FORT MYERS, Fla. – Fresh off Wednesday night’s win at No. 13 USF, the FGCU men’s soccer team will head to Richmond, Va. for a pair of contests at Sports Backers Stadium as part of the Richmond Classic. The Eagles will face-off against a pair of Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) schools, beginning with host Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Old Dominion at noon on Monday, Sept. 6.
The Eagles (1-0) enter the tournament with a ton of momentum after ending USF’s 30-game home unbeaten streak (26-0-4) that stretched back to 2007. Wednesday’s win against the Bulls was also the program’s first over a ranked opponent and improved the Blue and Green to 3-1 in season openers.
First-year forward Ryan Price, a Top 100 Freshmen according to College Soccer News, carried over his strong play from the exhibition season to Wednesday’s contest, scoring the game’s first goal while getting off seven shots. Price accounted for FGCU’s two goals in its exhibition matches.
Sophomore Deion Jones was the man of the match on Wednesday in his hometown of Tampa. Jones assisted on Price’s score and then tallied a goal of his own that proved to be the eventual game-winner. Keeper Adam Glick picked up his 15th career win in net and helped the FGCU defense hold its opponent to one goal or less for the ninth time in the last 10 games, dating back to last year.
VCU will feature a fresh look under first-year head coach Dave Giffard. The Rams usher in 18 newcomers and return just six starters from last year's 5-10-2 squad. Friday’s game against FGCU will be the season opener for the Rams, who dropped a pair of exhibition matches against the finalists of last year’s NCAA College Cup final in Akron (L, 3-1) and Virginia (L, 1-0). VCU was picked to finish seventh in the CAA preseason coaches’ poll.
Head coach Alan Dawson begins his 14th season at the helm of the Monarchs they also take part in their first official games of the year. Returning 11 lettermen, including three who earned All-CAA honors from last year's 11-5-2 squad, ODU brings a sound team into the weekend contests. The Monarchs were picked second in the CAA preseason poll behind just UNC-Wilmington who was predicted to repeat as conference champion. ODU defeated Howard, 2-1, and ACC foe Virginia Tech, 1-0, in its two exhibition matches.
The four-team tournament also features Coastal Carolina, however they will not take the pitch with FGCU. The Eagles have never squared-off against a member of the CAA in their brief four-year history.