Midfielder Luke McCormick drives with the ball during a preseason scrimmage.

Midfielder Luke McCormick drives with the ball during a preseason scrimmage. 

The No. 23 West Virginia men’s soccer team hits the road to West Long Branch, New Jersey, for its season opener against Monmouth on Friday, followed by a match against Delaware on Monday.

The Mountaineers hold a 1-1-1 all-time series record against Monmouth. The Hawks were selected to finish eighth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) preseason poll.

Monmouth’s head coach Robert McCourt enters his 16th season with the Hawks, holding a 159-84-52 overall record. McCourt welcomes nine new players to the roster, with six being freshmen.

The Hawks finished the 2018 season with a 2-14-1 (0-10 MAAC) record.

Delaware returns 14 players, with five being starters from its 2018 season. The Blue Hens went 5-11-1 last season while advancing to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament quarterfinals.

While finishing fourth last year in the CAA, Delaware was picked fifth in this year’s preseason poll.

West Virginia was voted to finish third in the MAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll for their second consecutive year. Finishing with a perfect 5-0 mark in MAC play last season, the team also advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The Mountaineers return nine players, along with 10 different goal scorers. Junior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky earned All-MAC First Team Honors in 2018 and returns with the Mountaineers this season.

West Virginia is led by 14th-year coach Marlon LeBlanc who was picked as the 2018 MAC Coach of the Year.

The Mountaineers will begin it home opener against Wright State on Saturday, Sep. 7. Nine matches are scheduled at the Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium for the 2019 season.

The match on Friday against Monmouth is set to begin at 4 p.m. Ending the road trip, the Mountaineers are set to take on Delaware at 7 p.m. on Monday.