Kentucky outshot Marshall by a 20-16 margin – and put eight of those attempts on frame compared with Marshall’s six – but the Thundering Herd found the back of the net once, and the Wildcats were unable to at least match that key factor, despite an abundance of chances on Wednesday.
The score line finished 1-0 in favor of Marshall, sending the Wildcats out of the Conference USA Tournament, which is being held at Old Dominion’s Norfolk, Virginia, campus this week.
Marshall scored in the 33rd minute after Lewis Knight broke free along the right flank, and UK couldn’t clear his cross with it instead falling to Dion Stergiotis just inside the box. From there, he smashed his shot into the roof of the net.
Marshall found itself ahead just moments after it looked as though they’d surely be down a goal. Aime Mabika put a quality ball across the box to Alex Bumpus on the far post, but Marshall goalkeeper Nate Himes did well to save. The rebound ended up on JJ Williams’ forehead, and then Himes made an even better save to keep UK off the scoresheet.
The Wildcats outshot the Herd 13-7 in the first half, and continued to have the better of play in the second half, but to its credit, Marshall did well in frustrating the UK attack.
Kentucky dropped to 8-6-4 (4-2-2 Conference USA regular season). The Thundering Herd improved their record to 8-9-1 (3-5-0 C-USA regular season).
Seven teams qualify for the C-USA Tournament with regular-season champion Florida International the recipient of a first-round bye.
Marshall will play the winner of Wednesday’s ODU v South Carolina match in the semifinal round on Friday. FIU will play the winner of Charlotte in the other semifinal.
Marshall defeated Kentucky last month in Huntington, West Virginia by a 1-0 score line.
UK now leads the all-time series 19-9-3.
Kentucky is 3-4-2 away from home this year.
Kentucky has allowed 17 goals this season. UK allowed 16 goals in the whole of 2016, and 13 all of 2015.
For the best coverage of UK men’s soccer follow the team’s social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in addition to on UKathletics.com.
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