WVU men’s soccer readies for round of 16 clash with Tulsa

Gold and Blue Nation

TULSA, Okla. – The No. 11-seeded West Virginia University men’s soccer team continues its run in the NCAA Tournament with a third-round matchup at No. 6 Tulsa on Saturday, Nov. 27, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kickoff at Hurricane Soccer Stadium is set for 8 p.m. ET.

Fans can follow along with all the action with live stats, courtesy of NCAA.com. Additionally, the match can be seen live on ESPN+.

“The bottom line is, we’re in the Sweet 16, and there are no easy games at this point,” WVU coach Dan Stratford said. “These are all very, very good teams, and they are very deserving of where they are, and Tulsa is no different. I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen from them, and the players understand that we’ll have to be on to get the job done.”

The Mountaineers (11-3-5) are in the NCAA Third Round for the first time since 2007, as well as just the third time in program history. Overall, WVU holds a 7-14-1 record in NCAA Tournament play all time.

West Virginia, which has claimed its highest seed in the tournament since being placed at No. 6 in 2006, earned a 1-1 draw and advanced on penalty kicks (4-3) against Virginia Tech in the second round on Nov. 21, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown. Senior forward Ike Swiger opened the scoring in the seventh minute, before WVU conceded a goal in the 56th.

In the shootout, sophomore midfielder Ryan Crooks, redshirt junior midfielder/defender Dyon Dromers, freshman midfielder Otto Ollikainen and fifth-year senior midfielder Pau Jimenez Albelda all converted, while fifth-year senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky made a pair of big saves to help the hosts advance.

Saturday marks the first-ever meeting between West Virginia and Tulsa (16-1-1). Additionally, the match marks the first time the Mountaineers play a game in the state of Oklahoma.

WVU is looking to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 1981. Of note, the squad has never reached the round of 8 in the current NCAA Tournament format.

The winner of Saturday’s contest advances to take on the winner of No. 3 Georgetown-Providence next week at a date, time and location to be determined.

This season, 13 different Mountaineers have scored a goal, the most since 2018. Sophomore forward Ciro Bourlot Jaeggi leads the way with six tallies, while nine others have found the back of the net multiple times.

What’s more, 19 of WVU’s 24 field players that have stepped onto the pitch this fall have tallied at least one point.

Individually, Tekesky is one win shy of tying current assistant coach Nick Noble (2003-06) for most career wins by a goalkeeper in program history (45). The Raymore, Missouri, native is WVU’s all-time leader in matches played by a goalkeeper (81), and he is set to tie the program record for career starts in goal (80) on Saturday.

Additionally, fifth-year senior defender Kevin Morris ranks No. 1 in the Mountaineer record book for overall career matches played (89) and minutes played (7,819). With a start on Saturday, the Mt. Airy, Maryland, native also will take over West Virginia’s top spot in career matches started (82).

Stratford is 78-10-11 as a head coach, including 17-6-6 with the Mountaineers. The second-year coach is 11-1-1 in the NCAA Tournament, with the first 12 matches coming at Charleston (W.Va.).

Tulsa is led by 27th-year coach Tom McIntosh, who is 276-187-55 with the program. The Golden Hurricane is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 and is playing in the NCAA Third Round for the first time since 2012.

Champions of the American Athletic Conference, Tulsa is a perfect 11-0 at home this season. The squad topped Creighton, 1-0, in the NCAA Second Round on Nov. 21, at home.

TU swept this fall’s AAC honors, featuring Offensive Player of the Year Alex Meinhard, Defensive Player of the Year Mariano Fazio, Midfielder of the Year Henry Sach, Goalkeeper of the Year and Rookie of the Year Alex Lopez, and Coaching Staff of the Year. Meinhard leads the club with 12 goals and 26 total points this fall.

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