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WVU Braces for Second Straight MAC Road Match

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Oct. 15, 2021) – The No. 21-ranked West Virginia University men’s soccer team travels to Kalamazoo, Michigan, for a Mid-American Conference match at Western Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 16. Kickoff at the WMU Soccer Complex is set for 12 p.m. ET.

Fans can follow along with the match with live stats, courtesy Of note, Saturday’s match will not be streamed.

“(Western Michigan) has a way of doing things and has an identity,” WVU coach Dan Stratford said. “Chad (Wiseman) has delivered his message well because the players have bought in and are executing. I don’t think there are any secrets for what they’ll look to do, and I don’t think there will be any secrets on what we’ll look to do. It’ll be about who can execute with the greater amount of conviction and who wants it more.”

Saturday marks the 13th meeting between the Mountaineers (6-1-4, 0-1-1 MAC) and Broncos (4-4-4, 0-1-0 MAC). The series is tied, 5-5-2, while WMU holds a slim, 3-2-1 edge in matches played in Kalamazoo. 

The two squads split a pair of meetings last season, with WVU falling to Western Michigan, 1-0, on March 14, on the road, before it earned a 3-1 win on March 31, at home. Overall, 10 of the previous 12 matchups in the series have ended in one-goal games or draws.

Saturday’s match also marks the third fixture in WVU’s current, four-match road trip.

Last time out, WVU fell to Northern Illinois, 2-0, on Oct. 9, in DeKalb, Illinois. The setback snapped the Mountaineers’ 10-game, season-opening unbeaten streak, good for the longest to begin a year in program history.

West Virginia was placed at No. 21 in this week’s United Soccer Coaches Division I National Poll, marking WVU’s sixth straight top-25 ranking. The squad also sits at No. 11 in the College Soccer News and TopDrawerSoccer polls.

Senior forward Yoran Popovic paces West Virginia with four goals and eight total points this season. What’s more, the Zuidlaren, Netherlands, native has found the back of the net in four of his last six contests.

In goal, fifth-year senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky enters the weekend ranked No. 7 in the nation in shutouts (6) and No. 11 nationally in goals against average (.459).

Stratford enters Saturday’s fixture with a 73-8-10 record as a head coach, including 12-4-5 with the Mountaineers.

Western Michigan is led by ninth-year coach Chad Wiseman, who is 87-49-24 during his time in Kalamazoo. The Broncos have finished .500 or better in nine straight seasons, dating back to 2012.

Last time out, WMU took down Michigan State, 2-0, on Oct. 13, at home. Of note, all four of the Broncos’ wins have come at home this season.

Dylan Sing leads the club with four goals, while Caden Jackman has a team-best three assists.

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