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Herd Ready for Liftoff to Houston, C-USA Tournament

Junior goalkeeper Lizzie Kish

Nov. 3, 2013

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EAST NO. 5 MARSHALL (9-6-3, 4-4-2 C-USA) vs. WEST NO. 4 RICE (7-7-3, 5-4-1 C-USA)
Conference USA Championship: First Round
Monday, Nov. 4 | 8 p.m. ET
Houston | Holloway Field
Tournament Central | Twitter

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – For the first time since 2010, Marshall women’s soccer (9-6-3, 4-4-2 C-USA) will compete in the Conference USA Tournament as the East Division No. 5 seed when it travels to Houston, Monday. The Thundering Herd will take on West Division No. 4 seed and tournament host Rice (7-7-3, 5-4-1 C-USA) at 8 p.m. ET at Holloway Field.

The first round, quarterfinals and semifinals of the 2013 C-USA Women's Soccer Tournament will be available for viewing exclusively on the C-USA Digital Network. Follow @HerdWSoccer on Twitter for more information.

The Thundering Herd clinched its first postseason berth since 2010 after shutting out FIU, 1-0, Thursday evening in Miami. Sophomore defender Lia Foster (Keswick, Ontario) scored her first career goal off a free kick from 30 yards out in the 21st minute of play. Junior goalkeeper Lizzie Kish (Boyertown, Pa.) picked up her ninth shutout of the year, tying her with Liz Orton for most season shutouts in a program history.

With the first-round match against Rice, Marshall is looking for its first-ever postseason win. All-time, the Herd is 0-2 in postseason play, with first-round losses versus Houston (3-0, Nov. 3, 2010) and Central Michigan (2-1, Nov. 6, 2001). Monday’s match marks the second-ever C-USA Tournament berth for Marshall (first postseason appearance: 2001 MAC Tournament).

For the first time since 2010, Marshall women’s soccer has clinched a winning regular-season record. Following the Herd’s 2-2 tie with Tulsa (Oct. 27), the Herd secured the third winning record in program history (2010: 12-7-0, 5-6-0 C-USA; 2001: 11-7-1, 7-4-1 MAC). After Thursday’s 1-0 win at FIU, Marshall concluded the regular season at 9-6-3, 4-4-1 C-USA.

Thirteen members of the Herd have recorded a point so far this season, including ten different goal scorers and seven players with an assist. Six Herd players have contributed their first points in a Marshall uniform this season.

The Herd is 7-1-1 when leading at halftime this season, and 8-1-1 when scoring first. Marshall has allowed only three goals in the first half this season, outscoring opponents 11-3.

This season, the Herd has tallied nine shutouts and is 8-0-1 when allowing zero goals. The team has allowed only 14 goals in 18 outings (T-1 in Conference USA), and all but one of the Herd’s nine wins are shutouts. With junior goalkeeper Lizzie Kish (Boyertown, Pa.) the defensive helm, Marshall is first in C-USA for goals against average (0.74) and is tied for third for shutouts (9).

In the Marshall record book, Kish is tied for most shutouts in a season (9) and is tied for second-most career shutouts (9). She is one of six players to start every match for the Herd in 2013, and has racked up 1698:10 minutes in the net, the second-most in a season and fourth-most in a career at Marshall.

Currently, Kish ranks first in C-USA for goals against average (0.74), third in shutouts (9) and third in save percentage (.813). Kish was named C-USA Defender of the Week for the week of Sept. 22, after picking up her fifth shutout versus Miami (Ohio).

Goals from Lauren Hughes, Holly Hargreaves and Bella Hernandez propelled Rice into the Conference USA Tournament with a 3-0 win over Louisiana Tech, Wednesday. The West No. 4 seed Owls (7-7-3, 5-4-1 C-USA) host the week-long event at Holloway Field in Houston. Hughes leads the team with 26 points (9g, 8a).

Marshall trails the all-time series with Rice, 2-4-1, with the Owls taking the last meeting (Oct. 5, 2012), 4-1. The last time Marshall defeated Rice was Oct. 23, 2011, when the Herd took the match, 1-0.

The winner of Monday’s match will move on to the quarterfinals to face East No. 1 seed Charlotte (10-6-2, 5-3-1 C-USA), Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. ET. For more information about the Conference USA Tournament, visit Tournament Central and follow @HerdWSoccer on Twitter.