Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

HUNTINGTON, WV - The Marshall University women's soccer program lost a 1-0 heartbreaker Friday to the No. 6 Memphis Tigers at Sam Hood Field as Melissa Smith captured the only goal of the game for the Tigers in the final 45 seconds of regulation.

Both teams endured cold temperatures and heavy rains to start the competition; however, as the game progressed the rain died, while the cool fall temps continued.  Each squad pushed through the weather conditions, as Memphis and Marshall recorded three shots on goal after thirty minutes of play. Yet at the conclusion of the first period the remained deadlocked at zero.

The emotions and pace of play continued to heighten throughout the second half as each team had multiple opportunities to score and grab hold of the lead. Nevertheless, it was Melissa Smith and the Tigers captured the one-nil lead with 45 second remaining on the game clock, and The Herd was never able to compose an equalizer.

Marshall tallied four shots in the first period, followed by seven in the second. Of the 11 shots junior Sarah Vinson (Amelia, Ohio/Amelia HS) led the Herd with three. Seniors Angela DeSumma (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East HS) and Megan Tabler (Ashland, Ky./Russell HS) each recorded two shots.

Lindsey Kerns (Hurricane, W.Va./Nitro) started her first game in the net for the Herd of the 2011 season and displayed an exceptional performance, tallying a game high nine saves.

Head Coach Kevin Long knew the competition was going to be tough, but remained confident that his squad could compete. "Credit Memphis for their speed and physical play. They had several chances to take control, and when you have that many opportunities one of the shots has to fall. Our team played well, though. We exhibited physical toughness and created several opportunities for ourselves. We revealed that we can control the ball and put pressure on the best teams in the country."

Long continued, "This level of performance is the beauty of Conference USA play. Teams are getting tougher and more aggressive, and each battle means a lot to both clubs.

Marshall has the ability to grab a victory and walk away from the weekend 1-1, as The Herd welcomes UAB to Sam Hood Field Sunday. Live stats for the conference matchup can be seen here, while live audio can be listened to here.