SENATE PASSES RESOLUTION TO HONOR UNIVERSITY OF CHARLESTON MEN’S SOCCER TEAM

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed a resolution authored by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and co-sponsored by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to congratulate the University of Charleston men’s soccer team for winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Men’s Soccer Championship at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri on December 2, 2017. The Senate passed the resolution by unanimous consent.

“Like so many West Virginians, I was thrilled when University of Charleston men’s soccer team won the national championship in December,” Senator Manchin said. “Their dedication made us all proud and with this resolution, their accomplishments will be further recognized and remembered for years to come.”

“I am beyond thrilled for the young men and coaches of the University of Charleston soccer team for winning the Division II National Championship and making West Virginia proud,” said Senator Capito. “As the mother of a former college athlete, I have seen the hard work and dedication that is required of student athletes. Balancing education and athletics is no easy task, and these young men have shown that they can do just that and thrive at the top level. It is my pleasure to congratulate the Golden Eagles and the entire University of Charleston community for winning their first-ever National Championship!”

“The accomplishments of the 2017 University of Charleston men’s soccer team are truly historic. For four years in a row they were in the final four, and this season they ultimately prevailed to win the first-ever national championship for the university. They went through the national tournament without allowing a single goal. They won accolades as the soccer staff of the year, the sports information staff of the year, and national player of the year. And year after year they are an academic All-American team. The team is a true tribute to the university, the capital city, and the state of West Virginia,” said Dr. Ed Welch, President of the University of Charleston.

Read the full resolution below

Whereas, on December 2, 2017, the University of Charleston Golden Eagles won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (referred to in this preamble as the “NCAA”) Division II Men’s Soccer Championship at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri, which was the first national championship in the history of the University of Charleston;

Whereas the University of Charleston men’s soccer team finished their historic season with a record of 21 wins, 1 loss, and 2 ties by securing a victory over the Lynn University Fighting Knights in the national championship;

Whereas the University of Charleston men’s soccer team has become a symbol of pride and success to the University of Charleston and the surrounding communities in West Virginia;

Whereas the University of Charleston men’s soccer team did not allow a goal in 5 games throughout the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer championship tournament, becoming just the second team to shutout every opponent in tournament history;

Whereas the Golden Eagles held their opponents scoreless in 19 of 24 matches in 2017, with All-American goalkeeper Paulo Pita registering 16 shutouts, the best in NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer championship tournament history;

Whereas Paulo Pita was recognized as the 2017-2018 NCAA Division II statistical champion for Goals Against Average;

Whereas the University of Charleston Golden Eagles earned the 2017-2018 Division II men’s soccer statistical championship title for Goals Against Average and Shutout Percentage;
Whereas the University of Charleston Golden Eagles won the championship in the first season with Dan Stratford as head coach;

Whereas this championship follows 3 seasons with Dan Stratford as an assistant coach, in which the Golden Eagles reached 3 consecutive NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Final Four tournaments and appeared in 2 National Championship games;

Whereas Thomas Vancaeyezeele became just the second athlete in the history of the Golden Eagles to be named National Player of the Year after leading the University of Charleston men’s soccer team to the national championship, anchoring a defense that allowed just 8 goals in the 2017 season and trailed just twice in 24 matches;

Whereas the University of Charleston men’s soccer team started the 2017 season with 15 consecutive wins, cruising to their fourth straight Mountain East Conference regular season title and fourth straight NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Atlantic Region title, losing just one match all season;

Whereas Paulo Pita, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Patrick Guier, Will Roberts, Kieran Bywater, and Armando Tikvic were all named as All-American players;

Whereas the coaching staff of the University of Charleston men’s soccer team was named the United Soccer Coaches National Staff of the Year for NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer; and
Whereas the University of Charleston men’s soccer team should be praised for the historic season of both athletic and academic accomplishments:

Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) congratulates the University of Charleston men’s soccer team for winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Men’s Soccer Championship;

(2) recognizes the athletic program at the University of Charleston for its achievement in both sports and academics; and

(3) respectfully requests that the Secretary of the Senate prepare an official copy of this resolution for presentation to—

(A) the University of Charleston for appropriate display;

(B) the President of the University of Charleston; and

(C) the head coach of the University of Charleston men’s soccer team.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com