Marshall tops Fordham, advances in NCAA Tournament

— By David Walsh

Milo Yosef’s second goal of the match in overtime lifted Marshall to a 2-1 victory over Fordham on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Soccer Championship played at Gillette Soccer Complex in Wilson, N.C.

Yosef took a feed from Jamil Roberts and hammered home the Golden Goal at 96:45. He gave the No. 10 Thundering Herd (10-2-2) a 1-0 lead with a goal on a setup by Vitor Dias at 24:50.

“Credit to the guys, they kept battling,” Marshall coach Chris Grassie said. “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.”

The 23rd-ranked Rams (7-1-2) got even at 42:23 when Max Rogers banged a shot home with assists from Alberto Pangrazzi and Galen Flynn. They were one of four unbeaten teams entering the tournament.

Marshall goalkeeper Oliver Semmle recorded just one save. Josh Levine for the Rams turned back six shots.

Marshall will play No. 1 Clemson (14-3-2) on Thursday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. The Tigers, who won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, came back to edge American, 2-1, Sunday at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Marshall got in by winning the Conference USA championship. Fordham qualified by winning the Atlantic 10 Conference. This was first meeting between the two teams.

This is Marshall’s second straight trip to the NCAA Championship. Two years ago, the Thundering Herd beat in-state rival West Virginia in its first match, then lost at Washington in its next match.

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic kept the NCAA from having a soccer tournament last year.

COVID-19 and all the protocols prompted the NCAA to have all 48 women’s teams and 36 men’s teams consolidate play in Cary, North Carolina and surrounding areas. Being in one geographical location helps on travel and time needed to conduct the championships. It also allows for COVID-19 testing and setup.

The NCAA College Cups are May 17 for men and women at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. Current off-campus venues are Campbell, East Carolina, North Carolina Wilmington, UNC Greensboro and Wake Forest. Family and friends can attend matches. Maximum allowable capacity will be 25 percent.

This was Fordham’s fifth NCAA trip. The Rams last played in 2017 and now have a 2-5-1 NCAA mark.

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