LEXINGTON, Va.- The Thundering Herd men’s soccer team remained undefeated on the season (3-0-1) with a 2-0 win over Liberty University (1-2) in the opening game of the Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament at VMI’s Patchin Field on Friday afternoon.
Senior forward Eddy Prugh netted his second goal of the campaign just four minutes into the match after being supplied with a cross from junior midfielder Anthony Virgara. Up 1-0, the Herd then doubled its lead in the 21st minute when Virgara latched onto spilled shot to score his first goal of the season.
After the break, Liberty ramped-up the pressure on the Marshall defense, outshooting the Herd 7-6 in the second half. Goalkeeper Daniel Withrow, who is yet to allow a goal in 380 minutes of action this season, made four saves on the afternoon to extend the Herd’s shutout streak to four games. The senior from Rochester Hills, Mich., also made a mark in the Marshall record books, becoming the Herd’s all-time leader in career shutouts (16) after surpassing Taly Goode’s (’00) former record of 15.
The Marshall defense, led by Withrow, junior center backs Travis Brent and Cody Partyka, senior left back Fayanga Keita, and freshman right back Matt Freeman, also set another school record on Friday, tying the mark for the most consecutive shutouts by a Marshall team. If the Herd manages to shutout VMI on Sunday, the squad will move ahead of the 1997 and 2005 teams with whom it sits tied at four consecutive clean sheets.
“We got off to a fast start today, which is something we haven’t done through the last couple of games,” said Head Coach Bob Gray. “We scored the first goal early, stayed on top of them, and managed to get a second goal midway through the first half. We had to hang on a little more than I would have liked in the second half when Liberty ramped-up the pressure, but in the end I am happy to beat a strong Liberty side that has some talented players. It was a good win and I’m hoping to keep the momentum going. We got a lot of help from our bench today, which was crucial because it was brutally hot. We’re looking forward to cooling down and preparing for Sunday.”
The Herd’s second and final match of the Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament is scheduled to take place against hosts VMI on Sunday. The Keydets last faced Marshall during the 2011 preseason and came away 2-1 winners. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Live stats may be followed by clicking the link below. Directions to Patchin Field and access to Jay Sculley Tournament Central are also available.