Fan support is important for the national football team Herd | University sports
The College Cup national championship game was played in North Carolina, but it could just as easily have been played at Hoops Family Field.
With a large contingent of Marshall fans in the stands, the Thundering Herd men’s football team turned the biggest moment of the program into a de facto home game. By now everyone has had a week to get used to calling out the national herd champion, taking the trophy with a 1-0 overtime victory over Indiana.
This trophy was on display Monday at the Grandview Country Club, where Marshall University Southern Coalfields alumni and Big Green Club sponsored its 31st annual Big Green golf outing to raise money for scholarships for student-athletes Marshall.
The university’s head coaches were all attending a virtual USA Conference meeting and were unable to attend. First-year assistant Kyle Sniatecki under the direction of men’s soccer head coach Chris Grassie, was more than happy to represent the national champions.
“I don’t think it’s created for me personally, but for the group as a whole, just extremely excited for what we’ve been able to accomplish as a group,” said Sniatecki. “Not just to do it for ourselves, but obviously to do it for us and for Marshall.”
The support of Marshall fans for their sports programs was evident last Monday. Several traveled to Cary, North Carolina to witness the historic moment, which culminated with Jamil Roberts’ golden goal in the 98th minute.
The victory was celebrated across West Virginia – Marshall fans or not. And the overwhelming presence of green and white kelly at the stadium has not gone unnoticed.
“The support and the fan base was just unreal. We talked about it as the staff and we talked about it as a team. It really made a difference,” said Sniatecki. “To see these people there, you saw the photos and videos of the tailgate before the game, it was just amazing. And then when we got to the stadium, we were greeted by people from both sides of down the street and then just throughout the game. Continuing the encouragement, chanting and energy that they brought, and knowing that it mattered to these people and that they were there in person to support us, we were there. extremely grateful. more special, to be able to celebrate with these people after this game. “
Four days after the victory, Grassie signed a new five-year contract that lasts the entire 2025 season and will pay him $ 375,750 per year. Additionally, all coaching staff have been named United Soccer Coaches National Coaching Staff of the Year.
“Chris said it from day one – the national championship was the goal,” said Sniatecki.
Almost as impressive as winning the championship was the way it was won. Marshall entered the seedless tournament and beat five nationally ranked teams.
Among that list were Clemson, the nation’s No.1 team, the eighth reigning national champion Georgetown and the No.16 and tournament host in North Carolina. Indiana was No. 3 and has won eight national championships in its history.
In Sniatecki’s mind, these victories disqualify any assumption that the herd has simply had a good few weeks.
“To be able to accomplish this is amazing, but to be able to do it on the path that we did it on, I think that’s what makes it even more special and no one can take that away from us,” said Sniatecki said. “No one can say, ‘Oh, that was just the sleeping team’ or ‘They were lucky. They didn’t have to play (the best teams). ‘ If you watch every game, each of them had a meaning. We have beaten, quoted / canceled, the best throughout time.
“It’s unreal and obviously says a lot about the staff, but it says a lot about the players’ ability to execute the game plan and do the things they needed to prove to everyone that we didn’t. were not the story of Cinderella. that people thought. We were capable, we were confident and we went out to prove that every time we were going to play these better programs. “
It is also important how the herd won each game. In addition to the OT victory over the Hoosiers, the victory over Clemson was 7-6 on penalties and the wins over Georgetown and North Carolina were 1-0 in the final.
“I think that’s where football is a fun game. It doesn’t compare to some of those other sports where you have a lot of goals. It’s usually decided by one or two goals,” Sniatecki said. . “But I think when you dive deeper and watch our game and understand our style, we’re there for the whole game. We dominate possession. We’re able to come out and keep control of the ball. has been a big part of our success.
“We made it through the game. We were able to keep (the ball), make the most of our opportunities and take advantage of them, and we are national champions because of that.”
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