No. 25 WVU men’s soccer returns home for Elon match

Gold and Blue Nation

The No. 25-ranked West Virginia University men’s soccer team returns to Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium to take on Elon on Saturday, Oct. 23. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET.

Saturday is Little Kickers Day, with free admission to any youth soccer player who wears his/her team’s jersey into the game. Following the match, a free, youth clinic, featuring members of the WVU men’s soccer team, will take place at the stadium.

Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance by visiting WVUGAME.com to avoid lines at the gate on game day. When purchasing online, tickets are $5 each and $3 for groups of 10 or more. All tickets are general admission.

At the stadium ticket window, tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors and $3 for groups. The discounted online pricing will be available until kickoff.

WVU students are admitted free with a valid WVU Student ID.

Fans who are unable to attend the match can follow along with live stats at WVUsports.com. The match also can be seen live on ESPN+, with Andrew Caridi and Liam Belan on the call, as well as heard on 91.7 FM in Morgantown.

“We’ve really been looking forward to this,” said WVU coach Dan Stratford on returning home following a four-match road trip. “We have a little stretch now with back-to-back home games that we can enjoy. We’ve had some great home results with some great crowds, and we will truly need that energy to help lift this team and help us get over the line.”

Saturday marks the fifth meeting between the Mountaineers (7-2-4, 1-1-1 MAC) and Phoenix (6-5-2, 3-1-2 Colonial). Elon leads the all-time series, 2-0-2, including 1-0-1 in Morgantown. The fixture also marks the first between the two squads since 2014.

In all, WVU is 11-16-3 against current members of the Colonial Athletic Association.

Last time out, West Virginia fell at No. 4 Kentucky, 1-0, in double overtime on Oct. 19, in Lexington, Kentucky. The Wildcats scored the golden goal in the 105th minute to claim the top-25 victory.

Junior midfielder Luke McCormick and redshirt sophomore defender Bjarne Thiesen co-led the Mountaineers with a pair of shots against UK, while fifth-year goalkeeper Steven Tekesky made three saves.

Saturday’s match concludes non-conference play for the Mountaineers this season. The club has gone 6-1-3 away from Mid-American Conference action this fall. Additionally, the squad is 15-3-2 in non-conference matchups at home since 2018.

WVU is set to play its first home game at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium since Sept. 30. Overall, the Mountaineers are 110-42-21 at the facility since it opened in 2004.

The Mountaineers were placed at No. 25 in this week’s United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I National Poll on Oct. 19, good for the program’s seventh straight top-25 ranking. WVU also appeared at No. 9 by TopDrawerSoccer and No. 13 by College Soccer News this week.

Senior forward Yoran Popovic leads the Mountaineers with four goals on the year. In goal, Tekesky enters the weekend ranked No. 9 nationally in goals against average (.641) and No. 12 in shutouts (6).

Stratford is 74-9-10 as a head coach, including 13-5-5 with the Mountaineers. What’s more, he’s 8-1-3 in non-conference matches at WVU.

Elon is led by fifth-year coach Marc Reeves, who is 28-32-11 with the program. Most recently, Elon played to a 2-2 draw at Northeastern on Oct. 16, in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Jack Edwards leads Elon with five goals and 11 total points on the year. He is one of three players with multiple goals for the squad this season. The club’s main distributor is Kasper Lehm, who has tallied five of Elon’s 17 assists.

The Phoenix are 0-1 against ranked opponents this season, falling at then-No. 3 Duke, 3-1, on Oct. 5, in Durham, North Carolina.

For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVUMensSoccer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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