The West Virginia University men’s soccer team travels to Huntington, West Virginia, to take on No. 4 Marshall on Saturday, Sept. 24. Kickoff at Hoops Family Field is set for 7:15 p.m. ET.
Friday’s match marks the 25th all-time meeting between the Mountaineers (2-4-1, 0-0-1 Sun Belt) and Thundering Herd (4-1-1, 0-0-1 Sun Belt). Additionally, the match is the first between the two programs as conference opponents, as well as WVU’s first Sun Belt road match.
WVU and MU are meeting in the regular season for the third consecutive year. Prior to that, the two squads hadn’t met in regular-season play since 2004. Last year, the Mountaineers earned a 2-2 draw against Marshall on Sept. 17, 2021, in Huntington.
Overall, West Virginia holds a 16-6-2 advantage in the series, including 6-4-1 on the road.
The Mountaineers are coming off a 2-1 loss at then-No. 13 Portland on Sept. 19, at Merlo Field. In the program’s first-ever match in the state of Oregon, senior midfielder Luke McCormick scored in the fourth minute to give WVU an early lead. However, the Pilots recorded the final two goals of the night in the 22nd and 43rd minutes to claim victory.
Junior midfielder Ryan Crooks posted five shots for West Virginia in the setback. He also was credited with an assist, his team-leading fourth of the year.
Through seven matches, Crooks (2G, 4A) has been involved in six of the Mountaineers’ nine goals this season. The Oxfordshire, England, native also paces WVU with 17 shots on the year.
West Virginia has defeated a top-25 opponent in 14 of the last 16 seasons, with 17 top-15 wins in that span. Friday’s match is the second of three consecutive road tilts against ranked foes for the Mountaineers.
Third-year coach Dan Stratford has an overall career record of 81-14-13, including 20-10-8 with the Mountaineers. He is 1-0-1 against Marshall.
Marshall is led by sixth-year coach Chris Grassie. Last time out, MU opened Sun Belt play with a 1-1 draw at then-No. 6 Kentucky on Sept. 16.
The Thundering Herd are ranked as high as No. 4 in this week’s United Soccer Coaches poll. Elsewhere, the club sits at No. 8 in the College Soccer News poll and No. 9 by TopDrawerSoccer.
Marshall has produced 18 goals so far this season, led by Matthew Bell’s seven tallies. MU ranks inside the top-five nationally in scoring offense entering the weekend.
Last season, the Herd finished 11-4-3 and reached the NCAA Tournament Second Round.