MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team begins play at the 2022 Sun Belt Men’s Soccer Championship with a quarterfinal matchup against Coastal Carolina on Sunday, Nov. 6. Kickoff at the Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky, is set for 3 p.m. ET.
The Mountaineers (6-6-4, 3-1-4 Sun Belt) enter the conference tournament as the No. 4 seed. The squad is unbeaten in seven straight matches, with four wins in that span.
Sunday marks the seventh all-time meeting between WVU and the fifth-seeded Chanticleers (5-4-6, 2-1-5 Sun Belt), including the second this season. The two schools played to a 0-0 draw on Sept. 16, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, marking West Virginia’s first-ever Sun Belt match.
In all, the Mountaineers hold a 3-1-2 edge in the series.
The winner of Sunday’s fixture moves on to Nov. 9’s Sun Belt Semifinal against the winner of No. 1 Kentucky-No. 8 South Carolina, which also is scheduled to be played on Sunday in Lexington.
Last time out, West Virginia closed the regular season with a 3-1 win at Georgia Southern on Oct. 28, in Statesboro, Georgia. Redshirt junior midfielder/defender Sergio Ors Navarro scored the game-winning goal in the 44th minute, while redshirt senior midfielder/defender Dyon Dromers and fifth-year senior forward Adam Burchell also found the back of the net for the Mountaineers in the 28th and 60th minute, respectively.
A pair of Mountaineers – senior midfielder Luke McCormick and redshirt junior defender Bjarne Thiesen – were named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team on Friday. With the honors, WVU has now placed multiple players on all-conference teams in 13 of the last 14 seasons.
WVU has tallied 17 goals in its last six matches. Dromers leads the way with five tallies on the year, while junior midfielder Ryan Crooks (4G, 6A) has a team-best 14 points.
West Virginia is 19-17-3 all-time in conference tournaments. The squad has won five tournament titles, most recently in 2019, when WVU took home the Mid-American Conference Championship crown.
Third-year coach Dan Stratford is 24-12-11 with the Mountaineers, as well as 85-16-16 in his head-coaching career. Stratford is looking for his first conference tournament victory as the Mountaineers’ head coach.
Coastal Carolina is led by 25th-year coach Shaun Docking, who is 305-146-48 at the school. CCU closed regular-season play with a 4-1 win over Georgia Southern on Nov. 1, at home.
The Chants have plenty of previous success in the Sun Belt Championship. The squad won four tournament titles in the league from 2016-20.
Alvaro Garcia-Pascual, an All-SBC First Teamer, has 10 goals this fall, good for No. 1 in the league and top 20 nationally.