The first football Saturday in Morgantown is a special occasion. Students have moved in, FallFest has entertained, and crisp, cool, mountain air starts to push away summer's humidity. The fall semester is here. Fall sports are here. "Fall" is here.
2023's first day of fall may not truly fall until September 23, but it's the first filling of Milan Puskar Stadium, the RV takeover of the stadium lots, the roar of a home team touchdown that all signal fall in Morgantown.
September 9, 2023, the year's first football Saturday in Morgantown, had a bit of extra help in ushering fall to town. To kick off a football doubleheader, the No. 16 men's soccer team hosted No. 3 Portland at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. It proved to be, undoubtedly, the highlight of the day, and of the early fall sports season.
Saturday's forecast never looked like there would be many highlights. Not when lightning symbols took over most of the hourly slots in your favorite weather app. Not when the chance of rain was higher than you'd like through most of those same hours. Lightning would indeed play a memorable part of Saturday's doubleheader, but we will get to that in a bit.
For now, let's take a visual look at that unforgettable football match. The one that the lightning symbols lied about and avoided. The one that the rains ignored. The one that was easily a top two memory out of this photographer's history at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Number one, for context, will always be the Mountaineers taking down No. 1 Connecticut, led by the Philadelphia Union's Andre Blake -- a superstar keeper who the Mountaineers managed to net two past for a historic 2-0 win on that day in 2011.