Centennial Grad Leads Towson on the Pitch
By Kiel McLaughlin
June 2002: Donning a cap and gown, Andrew Marshall stepped across the stage to receive his high school diploma. A standout in both lacrosse and soccer at Centennial in Ellicott City, Marshall could not, at that moment, have envisioned what was before him.
Oct. 22, 2006: Sporting his home whites and a black and gold warm-up jacket, Marshall moved toward the bleachers of the Towson Center Field where his parents and a table covered in food and drinks awaited.
Moments earlier, the No. 17 Towson Tigers earned their 10th consecutive victory by defeating the Virginia Commonwealth Rams, 2-1, in the last home game of the season. With the win, Towson clinched first place in the Colonial Athletic Association standings and earned a first round bye in the conference tournament.
Known for his hard-nosed style, Marshall has never backed down when challenging for the ball. (Courtesy Towson Athletics)
For Marshall, it has been a long journey to reach this point of success. A walk-on his sophomore year, the senior co-captain was initially told there were no available spots left on the roster. Determined to be a part of the program, Marshall began working with the Tigers' athletic sports medicine department.
"I really wanted to play Division I," Marshall said. "I was looking at other schools but I came and checked out Towson and I loved it here. I talked to the coach during the summer and he said that the roster was full."
After discussing the situation with Towson head coach Frank Olszewski, Marshall was put in contact with an area club team called the Baltimore Colts.
The following spring, Olszewski asked Marshall to join the squad, noting work ethic and mental toughness as his player's strongest assets.
"He came to Towson without any fanfare," Olszewski said. "When we saw him play [with the club team], there was no question he belonged on our team. He has developed in his leadership qualities immensely. He has always been someone who leads by example."
Known for his hard-nosed style, Marshall has never backed down when challenging for the ball. Earlier this season, against then-No. 20 Fairleigh Dickinson, Marshall and a member of the visiting team went up for a high bouncing ball. Without hesitation, the right fullback leapt, smacking heads with FDU's midfielder.
Following the collision, the FDU player lay on the ground and needed assistance off the pitch. Marshall shrugged off the pain and continued to play as the Tigers went on to a 1-0 victory. That same hard-working mentality is what has brought Marshall to this point in his career.
"To really appreciate Andrew you have to see him on a daily basis. What you see him do at a game, we see him do every day," Olszewski said. "He is an example to everybody else. He is respected by everybody within the department."
Beginning Nov. 3, Marshall and the Tigers will travel to Virginia Beach, Va. to compete in the CAA tournament where they hold the No. 1 seed.
Issue 1.27: October 26, 2006