Mountaineers meet Hokies in NCAA Tournament

Gold and Blue Nation

The No.11-seeded West Virginia University men’s soccer team opens NCAA Tournament play against Virginia Tech in the Second Round on Sunday, Nov. 21, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET.

Tickets are on sale at WVUGAME.com with prices set at $8 for adults, $5 for youth (17 and under) and $3 for groups of 10 or more. WVU students are admitted for free with a valid Student ID, courtesy of WVU Medicine.

Fans who are unable to attend the match can follow along with live stats at NCAA.com. Additionally, the match can be seen live on ESPN+, with Andrew Caridi and Liam Belan on the call, as well as heard on 91.7-FM in Morgantown.

“We are where we wanted to be,” WVU coach Dan Stratford said. “We’ve reminded the guys this week that there’s 170-plus teams that aren’t playing soccer right now. So, we should enjoy this, embrace it and be very grateful that we have this opportunity.

“Hopefully, there’s a lot of optimism, energy and excitement. You can tell there’s a little buzz among the guys, so I think they are excited for the tournament to get started and looking forward to Sunday.”

The Mountaineers (11-3-4) are in the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in program history, including its third in the last four seasons. Overall, WVU holds a 7-14 mark in the Big Dance.

West Virginia is seeded for the first time since 2007 and earned its highest placement in the tournament since being tabbed at No. 6 in 2006. Sunday’s game marks WVU’s first NCAA Tournament game at home since a 4-2 win over LIU Brooklyn on Nov. 15, 2018.

Sunday also marks the 13th overall meeting between the Mountaineers and Hokies (11-5-3) but the first since 2015. In all, Virginia Tech leads the all-time series, 8-4, while WVU holds a 4-3 edge in matches played in Morgantown. Of note, VT is set to play in just its second-ever game at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

The winner of Sunday’s contest advances to take on the winner of No. 6 Tulsa-Creighton in the third round on either Nov. 27 or 28, at a site to be determined.

WVU went 8-0-2 at home in the regular season, the squad’s first unbeaten campaign at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium since 2006.

WVU enters the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 7 in the nation in goals against average (.630) and No. 18 in goal differential (20). Additionally, its shutout percentage is good for No. 25 nationally (.444).

Individually, fifth-year senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky is one win shy of tying Nick Noble (2003-06) for most career wins by a goalkeeper in program history (45). The Raymore, Missouri, native is WVU’s all-time leader in matches played by a goalkeeper (80), while fifth-year senior defender Kevin Morris ranks No. 1 in the Mountaineer record book for overall career matches played (89) and minutes played (7,819).

Stratford is 78-10-10 as a head coach, including 17-6-5 with the Mountaineers. The second-year coach is 11-1 in the NCAA Tournament, with all 12 previous matches coming at Charleston (W.Va.).

Virginia Tech is led by 13th-year coach Mike Brizendine, who is 99-112-35 in his tenure in Blacksburg. The Hokies topped Campbell, 2-1, in the NCAA First Round on Nov. 18, at home.

In all, VT is in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season. Virginia Tech also reached the ACC Quarterfinals this season before falling at Pitt, 2-1 (2OT), on Nov. 7 in Pittsburgh.

Jacob Labovitz, an All-ACC First Team selection, leads the Hokies with 20 points (8G, 4A) this season. He’s one of eight VT players to tally multiple goals in 2021.

For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVUMensSoccer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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