Men’s soccer defeats Charlotte 5-3, advances to semifinals

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No. 7 Marshall University defeated No. 2 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Wednesday 1-1 (5-3, penalty kicks) in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Men’s Soccer Championships.

Charlotte, the host of the tournament, made its presence known early in the match, outshooting the Herd eight-to-two in the opening 20 minutes of the match.

The 49ers were able to take advantage in the 27th minute when Harrison Steadman latched onto a ball from about 10 yards out to beat Marshall goalkeeper Dominik Reining.

However, Marshall would respond almost immediately when junior defender Arthur Duchesne found fellow junior Rimario Gordon for a one-on-one in which Gordon shot low past the Charlotte keeper from around 15 yards out.

The match went without another goal until halftime and remained that way for the second half as well.

The 49ers had the most opportunities in the second period, forcing Reining into six saves and a team save as well.

In the overtime period, neither side was available to find an edge, which sent the game to a best-of-five penalty kick shootout.

Marshall’s Ryan Forde, Duchesne, Nick Edginton, Jack Hopkins and Gordon all made their kicks, while Charlotte was only able to convert three, giving the Herd the penalty win.

“In the penalty kicks, we stepped up and converted all of ours,” Marshall assistant coach Thomas Oliver said. “And Charlotte did well but still only made three. Soccer can be a cruel game sometimes, especially when you have to settle a game by penalty kicks. We’re fortunate to be in the semifinals and we’re going to be ready to play on Friday against a good South Carolina [team].”

The victory is Marshall’s fourth consecutive, making the Herd unbeaten in five straight matches. Marshall has defeated two ranked teams in a row, topping No. 20 Old Dominion last Saturday, 1-0.

Marshall will face No. 3 South Carolina University 7 p.m. Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina.