After picking up their biggest win of the year in their last match, the West Virginia men’s soccer team returns to action on Wednesday against Western Michigan in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers (4-2, 2-2 MAC) come into this match after defeating No. 8 Marshall in their last match, 1-0. The Mountaineers scored a goal in the 66th minute, to get the upset victory.
West Virginia has gone through some schedule changes over the past few days. The Mountaineers were scheduled to play Bowling Green this past Sunday, but that was postponed along with Wednesday’s match against Akron.
“The break over the weekend gave us an opportunity to rest some players which was also important given it was our first stretch of playing on a weekend and midweek for two weeks in a row,” head coach Dan Stratford said. “It really wasn’t a terrible time for us to get a break.”
Instead, the Mountaineers will host Western Michigan in a battle of teams fighting for positioning in the Mid-American Conference standings. Western Michigan (4-2, 2-2 MAC) comes into this matchup having already defeated West Virginia earlier in the season.
On March 14, Western Michigan edged out a victory against West Virginia, winning 1-0, after a goal from sophomore Dylan Sing in the first half. The Mountaineers had chances in the second half, but could not capitalize on them.
“We felt like it was probably our best performance of the season, but the wrong side of the result,” Stratford said. “We’ll try and take the positives from that performance and remind the guys that there’s no guarantee that this will be the same type of game. We need to make sure we are not naive to think that we’ll potentially have as much possession or dominance that we showed at their place and we will need to earn it all over again.”
The Mountaineers will look to win their third straight match against Western Michigan and continue their climb up the MAC standings.
“We have to be careful to remind the players that this is a new game,” Stratford said. “Whatever we achieved or earned in terms of the performance in the first game is not our given right. We are not entitled to that when we start the game on Wednesday, we are going to have to earn all of that all over again.”
The match is set for 4 p.m. and will be played at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, and will be televised on ESPN+.