Defense pushes Marshall over Kentucky


Richard Crank

Herd men’s soccer celebrates its victory over Kentucky

Redshirt senior Paulo Pita’s five saves helped lift No. 20 Marshall men’s soccer over No. 15 University of Kentucky by a score of 1-0. Marshall improves to (12-2-3) on the season and (4-1-1) in conference play.

Sunday evening, Marshall took on Kentucky in what was a physical game with the Herd having 14 fouls and the Cats having 15. The game also showed off the defensive power between both teams as Marshall only allowed the Cats to have five shots on goal while the Herd were held to only two shots on goal.

“A big goalkeeper like that can win you championships,” Head Coach Chris Grassie said. “He was a safe pair of hands back there, and the saves he made today were championship level saves.”

The first half of the game was a defensive battle with each team going into halftime scoreless. Kentucky’s defense only allowed the Herd to have one shot in the first half and also cleared all three of the Herd’s corner kicks away as well.

The defensive battle continued early in the second half until redshirt freshman Milo Yosef sent in a cross into the box where senior Jonas Westmeyer kicked the ball into the back of the net giving the Herd a 1-0 lead with only 15 minutes left to play. Kentucky went into all-out attack but could not find the goal. Pita stepped up and had two major saves in the final minutes to keep the Cats scoreless and give Marshall the victory.

“As the clock was going down, I was just trying to keep my focus,” Pita said. “We have every piece of the puzzle to beat FIU and win this regular season championship.”

Marshall will be heading to Miami to take on Florida International University Nov. 8 where the winner will be crowned the Conference USA regular season champion.

Mike Dotson can be contacted at [email protected].