The sixth-ranked Marshall Redhawks downed the Western Panthers 2-1 Tuesday, advancing the semifinals of District 19. The win kept Marshall’s home record flawless at 10-0-0 and moves them to 12-0-1 in their last 13 matches.
The Redhawks did find themselves in an unfamiliar spot one minute in, trailing at home. A duffed free kick led to a turnover and quick goal by David Duston only 40 seconds into the match. Marshall evened the contest in the 13 minute as Jake Lyon perfectly fed Jeremy Luciani into the goal box. In the 36th minute, Luciani scored his 22nd goal of the season and put Marshall ahead into the break.
The Redhawks dominated possession the second half and gave Western very few chances to reply. Unofficially. Redhawk goalkeeper Jack Vezmar made five saves while Western’s Gavin Pluta made 10 saves, including a few big ones in the second half to keep the game at 2-1.
Western’s season ends with a record of 10-9-1. Marshall improves to 19-2-1 and meets Charlotte in the District 19 semifinal Thursday at 5 p.m. from Coldwater High School. Charlotte survived a late rally and won in overtime 5-4 over Eaton Rapids in their first round match. On the other side of the bracket, seventh-ranked Coldwater crushed Jackson Northwest 7-0, setting up Coldwater against Mason in the other semifinal.
Listen back to Tuesday’s game below:
Listen live online Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as the Marshall Redhawks host the Western Panthers in a District 19 first round boys soccer match. The winner moves to the semifinal Thursday at Coldwater against either Charlotte or Eaton Rapids, while the loser sees their season end.
Marshall enters at 18-2-1, coming off an Interstate 8 Conference Gold Cup championship win Thursday over seventh-ranked Coldwater, 2-1. It was their second 2-1 win over the Cardinals this year. Ranked #6 in last week’s Division 2 Coaches Association poll, the Redhawks are 11-0-1 in their last 12 matches. Marshall won the District 20 title last season, falling in the regional semifinal to eventual state champion Mattawan.
Western enters at 10-8-1 on the season, going 6-2-0 in their final eight matches. They ended the regular season in the Interstate 8 Conference tournament third place match, falling in penalty kicks to Hastings, 6-5. In the previous match, they gave Coldwater a fight. After getting flattened by the Cardinals in September 8-0, the Panthers battled Coldwater to a 1-0 loss.
When Marshall and Western met in September, the Redhawks won on the road 5-2. Of note, the Panthers are the only team this season to score multiple goals against Marshall. Within the district, both squads hold wins over Charlotte and Jackson Northwest. Marshall has beaten Mason, with Western losing to them. Neither have met Eaton Rapids.