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Herd soccer beats FAU

Marshall gets 1st win since March 18th
Published: Apr. 3, 2021 at 3:47 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The 13th-ranked Marshall men’s soccer team tallied its sixth shutout of the season with 1-0 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday at Hoops Family Field. Marshall held the Owls to just four total shots and zero on goal.

The Thundering Herd improved to 7-2-2 overall and 4-0-1 in Conference USA. The Owls drop 5-3-2 and 2-3-0 in league play.

“We needed that (the win),” Herd head coach Chris Grassie said. “I think it was a very similar performance from the last two games, but we just happened to get the win this time.

“We created a lot of chances. We worked on finishing all week and I think it is just continuing to believe and not getting too anxious and too frustrated. Just continue to put yourself in the right positions and do the right things. You just keep doing that and eventually you will get the reward with the goal. (On the goal) Milo (Yosef) got a little touch to it and then Joao (Souza) finished it. But they were both making those runs and gambling in, getting in behind and it paid off.

“We just have to keep doing that. Obviously our defense has been amazing. We are playing so well, possession-wise, limiting the chances of teams, we just need that final piece which is finishing. But it’s coming. You can see the guys getting back into it. It is going to be good going forward if we can just build on this.”

The Herd outshot FAU 23-4 and 10-0 on goal, however the first shot on goal for Marshall came in the 36th minute as redshirt sophomore Milo Yosef attempted to fire one in that was saved by the keeper. The shot attempt from Yosef was also just the fifth shot by the Herd in the match, however the pressure increased on the Owls defense as the contest wore on.

In the 41st minute, senior Jamil Roberts sent in a cross from the left side that deflected off Yosef and found sophomore Joao Souza for the finish into the back of the net on the far side. It was the first goal of the season for Souza and the third of his career. He is the 11th different player to score a goal for Marshall this season. Roberts earned his fourth assist of the year and the 19th of his career, moving the Langport, England native ahead of Ryan LaPointe (1989-93) for second place all-time in program history. Marshall Hall of Famer Andy Zulauf (1981-85) is tops all-time with 27 career helpers.

The Herd did not let off the gas after grabbing the 1-0 lead. Junior Vitor Dias recorded a shot on goal in the 44th minute that was saved by an Owls defender. Marshall took eight shots in the first half with three on goal while Florida Atlantic had three attempts and zero on goal.

In the second half, the Herd attempted 15 total shots with seven on goal. The Florida Atlantic defense and goalkeeper Neil Strauber made the stops, but could not redirect the ball back downfield enough to take away the constant pressure. Marshall’s defense allowed just one shot, in the 79th minute, that was blocked before it had a chance to get near junior goalkeeper Oliver Semmle.

Roberts had a great opportunity to add to the score with a shot in the 57th minute that hit the far post. The Herd’s last chance at a second goal came with just 11 seconds remaining after a foul by Florida Atlantic about four yards outside of the penalty box. Yosef took the free kick from about 22 yards out that sailed just high over the crossbar.

Marshall’s defense shut down Ivan Mykhailenko, the reigning Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week. Mykhailenko managed just two shots, both in the first half, and neither was on goal.

The Herd leads the Conference USA standings with 13 points and a 4-0-1 record. Charlotte is next with nine points and a 3-0 league record. Marshall’s remaining matches in the 2021 spring regular season are at UAB on April 10 and then back home to face the Charlotte 49ers on April 18. C-USA is not hosting a men’s soccer conference tournament this season and the regular season champion will be crowned the Cup winner for the year and receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, beginning with the first round on April 29.

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