Herd Faces No. 22 UCF in Regular Season Finale

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

ORLANDO, Fla.- The Thundering Herd men's soccer team will travel down south to the UCF Soccer Complex  this Friday in preparation for a Conference USA showdown with the No. 22 ranked University of Central Florida Golden Knights on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Marshall had been hoping for the Golden Knights to tie South Carolina in a game earlier this week, but UCF fell to the No. 25 ranked Gamecocks 1-0 to hand South Carolina a guaranteed top-2 seed in the C-USA tournament. With the win, the 6-1-0 Gamecocks have now clinched a first round bye in the tournament, while UAB - who is 5-1-1 in conference play - has similarly secured the other top-2 seed and first round pass.

Accordingly, Marshall and UCF will now be battling it out for third place bragging rights, as the teams enter with 4-2-1 and 3-3-1 conference records, respectively. Memphis - who sits at 4-3-0 - lies wedged between the two teams in fourth place at the moment, and may also have a say in things by the time it ends its match with SMU on Friday.

The Herd rides into Orlando on a high note following its 2-1, double-overtime victory against Tulsa last weekend. Junior midfielder Devin Perkins grabbed both goals for the Herd in the contest, and helped seniors Jordan Hilgefort, Carl Munday, and Kyle Sniatecki end their home careers on a positive note. Sitting at 8-6-1 for the year, Marshall has already guaranteed itself a winning, regular season record, but can ensure a third-straight, overall winning season by stealing a victory on the road over the Knights.

Junior forward Tom Jackson leads the Herd in goals this season, with nine, while goalkeeper Daniel Withrow has posted four shutouts and leads C-USA in saves, with 70. McKauly Tulloch is first on UCF with 12 goals, while Kevan George leads the team in assists, with six. Knight's goalkeeper Shawn Doyle holds the lowest goals against average in the league, allowing just .83 goals per game. UCF is 9-4-3 overall, but has dropped three of its last five games, and three of its last four in the conference. This game will be both squads' last match of the 2011 regular season.

For live stats during the match please click here<http://www.herdzone.com/gametracker/launch/gt_msoccer.html?event=994867&school=mars&>. Updated conference standings and results for the last week of regular season games may be viewed by clicking here<http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/c-usa/sports/m-soccer/auto_pdf/2011-12/release/release.pdf>. Following the conclusion of this weekend's fixtures, seeding will be determined for the C-USA tournament, which will take place in Tulsa, Okla., from November 9-11.

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