@HerdWSoccer to Open 2014 Season at No. 3 Virginia
Women's soccer to take on nationally-ranked Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall women's soccer will commence regular-season action, Friday, by traveling to Charlottesville, Va., to take on the third-ranked Virginia Cavaliers.
HAVE YOU HERD?
The Thundering Herd split its exhibition schedule by defeating VMI, 1-0 (Aug. 17), and falling to No. 5 Virginia Tech, 4-0 (Aug. 14). Junior Erin Simmons (Gahanna, Ohio) scored Marshall's only goal of the weekend when she headed a cross by senior Kristine Culicerto (Charlotte, N.C.) in the 24th minute against VMI.
THE HERD VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
No. 3 Virginia is the highest-ranked opponent Marshall women's soccer has faced. Prior to Friday's meeting, the Herd's highest-ranked opponent was No. 7 South Carolina, which defeated Marshall, 4-0 (Sept. 23, 2007). The last time the Herd faced a ranked team was Sept. 5, 2011, when Marshall fell to in-state rival No. 25 West Virginia, 3-0. The Herd never has beaten a ranked opponent (0-6).
All-time results vs. NSCAA-ranked opponents:
- Sept. 5, 2011 - at No. 25 West Virginia - L, 3-0
- Sept. 26, 2010 - at No. 23 UCF - L, 2-1
- Oct. 2, 2009 - vs. No. 21 UCF - L, 4-1
- Sept. 23, 2007 - at No. 7 South Carolina - L, 4-0
- Oct. 20, 2006 - at No. 22 SMU - L, 3-0
- Aug. 29, 2003 - at No. 21 Purdue - L, 3-0
OLD DOMINION OUTINGS
This season, Marshall will take on five teams from Coach Kevin Long's home state of Virginia. The Herd's first four opponents of the 2014-15 campaign are all from the Old Dominion State. In exhibition play, the Herd dropped a 4-0 decision to No. 5 Virginia Tech, 4-0 (Aug. 14), and defeated VMI, 1-0 (Aug. 17). To begin its regular season, Marshall will take on No. 3 Virginia (Aug. 22) before its home opener versus VCU (Aug. 24). The Herd will face one more Virginia opponent when it travels to Norfolk to face Conference USA foe Old Dominion (Oct. 5).
All-time, the Herd is 5-7-2 against teams from Virginia. When playing in Virginia, Marshall is 2-6-0 all-time.
SHE'S A KEEPER
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Lizzie Kish (Boyertown, Pa.) will return to the net looking to build on a 2013 slate where she set the record for most minutes in a season at Marshall with 1,878. She also tied the Herd record of nine shutouts last season.
2014 SCHEDULE NOTES
- Two 2013 NCAA College Cup participants: Virginia Tech (exhibition) and Virginia
- 11 conference tournament qualifiers: Virginia Tech, Virginia, VCU, Eastern Illinois, Appalachian State, Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio), Western Kentucky, Charlotte, UTEP and UAB
- Four first meetings: Cincinnati, Eastern Illinois, UTSA and Virginia
LONG STORY SHORT
Quotes by Coach Kevin Long:
On the impact of freshmen
"We're starting a new season and we've got some great returnees coming back. You hope that your influx of freshmen can pick it up quickly so they can make an immediate impact. We saw some great freshmen doing just that tonight and the possession didn't change. With six freshmen on the field at the end of the game we were getting some excellent opportunities and were dominating play."
On opening regular-season play at No. 3 Virginia, Friday
"I think the players are pretty pumped about the opportunity to play in an environment they're not used to. We expect 3,000 people there on Friday night cheering on UVa, so it'll certainly be a hostile crowd in front of No. 3. We're not new to No. 3. We've played top-10 teams like Memphis and UCF in the past, and we just had No. 5 Virginia Tech here in exhibition. The question is going to be whether or not we're ready to rise to that level so early. Usually we have those experiences later in the season."
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.
SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS
The Virginia women's soccer team was voted No. 3 in the country in the Preseason NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I women's soccer rankings released Aug. 7. The Cavaliers set school records in 2013 with 78 goals, 80 assists, 236 points and 16 shutouts. No. 1 seed Virginia fell to eventual NCAA champion UCLA in penalty kicks in the semifinals, following a 1-1 draw (Dec. 7, 2013). The Cavaliers ended the season at 24-1-1, setting a school record for wins in a season.
Aug. 22 will mark the first meeting between Marshall and Virginia.
Marshall's home opener is set Sunday, Aug. 24, against the VCU Rams at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex at 1 p.m. For all the latest information about Marshall women's soccer, follow @HerdWSoccer on Twitter.