Bjarne Thiesen picks up All-American honor

Gold and Blue Nation

The German defender becomes WVU's 12th-ever All-American

WVU defender Bjarne Thiesen takes a dribble in the Mountaineers’ 4-0 victory over Elon on Oct. 23, 2021 at Dick Dlesk Stadium. (Photo: Sam Coniglio)

Bjarne Thiesen helped anchor one of West Virginia’s best defenses in program history — and now, he’s getting recognized for it.

United Soccer Coaches named the German centerback to their All-America Third Team on Thursday, making Theisen the 12th All-American all-time and the first since Joey Piatczyc in 2018.

Thiesen, who came to Morgantown from Kiel, Germany, started all 21 games for WVU as the squad made its first run to the NCAA Elite Eight in 40 years. He scored two goals and helped the Mountaineers to nine clean sheets — the fifth-most in program history.

The redshirt sophomore also headlined a trio of Mountaineers who were named to the All-North Region teams, earning a first team nod from USC. Fellow centerback Kevin Morris and midfielder Ryan Baer both landed on the third team.

Morris, a senior co-captian, also started every match for WVU and added a pair of goals and assists. He capped off the season on the All-MAC Second Team and was second on the team with 2,017 minutes. He now holds the program career records for matches played (92), starts (83) and minutes (8,410).

Behind the strong play of defenders like Morris and Thiesen, West Virginia led the MAC in defense, allowing just 14 goals in 2021 — good for .67 per game.

Like his fellow all-region honorees, Baer made all 21 appearances for WVU, starting 19 matches and earning two assists.

WVU’s three all-region honorees is the most in a decade, when the trio of Eric Schoenle, Andy Bevin and Ray Gaddis were named to the NSCAA All-Northeast Region teams.

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