Marshall Men’s Soccer Navigates Tough Competition

Navigating choppy waters, the Marshall men’s soccer team has been hitting its stride against tough competition.

After a draw against #4 WVU and a victory over #7 Akron, the Thundering Herd will face its third consecutive ranked opponent this weekend, #10 Kentucky.

Akron entered Tuesday’s matchup against Marshall winless in its last two contests.

However, the Zips have already proven this season that Akron can compete with the best of the best.

On its way to a record of 4-1-1,Akron defeated the #3 team in the nation, Pitt, who made it all of the way to the final four of the college cup last season, and also drawing against Indiana, whom Marshall played and defeated in the college cup final.

The Zips also defeated the Thundering Herd in overtime last season by a final score of 2-1, in what was the team’s opener.

However, Marshall has also been tested early, playing against ranked opponents back-to-back.

The Herd acted like they have been there before Tuesday against the Zips, overall dominating the game and winning by a final score of 2-0.

The first goal of the game was netted by the reigning conference USA Offensive MVP, the Thundering Herd’s own Vitor Dias.

“It was a quick counterattack, I think a play from the Brazilians,” Marshall senior Vitor Dias said.

“Vinny got a quick through ball to Pedro and I was following the play and thank god he saw me and just thank god that I put it in the back of the net.”

After grabbing the initial lead in the 31st minute of the contest, Marshall added on shortly after, with a goal by Vinicius Fernandes.

This time it was Dias assisting Fernandes as opposed to the opposite that took place on the first goal of the game.

With that goal, Fernandes recaptured the team’s lead in goals with five on the season.

After the game concluded, Marshall head coach Chris Grassie shared things that he had to keep in mind when playing a tough stretch of games.

“If you want to have elite performance, you need to have elite recovery afterwards,” Grassie said.

“Them making sure they are focused on the victory, and they have to take their time to rest, get good sleep and medical care and all of the treatments that we give them here, that is such an important piece and sometimes that is more important than to run and do a little extra bit preparing tactics; making sure you’ve got the horses to run the race.”

Marshall has another race Saturday, when Coach Grassie will once again look to have his players prepared to go against top-tier competition: the Kentucky Wildcats.