Marshall wins CUSA Soccer Championship
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Behind second-half goals from senior midfielder Pedro Dolabella and junior defender Jan-Erik Leinhos and a shutout from junior goalkeeper Oliver Semmle, the No. 9 Marshall University men’s soccer team (9-2-2, 6-0-1 C-USA) defeated the No. 12 Charlotte 49ers (6-3-1, 6-1-0 C-USA) 2-0 on Sunday capturing the 2020 Conference USA Men’s Regular Season Championship on Senior Day. The Herd earned a bid into the 2020-21 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament with the victory.
Semmle recorded his seventh shutout of the season, earning the 2020 Conference USA Golden Glove Award for most shutouts in the conference.
“We thought we had opportunities all day and all season,” Marshall head coach Chris Grassie said after the win. “They were bringing the game to us, which I appreciate. They were trying to press us high. They left some gaps. We were able to stretch them in the second half and it opened all sorts of gaps from there.”
Prior to the contest, MU honored Kyle Winquist and Jamil Roberts as part of the Senior Day ceremony.
Just over three minutes into the game, senior forward Jamil Roberts had an opportunity down the left wing, but he pushed the shot just right of the goal.
Sophomore midfielder Joao Souza had the lone shot on goal in the first half, but it was saved in the 42nd minute.
Charlotte nearly put the first goal in the net when an Alex Willis attempt hit the crossbar in the 62nd minute.
A little over two minutes later, the 49ers were called for a handball in the box and the Herd was awarded a penalty kick. Leinhos stepped up to the spot and hit the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season. The defender is 3-for-3 on penalty kicks this season, 5-for-5 in his career.
Then in the 69th minute, sophomore forward Milo Yosef left a ball for Dolabella, who struck it from outside the box, then had his shot go off the bottom of the crossbar and just cross the line to put MU up 2-0.
It was Dolabella’s first goal of the season with his last coming on Nov. 17, 2019, in the 2019 C-USA Championship Game in a 1-0, two-overtime win over Charlotte.
Semmle then made three of his four saves in the second half in quick succession in the 79th, 82nd and 83rd minutes to preserve the victory for the Herd.
Marshall finds out who it’ll play in the 2020-21 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament tomorrow (Apr. 19) as the selection show begins at Noon.
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