Men's Soccer
Men’s Soccer Shutout in Sun Belt Semifinals

Men’s Soccer Shutout in Sun Belt Semifinals

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Fifth-seeded Kentucky men’s soccer (7-7-4, 3-3-3 Sun Belt) was shutout 3-0 on Wednesday evening at the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex to top-seeded Marshall (16-2, 7-2) in the semifinal round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

Marshall earned the tournament’s No. 1 seed after finishing atop the standings to claim its first Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship. As the top-seeded team, The Herd has hosted a trio of tournament matches while No. 2 seed UCF has also hosted a pair of quarterfinal matches and a semifinal matchup at the UCF Soccer Complex.

With a spot in the 2023 Sun Belt Men’s Soccer Championship on the line, the Thundering Herd sought redemption over the Wildcats who 17 days prior handed MU its second loss of the 2023 season. In what was a heated first half, both squads battled to break the scoreless deadlock.

Four minutes into the second half, it was Marshall’s Alvaro Garcia-Pascual that changed the tide for The Herd. The junior forward stole the ball at center field, darted all the way down the stretch ahead of a pair of Wildcat defenders, and drilled the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. As Kentucky continued to press, the Herd backline stayed strong and continued to fire off chances of their own.

After a slurry of Marshall substitutions, Joao Roberto, running on fresh legs, was able to pad The Herd’s lead with his first strike of the season. As the Wildcats rattled off more shots, Marshall added one more goal to its total with four minutes left on the clock as Matthew Bell found the back of the net after taking a cross from Rai Pinto.

The Wildcats fired off 12 shots on the day, but couldn’t find the back of the net, as Marshall keeper Gabriel Perrotta closed the match with four saves and earned the team’s 11th shutout of the season.

UK and MU hold a longtime rivalry dating back to 1991. The two programs were previously in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Conference USA (C-USA) together before transitioning to the Sun Belt last year. Following the regular season contest, which ended in a 2-0 upset victory for Kentucky, the two programs hold an all-time series record of 22-13-5 (UK).

Top-seeded Marshall and third-seeded West Virginia will meet in Sunday’s Sun Belt Men’s Soccer Championship Final. The match is slated for Sunday, November 12 at 1 p.m. EST in Huntington and will be live streamed on ESPN+.

2023 Sun Belt Men’s Soccer Tournament

Quarterfinals – Sunday, November 5
Hosted by No. 1 Marshall
Match 1 – (1) Marshall 2, (8) Old Dominion 0
Match 2 – (5) Kentucky 2, (4) James Madison 1

Hosted by No. 2 UCF
Match 3 – (3) West Virginia 3, (6) Georgia State 1
Match 4 – (7) South Carolina 2, (2) UCF 1

Semifinals – Wednesday, November 8
Hosted by No. 1 Marshall
Match 5 – (1) Marshall 3, (5) Kentucky 0

Hosted by No. 2 UCF
Match 6 – (3) West Virginia 2, (7) South Carolina 0

Championship – Sunday, November 12
Hosted by No. 1 Marshall
Match 7 – (1) Marshall  vs. (3) West Virginia, 1 p.m.

For the latest on Kentucky Men’s Soccer, follow @UKMensSoccer on X, Facebook and Instagram, as well as on the web at

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