Oct. 17, 2017
Big South Network
LYNCHBURG, Va. - The Marshall men's soccer team is back on the road Tuesday to take on the Liberty Flames in a non-conference match. The Thundering Herd is 6-5-1 while the Flames are 8-3-1.
Fans can tune into the match through the Big South Network.
THE SERIES: 11 meetings, tied 4-4-3
Marshall and Liberty first met on the pitch in 1996, a 2-1 loss in Huntington. The Flames won the next match in 1997, 3-1. The Herd's first win over Liberty came in the next meeting in Huntington in 2001 by a shutout, 3-0. The two teams met periodically over the years, however the squads have played each other the last three seasons trading off home and home dates. In 2014, the teams played to a 2-2 draw. Marshall won the next two matches in 2015 (2-1) and 2016 (3-2). The Herd took both in overtime. In the 2016 match, current Marshall senior Myles Newhouse scored his first two goals of the season including the game winner just two minutes and 55 seconds into overtime. Marshall is 3-0-2 over the last five matches.
HAVE YOU HERD?
The Thundering Herd is coming off a big win Saturday, Oct. 14, over No. 21 Kentucky, 1-0. It was Marshall's first win over UK since 2011. In the 72nd minute, the Herd broke the scoreless tie as freshman Lewis Knight headed in a beautiful cross-field pass from freshman Jamil Roberts. It was the first assist of the season for Roberts and Knight's ninth goal of the year.
Senior goalkeeper Nate Himes stonewalled five shots on goal from the Wildcats in the shutout win and was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week. Himes made two great stops in the final moments to help save the game for the Herd. It was the first start for Himes since leaving the match at Northern Kentucky (Sept. 20) due to injury. Himes leads C-USA in save percentage at .818 and has a goals against average of 0.65. He has 18 saves and has allowed just four goals. Himes is 5-1 this season.
Marshall is currently sixth in the conference standings with a C-USA record of 2-3 and five matches remaining, three in conference. After Liberty, the Herd's remaining games are at Old Dominion (Oct. 21), home against UAB (Oct. 28), at No. 15 Akron (Nov. 1) and at Florida Atlantic (Nov. 4). Both UAB and FAU are below Marshall in the standings. The top seven of nine teams make it to the conference tournament.
SCOUTING THE FLAMES
Liberty has won five of its last six contests with the lone loss coming at Big South foe, Campbell. The Camels are right behind the Flames in the Big South standings. Liberty has outscored its opponents 13-5 over the last six games, and 27-10 over the season. Twelve different players have scored a goal for Liberty. Juniors Tresor Mbuyu and Kevin Mendoza lead the way with nine and seven goals, respectively. Both Mbuyu and Mendoza scored against Marshall in the 3-2 overtime loss in 2016. Mbuyu has four assists which is tied for the team lead with senior Alex Dominguez.
Three players have seen minutes in goal, but sophomore James Knoebel has been the go-to in net for Liberty. Knoebel has recorded 41 saves and allowed 10 goals. His goals against average is .804 and also sports a goals against average of 0.85. Knoebel has delivered four shutouts.
Marshall is the final non-conference opponent for the Flames. Liberty's remaining matches are at High Point (Oct. 25) and home against Winthrop (Oct. 28) and Radford (Nov. 1). Radford is third in the Big South standings and High Point is fourth. Liberty was picked to finish third in the preseason polls behind Radford and High Point.
For all the latest information about Marshall men's soccer, follow @HerdMSoccer on Twitter and Instagram, as well as Marshall University Soccer on Facebook.