— By David Walsh
Marshall’s Theo Godard made an impact on his return to action on the pitch Wednesday night.
Godard, who sat out the Thundering Herd’s 1-0 home win over UCF last Saturday due to a red card received in a September 16 win at James Madison, notched his first goal of the season at 76:59 to give No. 1 Marshall a 1-0 win over VCU at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond.
Marshall continues with its best start in program history at 9-0. The Herd has outscored its opponents, 27-3. VCU fell to 1-4-4.
This was the Herd’s first road test of the season as the top-ranked team in the nation. Marshall is one of three Sun Belt Conference teams ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25. UCF is No. 3 and West Virginia No. 4.
On the decisive goal, Joao Roberto and Matthew Bell picked up the assists. Godard’s shot with the right foot went into the bottom left of the goal.
Bell has 18 points for the season.
Both teams finished with five shots on goal.
Herd keeper Gabriel Perrotta stopped all five to secure his fifth solo clean sheet to go with a combined one with Gabe Sitler.
Rams keeper John Ermini recorded four saves.
The match went to halftime scoreless — only the third time the Herd and its opponent have been tied after 45 minutes. The other two were 1-1 against Pitt and High Point.
Marshall, the last team in the nation with a perfect winning percentage, is 12-2-1 in its last 15 matches and allowed just six goals in that span.
Marshall returns to Sun Belt play Sunday against Georgia State in Atlanta. Game time is 7 p.m.
This was the Herd’s final non-conference match.