With the dominance of junior forward Jamil Roberts’ two goals and redshirt senior goalkeeper Paulo Pita’s six saves, the No. 14 Marshall University Thundering Herd men’s soccer team claimed the 2019 Conference USA regular season title after defeating No. 19 Florida International University Panthers on Friday night with a final score of 2-1.
This is the Herd’s first regular season title since 2000 and will be the No. 1 seed in the 2019 C-USA Tournament, so they receive a first-round bye.
Marshall improved its record to 13-2-3 (5-1-1 C-USA) while the Panthers fell to 9-2-5 (4-2-1 C-USA).
“When a team wins a championship, there’s a lot of credit to go around,” Herd Head Coach Chris Grassie said per Herdzone. “Tonight is no exception. The lads played their hearts out! Every one of them deserves credit.”
Coach Grassie also credited Marshall University Athletics and its staff for the continuous support.
“We also have to thank the people that support us,” Grassie said per Herdzone. “Every one of them is part of our team and make this team run smoothly behind the scenes. They deserve as much credit as any of us.”
In the 18th minute, Roberts found the back of net and scored the first goal for the Herd with a pass from freshman forward/midfielder Joao Souza.
Following Roberts’ goal, FIU’s freshman forward Andoni Garrogerricaechebarria tied the game in the 20thminute 1-1.
The Herd then retaliated in the 23th minute as Roberts scored the second goal with an assist credited to sophomore forward Vitor Dias.
Going into halftime, the Herd led the Panthers 2-1 and held the lead throughout the entire second half.
The Panther’s graduate student goalkeeper Daniel Gagliardi recorded four saves.
Marshall had a total of 15 shots, six shots on goal and two assists. FIU had 17 shots, seven shots on goal and one assist.
Up next for the Herd, it will travel to Norfolk, Virginia to compete in the Conference USA tournament scheduled for Nov. 13-17.
The bracket is set to be released Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
Taylor Huddleston can be contacted at [email protected]