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The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Men’s Soccer Beats UK, Advances to Championship

Alvaro+Garcia-Pascual+running+for+the+ball
Alex Cooksey
Alvaro Garcia-Pascual running for the ball

The No. 1 Marshall Men’s Soccer team defeated the University of Kentucky Wildcats 3-0 on Wednesday, Nov. 8, to advance to the 2023 Sun Belt Men’s Soccer Championship.

The Herd is set to take on the West Virginia University Mountaineers in the Sun Belt Championship at Hoops Family Field on Sunday, Nov. 12, in the second installment of the Mountain State Derby this season.

With the Herd’s 11th shutout of the season, it ties with the program’s single-season record previously set during the 2020-21 season.

The Wildcats opened the game with a press style defense that kept the Marshall offense at bay for most of the first half. However, the Herd found gaps in the press and were able to put five shots on goal in the first 45 minutes of play. 

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Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half, going into halftime scoreless.

“It was a fantastic performance from the guys; they stuck with the game plan,” head coach Chris Grassie said. “Kentucky had the best turnaround in the nation. They’ve been very strong the last eight, nine games. They pressed pretty hard, but we ended up finding the free man. From the middle of the first half, I think everything started to go our way.”

The 0-0 tie did not last long in the second half. Alvaro Garcia-Pascual picked off a Kentucky pass at midfield and sprinted down the pitch. With only goalkeeper Casper Mols to beat, Garcia-Pascual launched the ball past Mols and put it in the right side of the goal to give the Herd a 1-0 lead at the 46th minute mark.

“We usually have one chance like that every game,” Garcia-Pascual said about his opportunity on goal. “It’s just one more goal. We won–that’s all that matters.”

In the 65th minute, the ball was bouncing around the Wildcats’ 18-yard box. The ball landed at the feet of freshman Joao Roberto. Roberto rocketed the ball off his foot and sent it soaring past Mol to put the Herd up 2-0.

Matthew Bell made his own contribution in the 87th minute when a cross from teammate Rai Pinto landed in his vicinity. Bell squeaked the ball past the goalkeeper and extended the lead to 3-0, putting the game out of reach.

Bell tallied his 29th point of the season, which now ties him with the 1997 season standout Norman Dotch for sixth most points in a season in program history.

Goalkeeper Gabriel Perrotta also made history Wednesday night. With his shutout against the Wildcats, he moved to seventh for most shutouts at 10.5 in a career at Marshall.

Tickets for Sunday’s matchup against the Mountaineers are sold out. Highly anticipated, the tickets sold out in under 20 minutes upon release.

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About the Contributor
Joseph DiCristofaro, Sports Editor
Joseph DiCristofaro is the sports editor for The Parthenon. Joseph is a junior broadcast journalism major from Bluefield, West Virginia. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors and watching sports with friends.
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