vs. UNCW and sophomore Ashley Hartert converted a penalty kick vs. Wake Forest. Last season the Camels finished 10-8-1, falling, 1-0, to Radford in the Big South Tournament Quarterfinal.

The Thundering Herd met Campbell for the first time last season in Buies Creek, N.C., when the Camels won, 4-2, Sept. 3, 2012. MU sophomore midfielder Kelly Culicerto scored her first collegiate goal with 15 minutes remaining in the meeting, assisted by senior Morgan Cain.

Kent State senior Jessacca Gironda scored in the 85th minute to propel the Flashes past 2012 NCAA Qualifier Oakland, 1-0, in an exhibition match August 17. The 2012 squad tied or set seven team season records, including wins (13), winning percentage (.700), goals (40) and assists (44). After losing to Miami (OH), 3-1, in the MAC Semifinals, the Flashes finished the 2012 season 9-12-0.

Kent State knocked off the Herd last season in a 2-1 double overtime decision Sept. 14, 2012, in Kent, Ohio. Marshall trails the all-time series 3-5-0.

A LOOK AT 2012
The Herd have a combined 155 career starts among 14 returning letterwinners. Seven starters are back off last year's team that finished 7-11-1, 3-7-1 in C-USA play. Returning players accounted for 17 of 25 goals and 10 of 15 assists last season.

Despite losing leading point-scorer Chelsey Maiden (16p, 6g, 4a), Marshall returns sophomore striker Erin Simmons, the 2012 co-leader in goals scored (14p, 6g, 2a). The Gahanna, Ohio, native also earned All-C-USA third team honors and All-Freshman honors for the 2012 season.

The Herd is 9-5-1 in lidlifters all-time and 4-1-0 under head coach Kevin Long, the last loss coming in 2010 at Cleveland State. Last season, the Herd defeated Ball State, 3-1.

Eight newcomers join the Herd's 2013 ranks, including Sydney Arnold and Kayla Byrnside, who both scored goals in a 3-0 exhibition shutout of VMI August 14. Simmons also recorded a goal in the match and rookie goalkeeper Danielle Cushing saw substantial time in the net, recording one save. MU sophomore midfielder Gabby Dyer scored the lone goal in a 2-1 friendly loss to Cincinnati August 16.

Simmons has also been named one of Conference USA Preseason Players to Watch. The annual list, compiled by C-USA coaches, recognizes the top 16 players in the conference as well as the top five teams as preseason favorites.

Long enters his sixth season as the Thundering Herd's head coach and 15th season as a head coach. In his first five seasons at Marshall, Long led the women to a 35-49-11 record and advanced to the postseason once, losing a 3-0 decision to Houston in the first round of the C-USA Tournament in 2010.

Long has added two assistant coaches for the 2013 slate: Kristen McFadden and Herd soccer alumna Erika Duncan.

McFadden hails from Dayton, Ohio, and spent her collegiate career in the net for the Mastodons at IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind. She brings a great deal of goal-keeping expertise through her time coaching and working with soccer programs in her local communities.

Duncan returns to the Marshall women's soccer program as one of the most decorated players in Herd history. A four-year letterwinner at forward from 2007-2010, she holds the Marshall record for most career goals (23) and most career game winning goals (eight).

The Herd begins another home weekend at The Vet, hosting James Madison Friday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. and Akron Sunday, Sept. 1 at 1 p.m.