MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons revealed the 2021 men’s soccer schedule on Wednesday.
Following the postponement of their fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mountaineers return to action this spring, competing in 13 regular-season contests. The defending Mid-American Conference Tournament champions are scheduled to host league opponents in five of six home matches at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown.
“It’s been a very long wait, but we are all excited to challenge ourselves against a good slate of opponents, both in and out of conference,” first-year coach Dan Stratford said. “I look forward to seeing the hard work and discipline that this team demonstrated in the fall be rewarded this spring. We will finally get to see our roster compete for the first time since my arrival. We are really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
WVU’s 2021 slate features a double round-robin MAC schedule, as well as nonconference matchups against Coastal Carolina, Charlotte and Marshall, all of which are coming off NCAA Tournament berths last season.
The regular season begins with a nonconference match-up at Coastal Carolina on Feb. 20. WVU continues its season-opening road swing at Charlotte the following Friday, Feb. 26.
The Mountaineers open their home slate and conference play on March 6, as they host Northern Illinois for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. West Virginia travels to Western Michigan on March 14, for its first conference road contest, before returning home to host Bowling Green three days later on March 17, at 3 p.m.
A trip to SIU-Edwardsville awaits WVU on March 21, followed by a mid-season, nonconference bout against in-state foe Marshall on March 24, at 7 p.m. The Mountaineers are back on the road on March 28 to face off against Bowling Green.
Back-to-back home contests against Akron and Western Michigan are next, as WVU faces the Zips on March 31, and the Broncos on April 4. West Virginia’s final road trip of the season has the team traveling to Akron on April 7, then Northern Illinois on April 11.
The regular-season finale is set for April 18, with a Senior Day match against SIU-Edwardsville. Kickoff against the Cougars is set for 12 p.m.
West Virginia returns to the pitch in 2021 following the program’s first MAC Tournament championship in 2019. Making their 14th NCAA Tournament appearance, the Mountaineers advanced to the Second Round for the second consecutive season and eighth time overall. WVU’s five goals in its 5-1, first-round win at Butler were the most scored in an NCAA Tournament match in program history. It also marked the squad’s first road win in the NCAA Tournament since 1981.
Stratford will make his Mountaineer debut when WVU opens the 2021 regular season on Feb. 20. The London, England, native was named West Virginia’s 10th head coach in January 2020, returning to his alma mater after a three-year head coaching stint at the University of Charleston. In his time at UC, Stratford compiled a record of 61-4-5 and led the Golden Eagles to a pair of Division II National Championships in 2017 and 2019.
Press Release: WVU Athletics Communications:
Photo Credit: WVU Sports