By Steve Keenan
It’s a big week for the WVU Tech soccer programs.
The United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) last week announced via online video the 2013 national tournament participants for men’s and women’s soccer, and the event got under way yesterday at two Charleston-area soccer complexes.
Golden Bear players, coaches and fans gathered in the Bear’s Den to watch the announcement, according to a report on www.goldenbearathletics.com.
WVU Tech, the host of the 2013 USCAA National Soccer Tournament, will field both men’s and women’s teams in the event.
The Golden Bear men received the top seed for the tourney, while the school’s women’s squad will be seeded 10th.
“We definitely think the benefits of playing in front of home fans on home turf far outweigh any logistical challenges (of hosting),” said Kenny Howell, WVU Tech’s interim athletic director. “The folks in Charleston, the USCAA and the staff at Tech have worked hard to make it a quality experience.”
All told, 20 squads will compete Oct. 30-Nov. 2 at the Friends of Coal Trace Fork Soccer Complex and Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium at Coonskin Park.
“I am very much looking forward to the tournament; there are so many good, quality teams that made the field this year that every game is going to come down to the last minute,” said Tech’s men’s coach, Luis Cortell. “It is going to be great for the West Virginia soccer community to see such quality of soccer being played, and represent the USCAA well.”
The Tech men, the 2012 USCAA national runners-up, earned a first-round bye in 2013 and will see their first tourney action at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31 at Schoenbaum Stadium against the winner of a matchup between the University of Maine at Machias and the PSU Brandywine.
From 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at Schoenbaum Stadium, WVU Tech will stage a tailgate featuring a “trunk-or-treat” and costume contests. Fans of all ages are invited to the free event.
The women’s squad was set to face Paul Smith’s College, N.Y. in the first round of play on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Schoenbaum Stadium. It marked the first time the WVU Tech women have participated in a national tournament.
“I am looking forward to playing in this year’s tournament. It’s a great feeling to be playing at home. I hope we achieve what we set out to accomplish and make our school and community proud,” senior forward Joe Jackson said on www.goldenbearathletics.com.
Tech, 15-2-1 and winners of nine straight games, was ranked No. 2 in the Week 4 USCAA men’s coaches poll.
“We are all very excited for the opportunity to compete for a national championship in our community. It gives us a great chance to bring positive national recognition to our school,” said senior midfielder Tyler Fabian.
Admission to all tournament games is free.
For complete tournament and WVU Tech athletic information, visit goldenbearathletics.com.
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