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Men's Recruiting Jul 24, 2023

West Virginia men’s soccer announces signing of six Class of 2023 recruits

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia men’s soccer coach Dan Stratford has announced the addition of six incoming freshmen as part of the 2023 signing class.

Joining the Mountaineers out of high school are Sam Clark (Charleston, W.Va.), Luke Lenz (Wheeling, W.Va.), Sam Nyenka (Lower Merion, Pa.), Andrew O’Neill (Fairport, N.Y.), Jake Ross (Wilmington, Del.), and Ryan Vaubel (Middletown, N.J.)

The freshmen are set to join Spring 2023-enrolees Thomas Decottignies (Lille, France) and Max Broughton (Rawtenstall, England) as well as a couple of other transfer and international players to be announced soon as newcomers this fall.

“We’re very happy with the work we’ve completed in this recruiting cycle,” said Stratford. “After following a very thorough vetting process that should ensure that we’ve recruited not only talented, but hardworking, humble young men with a winner’s mindset. I’m so excited to get started with them!”

Ryan Vaubel – Defender – Middletown, New Jersey

Vaubel comes to Morgantown after player at Middletown North High School as well as the Players Development Academy. He was the ninth-ranked player in New Jersey according to Top Drawer Soccer. For his PDA MLS Next Team, he was a four-year captain while helping the team to the U16 MLS Cup semifinals and the U17 and U19 MLS Cup quarterfinals.

Stratford on Vaubel: “We’re delighted to be adding a versatile fullback who has captained a very successful PDA team within the MLS Next youth system. Ryan is mature beyond his years and a composed player in possession that has all the makings of a future captain for our program.”

Sam Nyenka – Forward – Lower Merion, Pennslvania

Nyenka was a First-State All-State and United Soccer Coaches All-America selection at Lower Merion High School while playing for head coach Nicholas Severini. He was also named All-Region and league MVP. At the national level, he was named US Youth Soccer U18 Best 11 and also led his FC Delco Academy club team to the MLS Next Finals.

Stratford on Nyenka: “Sam will add even more presence and physicality to our attacks next season. A real handful to defend against, his hold up play, and technical quality could allow him to make an immediate impact this fall. Sam was part of an FC Delco team that advanced all the way to the final of the MLS Next Playoffs this summer and also impressed at the high school level. ”

Luke Lenz – Forward – Wheeling, West Virginia

A Wheeling native, Lenz attended Kiski Prep in Pennsylvania and played for head coach Jonty Loukes while also playing club for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. At Kiski, he led the team to back-to-back state championships and top-three prep school finishes in the country while being second in goals and assists.

Stratford on Lenz: “It’s always nice when we can add in-state talent to our recruiting class and Luke has been on our radar for many years. Luke’s performances both for Pittsburgh Riverhounds and when attending several ID Camps on campus allowed us to see his potential up close and truly understand how much the opportunity to play for WVU meant to him.”

Jake Ross – Forward – Wilmington, Delaware

Ross comes to WVU after a standout career or Salesianum High School for coach Scott Mosier where he was a two-time state champion. He was a two-time Delaware Online State Plyare of the Year as well as the 2021-22 Gatorade Delaware Player of the Year. He was also a two-time United Soccer Coaches All-American and played in the 2022-23 National All-America High School game. Playing club for Penn Fusion, Ross was named to the 2021-22 Northeast Conference first-team.

Stratford on Ross: “Jake’s career to date has been synonymous with scoring goals, and we certainly hope that will continue throughout his collegiate career! As the two-time Delaware State Player of the Year and High School All-American we’re excited to work with such a decorated player and help him continue to grow in our environment.”

Sam Clark – Defender – Charleston, West Virginia

Clark stays in the state as he played at George Washington High School in Charleston under coach Erik Engle while also playing club for West Virginia United. While playing with the Patriots, he was the 2022 Regional 3 Player of the Year and the MSCA Player of the Year while also being a two-time AAA First-Team All-State selection.

Stratford on Clark: “George Washington High School out of Charleston WV, continues to be the feeder school to WVU. We truly hope he will follow in Max Trethewey’s and many others footsteps, to proudly represent the state and this program. Sam is a composed defender with an excellent foundation in all areas of the game. With time, Sam could become a formidable center back at the elite college level.”

Andrew O’Neill – Midfielder – Fairport, New York

O’Neill comes to Morgantown out of McQuaid Jesuit where he played for Nino Pilato while playing club for New York Rush. At McQuaid Jesuit, he was a 2x RCAC First-Team selection, a Section V All-Star, and to the All-Greater Rochester first team. O’Neill led the Knights in goals and points while leading the team to the New York State championship final.

Stratford on O’Neill: “Andrew really impressed us with his performances at two ID Camps over 2022. Andrew has incredible athleticism and even greater potential. Whenever you are the player who runs the furthest, runs the fastest, and scores the most goals in our ID Camp setting, you’re bound to stand out. While Andrew might come from a humbler soccer background in upstate New York, his ceiling is incredibly high, and we can’t wait to help him reach it!”

The 2023 season gets started on August 24 when the Mountaineers host California Baptist at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.