#1 Marshall falls at FIU
MIAMI – The No. 1 Marshall men’s soccer team dropped a 4-1 decision at No. 19 FIU, Friday night at the FIU Soccer Stadium.
The Thundering Herd ends the regular season at 11-2-3 overall and 5-1-2 in Conference USA play. The Panthers improve to 12-2-2 overall and 7-0-1 in league play. FIU captures the regular season championship and will be the No. 1 overall seed at the C-USA Tournament. Marshall will be the No. 2 seed. The tournament is set for Nov. 10-14 and hosted by Charlotte. Both FIU and Marshall earn a first round bye and await opponents in the semifinal round on Friday, Nov. 12. A full bracket will be announced by the league office Sunday at 11 a.m.
“First of all, congrats to FIU,” Herd head coach Chris Grassie said. “Sometimes the luck and the officiating falls in your favor, as it has for us in the past. They play the match just as we play it, and you take what you can. So taking nothing away from them. They were intense and fired up tonight. Congrats to (head coach) Kyle (Russell) as well for his first trophy, always the sweetest.
“I thought our guys honestly battle hard tonight. A lot of them were a little sick with that bug, and battled bravely through it. It was difficult for us to play on that pitch as it was waterlogged all over, so again our guys battled through adversity. And another game we finish with ten men, when Vini’s (Fernandes) red at Charlotte was the only one we should’ve had to deal with.
“But were excited to get to Charlotte for the semifinals. We’ll rest up and come back stronger for this. We’re looking forward to getting in that lovely pitch and taking our revenge. I told the guys that two more wins through next Sunday, and tonight will be a distant memory. I know that tonight may not show it to most people, but it has made me surer than ever that we can win another national championship!”
Marshall scored the first goal of the match in the 13th minute when junior Max Schneider drilled a penalty kick. However, FIU scored in the 17th minute to tie the match and then in the 35th minute to take the lead.
The teams headed in at the half with the Panthers up 2-1.
Marshall could not get its offense into a rhythm in the second half as FIU stayed on the attack. The Panthers scored two more goals with one in the 51st minute and a final goal in the 79th minute. Schneider was issued a red card in the 61st minute and the Herd played the final 29 minutes with 10 players.
Marshall went to its bench in the second half as the only player to log all 90 minutes on the pitch was graduate student Pedro Dolabella. Ten other players saw time in the second half. Senior Ryan Sirk had a shot on goal in the 81st minute.
The Herd ends the regular season with double-digit victories for the third-straight season and the first time since Marshall had four in-a-row from 1995 through 1998.
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