RICHMOND - Competing in their third straight Atlantic 10 Championship game, and their fourth in the last six years while also grabbing their third at-large bid and second Top 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament in the last six years, the VCU Men’s Soccer program and Head Coach Dave Giffard are excited to announce their 2018 schedule in this, the 40th season of VCU Men’s Soccer. The list comprises of 16 regular season games, with 10 to be played at Sports Backers Stadium.
The big focus comes in the talent level of the competing teams, as VCU will face six teams that appeared in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, including two of the Final Four teams in Akron and Indiana. The Hoosiers were the 2017 National Runner-up, while the others on the list feature Virginia, Old Dominion, and UMass. The Rams will travel on the road to face Indiana, while they will play Akron at home at Sports Backers Stadium.
Along with their merits in the NCAA Tournament, VCU will face 10 teams that finished in the Top 75 in RPI in 2017, with eight of those also finishing Top 50 in RPI. Five of those eight teams finished Top 25 in RPI as well. Combined, the field VCU will face has won 30 of the 59 national championships awarded through the years between six of the teams the Rams will face.
"We are excited about not only the quality of games on the schedule, but also the quality of home games,” said Head Coach David Giffard. “This should be a great test for our young team as we aim to improve each and every night out."
VCU will play three exhibitions to open up their fall season against Maryland at home, and with Virginia and Hartford each on the road. They will begin their regular season at home on Aug. 24 against Georgia Southern at 5 p.m. as the front end of a Black & Gold doubleheader with the Women’s Soccer program.
The Rams keep that home slate moving with matchups with Radford on Aug. 26, Temple on Aug. 31, and Santa Clara on Sept. 2 before heading to Indiana for their first road game of the season. Radford was a strong potential NCAA bid out of the Big South in 2017 before they fell in the conference tournament, but made an appearance in the dance in 2016 and 2015. Temple and Santa Clara are apart of the VCU/Old Dominion Stihl Classic Tournament. Santa Clara is a storied program with five apperances in the Final Four, including a National Championship in 1989.
The Black and Gold will close out their non-conference slate with three more home games at Sports Backers Stadium, as ACC member Pittsburgh will come into town on Sept. 11. Former CAA foe Old Dominion will come to Richmond on Sept. 19, while the Akron Zips will square off with the Rams on Sept. 26 at Sports Backers. The Zips lost to Stanford in the National Semifinals in 2017.
VCU opens their A-10 schedule on Sept. 29 as they will travel to Philadelphia to take on La Salle before heading back home to Richmond for matchups with UMass on Oct. 3 and Duquesne on Oct. 6. UMass will be a rematch of last season’s A-10 Championship game, while Duquesne will be featured as the 40th Anniversary game for VCU Soccer.
The Rams face their longest road trip of the season, two games, on both Oct. 10 and Oct. 13 as they face Saint Louis and George Washington during the stretch. The schedule wraps up with a home game against George Mason on Oct. 20, a road game at Dayton on Oct. 27, and a home game which will conclude the year on Oct. 31 against St. Bonaventure.
Atlantic 10 postseason play begins on Nov. 3 & 4, while the Final Four, which is to be played in St. Louis, will be on Nov. 9 & 11. NCAA First Round games will begin on Nov. 15.
For more information on the schedule, please refer to the 2018 SCHEDULE PAGE, now listed on VCU Athletics.