Herd soccer wins season opener
HARRISONBURG, Va. – After waiting through a lightning delay that pushed a 7:30 p.m. start time back to 10:02 p.m., the No. 1-ranked Marshall men’s soccer team lit up the scoreboard, 6-1, at No. 21 James Madison Thursday night. Senior Vitor Dias scored two goals and had two assists. The Thundering Herd begins the 2021 season 1-0, while the Dukes drop to 0-1. The last time the Herd scored six goals in a match was Oct. 5, 2019 at home against the UAB Blazers. It was a 6-0 Marshall win.
“Great focus from the guys tonight,” Herd head coach Chris Grassie said after winning his 145th career match and 46th at Marshall. “A lot of stoppages with the lightning. We had to kickoff more than two hours late, but they maintained focus and were really disciplined. JMU were better than the score suggests. I thought they did very well especially in the first half. But our guys on the attacking front were very, very deadly. “Vitor (Dias), Milo (Yosef), Vini (Fernandes), and Paulo (Lino) came on and got a great goal. Joao (Souza) was running all night and I though Alex Adjetey was very quick and dangerous in the attack. And Ibrahima (Diop) did very well when he came in, just hurrying them and keeping discipline. It was fantastic for Adam Lubell to get his first goal. Very excited about that.
“Usually the defense and the goalkeeper don’t get a lot of the credit. But I do think that tonight was obviously an offensive show. Very happy for those guys. We were obviously able to get a lot of guys in and play and they all did very well. They did the shirt proud.”
Marshall began the scoring barrage early in the first half. Senior Vinicius Fernandes went to the bottom right of the net in the seventh minute. Graduate Pedro Dolabella made a pass to Dias who gave a quick touch to Fernandes for the score. It was his ninth goal of his career. Then in the 28th minute, Dias found the back of the net for his first goal of the match and the 10th of his career, off a pass from junior Max Schneider. Marshall led 2-0. James Madison got on board in the 31st minute to close the gap back to one. However, that did not last long as redshirt junior Milo Yosef scored his first goal of the year and 17th of his career, off an assist by junior Alex Adjetey.
Yosef is now in a four-way tie for ninth all-time in program history in career goals scored. The Herd went in at the half leading 3-1. It didn’t take long for Marshall’s offense to get rolling again in the second half either. Dias netted his second goal of the night, tying a career-high, in the 53rd minute receiving an assist from Fernandes. It was the third match of his career with two goals scored. In the 66th minute, redshirt sophomore Adam Lubell scored his first career goal going low to the right side. Two minutes and seven seconds later freshman Paulo Lino scored his first career goal as well off an assist from Dias. JMU outshot Marshall 14-12, however the Herd fired eight shots on goal and were very accurate with the six scores.
The Dukes had four shots on goal with goalkeeper Oliver Semmle recording three great saves. The Herd was able to hit up its bench depth for playing time in the season-opener as 10 players subbed in for Marshall. Mohammed Seidu, Ibrahima Diop, Kobe Perlaza, Brennan Breuer, and Gabe Sitler along with Lino and Adjetey made their Marshall debuts.
The Herd returns to the pitch on Sunday, Aug. 29 at 3:30 p.m., to take on No. 15 Virginia Tech in Harrisonburg, Va.
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