The West Virginia University men’s soccer team begins Sun Belt Conference play on Friday, Sept. 16, against Coastal Carolina. Kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Friday is Bark at the Park, as well as International Student Night. The first 100 fans will receive a dog toy giveaway. All dogs must be kept on a leash and owners will be required to sign a waiver upon entry.
Additionally, the Mountaineers will hold a post-match autograph session on the field.
Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance by visiting WVUGAME.com or calling 1-800-WVU-GAME. When purchasing online, tickets are $5 each and $3 for groups of 10 or more. All tickets are general admission.
At the stadium ticket window, which opens at 6 p.m., on Friday, tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors and $3 for groups. The discounted online pricing will be available until kickoff.
WVU students are admitted free with a valid WVU Student ID.
Friday marks the sixth meeting between the Mountaineers (2-3, 0-0 Sun Belt) and Chanticleers (2-2-1, 0-0 Sun Belt). It also marks WVU’s first-ever Sun Belt fixture. Overall, WVU leads the all-time series with CCU, 3-1-1, including 2-0 in Morgantown.
The two squads last played on Sept. 13, 2019, a 5-2 Mountaineer win at home. Overall, West Virginia is 28-17-5 against SBC foes.
Prior to the start of the year, WVU was picked to win the Sun Belt, based on the league’s preseason coaches’ poll.
This week, WVU checked in at No. 21 in the TopDrawerSoccer Men’s Top 25. The Mountaineers have been ranked by TDS in every poll for more than a calendar year after debuting on Sept. 6, 2021.
Last time out, WVU fell to Yale, 2-1, on Sept. 9, at home. The Mountaineers scored in the fourth minute, thanks to a goal from redshirt junior midfielder/defender Sergio Ors Navarro, but the Bulldogs answered with a penalty-kick goal in the 38th minute and the late, game-winner in the 88th.
Despite the loss, West Virginia outshot Yale, 13-6, and accumulated 12 corner kicks on the night.
Junior midfielder Ryan Crooks, who was named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week on Monday, has been involved in five of WVU’s eight goals this season. The Oxfordshire, England, native leads the team with two goals and has three assists.
Third-year coach Dan Stratford is 20-9-7 during his time with the Mountaineers. Overall, he holds an 81-13-12 mark as a head coach.
Coastal Carolina is led by coach Shaun Docking, who is in his 25th season with the program. The Chants, who finished 6-5-4 in 2021, opened the season with back-to-back wins over USC Upstate (4-1 on Aug. 25) and at William & Mary (4-2 on Aug. 28). Most recently, the squad fell at High Point, 2-1, on Sept. 11, in Conway.
Alvaro Garcia-Pascual has a team-leading four goals this season, good for No. 15 nationally and No. 2 in the SBC. Maurice Hauser has helped the cause with three goals of his own to start the season.