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@HerdWSoccer Returns Home to Face UTEP

Oct. 19, 2016

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – After closing out its regular season away schedule in south Florida the Herd returns home to play its last two regular season games at Hoops Family Field, as it hosts UTEP on Thursday, Oct 20, at 7 p.m..

Marshall closed out its last road trip of the regular season with a draw and a loss. The draw came in a 1-1 double-overtime game at FIU. Freshman Jordan Sackaris scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season to help Marshall come from behind and collect a point in Conference USA play. Sackaris became the first freshman to score seven goals since Amanda McMahon (2000-01) did so in her debut season.  The Herd fell, 2-1, at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, Fla., on Oct. 16. Sydney Arnold grabbed her fourth goal of the season to give her 14 points on the season. 

Arnold and Sackaris have combined to score 11 of the Herd’s 18 goals in 2016. Sackaris scored a goal in each of the first three games of the season and again in the 3-0 win over ETSU. The freshman starlet has also collected a point in four of the last five matches. Arnold had scored a goal in three consecutive matches. Freshman Megan Bonelli has started the last six of the last eight matches and made at least seven saves in her first three contests. Bonelli has a 2-3-1 record in C-USA play.



Senior midfielder Sydney Arnold is on the brink of claiming a few school records.  Arnold is now No. 5 all-time for career goals scored with 17. The Stafford, Va., native is tied for third all-time in career points and in assists.  Arnold is also tied for fifth all-time in career matches started for the Herd. The senior is the first person in Marshall school history to earn back-to-back All-Conference USA second team selections.

From Sept. 2-9 senior Sydney Arnold had three goals in three straight matches. She has continued where she left off in the 2015 season where she collected 23 points, nine goals and five assists. Arnold has started all but one match since beginning her career in the 2013 season. The senior has now grabbed an assist in and is now tied for third place on the all-time career list in assists.

Freshman Jordan Sackaris leads the Thundering Herd with seven goals scored this season. To put that in perspective, Sackaris is one of four freshmen in Conference USA to score at least seven goals this season. The last Herd freshman to score at least five goals was Erin Simmons (2012-15), who finished her freshman year with six. There has not been a freshman at Marshall that has surpassed seven goals since Amanda McMahon (2000-01) did so with 14 in her debut season. Sackaris has also collected a point in four of her last five matches.

Between Sept. 18 and Sept. 30, Marshall had a four-game road test. The featured schools were William & Mary (Williamsburg, Va.), North Texas (Denton, Texas), Southern Miss (Hattiesburg, Miss.) and Louisiana Tech (Ruston, La.). Over the course of the trip the Herd traveled 3,071.8 miles to play its opponents. Marshall finished with a 1-2-1 record during the road trip.

The Herd return to Hoops Family Field after completing its regular season road schedule for the season to face the UTEP Miners on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. The Miners own an 11-4-2 overall record and a 4-3-0 record in C-USA play. UTEP leads the all-time series against Marshall with a 5-2-2 record overall.

The Miners boast a high-octane offense that has scored 29 goals, 32 assists and 90 points on the season. 15 of its 21 players have gabbed at least one point this season. They are led by senior Aleah Davis (5 goals, 7 assists and 17 points), senior Bri Thomas (6 goals, 4 assists and 16 points) and junior Kennadie Chaudhary (3 goals, 4 assists and 10 points).

UTEP also boasts an equally solid defense that has only given up 15 goals this season and owns nine shutouts. The defense is led by freshman Lauren Crenshaw, who is a one-time C-USA Defender of the Week this season and sophomore goalkeeper Alyssa Palacios, who has won C-USA’s Goalkeeper of the week twice this season.

Freshman goalkeeper Megan Bonelli (Apollo, Pa.) reached a milestone in her first collegiate start against the William & Mary Tribe (Sept. 18).  The Apollo, Pa., native collected a career and season-high eight saves. Bonelli’s eight saves marked the first time a Marshall freshman did so in a match since Lindsey Kerns (2009-12) made eight saves in the 1-0 defeat at Kentucky in 2010. In Bonelli’s second start of her career against North Texas, she matched her milestone by notching another eight saves. The last freshman to make at least six saves in two straight matches was Liz Orton (2006-08). In Bonelli’s match against Southern Miss she notched seven saves. No freshman has grabbed at least seven saves in three straight games since the Herd joined C-USA. The freshman earned her first career shutout against UAB Friday, Oct. 7, in a 1-0 victory.

The Herd rounded out the top four of Conference USA’s 14-team preseason poll, as selected by league coaches (Aug. 4). The Herd lost seven players from its 2015 C-USA finals roster, including three starters. Preseason All-C-USA selection Sydney Arnold (Stafford, Va.) entered her senior year as the Herd’s top scorer from last season.

Marshall has collected a total of 50 points from 18 goals and 14 assists. Eight different players have grabbed at least one point this season. The list of players includes Sydney Arnold (Stafford, Va.), Jordan Sackaris (Smithtown, N.Y.), Jayne Lawman (Winfield, W. Va.), Ashley Seltzer (Knoxville, Tenn.), Shontelle Smith (Dunedin, New Zealand), Kayla Byrnside (Milford, Ohio), Gabby Powers (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Katie Suchodolski (Langhome, Pa.).

Sophomore Shontelle Smith has broken out during conference USA play. She has been a key player for the Herd’s offense, having collected a point in three of the last five matches. Her free kick at Louisiana Tech sent the game into overtime and she scored the game-winning goal against UAB. 

Marshall has added 11 freshmen to the squad in 2016. The Herd’s rookie class includes one goalkeeper,  four tweeners,  three defenders and three forwards: Megan Bonelli (Apollo, Pa.), Marah Abu-Tayeh (Williamsville, Ind.), Gabby Powers (Knoxville, Tenn.), Metz Gonzalez (Fontana, Calif.), Jordan Sackaris (Smithtown, N.Y.), Farah Abu-Tayeh (Williamsville, Ind.), Karen Rogge (Naples, Fla.), Alyssa Totzke (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Rebekah Cook (Beckley, W. Va.), Ally Kimbler (London, Ohio) and Chloe Smith (West Chester, Pa.).Bonelli (Apollo, Pa.), Marah Abu-Tayeh (Williamsville, Ind.), Gabby Powers (Knoxville, Tenn.), Metz Gonzalez (Fontana, Calif.), Jordan Sackaris (Smithtown, N.Y.), Farah Abu-Tayeh (Williamsville, Ind.), Karen Rogge (Naples, Fla.), Alyssa Totzke (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Rebekah Cook (Beckley, W. Va.), Ally Kimbler (London, Ohio) and Chloe Smith (West Chester, Pa.).

Additionally, Daniel Withrow joined coach Kevin Long’s staff as an assistant coach. Withrow, a Rochester Hills, Mich. native, will work primarily with goalkeepers while assisting with all parts of the program. Withrow graduated from Marshall in 2013 and was selected in the second round (28th overall) in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft by the Columbus Crew. 

For all the latest information about Marshall women’s soccer, follow @HerdWSoccer on Twitter. 

The Herd closes out the regular season when it hosts the Charlotte 49ers next Friday, Oct. 28, at Hoops Family Field. Charlotte leads the all-time series 3-1-0.