WVU Soccer Third In Division

The West Virginia University men's soccer team has been chosen to finish third in the Big East conference blue division as voted on by the league's 16 head coaches. Senior midfielder Andy Wright is a preseason All-Big East selection for the second consecutive year.

Wright started all 21 matches for the Mountaineers last season scoring five goals, posting six assists and accumulating 16 points. The senior was named to the 2006 NSCAA second team All-Northeast Region team as well as being named a Big East Academic All-Star.

Ahead of WVU in the Blue Division are Connecticut and Notre Dame, who finished with 10-7-2 and 15-6-2 overall records, respectively. WVU received three first-place votes and is followed by Providence, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Marquette and Pitt.

Picked to finish fifth in the blue division last season, the Mountaineers went 15-3-3 and won their first ever Big East regular season title with a 9-0-1 record. Head coach Marlon LeBlanc and his assistants were named the BIG EAST coaching staff of the year while LeBlanc went on to be named Soccer America's National Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the 2006 season, which included a second consecutive NCAA run.

"I think the Big East conference once again will be the premier conference in college soccer. In regards to WVU's placement, at the end of the day it comes down to how the teams perform," comments head coach Marlon LeBlanc. "Andy Wright is certainly an All-America candidate and one of the premier players in the Big East. Being named to the preseason team is a just reward for Andy."

Big East action begins on Sept. 21 when the Mountaineers travel to Jamaica, N.Y to face St. John's. As the largest Division I men's soccer conference in the nation, the league's 16 teams play a round-robin rotation 11-game schedule within two divisions. Each team plays seven opponents within its division and four opponents from the other division.

The 2007 Big East Men's Soccer Championship will feature the league's top 12 teams. Selection and seeding are based on regular season conference records. The top six teams in each division, seeded by conference point total, qualify for the conference championship. The top two teams in each division earn a first-round bye to the quarterfinals. The first-round and quarterfinal games will be held on the campuses of the higher seeded teams. First round games will be held on Nov. 7, with the quarterfinals following on Nov. 10.

Connecticut will serve as host for the semifinals (Nov. 16) and the championship game (Nov. 18). The champion receives the league's automatic bid to the 48-team NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship.

College Sports Television (CSTV) will air both semifinal games live. The championship game will be broadcast on CSTV and select BIG EAST regional television outlets.

The Mountaineers open the season in Columbus, Ohio, at the Bert and Iris Wolstein Soccer Classic on Aug. 31 against Big Ten powers Ohio State and Penn State.

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