BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech men's soccer team will begin preparing for its bid to return to the College Cup in 2008 with a six-game schedule this spring, featuring a pair of matches at Tech Soccer Stadium and an exhibition against the Richmond Kickers.
"As a coaching staff, we look forward to evaluating our players during these six spring matches," head coach Oliver Weiss said. "We believe we have the correct number of games and the appropriate opponents on tap for some competitive matches in March and April."
Tech finished third in last season's final NSCAA/adidas National Coaches Poll and ended up with a 14-4-5 overall record while qualifying for its first College Cup in school history. The Hokies have made it into the national postseason three consecutive years and four times in six seasons under Weiss.
"We are also excited about the fact we play in areas where we recruit, like Richmond, Va., and where a lot of our alumni and fans live, mainly Virginia and North Carolina," Weiss said.
The Hokies open their spring slate at 7:30 p.m. on March 21 against William & Mary in Richmond, Va. Tech tied the Tribe 1-1 last fall in Williamsburg, Va. Georg Zehender's second-half goal answered the College's early score.
Tech hosts its first match of the spring season at 1 p.m. in Tech Soccer Stadium against Division II opponent Carson Newman. The Eagles finished with a 15-4-2 record last fall and advanced to the South Atlantic Conference tournament final, led by rising junior and NSCAA/adidas All-American Thomas Ostvold.
Campbell awaits the Hokies at noon on April 5 at BB&T Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Camels earned the program's first NCAA Division I tournament appearance last fall and won the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament. Campbell and also knocked off North Carolina for the second consecutive season.
An exhibition match against Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer League's Second Division will kick off at 5 p.m. on April 12 in VCU's SportsBackers Stadium. Last season, the Kickers hosted the Hokies in an exhibition match at University of Richmond Stadium. Former Hokie All-American Patrick Nyarko scored both Tech goals in a 3-2 loss.
The Hokies then travel to Indiana for their first and only true road match of the spring at 7:30 p.m. on April 19. The Hoosiers won the Big Ten Conference regular-season championship and finished 13-4-5 overall with a No. 14 ranking in the final national coaches' poll.
"We are excited to travel to Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. It will be a great challenge to take on the seven-time national champions," Weiss said.
The annual Alumni game wraps up the spring schedule at 11 a.m. on April 27 in Tech Soccer Stadium.
"Our last game will be special this year as we are ringing in an exciting weekend with our alumni at the end of April," Weiss said. "We are all eager to see who will win the game between the two Tech teams. Never have I seen our alumni so excited about this annual spring event."
Friday, March 21 William & Mary Richmond, Va.* 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 29 Carson Newman Blacksburg, Va. 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 5 Campbell Winston-Salem, N.C. % Noon
Sat., April 12 Richmond Kickers Richmond, Va. * 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 19 at Indiana Bloomington, Ind. 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 27 Alumni Blacksburg, Va. 11:00 a.m.
* = at VCU's SportsBackers Stadium
% = at BB&T Soccer Park
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