MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team opens its 63rd season on Thursday as it takes on California Baptist at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and is the second game of a WVU soccer doubleheader as the women’s team takes on No. 8 Penn State at 5 p.m. ET.
The Mountaineer Maniacs will be on hand to distribute t-shirts and pizza to all members as part of Maniac Madness.
Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance by visiting WVUGAME.com or calling 1-800-WVU GAME. When purchasing online, tickets are $5 each. Any remaining tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors at the stadium ticket window on match day.
WVU student tickets also will be made available at the Mountaineer Ticket Office, located at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The office, as well as the stadium gates, opens at 4 p.m., on game day. WVU students are admitted for free with a valid WVU Student I.D.
Nick Farrell and Adam Zundell have the call of Thursday’s contest on ESPN+. For more information, or to sign up for the digital platform, visit WVUsports.com/Big12Now. The game also can be heard on 91.7 FM (WWVU) in Morgantown, and live stats are available at WVUsports.com.
The Mountaineers are coming off a 7-7-4 season in which they finished fourth in the Sun Belt standings. In the SBC Tournament, West Virginia defeated Coastal Carolina in its first game before falling to eventual champion Kentucky in the semifinals.
In the 2023 Sun Belt Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Mountaineers were picked third and received one first-place vote. Kentucky was tabbed to repeat with Marshall in second and South Carolina one spot behind WVU to round out the top four.
Dan Stratford is in his fourth season at the helm in Morgantown. The 10th coach in program history has an overall career record of 86-17-16, including 25-12-11 with the Mountaineers.
Sophomore Marcus Caldeira and senior Ryan Crooks each return to the squad after leading WVU last season with 14 points each. Fifth-year senior Luke McCormick also returns as the most veteran member of the team with 64 matches played and 54 starts under his belt.
Overall, 17 players return to Morgantown while 12 newcomers enter the fold including seven freshmen and five transfers.
California Baptist is led by eighth-year coach Coe Michaelson, who has a 71-42-14 (.614) record with the Lancers. CBU is the reigning WAC Tournament champions, winning the 2022 title in its first year of eligibility and were picked to repeat in the 2023 WAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, earning all the available first-place votes.
It is the first meeting between the two squads and just the third game against a WAC opponent for the Mountaineers, having played Seattle in 2016 and UNLV in 1999. The Lancers are also the ninth team from California to play in Morgantown.