Herd Women's Soccer Splits Scrimmage Weekend

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Junior Erin Simmons (Gahanna, Ohio) scored the Herd’s gamewinner in a 1-0 friendly decision against VMI, Sunday, as the Herd split its exhibition matches to complete preseason. The Herd dropped a 4-0 friendly decision to No. 5 Virginia Tech, Thursday, Aug. 14.

AGAINST THE KEYDETS
Although the scoreboard didn’t exactly show it, the Herd’s offense came alive in Marshall’s 1-0 defeat of VMI, Sunday.  In the 24th minute, senior Kristine Culicerto (Charlotte, N.C.) crossed the ball from the right about 10 yards out to junior Erin Simmons (Gahanna, Ohio), who headed the ball to the top left corner past goalkeeper Emily Marbury. That goal would be enough to sink the Keydets, who took two shots on the night.

The Herd dominated all parts of the box score, leading shots (26-2), shots on goal (7-0) and corner kicks (10-2). Junior Lizzie Kish (Boyertown, Pa.) spent the first 45 minutes in the net while freshman Emily Moreland (Springboro, Ohio) took over for the second half.

Three members of the Herd took four shots – Culicerto, Simmons and rookie forward Katie Suchodolski (Langhorne, Pa.). Two sophomores – Sydney Arnold (Stafford, Va.) and Kayla Byrnside (Milford, Ohio) – and freshman Morgan Mays (Amherst, Va.) each took three shots.

AGAINST THE HOKIES
Against the No. 5 Virginia Tech (Aug. 14), Marshall fell down 1-0 in the sixth minute during the first of three 30-minute periods after Katie Yensen converted a cross from Ashley Meier. Twenty minutes later, Murielle Tiernan headed a corner kick by Kallie Peurifoy to make it 2-0. The second period saw two Hokie goals, a breakaway by Bria Dixon in the 36th minute, and one by Peurifoy in the 39th. Freshman Emily Moreland (Springboro, Ohio) saw her first minutes in goal for the Herd during the final period, making five saves and taking no goals against her.

LONG STORY SHORT
Quotes by Coach Kevin Long:

On the impact of freshmen
“We’re starting a new season and we’ve got some great returners coming back. You hope that your influx of freshman can pick it up quickly so they can make an immediate impact. We saw some great freshmen doing just that tonight and the possession didn’t change. With six freshmen on the field at the end of the game we were getting some excellent opportunities and were dominating play.”

On freshman Katie Suchodolski’s performance against VMI
“Katie started feeling comfortable on the field tonight. You saw her getting into the box and taking some chances. I thought she should have scored on that penalty kick in the 47th minute – it was a great effort on her part but it should’ve gone in the back of the net along with a lot of other opportunities. It’s a great sight to see her get comfortable. You want that with any freshman.”

On freshman Morgan Mays’ performance against VMI
“Morgan I’ve seen play a lot of times. You can see she’s got a motor and she’s technical. She’s got some vision that not everyone on the field has, so she’s able to put through some great balls and she’s really dynamic with those. It’s great to see a freshman carry not only her own load, but the team as well. It’s great to see from a young player so early in her career.”

On opening regular-season play at No. 3 Virginia, Friday
“I think the players are pretty pumped about the opportunity to play in an environment they’re not used to. We expect 3,000 people there on Friday night cheering on UVA, so it’ll certainly be a hostile crowd in front of No. 3. We’re not new to No. 3. We’ve played top-10 teams like Memphis and UCF in the past, and we just had No. 5 Virginia Tech here in exhibition. The question is going to be whether or not we’re ready to rise to that level so early. Usually we have those experiences later in the season.”

THE MADNESS BEGINS
Three members of the Herd were named to preseason All-Conference USA teams by College Sports Madness, Friday, Aug. 1. Redshirt junior Lizzie Kish(Boyertown, Pa.) was named first team goalkeeper while senior defender Alyssa Cathey (Fort Collins, Colo.) and sophomore forward Erin Simmons(Gahanna, Ohio) were named to the second team.

SEASON OPENER
The Herd will open the 2014 regular season in Charlottesville, Va., against No. 3 Virginia. Last year, the Cavaliers reached the College Cup for the first time in 22 seasons while setting school records with 78 goals, 80 assists, 236 points and 16 shutouts. No. 1 seed Virginia fell to eventual NCAA champion UCLA in penalty kicks in the semifinals, following a 1-1 draw (Dec. 7, 2013). The Cavaliers ended the season at 24-1-1, setting a record for wins in a season. Friday, Aug. 22 will mark the first-ever meeting between Marshall and Virginia.

LET’S GET SOCIAL
Keep up with the latest news about Herd soccer by liking the team’s official Facebook page: Marshall University Soccer. For live in-match updates and news, follow @HerdWSoccer on Twitter. Want to see photos and behind-the-scenes action? Give @HerdZone a follow on Instagram.

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