Men’s soccer bounces back against Detroit Mercy

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MU Soccer game taking place August 28, 2016 versus Detroit.

Ryan Fischer | The Parthenon
Senior defender Arthur Duchesne attempts a pass in the match versus the Detroit Titans at the Hoops Family Field, August 28, 2016.

The Marshall University Thundering Herd men’s soccer team scored their first win of the season Sunday over the University of Detroit Mercy Titans. The Thundering Herd record improved to 1 – 1 – 0 after the 3 – 1 victory.

“I thought the first half gave us a lot of good information about Detroit and the game itself, but we wanted to tweak a few things and find some pockets of space a bit easier,” Thundering Herd assistant coach Thomas Olivier said about half time adjustments.

The team has made very marked improvements in both games after making half time adjustments to handle the opposition better.

The first half was mostly controlled by the Thundering Herd as they pressed the offensive attack repeatedly, forcing the Titans to concede three corners and several opportunities to score. Detroit pressed a few attacks, but Thundering Herd goal keeper Nate Himes and the defensive back line held up solidly, allowing no significant threats for the Titan’s to put a ball in the net.

MU Soccer game taking place August 28, 2016 versus Detroit.

Ryan Fischer | The Parthenon
Sophomore defender Chris Taibi maintains possession in the match versus the Detroit Titans at the Hoops Family Field, August 28, 2016.

The Thundering Herd’s best opportunity came in the form of a streaking Alex Reyes who received a long pass while in stride, remaining just on side as he bound toward the goal. Detroit goal keeper Robbie Beckwell came out to challenge Reyes, who had pace that allowed him to get past the defensive back line, but the attempt by Reyes at goal evaded Beckwell and went wide before rolling out of bounds for a goal kick.

“I couldn’t put my chances away, but we got the win and that’s the important thing,” Alex Reyes said after the game.

While visibly excited over the victory, he praised his teams and coaches for allowing him the opportunity to play. He later displayed some confidence saying he would put the next one in. Reyes contributed with 57 minutes of the 90 in game, 4 shots with 2 on target and showcased breakaway speed, flying past the Detroit back line multiple times.

Detroit’s best opportunity to score came after a quick restart after a Marshall foul. The quick restart caught the Thundering Herd defense out of position and the pace was quickly pushed. The resulting shot was a rolling effort from outside the box and Himes easily smothered the opportunity before starting the Marshall possession attacking the other way.

MU Soccer game taking place August 28, 2016 versus Detroit.

Ryan Fischer | The Parthenon
Sophomore defender John Pappas attempts to score in the match versus the Detroit Titans at the Hoops Family Field, August 28, 2016.

The second half was more thoroughly dominated by the Thundering Herd as they controlled most of the possession and scored three goals. The first two goals of the afternoon were scored by the Thundering Herd. Trevor Starcher took possession of an expertly placed through ball and beat Titan’s goal keeper Beckwell, scoring the first goal of the season. Within five minutes, Paul Whitener had doubled the Thundering Herd lead.

Detroit would make a comeback as many threatening offensive possessions came to fruition late in the game. A scramble in front of the net eluded the Marshall goal keeper and was immediately pounced on by Matt Harkema of the Titans as he slotted home his shot to pull within a goal of tying the game.

Some more controlled possessions gave the Titans a glimmer of hope until Marshall Himes started a counter attack that saw Daniel Jodah put in a third Marshall goal with 15 seconds remaining in the contest.

Joseph Ashley can be contacted at [email protected].

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