MORGANTOWN – The WVU men’s soccer team continues its four-match homestand with a matchup against Loyola (Md.) on Monday at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
“Loyola is a very challenging team,” WVU coach Dan Stratford said. “They might not get the same recognition as teams like Pittsburgh and Penn State do, but with the quality of a nonconference schedule that we have, we aren’t overlooking anyone.”
Monday marks the fifth all-time meeting between the Mountaineers (3-0) and Greyhounds (1-1) but the first since 1987. In all, Loyola holds a 3-0-1 advantage over WVU, including 1-0-1 in Morgantown.
The contest comes after the Mountaineers earned back-to-back, home wins over ranked opponents last week. West Virginia topped No. 3 Pitt, 2-1, on Aug. 30, before earning a 3-1 victory over No. 17 Penn State on Sept. 3. It marked the first time WVU tallied two straight wins over top-25 foes since Oct. 18-21, 1998, when the squad took down No. 10 St. John’s and No. 17 James Madison.
Redshirt sophomore defender Bjarne Thiesen scored the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute in WVU’s win over Penn State. Freshman defender Frederik Jorgensen and fifth-year senior midfielder Pau Jimenez Albelda also found the back of the net in the 34th and 89th minute, respectively.
West Virginia outshot the Nittany Lions 16-8, including 9-4 in shots on goal. WVU also held a 6-4 edge in corner kicks.
In goal, fifth-year senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky made two saves, including the 200th over his collegiate career. Of note, PSU played with 10 men for the final 67 minutes of the fixture.
West Virginia is 3-0 for the first time since 2017. The Mountaineers are looking to earn their first 4-0 start to a campaign since 1998. Stratford, who is 9-3-1 as the Mountaineers’ head coach, is a perfect 5-0 in nonconference matchups at WVU.
WVU’s seven goals in 2021 have come from seven different goal scorers. Additionally, 13 players already have recorded at least one point in the first three matches of the season.
Loyola is led by eighth-year coach Steve Nichols, who is 52-47-14 during his tenure in Baltimore. The Greyhounds are 1-1 to start the new season with a 2-0 win over UC Irvine (Aug. 29) and 1-0 loss at Old Dominion (Sept. 3).
Loyola was picked to win the Patriot League in the conference’s preseason poll. Additionally, midfielder Justin Ingram was tabbed the Patriot League Preseason Midfielder of the Year.
The Greyhounds finished 3-2-1 overall last season. The squad welcomed back all 11 starters from 2020-21.
Monday is World Cup Night, with free admission to kids ages 12 and under who wear their favorite soccer club or national team jersey to the match. Kids also will get the chance to participate in penalty kicks on the field after the contest.
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 on game day, tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors and $3 for groups. The discounted online pricing will be available until kickoff of the match.
WVU students are admitted for free with a valid WVU Student ID.
Fans who are unable to attend the match can follow along with live stats at wvusports.com. Additionally, the match can be seen live on ESPN+, with Nick Farrell and Liam Belan on the call, as well as heard on 91.7-FM in Morgantown.