MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Both WVU women’s head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown and Men’s head coach Dan Stratford have commandeered top-10 soccer programs at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium this season.
The TopDrawerSoccer rankings for Week 7 (Women’s)/ 6 (Men’s), encompassing Sept. 27- Oct. 3, have included both programs in the top-10 national field. This makes West Virginia one of only two schools in the nation to find both its programs within those ten; the other is Duke, which came in at No. 6 (Women’s) and No. 8 (Men’s).
One game into conference play, Izzo-Brown’s 7-2-1 Mountaineers are coming off a 4-0 domination of Iowa State. Two games into its home stand, the No. 9 Women’s Soccer team prepares to welcome the Oklahoma Sooners to Morgantown this Friday, Oct. 1.
— WVU Women's Soccer (@wvuwomenssoccer) September 27, 2021
Women’s Soccer is in the top-10 following a steady climb up from a season-starter No. 14 ranking.
Meanwhile, the undefeated, No. 9 Men’s Soccer team has done equally as well, if not better, starting Stratford’s second season at the helm 6-0-2. Men’s Soccer, which competes in the Mid-American Conference, begins MAC play on Sept. 30 at Dick Dlesk against No. 20 Akron.
WVU Men’s Soccer remains in the top-10 for the fourth week. The reigning MAC Champions, Men’s Soccer was omitted from TopDrawerSoccer’s Week 1 and 2 top-25, but shot up to No. 10 in Week 3 after three straight wins over Robert Morris and two ranked teams: then- No. 3 Pitt and then- No. 17 Penn State.
— WVU Men's Soccer (@WVUMensSoccer) September 27, 2021
Following last Saturday’s clean sheet against St. Bonaventure, Stratford still remained confident that his roster has its best soccer ahead.
“I think you want to get off to a good start,” Stratford said during the 4-0 win’s post-game, regarding MAC preparation. “Obviously, what we’ve done, from a non-conference perspective up to this point, has been very good, but you look at the tradition of probably our program and obviously Akron’s of recent years. We’ve been picked to win the conference. They’ve been picked to finish second, so we also play three games before any other conference game… I think everyone’s going to be watching. I think a lot of other teams are going to look at this game and, while it won’t decide the conference and the regular season, it might be an indication.”