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Mountaineers Embark on MAC Championship

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Nov. 10, 2021) – The No. 21 West Virginia University men’s soccer team opens postseason play by taking on Georgia State in the 2021 MAC Championship Semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 11, at the NIU Soccer & Track and Field Complex in DeKalb, Illinois. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET.

Fans can follow along with all the action with live stats, courtesy ofNIUHuskies.com. Additionally, the match can be seen live on NIU All-Access.

“This week is all about pushing toward one of our big goals of the year: Winning a conference title,” WVU coach Dan Stratford said. “While we feel very confident in our NCAA Tournament resume, we can still bolster it even more with a successful trip to NIU.

“We played this Georgia State team just a couple weeks ago, so there’s obviously some familiarity there. We’re just excited to get to this part of the season; this is where the results really count.”

Thursday marks the third meeting between the No. 2-seed Mountaineers (11-2-4, 4-1-1 MAC) and third-seeded Panthers (11-5, 3-3 MAC), including the second this season. WVU earned a 2-1 win over GSU on Oct. 28, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, as sophomore forward Ciro Bourlot Jaeggi scored the game-winning goal with a diving header in the 89th minute.

Overall, WVU leads the all-time series over Georgia State, 2-0.

The Mountaineers enter the MAC Championship for the first time since winning the title in 2019 and earning the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. WVU is 3-6 in the event all time. Of note, the conference tournament was not played in the 2020-21 season.

West Virginia capped the regular season with a 2-0 win over Bowling Green on Nov. 4, in Morgantown. Junior midfielder Luke McCormick scored the game-winner in the 61st minute, while freshman defender Frederik Jorgensen added to the lead just 74 seconds later.

In all, the Mountaineers outshot the Falcons, 14-7, in the win, including 6-2 in shots on goal. McCormick led the way with six shots on the night.

The victory secured WVU’s first unbeaten, home campaign since 2006. The Mountaineers finished 8-0-2 at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium this fall.

Earlier on Wednesday, four Mountaineers were placed on the All-MAC Team. McCormick led the way by being placed on the first team, while fifth-year senior defender Kevin Morris, fifth-year senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky and sophomore forward Ciro Bourlot Jaeggi earned second-team honors.

In the polls, WVU returned to the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 at No. 21 this week. Additionally, the squad checked in at No. 9 by TopDrawerSoccer and No. 14 by College Soccer News. The Mountaineers have been included in at least one poll’s top 10 a total of nine times this fall.

Bourlot Jaeggi leads the Mountaineers with six goals on the year. A total of nine players have registered multiple goals for the Gold and Blue this season.

Tekesky enters Thursday’s match one win away from tying the program record, set by current WVU assistant coach Nick Noble in 2006 (45). The Raymore, Missouri, native’s next appearance also will match the program record for most matches played by a goalkeeper (80).

Tekesky ranks No. 6 nationally in goals against average (.615), as well as No. 7 in solo shutouts (7).

Stratford is 78-9-10 as a head coach, including 17-5-5 with the Mountaineers. He also is 8-4-2 against MAC opponents during his tenure.

Georgia State is led by 12th-year coach Brett Surrency, who is 120-86-16 with the program. GSU, which is making its MAC Championship debut, earned a 2-1 win over Georgia Southern to close the regular season on Nov. 4, at home. The Panthers scored a golden goal in the 104th minute in the victory.

Ethan Sassine leads Georgia State with six goals in 2021. He is one of three players with 10+ points on the year. In goal, Gunther Rankenburg has a MAC-leading 55 saves.

Of note, the Panthers reached six straight tournament championship games in the Sun Belt Conference, prior to their move to the MAC this season.

Press Release: WVU Athletic Department

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