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Top Five Games for Mountaineer Athletics in August

The 2018-2019 school year starts with soccer for West Virginia athletics.

John Lowe

Students are heading back to Morgantown for the fall semester. The beginning of another school year also means the start of another year of Mountaineer sports. WVU fans still have another month to wait until the first football game, so August will be a month for Mountaineer soccer fans to enjoy the beginning of the men’s and women’s soccer seasons.

5. Women’s Soccer vs Xavier (August 30)

The West Virginia women’s soccer team looks to make another run at the national championship this season. The Big 12 powerhouse made it to the third round of the national tournament last year, after being the national runner up the prior season. This matchup against Xavier should not be too difficult for the Mountaineers.

4. Men’s Soccer vs UNC Wilmington (August 26)

The WVU men’s soccer team will need leadership from its four seniors this season. Two of the seniors, midfielder Joey Piatczyc and forward Rushawn Larmond, enter their senior seasons with significant experience for the Mountaineers. After missing last season due to injury, Joey Piatczyc looks to finish his stellar career at WVU will a successful senior campaign. He is currently tied for second in program history with 25 career assists and is tied for third in program history with three multi-assist matches. This game for the Mountaineers is against a solid UNCW team that made it to the second round of the national tournament last season. The Seahawks were also receiving votes in last year’s final national ranking. This match will take place in Charleston, South Carolina.

3. Women’s Soccer vs Northwestern (August 26)

This match will be the second for the Mountaineers in West Lafayette, Indiana, at the Purdue Invitational. After taking on Purdue, WVU will face Northwestern in what could be a tough game for the Mountaineers. Northwestern was one of the better teams in the Big Ten last season and they look to be a solid team again this year. Last year Northwestern made it to the second round of the national tournament and received votes in the final national ranking of the season. This match will likely provide the Mountaineers with a tournament-level matchup and a win could provide valuable confidence and experience to the team.

2. Men’s Soccer at Virginia Tech (August 11)

This game is an exhibition, so it will not count towards the Mountaineers’ record. This match will not only be the first time the men’s soccer team gets on the pitch this season, but it will also be the first event for WVU athletics this school year. Despite the game only being an exhibition, it is a matchup against a solid opponent that is also a rival, which makes it one of the top games of the month. The Hokies were receiving votes to be ranked at the conclusion of last season after making it to the second round of the national tournament, and they will likely be one of the nation’s top teams again this year. A win in this exhibition could provide confidence and momentum for the Mountaineers as they head into the regular season.

1. Women’s Soccer at Penn State (August 17)

The top matchup for the month of August is the women’s soccer match against Penn State. This game will be the first of two that the Mountaineers play in University Park, Pennsylvania for the Penn State Invitational. WVU will also take on Arkansas at the Penn State Invitational. Last season Penn State made it to the national quarterfinals after defeating the Mountaineers in the previous round of the national tournament. That win boosted Penn State to fifth in the final ranking last season. This game will give WVU a chance at revenge against this regional rival and it will also give the Mountaineers the opportunity to boost their resume early in the season.

August should provide a fun start to another great year of Mountaineer athletics. The WVU men’s and women’s soccer teams are both looking to have excellent seasons with runs in the national tournaments. Hopefully these two squads will give Mountaineer fans a lot to cheer about before football season begins in September.