Top Ten WVU Travels To PSU

Many West Virginia fans would love to see the Mountianeer football team take on Penn State, but that's not likely to happen in the near future. However, the men's soccer team is getting that chance on Wednesday evening with a trip to University Park, Pa., to face their new coach's previous squad.

West Virginia will square off with Big Ten foe Penn State at Jeffrey Field at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. It will be a different sort of trip for new WVU head coach Marlon LeBlanc, who was both a player (beginning in 1994) and an assistant coach (2001-05) for the Nittany Lions. Emotions will likely be running high for both LeBlanc and the Mountaineers, who remain in the top ten of three major soccer polls.

WVU is No. 9 in this week's NSCAA/adidas poll and No. 10 in both the SoccerTimes and SoccerAmerica polls. The Mountaineers dropped one spot in the NSCAA poll after losing to Virginia on the road, 2-1, in overtime and defeating Seton Hall, 5-3, at home last week. WVU's No. 10 ranking by SoccerTimes.com marks the second consecutive week it has held that spot.

Senior forward Jarrod Smith also continued to receive praise for his efforts as he was named the ECAC player of the week. The Havelock North, New Zealand, native tallied three goals and one assist last week to increase his season point total to 19 on the season (eight goals, three assists).

Previously, Smith was named BIG EAST offensive player of the week on Monday. The senior began his week by recording WVU's lone goal versus No. 2 Virginia in a 2-1 overtime defeat. He followed up that performance by scoring two more goals against No. 21 Seton Hall and assisting on another in the Mountaineers' 5-3 win over the Pirates.

Smith's 26 career goals now rank him tied with Manny Matos (1971-74) for eighth on the WVU career goal scoring list. His eight goals on the season have already tied his career high for goals in a season with eight regular season matches still to play.

Joining Smith in earning honors recently is Dan Stratford, who was named WVU's athlete of the week for his play against South Florida and DePaul. Stratford assisted on both West Virginia scores against South Florida, then added another in the win against DePaul.

The outburst gave Stratford seven assists on the year, which is the sixth-highest total in WVU history.


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