2011 Men's Soccer Schedule (.pdf)
RICHMOND, Va. – If last year's results are any indication of what's to come, then second-year head coach Dave Giffard has the VCU men's soccer program headed in the right direction.
Giffard guided the Rams to their first Colonial Athletic Association tournament bid since 2007 and was just moments away from appearing in the conference championship match during his first season at the helm.
VCU will look to continue its resurgence when it opens the 2011 regular season with a home date against Navy on Aug. 26 at SportsBackers Stadium. In all, the Black & Gold will face four teams this year that participated in the 2010 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship, including Georgetown, Coastal Carolina and CAA foes Old Dominion and William & Mary.
"This year's schedule will be very challenging for us," Giffard said. "We have several key out of conference matches including opening night against The US Naval Academy as well as single games with Big East regular season champion Georgetown and Big South regular season champion High Point. Both Georgetown and High Point won their league in 2010 and bring almost everyone back. Navy, which recorded its first winning season in five years in 2010, should be firing on all cylinders as head coach Dave Brandt enters his third season with the Midshipmen after leading Messiah to six NCAA Division III titles in 12 years."
The Rams head to the nation's capital for an Aug. 29 matchup against the Hoyas, who fell in penalty kicks to perennial power North Carolina in last year's NCAA second round, before hosting cross-town rival Richmond and Elon in the annual VCU Tournament Sept. 2-4.
The Black & Gold then hit the road for the remainder of the month, facing USC-Upstate (Sept. 9) in the Coastal Carolina Tournament before battling the host Chanticleers on Sept. 11. VCU continues its road swing with a pair of matches in UAB's Soccer for a Cure Tournament the following weekend – meeting the Blazers, who will host the 2011 NCAA College Cup, on Sept. 16 and Gardner-Webb on Sept. 18. VCU then opens conference play Sept. 24 at Northeastern.
After their five-game road trip, the Rams return to SportsBackers Stadium on Oct. 1 against George Mason. VCU then travels to Old Dominion (Oct. 5) and Hofstra (Oct. 8) before hosting league rivals James Madison (Oct. 12) and William & Mary (Oct. 15).
The Rams conclude their road schedule with three-straight at UNC Wilmington (Oct. 19), Drexel (Oct. 22) and High Point (Oct. 28) before rounding out its home slate with matches against Georgia State (Nov. 2) and Delaware (Nov. 5).
"Knowing what players teams in our league return and who teams have signed for 2011, I would expect the CAA to be even better this year than it was a year ago when it finished as the sixth-best conference out of 23 in the NCAA," added Giffard. "Often times the CAA doesn't get as much respect in the media as it deserves in men's soccer. I think there are as many as five different teams that you could argue are favorites to win the league next year and certainly any one of the 12 could actually finish as the champion. That type of parity, coupled with our league's success out of conference, saw us finish with seven teams in the top 65 of the RPI last year, with seven teams in the top 40 at the end of the non-conference portion of our schedules."
The CAA Tournament, which returns to a six-team format for the first time since 2008, is set for Nov. 11-13.
2011 VCU MEN'S SOCCER SCHEDULE
Aug. 26 – NAVY, 8 p.m.
Aug. 29 – at Georgetown, 4 p.m.
Sept. 2 – RICHMOND^, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 4 – ELON^, 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 – vs. USC-Upstate%, 5 p.m.
Sept. 11 – at Coastal Carolina%, 3 p.m.
Sept. 16 – at UAB#, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 18 – vs. Gardner-Webb#, Noon
Sept. 24 – at Northeastern*, 6 p.m.
Oct. 1 – GEORGE MASON*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 – at Old Dominion*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 – at Hofstra*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 – JAMES MADISON*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 – WILLIAM & MARY*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 – at UNC Wilmington*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 – at Drexel*, 4 p.m.
Oct. 28 – at High Point, 7 p.m.
Oct. 30 – TOWSON*, 6 p.m.
Nov. 2 – GEORGIA STATE*, 7 p.m.
Nov. 5 – DELAWARE*, 7 p.m.
Nov. 11-13 – CAA Tournament, TBA
Home games in BOLD CAPS
^-VCU Tournament (SportsBackers Stadium)
%-Coastal Carolina Tournament (Conway, S.C.)
#-UAB Soccer for a Cure Tournament (Birmingham, Ala.)
*-Colonial Athletic Association match