Photo by: Austin O Connor
Herd sets single-season shutout record at 12, Perrotta individually at 11.5
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The No. 1 Marshall University Men’s Soccer team (18-2) opened the 2023 NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 shutout in the second round over the California Baptist Lancers (9-6-5) at Hoops Family Field on Sunday.
The Herd advances to the third round (Round of 16) for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
“I thought we weren’t at our best today,” Herd men’s soccer head coach Chris Grassie said. “We were a little sloppy with some of the things we didn’t recognize. There’s a lot more to come from this team. I thought there were moments of complete control, but I don’t think overall we took advantage the way we should have.”
The shutout marks a single-season program record of 12, besting the 11 set during the 2020-21 season, with Gabriel Perrotta setting the individual single-season record at 11.5, besting Oliver Semmle’s 11 also set in 2020-21.
“You can put my name on that, but it’s a team effort,” Perrotta said about his record. “I don’t like how it feels that it’s only me, because it’s my team, my backline. It’s been amazing all season and we’re going to keep going.”
CBU played a very compact defense in the midfield to start the contest. However, in the 24th minute, Marco Silva sent a pass down the wing to Matthew Bell. Bell tiptoed the end line and fired a shot past CBU keeper Nolan Premack to put Marshall up 1-0 for his 10th goal of the season.
After Perrotta made a save in the 64th minute, The Herd mounted an attack toward the end of the 74th. Taimu Okiyoshi sent a ball to Pablo Simon, who found Alexander Adjetey. Adjetey headed the ball towards goal as it took a bounce off the turf and bent past Premack to double the Green and White’s lead, 2-0, at the 74:09 mark.
For good measure, Alexander Stjernegaard sent in a corner in the 85th minute. Takahiro Fujita headed the ball on target, but Premack punched it to Simon who buried it into the netting to put the lead at 3-0.
Bell becomes just the second player in program history to tally multiple seasons of 10 or more goals, joining Byron Carmichael who did all four of his seasons in Huntington. Bell now has 32 points this season, fourth most in a season and program history. The Jamaican’s 56 career points rank eighth in program history.
With Simon scoring his seventh goal of the season, MU now has four players with seven or more as Silva has seven, Alvaro Garcia-Pascual has eight and Bell sits at 10.
No. 1 Marshall will be back in action with its third-round matchup next Sunday at Hoops Family Field against either 16th-seeded Stanford or Missouri State. First kick is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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**Press release from Marshall University – HERDZONE – 11/19/2023 5:37:00 PM | Men’s Soccer