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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #69 VMI Keydets

The Keydets won two games for the third consecutive season.

Chuck Steenburgh Photography

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019.

We already started looking ahead to 2019 with a few of our team recaps, kicking things off with Hampton and NJIT, as well as a check in with St. Bonaventure and Utah.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#69 VMI Keydets

Conference: SoCon
2018 Record: 2-11 (0-7 in SoCon play)
Head coach: Jon Birsner (3rd Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Ryan Perouty (29)
Assists: John O’Donnell (13)
Points: Ryan Perouty (33)
Faceoffs: AJ Krstulovic (118-of-198; 59.6%)
Ground balls: Kyle Walsh (87)
Caused turnovers: Kyle Walsh (35)
Goals against average: Bill Osteen (12.92 GAA)
Save percentage: Bill Osteen (47.2%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: A Wesley Sanders (16 Gs, 12 As)
Senior scoring departing: 28 of 161 points (17.4%)
Senior starts lost: 13 of 130 (10%)

Season Summary

For the past three seasons, VMI has been consistent. Usually, that’s good. However, winning two games each season, both coming against Hampton and NJIT, is not good at all. They Keydets also have not won a SoCon game since joining the conference in 2015. Their last conference win came against Richmond back in 2014, when they were members of the Atlantic Sun.

They did play in some close games during the season, such as a two goal loss to Wagner, a four goal defeat at the hands of Furman, and a three goal loss to Bellarmine. Just because their conference record shows they haven’t won a game in the SoCon doesn’t mean VMI is an easy win for teams.

Plus, the Keydets did have some talented players this season. On attack, Ryan Perouty led the team with 29 goals and 33 points as a freshman. He’s also listed as a midfielder on the VMI website. Sophomore John Daniel was right behind him with 26 goals and 31 points leading the midfield. They have their top guys at those positions.

Austin Henry provided help at attack, while Jon Fant added some offense at midfield. But VMI’s strength might be at defense. Junior Kyle Walsh was snubbed as a possible Honorable Mention All-American. Freshman Eric Lane was a Second Team All-Freshman choice earlier this month. LSM John O’Donnell was a former offensive midfielder and supplemented his 22 ground balls and nine caused turnovers with a team-high 13 assists. He’s big on transition offense, something head coach Jon Birsner wanted to emphasize entering the season.

Another strength is at the faceoff X. Sophomore AJ Krstulovic improved from his 52.2% win percentage last season and won 59.6% of his draws. Freshman Ripken Reynolds also proved to be a solid backup.

The team moved away from senior Joe Riccadonna and started freshman Bill Osteen in goal, who will have to improve next season after recording a 12.92 goals against average.

Looking Ahead

Birsner has some key pieces in place for next season and could finally led VMI to their first ever Southern Conference win. The big key for VMI is to beat a team other than NJIT and Hampton. Right now, a SoCon win should be the highest priority for this squad, and earning a conference win would instantly raise the level of competition in the entire conference.

The team only loses Wesley Sanders next year, as well as their former starting goalie. It’s expected VMI wins at least one more game than they have the past three seasons.

Here’s who the Keydets will be adding to their roster for next year.*

VMI’s Unofficial Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
RJ Barnes Midfield Paul VI (VA)
Michael Brown Defense/LSM Flint Hill (MI)
Jack Burke Attack Ponte Vedra (FL)
Aidan Riley Attack James River (VA)
Brandon Smith Midfield Archbishop Curley (MD)
Rob Soluri Goalie Westlake (TX)
Julius Terrell Midfield St. John's College (DC)
Mike Tulskie Attack Springfield-Delco (PA)

*Compiled from a multitude of websites. Schools usually officially announce their recruiting class during the fall semester.


How many wins will VMI get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    (2 votes)
  • 50%
    (13 votes)
  • 38%
    (10 votes)
  • 3%
    (1 vote)
26 votes total Vote Now