MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 25, 2021) – For the first time in program history, the West Virginia University men’s soccer team has been voted to finish first in the 2021 Mid-American Conference Preseason Poll, the league announced on Wednesday.
In a vote by the league’s seven head coaches, the Mountaineers earned 40 points, one ahead of second-place Akron (39) and two in front of No. 3 Bowling Green (38). Western Michigan was voted fourth with 30 points, while Northern Illinois (22) was slotted fifth. MAC newcomers Georgia State (17) and Georgia Southern (10) were tabbed to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.
WVU received three first-place votes in the poll, while Bowling Green earned two. Akron and Western Michigan also had one first-place vote each.
Led by second-year coach Dan Stratford, the Mountaineers return to action following a 6-3-1 (4-3-1 MAC) campaign in 2020-21. The squad welcomes 10 of 11 starters back off last year’s team, as well as 15 total lettermen. The Mountaineers also return all seven goal scorers from the spring, including senior forward Ike Swiger, who paced West Virginia with four goals and eight points. Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky, Swiger and junior midfielder Luke McCormick earned All-MAC First Team honors, while fifth-year senior midfielder Pau Jimenez Albelda and fifth-year senior defender Kevin Morris were second-team selections.
West Virginia opens the 2021 campaign by traveling to Robert Morris on Thursday, Aug. 26, at North Athletic Complex in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET. The squad’s home opener is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 30, against No. 3 Pitt in a 7 p.m., kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown.
2021 MAC Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll
- West Virginia – 40 (3)
- Akron – 39 (1)
- Bowling Green – 38 (2)
- Western Michigan – 30 (1)
- Northern Illinois – 22
- Georgia State – 17
- Georgia Southern – 10
(*) First-Place Votes
MAC Champion: WVU (3), BGSU (2), WMU (1) Akron (1)