HURRICANE - Fate might be finally throwing Marshall a bone.
Junior midfielder Zach Hunter and freshman defenseman Nick Edginton scored early goals, then senior keeper Daniel Withrow and the Thundering Herd defense withstood a South Carolina offensive peppering and a controversial call for a 2-1 victory over South Carolina.
An overflowing crowd of nearly 500 attended the Conference USA men's soccer matchup in the first of four Herd games scheduled at Hurricane High School.
Marshall's soccer complex is in the planning stages and the land on which its former home field once sat is now part of the indoor practice building, so the Herd has scattered its home games between Cabell, Kanawha and Putnam counties this season.
South Carolina junior Jason Chapman's goal off freshman Ryan Arambula's corner kick cut the deficit to 2-1 with 13:30 to go in the game, breathing new life into the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks thought they had pulled even with about two minutes to play when a shot went past the Herd's Withrow and danced along the goal line before a Marshall defender cleared the ball from in front of the net.
South Carolina's players on the field thought the ball crossed the goal line, but the referee gave no signal as South Carolina's coaching staff came running down the sideline in protest, but to no avail.
"It was close,'' said Withrow, who finished with five saves. "We're getting results that could go either way. I think there's a little bit of a destiny kind of thing. We're working hard and we've earned it. With the crowd out here it sure felt like a home game.''
Hunter put Marshall on top for good 1-0 with an unassisted tally off a free kick just inside the left post 10 minutes, 41 seconds into the opening half. Edginton volleyed in a corner kick from freshman Andrew Ferguson about halfway through the first 45-minute half for a 2-0 edge.
The Herd (10-1-1 overall, 2-1 C-USA) played without leading scorer Tom Jackson, who twisted a knee during practice earlier this week.