Marshall Men’s Soccer outlasts Fordham 2-1 in OT, advance to third round of NCAA Tournament to face #1 Clemson

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HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK-TV) – The 10th-ranked Marshall men’s soccer team earned a 2-1, overtime victory against the 23rd-ranked Fordham Rams in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. Redshirt sophomore Milo Yosef scored both goals for the Herd including the golden goal in the 97th minute.
 
The Thundering Herd improves to 10-2-2 and moves on the third round to face the No. 1 seed Clemson Tigers (14-3-2). That match is scheduled for Thursday, May 6. The season comes to an end for Fordham as the Rams suffered its first loss of the season finishing 7-1-2.
 
“It was tough,” Herd head coach Chris Grassie said. “The pitch was very sticky. You could see the ball moving a little slower and so we had to slow things down a little bit. (Fordham) played very well (head coach) Carlo (Acquista) had them very well organized. In the second half we had a lot more opportunities to play and get in and we were trying to break them down, but they did a really good job and made it tough for us.
 
“Credit to the guys, they kept battling. And Milo Yosef finally hitting his stride. We had been talking about it that he was looking good, getting into the box. We just need to get him into the box and he is going to score goals.”
 
Marshall advances to the third round with a 2-1 win for the second-straight season. The Herd beat WVU 2-1 in the second round in 2019. Yosef scored the game-winner in that match as well in the 42nd minute.
 
The first half was a defensive battle as both teams had five shots, the Herd had two shots on goal and the Rams had one on target. The first shot on goal was the first goal of the match from Yosef. The Aachen, Germany native received a pass from junior Vitor Dias on the near side and fired in a shot passed Josh Levine, the Rams keeper in the 25th minute. It was Yosef’s first goal since scoring twice against WVU Tech on Feb. 21. Yosef did net two assists over the final three matches of the regular season with one on the game-winner against Florida Atlantic and again on the second goal against Charlotte for the Conference USA Championship.
 
The Rams hit the equalizer in the 43rd minute as Max Rogers scored his second goal of the season. Marshall did not sit back and wait for halftime as the Herd fired off four shots over the next 90 seconds including one on goal from Dias that was stopped by Levine. The teams went in at the half tied at 1-1.
 
In the second half, Marshall outshot Fordham 8-3, with 3-1 on goal, yet the defenses continued to make the plays on both side. The Herd had a couple of shot attempts blocked by the Rams’ defense. Junior Vinicius Fernandes had the first shot on goal of the second half in the 80th minute, then almost three minutes later Yosef had another chance on goal, both were saved by Levine.
 
Junior goalkeeper Oliver Semmle made an incredible diving save toward the near post in the 88th minute to help save the game for the Herd. Semmle was completely stretched out, got his fingers on the ball to deflect it off the post and away from the net. Dias had one more shot on goal with one minute left and Levine made the save.
 
The teams were still tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes and headed to overtime.
 
In the extra period, Marshall again outshot Fordham 3-1. Senior Pedro Dolabella had a chance in the 92nd minute that was saved by Levine. Finally, in the 97th minute, freshman Gabriel Alves in the midfield found senior Jamil Roberts on the left side. Roberts took the pass and fired a low cross into the box that found Yosef for a quick touch passed the keeper and into the net for the golden goal and the celebration ensued. For Yosef, it was his second of the match, fourth of the year and 16th of his career. It was also the fifth time that Yosef has scored twice in a single match in his Marshall career. Roberts netted his team-leading fifth assist of the season and the 20th of his career.
 
Marshall then got together to watch No. 1 Clemson play American University, waiting to find out its opponent for Thursday. Clemson trailed 1-0 until hitting the equalizer in the 52nd minute, and then the game-winner in the 62nd minute for the 2-1 victory.
 
“Obviously Clemson is a top team and the number one seed for a reason,” coach Grassie said. “We feel confident playing against anybody. We want to take this program to national prominence, want to win a national championship and you have to beat the best teams. We are excited about the opportunity to do that. It is going to be a fantastic football matchup and hopefully today was good prep for us to say ‘hey wake up this is the tournament, time to go’.”
 
The match will be played at WakeMed Field in Cary, N.C.
 

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