Men’s soccer team prepares for South Carolina

Marshall University’s men’s soccer team will attempt to end its four-game losing streak Friday as the team faces the University of South Carolina.
The Herd goes into the match with a 4-5 record, including an 0-2 record in conference action. Marshall’s last two games were on the road as the team fell 1-0 against Radford University Sept. 22 and 5-1 Saturday against No. 24 Florida International University.
“The bottom line is that we have to get back into the winning mode,” head coach Bob Gray said.  “We were very poor on Saturday against FIU, and they were very good. I felt we played pretty well against Radford, and we’re making some adjustments. The guys are staying positive.”
Marshall enters the bulk of its conference matches beginning with South Carolina, followed by trips on Oct. 10 to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Oct. 19 to Florida Atlantic University. The Herd returns to Hoops Family Field Oct. 23 when it faces the University of New Mexico.
“We just have to be willing to grind out games and find a way to get on the winning side,” Gray said. “This is probably the toughest sport in the entire conference, so that’s the challenge we have to face. We just have to step it up, and find a way to score goals.”
Marshall last faced South Carolina in 2014 in Columbia, South Carolina when the Herd pulled out a 1-0 win off of a goal in overtime from junior midfielder Daniel Jodah. The victory also gave Marshall its first conference win since 2012.
“It was definitely a tough game, and it was a grind out game for sure,” Jodah said earlier this week. “I think there will be no difference Friday, and if we’re going to win, we’re going to win as a team.”
South Carolina enters Friday’s match as the 19th-ranked team in the NSCAA poll. The Gamecocks, who are on a three-game winning streak, have a 5-2-1 record, including a 2-0 conference record.
“We’ve done well against South Carolina if you look at our record in years past,” Gray said. “We’ve been able to steal a win there, and the year before last year, we tied them here. We’re looking forward to that challenge.”
Jodah said he and several of his teammates see the game as an opportunity to get the season back on track before another long road trip.
“Getting three points would be big because we’ve lost four straight,” Jodah said.  “It’s not that we’re not playing well, I think the balls just aren’t bouncing our way. So, hopefully we can get three points and bring the morale up.”
Kickoff for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. at Hoops Family Field in Huntington.
Alec Hildebeidel can be contacted at [email protected].