— By David Walsh
HARRISONBURG, Va. — Weather just delayed in inevitable. The end result, when it finally came, was a resounding 6-1 win for the No. 1 Marshall men’s soccer team over No. 21 James Madison on Thursday night at University Park.
The Thundering Herd and Dukes were set to start at 7:30 p.m. A lightning delay pushed the start back to 10:02. That just put a brief hold on Marshall’s defense of its 2020 NCAA national championship.
Senior Vitor Dias led the Herd with two goals and two assists. The last time the Herd scored six goals in a match was October 5, 2019 at home against the UAB Blazers in a 6-0 victory.
“Great focus from the guys tonight,” Herd head coach Chris Grassie said in a release after winning his 145th career match and 46th at Marshall.
“A lot of stoppages with the lightning,” Grassie continued. “We had to kickoff more than two hours late, but they maintained focus and were really disciplined. JMU were better than the score suggests. They did very well, especially in the first half. But our guys on the attacking front were very, very deadly.”
Marshall’s defense kept the Dukes quiet and goalkeeper Oliver Semmle stopped three of four shots. The Herd got off eight, with six finding the net. Marshall also got to show its depth as it had 10 players sub in.
Vinicius Fernandes scored the Herd’s first goal. Dias followed with his first for a 2-0 lead.
After a James Madison goal, Milo Josef netted his first of the season and 17th of his career to restore a two-goal lead. Yosef is now No. 9 in program history in career goals.
Dias notched his second goal to start second-half scoring.
Adam Lubell and Paulo Lino rounded out the scoring, each recording their first career goal.
Marshall returns to action Sunday against No. 15 Virginia Tech at University Park. Start time is 3:30 p.m.