CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The University of Charleston men’s soccer team was recognized by the Charleston City Council Monday, with Mayor Danny Jones declaring this week as University of Charleston National Championship Week.
The Golden Eagles won the NCAA Division II men’s soccer national championship game Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri, beating Lynn University 3-1 in penalty kicks. The win marked the University of Charleston’s first national championship in any sport.
Jones declared the week of Dec. 2 through 9 in honor of the team and its season, which included a fourth-straight Mountain East Conference regular season championship.
University of Charleston head coach Dan Stratford said he did not think the moments after winning the game would top the immediate winning feeling, yet the last 48 hours have been overwhelming.
“We had a number of people come out with banners and signs and welcome us back to Charleston, but also on campus,” he said. “You can get a sense of how much it means not just for the university, but for the community as well.”
The 32-member squad represented 14 countries this season, but Stratford said the team meshed well together.
“It’s been a really special bond that they created, not just mixing with some of our domestic players, but just knowing when these guys leave here, they are not just leaving with a national championship,” he said.
Stratford said his mind is already on next season, adding the championship will help recruiting efforts.