Mixed results to start the season for Marshall men’s soccer

Mixed results have been the story of the season so far for the Marshall men’s soccer team. Three games into the season, the Herd has one win, one loss and one tie. 

In a second consecutive game, Marshall failed to hold onto a second half lead. “Just disappointed that we gave up two quality points today in the standings,” Herd head coach Chris Grassie said. “Disappointed for the crowd, because we had a great crowd, and they were really into it, and we couldn’t pull out the win for them.” 

Marshall opened the scoring against Coastal with a goal 13 minutes into the contest, scored by senior Vinicius Fernandes. Fernandes has already tied his career season high in goals for Marshall, scoring three goals in the team’s first three games. Coastal then scored two unanswered goals to secure a 2-1 advantage. Freshman Paulo Lino then nodded the score back up after scoring his second goal of the season, making the score an even 2-2 heading into halftime. 

Marshall grabbed its second lead of the game in the 73rd minute of the contest, after a goal by senior Noah Raphael, pushing the score to 3-2 in favor of the Herd. However, that lead lasted less than four minutes. The Chanticleers responded almost immediately, with freshman forward Alvaro Garcia-Pasqual scoring in the 77th minute.  

At the end of regulation, a winner had still not been decided between these two teams, so they took to overtime. Both teams locked in defensively as neither offense was able to put the ball in the back of the net in the first or second overtime period. The game concluded with a 3-3 draw.   

Marshall is winless in its last two matchups and has allowed a total of seven goals in the first three games of the season, which is surprising for a team that leaned on its defense to help win the national championship last season. “We are trying to get back to how we played last season, Marshall redshirt junior Ryan Sirk said. “It is not easy because now, teams have a better idea of what to expect from us.”  

Marshall heads back on the road after a short one-game homestead to play two away games this week, the first taking place in Johnson City, TN against East Tennessee State University. The ETSU Bucs will enter Tuesday night’s contest with a record of 2-0. After Tuesday’s contest, the Herd will travel up to Bowling Green, Ohio to face the Bowling Green Falcons. The Falcons will also enter that contest on a high note, as the team has won its last three consecutive games and owns an overall record of 3-1. Marshall will return home next Friday on Sept. 17 for a heavily anticipated matchup against heated rival WVU.