RADFORD, Va.- The Marshall University men’s soccer team remained unbeaten and improved to 5-0-1 for the season with a 2-1 win over UNC Asheville (1-5) at Radford University on Friday afternoon.
The Thundering Herd was able to extend its unbeaten streak to six games courtesy of opening half strikes from senior Tom Jackson and junior Anthony Virgara. The forwards scored their fifth and second goals of the season, respectively, off of assists from Jahvon Allison and Eddy Prugh as Marshall cruised to a 2-0 lead just 23 minutes into the match.
However, after playing a Marshall record of 493 minutes and 34 seconds without allowing a goal, the Herd fell victim to a Trey Hemphill strike that cut the lead in half on the 24 minute mark. It was the first goal that Marshall goalkeeper Daniel Withrow has allowed since a 3-4 loss to SMU in last season’s opening round of the Conference USA Tournament, and ended the Herd’s status atop the NCAA charts as being the only NCAA Div. I team to not allow a goal thus far in 2012.
Yet even after giving up its first goal in six games, the defense responded by allowing Asheville just four more shots for the remainder of the game, and just one shot in the entire second half. Withrow made four saves in the match as Marshall outshot its opposition 24-9 on the day, but could only manage the two goals.
“We jumped out to an early lead, and after going up 2-0 thought we were off to the races,” said Head Coach Bob Gray. “Asheville kept battling, though, and got a goal that went in off the post and kept them in the game. We had plenty of chances to kill the game off, but didn’t make the best of our opportunities. We are going to have to play better on Sunday if we want the result. I thought Anthony Virgara and Fayanga Keita were our standout performers today, and Tom Jackson scored a nice goal. It wasn’t our best effort overall, but a win’s a win. It’s good to remain unbeaten and hopefully we can stay that way with another victory on Sunday.”
The Herd will now have less than 48-hours rest before it must turn around and face host-team Radford on Sunday at 4 p.m. The Highlanders will also be with little rest after hosting Marist on Friday night. Live stats and video for Sunday’s match may be found by clicking the links below.