Marshall Defeats Western to Advance in MAC Tourney, 2-1

Updated 11/3/2000
Buffalo, NY (Nov. 3, 2000) -- Marshall University's men's soccer team advanced to the semi-finals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament with a thrilling 2-1 win over Western Michigan, Friday at the University at Buffalo.

Marshall's Byron Carmichael, a sophomore from Lumberton, N.J., scored the game-winning goal, 1-minute-and-27 seconds into the second overtime period to give the Herd the win.

"It's a relief to get the win," said Carmichael. "We worked hard all game and its really nice to get the win."

The win, Marshall's 14th of the season, gives head coach Bob Gray's squad the school record for most wins in a season, and keeps Marshall's hopes of a MAC championship alive. The old mark of 13 wins was set in 1997, when the Herd finished 13-6-1.

"This wasn't one of our better efforts, but its nice to hang in there and get the win," said Marshall Head Coach Bob Gray. "You have to give Western credit."

Marshall's Dave Spaulding, a sophomore from Villa Hills, Ky., opened the scoring at the 22:49 mark of the first half. In a scramble just a few yards from the right side of the WMU goal, the Herd's Byron Carmichael was able to send a pass to Spaulding on the left side. Spaulding promptly sent the pass into the open goal, from just a few yards out, giving Marshall the early 1-0 advantage.

Western Michigan quickly responded at the 24:01 mark, when Reese Richardson found the back of the net, off of a Mike Bravo penalty kick.

Marshall's semi-final opponent is yet to be determined. Marshall will face either the University of Kentucky or Akron depending upon the outcome of the Akron-Buffalo match-up at 7 p.m. An Akron victory would set up a Marshall vs. Akron match, however a Buffalo win would force a Marshall-Kentucy semi-final game and pit #1 seeded Bowling Green against Buffalo. Regardless of the opponent, the Herd will play its semi-final game on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

"We have to get this one out of our system," said Gray. "We are going to have to play better if we are going to win the next one."