Men’s soccer falls short on senior night

The Marshall University men’s soccer team was defeated by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers by the score of 1-0 Friday. This was the final game for the Thundering Herd men’s soccer this season.

“It’s frustrating because that’s how our whole year went,” head coach Bob Gray said. “It’s a tough conference, and that’s a team that could go to the final four of the NCAA tournament because they have no weaknesses.”

Before the game started, the seniors were honored before the match was played. A total of six players were recognized, receiving framed jerseys from the coaching staff and the university. Emotions were kept mostly in check as the seniors faced one last challenge.

That challenge was the NCSAA eighth-ranked Charlotte 49ers team. The 49ers entered the game controlling their own fate as potential regular seasons champions. A win would also guarantee Charlotte a number one seed in the conference post season tournament.

Charlotte maintained possession for long stretches at the backline, often going a couple minutes just passing the ball from sideline to sideline, with the intention of either frustrating Marshall into moving out of position or finding gaps in the defense. While this strategy agitated the Thundering Herd, the defense held firmly.

It was in the 28th minute Charlotte finally struck. Marshall committed a foul about 30 yards from goal, offset to the left. The angle gave Marshall goal keeper Nate Himes an advantage as he could cover a lot of the goal and have plenty of reaction time from that distance. The cross came in and Himes punched the ball clear, but Charlotte maintained possession.

Daniel Bruce, who recovered the cleared ball for Charlotte, dribbled around the edge of the penalty area and ripped a shot toward the right side of net. Himes’ view was obstructed by players, and he did not react while the ball curled into the back of the net.

While the Thundering Herd took the majority of possession in the second half, it was not enough to ripple the opposing net’s mesh.

Joseph Ashley can be contacted at [email protected].