MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In case you didn’t catch it the first time around, West Virginia will cement itself as the soccer capital of the United States once more this weekend.
Here is everything you need to know about the sold-out Mountain State Derby rematch for the Sun Belt Championship Sunday afternoon.
WVU men’s soccer vs. Marshall game information
- Date: Nov. 12, 2023
- Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Hoops Family Field in Huntington, West Virginia
- TV/Stream: ESPN+
- No. 5 WVU record: 14-1-4, 5-1-3 Sun Belt
- No. 1 Marshall record: 16-2, 7-2 Sun Belt
- Series history: WVU is 17-7-2 against Marshall since their first meeting in 1983.
WVU men’s soccer vs. Marshall matchup preview
Good friends and former coworkers Dan Stratford (WVU) and Chris Grassie (Marshall) will meet again Sunday for the fifth chapter in their saga as opposing head coaches. Stratford enters the match with a slim 2-1-1 series lead after WVU’s 5-2 win over Marshall in Morgantown last month.
The two coaches won three conference championships and reached two DII national championship games together at the University of Charleston from 2014-16 with Grassi as head coach and Stratford an assistant.
“We’re great friends,” Stratford said in September. “We worked together for a long time. We have a history together and a shared affinity [for] the University of Charleston, which is, again, another West Virginia school and a powerhouse in Division II. So yeah, it’s kind of cool when you look in that moment.”
In 2017, Grassie left Charleston to take the post of head coach at Marshall. While Stratford went on to win two DII national championships in three years as the head coach at Charleston, Grassie won a College Cup National Championship with the Thundering Herd in 2021.
The top-ranked Thundering Herd currently hold the second-best goal differential (37) in the country while touting the No. 4 scoring offense in Division I with 2.72 goals per game.
Despite allowing five goals against WVU, Marshall keeper Gabirel Perrotta has logged 10 shutouts this season, which is the third-most in the country.
WVU forward Marcus Caldeira’s 12 goals on the season makes him tied for 11th in the nation in goals. Three of those goals came in the Mountaineers’ win over Marshall in October.
The Mountain State Derby has rapidly become one of the hottest tickets in soccer, and Sunday’s edition sold out in less than five minutes after tickets went on-sale.