The fall seasons are about to start heating up for West Virginia athletics. There are currently two WVU teams ranked in the top 25 of their respective sports, and two other Mountaineer teams are receiving votes to be nationally ranked. Some of those teams will face some tough opponents this month, which could make for some interesting games. Let’s take a look at the top five games of September!
Honorable Mention: #12 Women’s Soccer at #13 Georgetown (September 15)
The #12 West Virginia women’s soccer team is coming off of a nice 3-0 victory over High Point. The Mountaineers are now 2-1, with their only loss being to #3 Stanford. Later this month, they will have a tough road test when they travel to Washington, D.C. to take on #13 Georgetown. The Hoyas are 1-1-1 after beating James Madison, losing to NC State at home, and tying Duke. A win in this match could help WVU continue working towards the top ten.
5. Football vs North Carolina State (September 14)
The Mountaineers’ home opener and Neal Brown’s debut resulted in a close win for West Virginia. WVU’s second home game of the season will be against the ACC’s NC State. The Mountaineers were supposed to travel to Raleigh last season, but Hurricane Florence caused the game to be canceled. Now what would have been a home-and-home series will be a one-time game in Morgantown.
The Wolf Pack won their home opener easily, as they defeated East Carolina 34-6. NC State will likely come to WVU undefeated, as its next game is against Western Carolina, an FCS team that lost by 22 in its first game. WVU and NC State have played ten times before this matchup and both teams have five wins against the other. NC State has won the last three games, with the most recent being in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl. The WVU-NC State game is one that both fan bases have been looking forward to for two seasons now and it will be nationally televised on FS1.
4. #23 Men’s Soccer vs #21 Charlotte (September 10)
The #23 West Virginia men’s soccer team is back to defend its Mid-American Conference regular season title and make a run in the NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers are currently 1-0, following a road win at Monmouth last week. Senior midfielder Ethan Shim scored the only goal of the match and the assist went to junior defender Kevin Morris. The Mountaineers will face a tough opponent in #21 Charlotte later this month. The 49ers are also 1-0 after a 3-0 victory over Gardner-Webb. A win in this match could help build momentum as WVU heads towards MAC play in October.
3. #12 Women’s Soccer vs #7 Penn State (September 6)
The #12 WVU women’s soccer team has been led offensively by freshman defender Julianne Vallerand, so far this season. After the first three matches, Vallerand leads the Mountaineers with three of the team’s six goals. Senior Jessica Lisi has also contributed with one goal and one assist. The Mountaineers will have two matches against top ten opponents in the first week of September, including this match against #7 Penn State. PSU is also 2-1 after losing to #3 Stanford, and defeating Hofstra and Long Beach State.
2. Football at Missouri (September 7)
Missouri was surprised on the road, as the Tigers fell to Wyoming, 31-37. Missouri now heads home to host WVU in a Power Five battle. The Tigers are led by quarterback Kelly Bryant, who had 31 completions for 423 yards and two touchdowns in Mizzou’s first game. WVU quarterback Austin Kendall had 27 completions for 260 and two touchdowns in his debut for the Mountaineers. Tevin Bush was on the receiving end of four of Kendall’s passes, earning 74 yards and one touchdown.
In the six previous games between WVU and Missouri, each team has won three of the contests. The Mountaineers won the last game in 2016, defeating the Tigers 26-11 in Morgantown. This game will be nationally televised on ESPN or ESPN2.
1. #12 Women’s Soccer at #6 Virginia (September 1)
The #12 WVU women’s soccer team will start September with the toughest match in all of WVU athletics for the month. The Mountaineers are on the road today at #6 Virginia. The Cavaliers are currently undefeated with blowout wins over UC Irvine, Liberty, and East Carolina. UVA is also yet to allow a goal. The Mountaineers could potentially jump into the top ten, if they are able to score of Virginia and come away with a win in this match. WVU will need a team effort to defeat this tough ACC opponent this afternoon. The match will be televised on the new ACC Network.
September will be a big month for WVU athletics. The #12 women’s soccer team will face three ranked opponents, including two top ten teams, in two weeks. The #23 men’s soccer team will also face a ranked opponent. And Neal Brown will look to stay undefeated as the head coach of the Mountaineers, as the WVU football team prepares for two non-conference matchups against Power Five schools.