Marshall soccer nabs NCAA soccer bid, home game
The 2019 Conference USA Champion, Marshall men’s soccer team will be the No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Herd will host a second round match on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. at Hoops Family Field.
The Herd as one of the top 16 seeds, received a first round bye. Marshall awaits the winner of Butler and West Virginia. The first round matches will be played on Thursday, Nov. 21. Butler and WVU will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
“We just have to prepare for Sunday now,” Herd head coach Chris Grassie said. “We have one potential opponent (Butler) who we know very well and very good friends with their staff. With Butler and WVU, if it is WVU it would be a very nice event here. Whoever we play I know these guys will give it their best and I would think we would have to be favorites going into the game.”
Marshall received the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament with the Conference USA Championship win on Sunday, 2-1, over No. 2 seed Charlotte. The Herd was already in great position to at least receive an at-large bid with going into the C-USA Tournament ranked 13th in the NCAA/United Soccer Coaches Poll.
The Herd is 15-2-3 this season, a record number of wins in a year for the program, its first conference tournament title and trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history. Nine different players were honored with C-USA awards before the tournament, including Coach of the Year for coach Grassie, and the Herd racked up more awards after the tournament. Junior Pedro Dolabella was named Offensive MVP after a stellar performance that included scoring the Golden Goal in the 103rd minute. Senior Carlos Diaz-Salcedo was named the Defensive MVP after helping to control the Kentucky Wildcats and the Charlotte 49ers attacks. Sophomore Vinicius Fernandes and redshirt sophomore Collin Mocyunas were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Butler is 11-6-2 and lost to the Big East’s top-seeded Georgetown in the tournament semi-finals. Marshall and Butler met earlier this season back on Sept. 6. The Herd won 2-1 as junior Jamil Roberts scored both goals in the win.
West Virginia is 9-8-2 and won the Mid-American Conference Tournament title to receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Marshall and WVU have not played since 2004 in Morgantown.