The West Virginia University men’s soccer team (2-1-0, 1-1-0 MAC) returns home to host Bowling Green (3-3-0, 1-1-0 MAC) on Wednesday, March 17, in Morgantown. Kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium is tabbed for 3 p.m. ET.
In accordance with COVID-19 protocols, Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium will operate at 25% capacity for the spring 2021 home season. For the overall safety of all those in attendance, facemasks will be required of all spectators and should be worn at all times.
An extremely limited amount of tickets remain on sale. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance by visiting WVUGAME.com or calling 1-800-WVU GAME to avoid lines at the gate on game day. When purchasing online, tickets are $5 each. Any remaining tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors at the stadium ticket window on match day.
A limited amount of WVU student tickets also will be made available at the Mountaineer Ticket Office, located at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The office, as well as the stadium gates, opens at 2 p.m., on game day. WVU students are admitted free with a valid WVU Student I.D.
Live stats for the match can be found at WVUsports.com.
“Bowling Green will be a very different test, compared to what we’ve faced up to this point in the season,” first-year head coach Dan Stratford said. “They have a lot of trust in their back three, with a lot of good athleticism. They seem like a very hard-working team that is very good in transition, but they also have some areas that we believe we can exploit.
“The message to the team this week has been similar to that of the Western Michigan game, where we felt like it was more of a test of ourselves. If we implemented what we do well, then we felt like we could win the game. I firmly believe in the same potential outcome with Bowling Green on Wednesday.”
The Mountaineers and Falcons square off for the 15th time in program history on Wednesday, as Bowling Green leads the all-time series, 7-5-2. West Virginia holds a 2-1-1 advantage in games played in Morgantown, as the squad looks for its first win over the Falcons at home since 2018. The two teams last met in the 2019 Mid-American Conference Tournament championship game, where WVU used a 1-0 victory over the Falcons to claim its first MAC Tournament title in program history.
West Virginia suffered its first loss of the season at Western Michigan on March 14, surrendering the first goal of the year in the 32nd minute to a header goal by WMU’s Dylan Sing. Despite the defeat, the Mountaineer attack created numerous opportunities for an equalizer in the final third, as the team outshot an opponent for the first time this year. WVU held a 10-5 advantage in shots and a 6-2 edge in corner kicks. Junior forward Tony Pineda and freshman defender Jesus De Vicente led the team with a pair of shots and one shot on goal, while senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky tallied one save for WVU.
Entering Wednesday’s contest, Pineda and redshirt freshman defender Bjarne Thiesen are tied for first in the MAC in goals per game (0.67), while Tekesky leads the conference in shutouts (2) and shutouts per game (0.67)
Bowling Green is led by coach Eric Nichols, who is in his 12th season at the helm of the program. Nichols owns an overall record of 91-92-30 at BGSU, and he was named the MAC Coach of the Year in 2016. The Falcons are coming off a 1-0, overtime win over No. 25 SIU Edwardsville on March 14. In the 95th minute, Chris Sullivan headed a cross from Jensen Lukacsko into the net to score the “Golden Goal” and give Bowling Green its first conference win of the year.
Sullivan paces the Falcon offense, leading the team in assists (4), points 8) and shots (14), while he is tied for the team lead in goals with two. Sullivan is first in the MAC in assists and tied for second in points, shots and shots per game. In goal, Logan Kowalczyk leads the squad with four saves, as well as one shutout on the year to sit in a tie for second in the league.