MORGANTOWN — Individuals had been crammed into each out there area at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium Wednesday night time. Whether or not they had been hanging over the fence on the nook of the sector, peaking round a nook or jammed in behind press row, folks had been doing no matter they might to get a glimpse of the sport between No. 5 West Virginia and No. 1 Marshall.
The sport, which formally offered out three weeks prematurely, greater than lived as much as its large billing because the Mountaineers received an thrilling back-and-forth contest 5-2 behind a dominant second-half effort, and a stadium report 3,147 folks had been there to see it dwell.
“I’ve to offer an enormous praise to tickets, to services, to everybody in that division,” WVU head coach Dan Stratford stated. “We’ve had a number of conferences that we’ve by no means needed to have earlier than to make this an unbelievable environment and get as many individuals in right here as we presumably squeeze. Hopefully, they arrive again, hopefully, we’ve to maintain these bleachers there now.”
The 2 extra units of non permanent bleachers on both facet of the stands weren’t even sufficient to account for all of the individuals who needed to be there as college students started lining as much as get into the stadium almost two hours earlier than kickoff.
“You’d prefer to suppose it’s not only a lasting reminiscence for my gamers and my employees, however for individuals who had been right here as effectively,” Stratford stated. “My largest hope at the moment is that these bleachers keep proper the place they’re and so they’re packed once more the subsequent time we’re out right here.”
The group wasn’t simply giant, it was passionate as effectively. There was a quick second of silence when Marshall went up 1-0 5 minutes into the sport, however the assortment of people roared again to life because the Mountaineers scored three unanswered targets within the span of two minutes to drag forward.
West Virginia sophomore Marcus Caldeira, who scored two of the targets in that flurry and added a 3rd within the second half to finish the hat trick, stated he had solely ever skilled a crowd like Wednesday’s one different time.
“I’ve as soon as again house at Nova Scotia however these followers had been simply insane,” stated the native of Canada. “After I was in Nova Scotia they had been in opposition to me, so it’s good when you’ve gotten a crowd with you.”
Stratford stated the one crowds he might evaluate it to had been the workforce’s match in opposition to Pitt in 2021, the primary sport after COVID when followers had been allowed again into the stadium, and the video games WVU has performed the final two years in opposition to the Herd in Huntington.
“It takes two to tango, we don’t have this event, this occasion if we’re not enjoying the No. 1 workforce within the nation,” Stratford stated. “It attracts each methods. It’s improbable, it takes them to be nearly as good as they’re and it takes us to be proper up there too for us to have one of these attendance and crowd.”
The group in Morgantown made Marshall coach Chris Grassie wish to see an excellent larger one subsequent 12 months in Huntington.
“The group was nice, it’s a fantastic testomony to what this sport means,” Grassie stated. “It’ll be on us subsequent 12 months to have a much bigger crowd and a greater atmosphere. The folks of Huntington and Herd Nation will take that problem.”
WVU and Marshall might probably meet once more this season within the Solar Belt convention match. If not, they are going to play in Huntington subsequent season. Stratford stated Wednesday proved his workforce can play in opposition to any opponent in any atmosphere
“We’re going to have to return there subsequent 12 months,” Stratford stated, “and I‘m positive they’ll need their blood and so they’ll need the possibility to create probably the most raucous and rowdy atmosphere they’ll.”
WVU has only one extra common season house sport this 12 months, Oct. 31 in opposition to Previous Dominion.