BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Virginia Military Institute men’s soccer team returns to North Carolina this Saturday to square off with Gardner-Webb University for a Big South Conference clash. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. at Green-Harbison Field.
Fans unable to make it to Boiling Springs, the action can be followed through a live stats link, provided by Gardner-Webb’s athletic communications department. The game will also be streamed live on the internet through the Big South Network.
Saturday’s temperature in Boiling Spring is expected to be in the low 80s, with humidity above 60 percent. Skies are expected to be mostly sunny with only a 10 percent chance of rain.
Saturday’s clash will be the seventh meeting between the two programs in a series that began in 2006. VMI is 2-4-0 all-time against Gardner-Webb, which was won the last two games. On Saturday, VMI will be hunting its first-ever win in Boiling Springs (0-3-0). After Gardner-Webb won the first game 4-0, the games have been close, never decided by more than two goals.
The Last Meeting Between the
In the 2011 edition of the VMI-Gardner-Webb match up, the Bulldogs stole a 2-1 win in Lexington on Oct. 15. After falling behind 2-0, with a Bulldog scoring in the 26th and 47th minute of the match, VMI cut the Gardner-Webb lead in half as Ricky Siewers scored his second goal of the year. Siewers received a pass from Stewart Wilkinson, finishing to the right post in the 60th minute.
Careers Versus Gardner-Webb
Siewers and senior captain David Rochow are the only current members of the squad to log points against Gardner-Webb. Siewers’ tally came in last season’s game while Rochow buried an insurance goal in VMI’s 2-0 win during the 2009 season, his freshman campaign.
VMI’s Last Time Out
Standing up to a battery of High Point University shots on Wednesday, the Keydets walked out of Vert Stadium with a point in conference action as they played the No. 23 Panthers to a 0-0 draw. High Point outshot the Keydets 35-3, putting 11 shots on goal. But junior keeper Daniel Kitchen stopped all 11 attempts for the first shutout of his career.
The shutout was VMI’s first since tying Liberty University 0-0 last season. The draw with High Point was the first time VMI played a ranked Big South Conference team for a result, earning a point in league standings. The Keydets are 0-1-1 against ranked Big South teams since joining the conference in the 2003-04 season.
Scouting the Keydets
Six different Keydets (1-7-1, 0-1-1 BSC) have found the back of the net, with Blake McCauley and Andrew Starnes each netting a pair. Kyle Farmer and Hunter Morgan have each tallied one assist, while Farmer, McCauley and Starnes are all tied with a team-best four points each.
Matt Seinfeld has taken the most shots of anyone on the team with 22, nearly doubling Kip Zechman’s 13 attempts.
Between the pipes, Daniel Kitchen has logged 515 minutes of action, nearly two-thirds of VMI’s team total (830). In that time, he has made 31 stops at a .674 percent clip. He is currently ranked 78th in the country in saves per game (4.0). His 0-0 tie with High Point gave him his first shutout, in addition to a career-high in saves (11). Kitchen’s saves in the High Point game were the most by a VMI keeper this season.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Gardner-Webb (1-8-1, 0-1-1 BSC) is coming off of a thrilling 3-2 double overtime win over Southern Conference foe Appalachian State on Tuesday. Satoshi Tatsumi scored the Bulldogs’ game-winning goal in the 107 minute of the match. Gardner-Webb trailed 2-1 but knotted things in the 62nd minute on a Marius Hammersmark penalty kick.
The Bulldogs may not have the highest-scoring offense, tallying just six goals on the year, but their keeper, Scott Krotee, has kept his team in games. The redshirt senior has made 74 stops and has been part of five games decided by one goal, including a draw.
Tatsumi and Taylor Jordan are tied for the team lead in goals, each tallying a pair. Tatsumi has the Bulldogs’ lone game-winner. Hammersmark has three points on one goal and one assist. Chris Davis is the only other Bulldog to notch a goal.
Forché Name VMI Athlete of the Week
Kyle Forché was named VMI Athlete of the Week for the time period ending Sept. 12.
In his first-ever collegiate game at Patchin Field (Sept. 7), Kyle Forché made the most of it, burying his first goal for VMI in the 2012 Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament, helping him earn all-tournament honors. The 5-10 freshman headed in a ball from senior David Rochow, who was near the midfield, setting up Forché's leaping header against George Washington University. Forché capped his first weekend of home games with three shots, including two against the Colonials. Forché was efficient with his shots, putting all three attempts on cage, en route to his first career game-winner.
Forché is the first men’s soccer player to earn VMI Athlete of the Week honors since Brian Harding on Nov. 9, 2010.