If new West Virginia University men’s soccer coach Dan Stratford wanted to keep an eye on Zak Abdul-Jalil he just had to head up the road. Stratford led the University of Charleston to its second Division II national title this past season, while Abdul-Jalil was helping George Washington High School to a Class AAA state title.
Now that Stratford is in Morgantown, he’s decided to bring Abdul-Jalil with him.
The former Patriot led a group of five signees the Mountaineers announced Monday. Joining the former GW defender will be goalkeeper Marc Bonnaire, defender Brian Brown, forward Nino Civitate and midfielder Aden Slifer.
“These five incoming freshmen will add quality depth to our returning group,” Stratford said in a university release. “It’s the start of an amazing four-year journey for these young men, one our staff has experienced at WVU, and we look forward to facilitating an incredible student-athlete experience for them, resulting in a lot of success for the team.”
In helping the Patriots win the second of two straight Class AAA titles, Abdul-Jalil was named the Kanawha Valley Player of the Year and captain of the Class AAA All-State first team, his second time named to the All-State first team. He played both up front and in the back for the Patriots last season, scoring both goals in GW’s 2-0 state title win over Cabell Midland.
United Soccer Coaches named him to the Mid-Atlantic All-Region team.
Bonnaire, from Warrenton, Virginia, attended Fauquier High and played at the Virginia Development Academy, earning nine starts in 10 matches. He was an All-District pick for Fauquier in 2018.
Brown, from Lino Lakes, Minnesota, played at Totino-Grace High and the Minnesota Thunder Academy club team. He played for both MTA’s U-16/17 and U-18/19 teams.
Civitate, from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, played at Canon-McMillan High and Pittsburgh Riverhounds Academy. Civitate led the Big Macs to a 15-4-1 record and a WPIAL championship as a senior.
Slifer, from Douglassville, Pennsylvania attended Boone Area Senior High and played for the Penn Fusion club team. Slifer led Boone in goals, assists and points as a junior and senior.