SEATTLE — Marshall University’s men’s soccer team knows well how important goals just before the half can loom in an NCAA tournament match.
One week after getting a momentum-changing goal just before the break in a win over West Virginia, Marshall found itself on the other side of the pendulum on Sunday.
No. 6 Washington netted a tally in the 43rd minute to take advantage into the locker room and never looked back in a 4-1 win over the No. 11 Thundering Herd at Husky Soccer Stadium.
Marshall’s season ended at 16-3-3. Fans celebrated with the team Monday night at the Hoops Family Soccer Complex upon its return from the West Coast.
Washington advances to the NCAA College Cup quarterfinals against Georgetown, which takes place next weekend.
The Huskies’ game-changing goal came following consistent pressure from the Huskies, who were the aggressor throughout, never letting Marshall get comfortable in its possession, which had been a strength all year.
Marshall miscues led to several counter attacks and pressure for the Huskies, who cashed in just before the break to take a lead.
A through ball into the box left a pair of Marshall defenders on the pitch after a collision and Joey Parish sent a cross onto the foot of an unmanned Ethan Bartlow, who fired past Marshall keeper Paulo Pita.
The deflating goal took the wind out of Marshall’s sails, as was evidenced by the start of the second half when Washington’s Christian Soto used a bit of deception to get a ball past Pita in the first 60 seconds for a two-goal advantage.
Bartlow later added a final tally for Washington on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute.
Prior to Bartlow’s late first-half goal, Marshall had scored an equalizer on a penalty kick finish by Jamil Roberts, which represented the Herd’s lone shot in the first 45 minutes.
Roberts earned the penalty strike following a run into the box off a deep ball in which he made a move outside and was impeded in his effort. The equalizer was needed after Washington jumped out to an early lead when a Marshall turnover led to a corner kick that ended with the ball in the back of the net.
The corner kick from Lucas Meek found the feet of John Magnus, who dropped to Blake Bodily for a quick strike through traffic that got past Pita for the game’s first tally.
Pita faced relentless pressure throughout with the Huskies out-shooting Marshall, 23-6, in the match. In his final collegiate match, Pita finished with nine saves.
While the result was disappointing, it did not dampen a historic run for the Herd, which saw its most successful season in program history. Marshall swept the Conference USA regular-season and tournament championships en route to the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.
The Herd then earned the team’s first-ever NCAA victory in memorable fashion with a 2-1 win over West Virginia in front of a record crowd of 2,126 at Hoops Family Field. The match was the highest-attended of all NCAA matches in the first and second rounds.
With the result, Marshall head coach Chris Grassie will miss the first six matches of the 2020 season while midfielder Pedro Dolabella will miss the first two matches of his senior year.
The decisions are part of punishment given by the NCAA for an administrative error that dated back to the end of the 2018 season. That full punishment was announced earlier this week.