Herd Looks to Remain Unbeaten vs. James Madison, Akron

Freshman Beth Dine scored her first collegiate goal against Campbell August 23.

Aug 28, 2013

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

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Opponents have yet to score against Marshall (2-0-0), and this streak is on the line when the Herd hosts James Madison (1-1-0) Friday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. and Akron (1-1-0) Sunday, Sept. 1 at 1 p.m.

The last time the Herd opened the season at 2-0-0 was in 2009 with Kevin Long's first recruiting class and second season as head coach, with wins versus Cleveland State and Duquesne. That team would go on to win five more consecutive matches, eventually ending the best season in program history at 12-7-0 (5-6-0 Conference USA).

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.

The Marshall soccer program unveiled the new Hoops Family Field with a doubleheader at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex Friday, Aug. 23. Accompanied by the Hoops family, Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick and University President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp led a dedication ceremony before the women's 3-0 victory over Campbell. The $8 million complex was at standing-room only with 1,433 fans in attendance.

"The Vet" hosts 10 home matches for Marshall women's soccer this season. Conference USA action kicks off Friday, Sept. 27, when the Herd takes on Old Dominion at 7 p.m. Admission is $7.

Marshall opened its home slate last weekend with a pair of wins, both 3-0, over Campbell and Kent State. Sophomore Erin Simmons netted the first regulation goal at "The Vet," scoring in the second minute of play versus Campbell.

Other notes: senior Kristine Culicerto had a career match versus Kent State, scoring two goals in the 3-0 shutout. Three freshmen scored their first collegiate goals this weekend - Beth Dine and Kayla Byrnside against Campbell, and Sydney Arnold against Kent State. Junior goalkeeper Lizzie Kish notched back-to-back shutouts, with six saves.

James Madison enters the week at 1-1-0 after defeating Richmond, 4-1, and falling to La Salle, 2-1. Leading scorer Meghan Cox was named the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week (week of Aug. 25) after scoring a goal in each of her first two career matches.

The Herd met the Dukes for the first time in 2012, dropping a 2-1 overtime decision in Harrisonburg, Va.

Last week, Akron traveled to West Lafayette, Ind., to compete at the Boilermaker Cup. The Zips ended the weekend at 1-1-0, losing to host Purdue, 5-0, and defeating North Dakota, 4-1. Sophomore forward Megan Waskowski leads the team with three goals. Next, Akron travels to Morehead, Ky., to take on the Eagles of Morehead State Friday, Aug. 30.

Last time, the Herd shut out the Zips, 2-0 (Sept. 16, 2012), in Akron, Ohio. This time, Marshall looks to even the all-time series, which Akron leads 3-2-1.

A LOOK AT 2012
Seven starters are back from the 2012 squad that finished 7-11-1 (3-7-1 C-USA). The Herd has a combined 155 career starts among 14 returning letterwinners. 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.

In addition to her 2012 honors, sophomore Erin Simmons has been named one of the 2013 Conference USA Preseason Players to Watch. The annual list, compiled by C-USA coaches, recognizes the top 16 players in the conference.

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 travels to Philadelphia on the first road trip of the season to take on Temple at 1:30 p.m. ET Friday, Sept. 6, and La Salle at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 8.