RICHMOND, Va. - The VCU men's soccer team isn't waiting for the fall to be challenged, as VCU Men's Head Soccer Coach Dave Giffard announced his 2012 spring schedule, that will test the players both physically and mentally.  

The Rams spring schedule features 11 games, including five games against NCAA Tournament teams from 2011 and a local derby match against the Richmond Kickers of the USL Pro League.

"Everyone involved with VCU Men's Soccer is excited about the spring schedule," added Giffard. "We are challenging ourselves with the best competition that we can find to help us continue to develop and evaluate our growth. Since the end of our fall season, there has been a hunger and determination within this group of players that has been very encouraging. Right now, we have 26 student-athletes who are fighting to get better every day; this type of schedule will allow our players to show what they can do as they will be tested each time they step on the field."

The Rams will kick off the spring schedule with a meeting against Longwood on March 3 at 11 a.m. at Sports Backers.  The Black & Gold will make the short trek over to Ukrop Park later in the day, to battle with the Richmond Kickers under the lights at 6:30 p.m.

On March 9, VCU will host perennial national power University of Maryland, with the game kicking off at 7:30 at Sports Backers.

After a few weeks off, VCU will welcome VMI and Wake Forest for a pair of matches on Saturday, March 24. The Black & Gold will square off against VMI at 11 a.m., before taking on the Demon Deacons at 7 p.m.

The Rams will close out the month of March on the road, traveling to Glen Rock, S.C. on March 31 for a trio of games. VCU will play Division II Queens College (9:30 a.m.) and Division I programs Davidson (12:30 p.m.) and Furman (5:30 p.m.)

On April 14, VCU will host Virginia (11 a.m.) and Liberty (3 p.m.), before closing out the spring schedule with an intrasquad scrimmage on April 21.