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WVU Tech to host USCAA Soccer Championship

By John Gibb

Twenty collegiate soccer teams along the East Coast and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. will be making their way to the Mountain State Oct. 30 to take part in the four-day USCAA Soccer Championship.

The United States Collegiate Athletic Association announced in January WVU Tech will play host to the 2013 and 2014 USCAA Men's and Women's Soccer National Championships. Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C., hosted the event in 2011 and 2012.

The championship contests will be played at the Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium at Coonskin Park and the Friends of Coal Trace Fork Soccer Complex in South Charleston.

"One year ago, our men's team was in Asheville competing in the championship and we said 'Hey, we can do this . . . We can bring this event to Charleston,' " WVU Tech Athletic Director Frank Pergolizzi said Monday at a press conference at the Charleston Civic Center.

WVU Tech submitted a bid to the USCAA in November. The school worked with the Charleston Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the Charleston Marriott Town Center and the Holiday Inn Express to organize the event.

"I believe that what attracted the USCAA to Charleston is the close proximity of the downtown hotels, restaurants and shopping," Pergolizzi said. "Everything is within walking distance, which is beneficial to the teams and their fans . . . The opportunities Charleston has to offer will help us increase our involvement in the USCAA. Charleston is a strong soccer community with excellent facilities."

Pergolizzi said all the teams will stay at the Marriott and the parents and fans will be housed at the Holiday Inn Express.

The USCAA is a 100-member conference whose goal is to "level the playing field for small colleges." WVU Tech joined the USCAA in 2011.

The four-day event will feature 24 games. The first round of games will be held on Oct. 30. A banquet will follow at the Civic Center. The semifinals will take place on Oct. 31. The quarterfinals are to take place on Nov. 1. The championship games will be Nov. 2 and all championship contests will be at the Trace Fork location.

Pergolizzi said he expects 600 visitors to the area. The Charleston CVB has estimated the soccer tournament to have a $400,000-$500,000 economic impact on the City of Charleston.

The Golden Bears men's soccer team finished as runners-up to Briarcliffe College in the 2012 tournament.

Luis Cortell, WVU Tech men's soccer coach, is in his fourth year as head coach and is first on the all-time winning percentage record at .660. Kelly Borck, WVU Tech women's soccer coach, enters her second year with the Golden Bears. She has previously coached Capital High School and Mountain State University's women's teams.

Tyler Fabian, senior history major and current WVU Tech soccer player from Pittsburgh has led his team in scoring and assists. He said he is excited for the opportunity to host such an event.

"Everyone at Tech is pumped for the tournament," Fabian said. "The stadium at Schoenbaum is our home turf and we haven't lost a game there in two years. We have a good track record and I hope we keep that going throughout the tournament."

WVU Tech will receive an automatic bid for the tournament since they are the host institution. In addition, there will be 10 men's and 10 women's teams from other schools in attendance. The list of participating teams will not be announced until mid-October.

Pergolizzi said both the men's and women's tournaments feature 10-team, consolation brackets. Each team is guaranteed at least two games with a first-round bye for six teams in each bracket.

"This is absolutely a great thing for our institution, our teams and our alumni," Pergolizzi said. "This event will we great for the community and will be a great opportunity for increased visibility."  

WVU Tech will host a tailgate for students, alumni and fans at the Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium on Oct. 31. Fans can contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 304-442-3131.

For more information about the USCAA and hosting championship events, visit www.theuscaa.com.

Contact writer John Gibb at john.gibb@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.


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