Soccer Slate Set

Eleven home matches and eight contests against teams from the 2007 NCAA tournament highlight the West Virginia men's soccer schedule, announced by WVU director of athletics Ed Pastilong.

"I believe we have put together one of the best men's soccer schedules in the country," Pastilong said. "Coach (Marlon) LeBlanc has done a tremendous job, and this schedule will provide outstanding challenges for our team."

The Mountaineers will play five matches against seeded teams from the 2007 NCAA tournament: No. 4 Connecticut, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 10 Notre Dame, No. 14 Maryland and No. 15 Akron. In addition, WVU will face 2007 NCAA tournament participants USF, Providence and DePaul.

"Top to bottom, I think this is one of the more competitive schedules in America," LeBlanc said. "The Big East has proven to be one of the top, if not the top soccer conference in the country as evidenced by sending seven teams to last year's NCAA tournament."

WVU will play a pair of exhibition matches (home against Virginia on Aug. 16 and at Kentucky on Aug. 23). It opens the regular-season schedule on Aug. 29 against Lafayette in the West Virginia University Classic. The Mountaineers will face Duquesne on Aug. 31 in the WVU Classic. Binghamton, coached by former West Virginia head coach Paul Marco, will be the fourth team in the tournament. Duquesne and Lafayette round out the field. West Virginia will also entertain league foes Villanova, Rutgers, Pitt, Seton Hall, Marquette and Notre Dame (2007 NCAA Elite Eight). St. Francis (Pa.), Ohio State (last year's NCAA runner-up) and Maryland (2007 NCAA Sweet 16) will visit Morgantown in non-conference play this season.

On the road, the Mountaineers will face Akron and Wisconsin-Green Bay in the University of Akron tournament. In conference road play, West Virginia will travel to DePaul, USF (2007 NCAA Sweet 16), Connecticut (2007 NCAA Elite Eight) and Georgetown. The semifinals and finals of the Big East championship will be held in Tampa, Fla.

"We are certainly happy that we are able to bring high-quality opponents to Morgantown," LeBlanc said. "We are starting to build a reputation of playing the best teams in the country. There are no easy matches in the Big East. We put this schedule together in hopes of building this team for an NCAA tournament run. We will have our work cut out for us."

The Mountaineers finished the 2007 season with a 14-6-2 record, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big East championship and reached the NCAA Sweet 16. WVU finished the season ranked No. 13 in the final NSCAA/adidas poll.

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