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Marshall’s 10th ranked soccer team gets road win

Herd beats ETSU 4-1
Marshall #1 team in nation in preseason rankings
Marshall #1 team in nation in preseason rankings(WSAZ)
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 11:22 PM EDT
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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WSAZ)The 10th-ranked Marshall men’s soccer team puts up multiple goals again in a 4-1 road win over the East Tennessee State Bucs, Tuesday night from Summer-Taylors Stadium.

Four different players scored for the Herd as Marshall has put up at least two goals in each match and has netted 15 total in just four matches. The 15 goals are the most in the first four matches for the Herd since 2000, and is tied for the fourth-most in program history. In 1985, Marshall put up 20 goals in its first four contests.

The Thundering Herd improves to 2-1-1. The Bucs suffer its first loss of the season, dropping to 2-1-0.

“Much better performance from us today,” Herd head coach Chris Grassie said. “Our possession game, especially from the back six payers, was very good. But everyone raised their level today. Unfortunate situation for Ollie (Semmle), as he was unlucky to get the Red. But Gabe Sitler jumped in and did a great job.

“All in all, I thought the lads had a lot of fun tonight. Great to see Ibra (Diop) and Alex (Adjetey) get their first goals for us as well. Now we turn our attention to Bowling Green, who are a very well organized and coached team.”

Marshall dominated possession in the first half 75-25 percent, as well as in shots 8-1 overall and 3-0 on goal. The Herd also had seven corners in the first frame, however ETSU’s defense did its job in knocking away the opportunities off the set pieces.

In the 28th minute, senior Vinicius Fernandes took a pass from fifth-year senior Pedro Dolabella and scored the first goal of the night. For Fernandes, it was his team-leading fourth of the season which is also a career-high. The Sao Paulo, Brazil native has scored a goal in every match so far this season. Fernandes has also been accurate on his shot attempts as all seven this year have been on goal.

The Herd went in at the half leading 1-0.

It took just five minutes and 44 seconds into the second half for Marshall to score its second goal. Junior Max Schneider put out a leading pass as Dolabella reached for it between a defender and the goalkeeper and gave a great touch through the crowd to find the back of the net. Dolabella, who has three assists this season, scored his first goal of the year and 14th of his great career.

Less than three minutes later the Bucs cut the lead down to one, 2-1, scoring its first goal of the match.

Marshall responded in the 62nd minute, taking advantage of a mistake near midfield by ETSU. Senior Jan-Erik Leinhos raced ahead down the far side and then sent a great pass to the middle of the 18-yard box to junior Alex Adjetey who put a nice touch on the pass to the near side of the net. It was Adjetey’s first goal of his career and gave the Herd back a two-goal lead, 3-1.

In the 71st minute, Marshall earned a free kick off a foul about 25 yards away. Senior Ibrahima Diop took the free kick and fired a curling shot that bended to the left and beat the keeper into the near corner. It was Diop’s first goal in a Marshall uniform and his seventh of his collegiate career. Diop scored six during his three seasons at UConn, before transferring to Marshall this summer.

With 11 minutes and 10 seconds remaining in the match, senior goalkeeper Oliver Semmle received a red card and had to leave the match. Redshirt sophomore Gabe Sitler entered the match as the keeper and a player from the field came off as the Herd had to play with 10 for the remainder of the contest.

Marshall’s defense was up to the task allowing just two shots with only one on goal that was saved by Sitler, the first of his career. Semmle allowed one goal and had one save before exiting the match. The senior earned the win as Marshall was leading 4-1 when the card was handed out.

The Herd outshot the Bucs 16-7 and 8-3 on goal.

Marshall returns to the pitch on Saturday, Sept. 11, against (RV) Bowling Green. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.