An exciting fall in store for WVU
Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012 12:08
August has arrived, the FallFest lineup has been announced and students are flooding to Morgantown with the beginning of the fall semester just around the corner. This fall, though, there is a bit more buzz in the air. West Virginia is prepped to play its inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference, and nearly every athletic team has high expectations entering the year. This seems like the perfect time to give a little background on the fall sports teams with the highest expectations – Football, men’s soccer and women’s soccer.
Ranked No. 11 in preseason USA Today Coaches Poll
Defeated Clemson 70-33 in Orange Bowl in last game
First game: September 1 vs. Marshall
Not much needs to be said about the Mountaineer football team this fall. Head coach Dana Holgorsen enters his second season at the helm, and expectations haven’t been this high in Morgantown since 2007. With basically the entire offense returning on a team that hung 70 points in January, West Virginia has the potential to have an extremely successful season.
Picked to finish second in Mid-American Conference
Defeated No. 1 Connecticut last season
First game: August 25 vs. Hartford
While all other teams will be joining the Big 12 Conference, head coach Marlon LeBlanc and the WVU men’s soccer team will be playing its first season in the Mid-American Conference. The Mountaineers lost three starters from a year ago, but defender Eric Schoenle – a preseason Hermann Trophy watch list member – leads a solid core of returners. West Virginia is 5-11-3 on the road over the last two seasons and have a difficult road slate in 2012. The Mountaineers will need to solve the road woes if they want to challenge Akron for a MAC Championship.
Ranked No. 20 NSCAA Preseason Poll
Picked to finish second in Big 12
Defending back-to-back Big East Conference Champions
Six seniors were lost to graduation and returning team MVP Caroline Szwed will redshirt with a knee injury. But, senior Bry McCarthy along with talented forwards Frances Silva and Kate Schwindel have the Mountaineers in position for another impressive campaign. Veteran head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown hasn’t had a losing season in Morgantown, and don’t expect that to change any time soon.
With so many teams with the potential to have successful seasons this fall, this is a very exciting time to be a West Virginia athletics fan. As a student, you are blessed with the opportunity to see all of these teams in action free of charge. Be sure to take advantage of your opportunity and take in the action of these nationally-known athletic programs this fall.