Up next in our 2017 schedule preview series are the Richmond Spiders and the VMI Keydets, two Virginia SoCon schools. The Spiders finished 11-5 last season and 6-1 in SoCon play, as they fell to Air Force twice, including in double overtime in the SoCon championship game. VMI finished 2-14, with wins over NJIT and Hampton, and 0-7 against other SoCon teams. Let’s dive into each schedule.
The Spiders will scrimmage Navy in Annapolis on January 28, before scrimmaging Christopher Newport and Loyola on February 4. The regular season kicks off February 11 at home against Fairfield, followed a week later by UMBC. Richmond makes a quick stop in Maryland to take on Mount St. Mary’s February 21, before they host defending Big East champion Marquette on the 25th.
March begins with a big home contest against Duke on the 5th. Last year, the Spiders upset the Blue Devils in a weeknight game, 12-10, in Durham. The SoCon opener is against VMI on the 11th. Two days later, Richmond travels down to Chapel Hill once again to take on defending National Champion North Carolina. The Spiders lost that game last season, 15-6. The month ends with two road SoCon contests, first with Jacksonville on the 18th, followed by High Point on the 25th.
Richmond takes a break from SoCon play with a home game against Virginia on April 1. The Spiders were shutout of their meeting last year, 9-0. Conference play continues April 8 with a home game against Mercer. The Spiders then go on the road to take on Bellarmine on the 15th, followed by a rematch against Air Force in Colorado Springs on the 22nd. The regular season finale is April 29 against Furman.
Teddy Hatfield was a huge addition to the Spiders’ offense last season, as the now-sophomore attackman led the team with 20 goals and 36 points last season. Also returning on offense are seniors J.P. Forester, Dan Ginestro, Mitch Goldberg, and Jean-Luc Chetner, as many of them will be part of the first full recruiting class Richmond graduates at the end of the year. Tom Monzo is a loss on defense, but the team still has caused turnovers leader Brendan Hynes, Ryan Dennis, and Austin Cates. Goaltenders Benny Pugh and Henry Buonagurio are back for their final seasons, as the two goalies split starts last season in net, while Peter Moran will be back to take the majority of the team’s face-offs. Dan Chemotti has done one of the best jobs ever for a new program, and 2017 has the potential to be something special for this team.
The Keydets open up the season in West Point to take on Army February 20. The team’s home opener is against NJIT on the 25th, followed three days later with a home game against Delaware.
VMI plays four games in 11 days, with the first three games being on the road, beginning with Wagner March 7. SoCon play opens on the 11th against Richmond, followed three days later with a game against MAAC foe Monmouth. The Keydets return home on the 17th against High Point. The team then travels to Kentucky to take on Bellarmine March 25, followed by a home game against Mount St. Mary’s three days later.
After hosting Hampton last season, VMI will make the trip to Hampton the play the Pirates April 1. Their final four games are all SoCon conference games, with three of them being played at home in Lexington. VMI will welcome Jacksonville (April 8) and Air Force (April 15), before traveling to South Carolina to take on Furman April 22. The regular season finale is against Mercer at home on the 29th.
The Keydets hope to have some success in 2017, led by last year’s goal and point leader in junior attackman Wesley Sanders, along with Chris Spada. Tom Nofi and Cody Sheetz were underclassmen last season, but are not on this year’s roster. They were second and third in points last year. On defense, LSM Pat Hine has graduated, but the team still has sophomore Kyle Walsh, who led the team with 28 caused turnovers last season, along with Patrick McPartlin. Junior Joe Riccadonna returns in goal after starting all 16 games last season, while Tristan Capes-Davis and attackman Brad Nardella should take the majority of face-offs this year, along with Gordon Livermore.
To see every team’s schedule and which one’s we’ve highlighted, check our our master schedule list.