When it comes mid-major programs that know how to write a Cinderella story, there’s not many better than the Marshall Thundering Herd.
More recently, the men's basketball team advanced to the Second Round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament as a 13-seed, while the 2020 football team reached No. 16 in the national rankings after starting the season 7-0.
Now it’s the men’s soccer team’s turn.
After finishing the regular season as Conference USA champions with an overall record of nine wins, two losses and two draws, Marshall entered the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 10 in the country.
In Marshall’s opening game of the tournament against Fordham, the Thundering Herd got two goals from Milo Yosef, including the golden goal in extra time.
Here’s the first goal, which was assisted by Vitor Dias — a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy.
— ELITE 8️⃣ Marshall Men's Soccer (@HerdMSoccer) May 3, 2021
And the game-winner.
— ELITE 8️⃣ Marshall Men's Soccer (@HerdMSoccer) May 4, 2021
The difficulty level was raised exponentially in the Round of 16 with Marshall playing ACC champion and No. 1 overall seed Clemson.
Marshall took the lead in the 15th minute through Max Schneider, who smashed a free kick from 30 yards out.
16' | der Knallkörper from Max Schneider!
— Jake Griffith (@nottherealjgrif) May 6, 2021
— FINAL 4️⃣ Marshall Men's Soccer (@HerdMSoccer) May 6, 2021
Clemson would equalize before halftime, but that would be all the scoring on the day. The match would eventually go to a penalty shootout, where the Thundering Herd triumphed 7-6.
The reaction @HerdMSoccer upsets No. 1 Clemson in PKs to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in program history!
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 7, 2021
Marshall had never advanced the quarterfinals before, and its reward was a showdown with the eighth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas.
The Hoyas won the 2019 College Cup, but star defenders Dylan Nealis (Nashville SC) and Rio Hope-Gund (Orlando City) and forwards Ifunanyachi Achara (Toronto FC) and Derek Dodson (Orlando City) all departed for MLS. However, sophomore Hoyas midfielder Dante Polvara is a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist as well.
But it was his rival for college soccer's biggest individual prize — Marshall's Dias — who made the difference on Monday.
He got his fifth assist of the season by drifting out wide, working his way to the byline and finding Jamil Roberts at the doorstep.
ROBERTS SLOTS IT!The Englishman puts Marshall ahead 1-0. 70th min. pic.twitter.com/1pMnrVQoe8
— Jake Griffith (@nottherealjgrif) May 10, 2021
Marshall would hold on for another stunning upset to move on to the College Cup semifinals, where they’ll face the winner of Monday night’s match between No. 5 Wake Forest and North Carolina.
The heartbeat of this team! Thank you Herd Fans for showing up & showing out!
— FINAL 4️⃣ Marshall Men's Soccer (@HerdMSoccer) May 10, 2021