Soccer Makes Statement, Moves Into Top 5

The West Virginia University men's soccer team has been ranked No. 5 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Adidas poll, marking the highest ranking of the season.

WVU went 2-0 last week earning a home win against Duquesne on Sept. 10, before traveling to then-No. 5 Duke to earn a 1-0 victory on Sept. 15. The game against the Blue Devils was the Mountaineers' second road win over a top 10 team and WVU's fourth consecutive 1-0 win this season. For their efforts, the Mountaineers are ranked No. 5 in the men's NCAA Division I soccer ratings published by WVU is the highest ranked BIG EAST squad.

Goalkeeper Zach Johnson earned his fourth consecutive shutout with the Duke win, tying the WVU single season record and was named to the Soccer America team of the week, announced today. WVU earned the No. 7 slot in the Soccer America poll. Johnson has also been named the BIG EAST goalkeeper of the week while Paul Paradise has been named the BIG EAST rookie of the week. Johnson, named BIG EAST rookie of the week last week as well, earned his fourth consecutive shutout against then-No. 5 Duke and is now tied for the WVU single season shutout record. Johnson also shutout Duquesne in the squad's home opener on Sept. 10. Paradise scored the game-winning goal against Duke, the first of his collegiate career. The true freshman has started every match for the Mountaineers this season.

Senior Andrew Halsell has been named to team of the week while teammate Paul Cunningham has been named to national team of the week. Both defenders led a Mountaineer defense that allowed just three shots on goal in two games; Duquesne was held shotless while then-No. 5 Duke had just three chances. WVU opens conference play Friday, Sept. 21, when it travels to St. John's before traveling to Syracuse on Sunday, Sept. 23. WVU will return home on Friday, Sept. 28, to face DePaul for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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The West Virginia University women's soccer team continued its stay amidst the national rankings following a 1-1 weekend. The Mountaineers earned a No. 13 ranking from Soccer Buzz and a No. 18 ranking from both Soccer America and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Adidas polls.

West Virginia owns a 4-2 record after three weekends of action with its only losses coming to Virginia and Texas A&M, currently ranked as high as fourth (Soccer America) and fifth (Soccer Buzz), respectively. WVU's men's and women's soccer teams are one of only six programs to have both teams ranked in the latest Soccer America poll. The Mountaineer men's team checks in at No. 7 this week.

The West Virginia women's team opens BIG EAST play this Friday, Sept. 21, with a match at Pitt, at 7 p.m., at Founders Field. WVU returns to Morgantown for a home match against Wake Forest on Sunday, Sept. 23, at 1 p.m.

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