West Virginia has climbed to No. 3 in the United Soccer Coaches men's national poll, its the highest ranking in the program's 60 years.
The Mountaineers are 6-0-2 after wins over Dayton (3-0) and St. Bonaventure (4-0).
They play one of the toughest non-schedule schedules in the country, having already beaten two ranked teams -- Pitt (2-1) and Penn State (3-1) -- and tied a third, defending national champion Marshall (2-2).
The Marshall game, dubbed the “Mountain State Derby," drew a record crowd of 3,033 at Huntington's Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.
“I think it’s a great advertisement for college soccer and especially here in West Virginia” Mountaineers coach Dan Stratford told the Charleston Gazette
after the Marshall game, "and it was a fair reflection of where we are in the [eyes of] the country. These are two top-five teams in my opinion. Both teams have done themselves justice.”
Stratford, a Mountaineer alumnus, was named West Virginia head coach in January 2020 after Marlon LeBlanc
stepped down to move his family to the Philadelphia area, where his son is a standout in the Union academy program. Stratford led Charleston to two NCAA Division II national titles in three years in charge of the program.
In the Marshall game, West Virginia started players from Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain in addition to Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina and West Virginia, while Argentine Ciro Bourlot Jaeggi
came off the bench to score the second Mountaineer goal. Steven Tekesky
, who picked up his fourth and fifth shutouts of the season against Dayton and St. Bonaventure, is one of three fifth year players who are starters along with Kevin Morris
and Pau Jimenez Albelda
West Virginia, the only team in the Big 12 with a men's soccer program, will move to Conference USA for men's soccer in 2022. It will open Mid-American play at home against No. 20 Akron on Thursday.