The No. 12 West Virginia University men’s soccer team is back in the NCAA Tournament, and will host LIU Brooklyn on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. ET, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
Tickets will go on sale Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET, at WVUGAME.com, by calling 1-800 WVU GAME, at the Mountaineer Ticket Office at the WVU Coliseum or on match day at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Tickets are $8 each for adults, $5 for students and children under 12 and $3 for groups of 10 or more when purchased in advance.
The Mountaineers (13-6-0) are in the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in program history and the first time since 2011. WVU earned an at-large berth after winning its first Mid-American Conference regular-season title with a perfect 5-0-0 record. West Virginia enters the NCAA Tournament having won 11 of its last 14 matches and is one of two teams in the country to finish the season unbeaten and untied in conference play.
“We’ve always focused on us first, and the opponent second, and that’s not going to change,” WVU coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “It’s been a pretty good recipe for success this year. Way back when we played UCF and Maryland, and we lost those games in a short amount of time, I said I think this team’s going to win a lot of games this year. We had the same type of setup, in terms of another game to prepare for in a short amount of time. We’re going to look at film, we’re going to get as much as we can on (LIU Brooklyn), but our focus will be on what we do. Especially playing at home, we want to be a team that’s on the front foot, and then we’ll worry about what comes after that, after that.”
West Virginia is making its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in LeBlanc’s tenure. The 2018 MAC Coach of the Year, LeBlanc guided the Mountaineers to the NCAA Second Round in 2006, 2010 and 2011 and a third-round appearance in 2007.
Along with LeBlanc’s MAC Coach of the Year honor, senior midfielder Joey Piatczyc, who has broken numerous school records this season, was named the MAC Player of the Year. Piatczyc and sophomore goalkeeper Steven Tekesky were named to the All-MAC First Team, and junior defenders Albert Andres-Llop, Pascal Derwaritsch and Ryan Kellogg and junior midfielder Andres Muriel Albino were recognized on the All-MAC Second Team.
West Virginia enters the NCAA Tournament with 13 wins, the most since a 14-win campaign in 2007 and two shy of the program record of 15, set in 2006. West Virginia is ranked No. 18 in this week’s TopDrawerSoccer.com rankings, while WVU came in at No. 12 in last week’s United Soccer Coaches poll and No. 15 in the Soccer America rankings, which both are released on Tuesdays.
The Blackbirds (13-5-1) won the Northeast Conference regular-season and tournament championship. LIU Brooklyn comes to Morgantown having won two in a row and 12 of its last 14. WVU has never faced LIU Brooklyn, but is 31-9-1 all-time against current members of the NEC. That includes a 3-1 win over Saint Francis (Pa.), on Sept. 15. LIU Brooklyn suffered a 1-0 loss at SFU on Oct. 21.
The winner between WVU and LIU Brooklyn will advance to the second round to face No. 13-seeded Georgetown on Sunday, Nov. 18, in Washington, D.C. The third round is set for Saturday, Nov. 24, and Sunday, Nov. 25, while the quarterfinals are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1.
The final four teams in the bracket will advance to the College Cup in Santa Barbara, California. The semifinals are on Dec. 7, while the national ch