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Written by Aaron-Michael Fox. 

The postseason run for the 2020 Conference USA Champions has come to a close with the Marshall Thundering Herd defeating the #2 Indiana Hoosiers 1-0 in overtime in Cary, North Carolina.

The 2020 fall season of college men’s soccer was a bit scattered to say the least with some conferences playing a limited schedule and some not playing at all, opting to postpone until spring. This resulted in the 2020 NCAA tournament being pushed to the spring of 2021.

Marshall had planned to start play on February 3 against Virginia Commonwealth, but that game was also postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19. The Herd finally began play on Valentine’s weekend with a draw against Ohio Valley. The boys in green and white have since amassed a record of 13-2-3 with the only losses coming to then No. 7 Akron and an unnamed team from Morgantown.

Reaching a ranking as high as #8 at one point, Marshall defeated two top 15 teams in No. 11 Kentucky and No. 12 Charlotte on the way to finishing the regular season ranked No. 10 and champions of Conference USA for the second season in a row.

The Herd received a bye in the first round of the tournament before defeating No. 23 Fordham 2-1 in overtime to move on to the Round of 16 against No. 1 Clemson. The Tigers put up a good fight, but were clearly overmatched by the Herd who scored first and set the tone for much of the game. Marshall would defeat Clemson 7-6 after penalty kicks.

In the Round of Eight, Marshall faced #8 Georgetown. The Herd and the Hoyas fought to an even battle until the Thundering Herd took the lead in the 70th minute and never looked back. 1-0 marked the final score. 1-0 Marshall would again mark the final score versus No. 16 North Carolina on May 14.

The official College Cup starts with the Final Four and all of Huntington was abuzz for those matchups with a dozen different watch parties downtown. The Herd finished the 2020 season with a 13–2–3 record.

Marshall Head Coach Chris Grassie is in his 4th season in Huntington and has built a nationally prominent program, leading the Herd to a 44-23-20 record in that time, including two Conference USA titles, two NCAA tournament appearances, and one national title. Coach Grassie’s squad is now 9-1 under his leadership when both teams are ranked in the top 25.

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