Dolabella scores in OT, Marshall tops UAB 1-0

— By David Walsh

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — No. 3 Marshall kept sending shots towards UAB’s goal, but could get nothing past Blazers goalkeeper Seth Torman until the second overtime. Pedro Dolabella finally got a shot past Torman with 4:14 left to give the Thundering Herd a 1-0 win Saturday night at Hoops Family Field.

Dolabella’s Golden Goal is his eighth of the season for a career high and a team-leading 22 points. Milo Josef got the assist. The win makes the Herd 8-1-3, 3-0-2 in Conference USA and puts it in the league lead with 11 points. Florida International and Coastal Carolina have 10 each.

“We really needed those three points,” Dolabella said. “Milo gets the ball, he’s very dangerous. I trust Milo. I was lucky to be there.”

Dolabella admitted frustration was present, but the issue became keep playing for the 110 minutes.

“It can get frustrating. You have to believe,” Dolabella said. “Some people didn’t believe we could be national champs. We got it done. There’s 110 minutes on the clock. You still believe you can get the win. That’s part of it.”

UAB, which lost its fifth straight, is 2-9-0 and 0-4-0 and in last place. The Blazers didn’t really press any action as they finished with no shots. The final margin was 27-0 in shots and 8-0 in shots on goal.

The shutout is the Herd’s sixth straight and sixth of the season (program record) and sixth for Semmle and now No. 17 in clean sheets for his career.

Herd coach Chris Grassie sensed the way the game would go when opponents face a defending national champion. A tie beats a loss even for a last-place team.

“It was a little bit frustrating,” Grassie said. “We were able to come back. Some teams try to get away with a tie. It’s a strategy we have get used to, deal with it. We’ve always go guys who can create. Keep doing the right thing. Knew coming in pretty confident. Still a relief.”

Seeing Josef set up Dolabella and the 6-foot-4 got his fifth match-winning goal.

“Milo’s very, very dangerous,” Grassie said. “We put him up on a playmaker role to get things done. He went through some rough patches in the match.

“If there’s anybody else on top of their game in college more than Pedro, I’d like to see them. He’s tall, he can run, he can shoot left or right, can cross. He’s got all the tools. Right place, right time.”

UAB leads the all-time series 11-7-2, but the Herd is 4-0-1 against the Blazers under Grassie.

If teams get more defensive, the Herd must be ready.

“We’ll kind of prepare more for a defensive operation,” Grassie said.

As for Semmle’s quiet night, Grassie said, “Those are the best ones.”

Marshall’s next match is Tuesday at home against Wright State. Start time is 7 p.m.

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