MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Dan Stratford is officially in charge of a Top 10 men’s soccer team once again.
West Virginia (5-0) is off to its best start since 1975, and has rocketed up the national rankings for the second consecutive week. The Mountaineers now rank No. 4 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, released on Tuesday, and No. 10 in the country in the Top Drawer Soccer Top 25 poll.
The Mountaineers’ national fourth-place ranking is among the program’s highest-ever placement in the poll, and the best since early October 2021. Under Stratford, the Mountaineers peaked at No. 3 in September of that season.
WVU took down No. 3 Portland last time on the pitch, handing the Pilots their first loss of the season on the strength of Marcus Caldeira’s game-winning goal with less than 10 seconds remaining in the match. It was Caldeira’s sixth goal of the season, tied for the second-most in the country.
Ranked No. 4 in the nation by the coaches, it marks the Mountaineers’ first appearance in the top 10 since they were ranked No. 6 in the 2022 preseason poll.
WVU is the second-highest-ranked team in the Sun Belt Conference, trailing only No. 2 Marshall (5-0). Stratford and the Mountaineers will host the Thundering Herd at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.
West Virginia begins Sun Belt Conference play on Friday, on the road in Orlando, Florida, against No. 5 UCF (4-0-1). The Knights moved up one spot from last week’s ranking.