MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 4 West Virginia men’s soccer team faces its second consecutive top-five foe on Friday, traveling down to Orlando to take on No. 5 UCF in the Sun Belt opener. Kickoff from the UCF Soccer Complex is set for 7 p.m.
Friday’s game will be available to stream on ESPN+ with Austin David and Ryan Davis on the call. For more information, or to sign up for the digital platform, visit WVUsports.com/Big12Now. Live stats are available at WVUsports.com.
After a dramatic 1-0 victory over No. 3 Portland in their last match, the Mountaineers jumped 12 spots to No. 4 in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll, second highest in program history, topped only by a No. 3 ranking on September 28, 2021.
Sophomore Marcus Caldeira scored the game-winning goal with just three seconds left against the Pilots, his sixth of the season, tied for second most in the NCAA. He has scored in all five matches this year and has already surpassed his total from last season. For his efforts this week, Caldeira was named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week as well as the College Soccer News National Player of the Week.
West Virginia’s key to success this year has been its defense as it has allowed just one goal in five matches. The strongest performance came on Saturday as the Pilots only tallied one shot on goal despite coming into the contest as the nation’s top offense, averaging 4.33 goals per game.
Junior Carlos Hernando has been a stalwart on the backline, playing every minute of the season thus far. He has earned a spot on the TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week on two straight occasions and was most recently named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week.
Senior Jackson Lee has a .900 save percentage this season in goal and has earned four shutouts, matching his output from last year.
UCF is led by seventh-year head coach Scott Calabrese, who is 64-31-9 during his time in Orlando. The Knights are 4-0-1 on the season and enter the contest ranked No. 5 in the United Soccer Coaches poll, which ties the highest national ranking in program history.
Lucca Dourado leads the team with three goals while Emmanuel Bam and Saku Heiskanen each have two. The Knights have six assists on the season, coming from six different players
Juanvi Muñoz has played all five games in goal for the Knights, making 17 saves while allowing five goals.