RICHMOND, Va. – One look at the VCU men's soccer schedule this past fall and it's obvious that Head Coach Dave Giffard likes to put his team up against the best competition possible.

This spring is no different as Coach Giffard has the Rams facing off against three NCAA Tournament teams and the Richmond Kickers. The biggest date of the spring comes on Saturday, April 5 when VCU will host perennial national power Akron at City Stadium as part of the Richmond Kickers' opening soccer festival. The Kickers follow the VCU-Akron game with their USL-Pro season opener.

"Once again we have a very challenging slate of spring games to help prepare our team for next fall," Giffard said. "Playing two games on every play date will allow for our whole roster to get opportunities to test themselves against quality outside competition and will also allow us to evaluate more players and their performances."

VCU opens its spring schedule on Saturday, March 8. They will travel to City Stadium later to play the Kickers in a 6 p.m. match.

Two weekends later, the Rams travel to Harrisonburg, Va. to take on Radford at 3 p.m. and James Madison at 5 p.m. Both of those games will be played on Sunday, March 23.

VCU will host a squad full of alumni on Friday, March 28 at VCU's Sports Backers Stadium.

Along with the Rams showdown with Akron on April 5, VCU will also play Longwood later that evening at Sports Backers. Game time is set for 8 p.m.

The Black & Gold will head to Charlottesville to play split squad games against UVA on Saturday, April 12. Games will be played at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

VCU wraps up its spring season with visits from Liberty (11 a.m.) and William & Mary (7 p.m. on Saturday, April 19.