By creator to wvsportsnow.com
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia College Soccer is 21-Zero in opposition to colleges that compete on the NCAA FCS degree.
If that’s any indication of how this Saturday’s matchup in opposition to the Lengthy Island College Sharks will go, it needs to be a simple win. That is the primary assembly of the Mountaineers and Sharks. WVU head coach Neal Brown and LIU interim head coach Jonathan Gill have by no means met previous to this Saturday, as Gill’s expertise has been tailor-made to Division II. He spent 15 seasons as LIU’s quarterbacks coach, however was abruptly slotted into the pinnacle teaching place when, on June 28, 2021, veteran head coach Bryan Collins resigned.
Now, there’s a direct hyperlink from Gill to this present WVU program; Gill will come up shut and private with it when the Mountaineer protection takes the sector. WVU defensive position coach Andrew Jackson was a D-lineman on Gill’s roster.
Jackson began each sport throughout the 2009 and 2010 seasons at nostril guard. He was a three-year captain and a three-year starter for the then-LIU Submit Pioneers. Upon graduating in 2011, Jackson was introduced on the employees as a graduate assistant coach in 2013, whereas pursuing his grasp’s diploma in interdisciplinary research.
Following the 2018 season, the LIU Submit Pioneers, which carried out a wholly separate athletic division from LIU-Brooklyn, the primary campus, mixed. When Lengthy Island College made the transfer from Division II to Division I, all athletic groups modified colours and mascots to the Sharks. Collins, who had been the pinnacle coach of the LIU soccer group for 23 seasons and all of the transitions, abruptly left this system only a few months earlier than LIU had been set to kick off its second season in Division I FCS competitors in 2021.
“In case you have a look at the variety of years he coached, it’s not a shock, as a result of I don’t know the way you do something so lengthy. He’s nice,” Jackson stated of Collins’ departure. “He has battled by means of some transplants – he had a kidney transplant after I was taking part in and he had a liver transplant throughout the spring. The college has modified rather a lot — it’s not even known as the identical factor now.
“I used to be trying ahead to him being on the opposite sideline, however taking part in them will certainly be unusual,” Jackson stated, relating to a reunion together with his outdated coach. “After I performed there, we had been Division II, so I by no means thought we’d be on the sector with a Large 12 group. Will probably be unusual to play in opposition to my alma mater. Will probably be aggravating, however thrilling on the similar time.”
The identical Lengthy Island group that concluded 2018 with an undefeated common season battled by means of some arduous knocks when 2019 got here round. An 0-10 2019 document initiated the Sharks into Division I soccer. Then, in an abbreviated 2020 schedule, the Sharks went 2-2 in opposition to the likes of Northeastern Convention foes Bryant, Sacred Coronary heart, Duquesne, and Merrimack Faculty.
Gill, now in his first season as this system’s head coach, has an 0-1 document. Each groups enter Sept. 11 with 0-1 records. Gill’s Sharks, nonetheless reeling from 2020’s 2-2 season, fell in disastrous vogue to Florida Worldwide 48-10 on Sept. 2 in Miami. The journey to Morgantown would be the group’s sole Energy-5 opponent this season, in addition to the primary group of this caliber that Lengthy Island College’s program has ever seen. Kick-off at Milan Puskar Stadium is about for five p.m.
— WVU Soccer (@WVUfootball) September 8, 2021
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