Marshall to Open Conference USA Slate vs. No. 25 New Mexico

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall men’s soccer team (2-4-3) will open its Conference USA schedule against C-USA newcomer and No. 25 New Mexico (4-3-1)  at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, on Hoops Family Field at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.

In-game Twitter updates (@HerdMSoccer), results and a recap from the night’s action will be available at

A late second-half goal helped Marshall rebound after conceding a goal on a penalty kick midway through the second half to a 1-1 draw with Bowling Green on Friday at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.

When the match seemed all but over for the Herd, sophomore Jack Hopkins (Birmingham, Ala.) headed home a cross from freshman Ben Holt (Knoxville, Tenn.) at the 88-minute mark to knot the game and extend the contest.

Marshall coach Bob Gray (Postgame -- Sept. 27) 
“It was just another close game and I credit our boys for never quitting and fighting back,” Gray said. “For the first time all year in an overtime game I think we actually took control against another team and we created some good chances at the end.

“We have a lot of work to do as we are still making some silly mistakes and have to learn how to possess the ball better. On their goal, we gave them a gift when our defender let the ball go and put our keeper in a tough spot.”

With five matches complete in a six-match Marshall home stretch at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex, the Herd has recorded at least one point in each of its last four outings to compile a 2-1-2 record over the stretch. The Herd defeated IPFW (Sept. 15) and VMI (Sept. 17), before recording 1-1 ties with Northern Kentucky (Sept. 22) and Bowling Green (Sept. 27).

After having been shut out in its first two matches of the season, Marshall has scored at least one goal in each of its last seven games dating back to a road match against Wright State (Sept. 6). In two of those matches, the Thundering Herd scored two goals (Wright State on Sept. 6 and VMI on Sept. 17).

Thanks to the 88th-minute goal from Hopkins, the streak was extended against to seven games against Bowling Green (Sept. 27).

Ranked as high as No. 9 in the nation this season in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, New Mexico has since lost three of its last four contests to fall to the bottom of the NSCAA Top 25. At the same time the Lobos were No. 9 by the NSCAA, they were No. 2 by Top Drawer Soccer.

The Lobos have moved to C-USA from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, where they posted a 91-39-11 total record over 17 seasons, including a combination of 10 regular-season and tournament titles. In the C-USA Preseason Poll, New Mexico was predicted to finish second in the league, while having collected four first-place votes from the conference’s 10 coaches. New Mexico’s Kyle Venter was voted the C-USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year heading into the season.

The Monday match will be the second meeting between the Herd and the Lobos. They first met during the 2002 season in Las Vegas. New Mexico won 3-0.

Marshall will play away from ‘the Vet’ for the first time since Sept. 8, as the Herd heads south to take on FIU in Miami on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.

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