MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team opens a critical, three-match road trip at No. 13 Portland on Monday, Sept. 19. Kickoff at Merlo Field at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex in Portland, Oregon, is set for 10 p.m. ET.
Monday’s match marks the first-ever meeting between the Mountaineers (2-3-1) and Pilots (3-0-3). Additionally, the fixture is WVU’s first in the state of Oregon, and just the fifth in the Pacific Time Zone in program history.
Overall, West Virginia is 2-3-1 against members of the West Coast Conference. The squad last played a WCC foe on Oct. 4, 2019, against San Diego in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers are coming off a 0-0 draw against Coastal Carolina in their first-ever Sun Belt Conference match on Sept. 16, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. West Virginia outshot the Chanticleers, 13-5, including 6-2 in shots on goal and also tallied seven corner kicks to CCU’s two.
Freshman forward Marcus Caldeira led WVU with three shots against Coastal – all of them on frame. In goal, junior goalkeeper Jackson Lee had two saves and earned his second clean sheet of the season.
WVU remains at No. 21 in the TopDrawerSoccer Men’s Top 25, which is released each Monday. Of note, Monday’s meeting against Portland marks the first of three straight road fixtures against current top-25 opponents.
Junior midfielder Ryan Crooks has been involved in five of WVU’s eight goals this season. The Oxfordshire, England, native leads the Mountaineers in goals (2), assists (3), points (7) and shots (12).
West Virginia has defeated a top-25 opponent in 14 of the last 16 seasons, with 17 top-15 wins in that span. WVU is 0-1 against ranked foes this fall.
Third-year coach Dan Stratford is 20-9-8 with the Mountaineers, as well as 81-13-13 overall as a head coach. WVU is 12-4-5 in nonconference matches since Stratford took over in 2020-21.
Portland is led by coach Nick Carlin-Voigt, who has guided the Pilots to three NCAA Tournaments in six years, most recently last season. The squad is 3-0-3 to start to the 2022 campaign and is coming off a 0-0 draw at No. 9 Denver on Sept. 16.
The Pilots are ranked as high as No. 13 by United Soccer Coaches, as well as No. 19 by TopDrawerSoccer. They were picked to win the WCC in the league’s preseason poll.
One of the top scoring attacks in the nation so far this fall, Portland is led offensively by Brandon Cambridge’s four goals. In all, the Pilots have scored 15 times in six matches.