WVU Soccer Finishes No. 13

The West Virginia University men's soccer team ends the season ranked 13th in the nation in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas poll released today.

The Mountaineers, who also held a preseason ranking of 13, and were ranked throughout the season in the top 25 poll for all voting 13 weeks. WVU was ranked as high as fifth early in the season. Six WVU opponents were ranked in the final top 25 poll: Wake Forest (No. 1), Ohio State (No. 2), Connecticut (No. 5), Notre Dame (No. 6), Maryland (No. 15) and USF (No. 17). West Virginia made a second consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament this season, falling to eventual national champion Wake Forest, 3-1, in the Sweet 16. It finished the season with a 14-6-2 record after ending the regular season in third place in the Big East Conference's blue division with a 7-3-1 mark.

Also, senior midfielder Andy Wright has been named a third team All-American by the NSCAA. Wright closed his senior campaign with six goals, six assists and 18 points. He earned Big East Midfielder of the Year honors at the end of the regular season and was named to the NSCAA Men's Division I all-Northeast Region first team on Dec. 12. Wright also was named to CollegeSoccerNews.com's All-America second team on Dec. 13, and has been invited to participate in the MLS combine at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Jan. 11-15.

"I'm really happy again for Andy," said head coach Marlon LeBlanc. "All of this recognition is just do for all of the efforts he put in this year."

Wright finished his career as a Mountaineer with 18 goals, 17 assists, and 53 points in 83 matches played. He and Dan Stratford have been chosen to participate in the 2008 Adidas Major League Soccer (MLS) player combine. The annual combine will be held at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Jan. 11-15. The MLS has invited 54 college seniors from 33 Division I schools. The coaching and management staffs of all 14 MLS teams will be in attendance to scout talent which concludes three days before the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. The 2008 MLS SuperDraft will be held Friday, Jan. 18, in Baltimore, Md. Wright closed his senior campaign with six goals, six assists and 18 points. Stratford closed his senior campaign with 27 career assists to set a new school record in that category. He led the Mountaineers with six goals and eight assists while playing in all 22 matches. Stratford earned all-Big East second team honors and was named to the third team NSCAA Northeast Region. The initial list of players for this year's combine was determined by a select panel of Division I college coaches representing all conferences who nominated and voted for players in conjunction with MLS coaches.

This is the second consecutive year that two Mountaineers have been selected to participate. Last season, Jarrod Smith and Nick Noble were invited to the combine, and were eventually drafted. Smith went as the first overall pick in the draft to the new expansion team Toronto, while Noble went seventh overall to the Chicago Fire.

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