LEXINGTON, Va. - The Virginia Military Institute men’s soccer team takes a brief respite from Big South Conference action this weekend, heading to the nation’s capital for a tilt against Howard University. Game time is slated for 12:30 p.m. at the Bison’s Greene Stadium.
Live stats and video streaming will be unavailable for Saturday’s nonconference game, but the official Twitter feed of VMI’s athletic communications department, @VMISID, will have periodic updates when available.
Saturday’s weather in Washington, D.C. will feature mostly sunny skies. High 67F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.
Saturday’s match will be the ninth meeting all-time between the Keydets and the Bison. Howard is in control of the series at 3-1-4, but the last three meetings have resulted in a draw. The Keydets are hunting their first win at Howard in series history, holding an 0-3-1 mark in Washington, D.C. The Keydets and Bison have not met since Sept. 28, 2011, a game that ended in a 2-2 draw in Lexington. The two teams will be meeting for the first time in the month of November. VMI is 1-2-1 against Howard in September and 0-1-2.
Last Five Meetings:
9/28/2011 - VMI 2, Howard 2 (2OT) (Lexington, Va.)
10/27/2010 - VMI 0, Howard 0 (2OT) (Washington, D.C.)
10/7/2009 - VMI 1, Howard 1 (2OT) (Lexington, Va.)
10/8/2008 - Howard 3, VMI 1 (Washington, D.C.)
9/12/2007 - VMI 1, Howard 1 (2OT) (Lexington, Va.)
When Last they Met
The latest in a series of ties, the Keydets played Howard to a 2-2 in Lexington on Sept. 28, 2011. Of the seven points scored by the Keydets in that game, two goals and three assists, five are from players still on the roster. Ricky Siewers and Aaron White tallied VMI’s markers while Blake McCauley had the primary assist on the Siewers goal. The Keydets grabbed a 2-0 lead with goals in the 32nd and 80th minute, but the Bison struck twice in a five minute span to tie the game. Adrian Dominguez made four saves in goal for the Keydets.
On This Date
November 2 has been a tough day for the Keydets, who are 3-13-0 all-time on that date. The last time VMI played a game on Nov. 2 was in Lexington during the 2010 season. VMI fell to Liberty in overtime 1-0. The Keydets are looking for their first win on Nov. 2 since a 3-0 road win in Southern Conference action at The Citadel.
Against Radford, senior keeper Daniel Kitchen made a career-best 13 saves. He surpassed his previous mark of 11 stops came against No. 23 High Point on Oct. 3, 2012. This season, Kitchen has hit double digits on two occasions, turning away 10 shots in VMI’s conference opener at Campbell. According to the Big South’s weekly report, issued on Oct. 28, Kitchen is the only keeper in the conference to have multiple games with double-digit saves. His 13 saves against Radford also ties the league’s high water mark for this season, along with Presbyterian’s Tyler Beadle. Kitchen’s 13 saves are tied for second-most in a Division I game in the country this season.
Score More Goals
Sophomore forward Kyle Forché seems to have the magic touch. The Keydets are 3-0-0 all-time when Forché scores a goal, two of which have been game-winners. The Chesterfield, Va. native scored his first goal in VMI’s first win of 2012, tucking away the winner against George Washington during the Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament. This season, Forché potted a marker against Liberty, tying the game in the 70th minute and setting up freshman Alex Hartman for the game-winner, on which Forché was credited with the assist. The sophomore’s latest exploit came in the 80th minute against UNC Asheville and kept the Keydets’ playoff hopes alive, burying a header against the Bulldogs for the 1-0 win.
What’s the Story Morning Glory?
On Sept. 28 the Keydets played their 20th game in the Big South Era (since 2003) that kicked off at noon or earlier and the first in that span that begins at 11:30 p.m. Since 2003, VMI has never played a game before 11 a.m. During that decade, VMI is now 8-11-1 in morning games, with a 7-7-1 mark at Patchin Field. The Keydets have now played Winthrop three times before noon, all in Lexington. The Eagles hold a 2-0-1 record against VMI in morning games.
Talk Nerdy to Me
With VMI’s 3-2 result over Liberty, lots of firsts occurred and halted several skids. Below is a brief set of notes stemming from that victory.
- Alex Hartman scored his first career goal; it was the game-winner in the 87th minute.
- Kyle Forché had a career-best outing, notching the game-tying goal and assisting Hartman for the game-winner
- VMI is 2-0-0 all-time when Forché scores his first goal of the season.
- Forché has had a hand in each of VMI’s first wins of the year; last season he scored the winner against George Washington and in 2013 he had the assist to Hartman for the win.
- The win was VMI’s first of 2013 and halted a 10-game winless streak for the Keydets.
- The win marked the first time since 1990 the Keydets topped Liberty.
- It was the 15th time in series history that the game was decided by one goal or less (with two ties).
- Between Hartman and Forché, VMI got its first come-from-behind victory since Sept. 5, 2007 in a 4-2 win over Gardner-Webb.
Wheels on the Bus
With a very road-heavy schedule, that features just five games in Lexington this season, the Keydets have already logged 4,567 miles, including long hauls to West Point, N.Y., Buies Creek, N.C., Clinton, S.C. and Washington, D.C.
Big South All-Decade Team
The Big South Conference has released the voting polls for its men’s soccer All-Decade teams and the names of two former Keydets appear on the poll. Charles Nweke is up for the 2000s All-Decade Team, as is long-time coach Stephen Ross.
Nweke was a three-time All-Conference selection and was tapped as Rookie of the Year in 2003. Ross was named Big South Conference Coach of the Year in 2004 and helped guide VMI into the new league during the 2003 season.
Fans can vote for the Big South All-Decade Team on BigSouthSports.com.
Oh Captains, My Captains
Over the summer, head coach Richie Rose named senior Daniel Kitchen and junior Blake McCauley as the team’s co-captains for this season.
Kitchen saw nearly 1,000 minutes in goal for the Keydets in 2012, making 12 starts. During that time, the Richmond, Va. native made 67 saves, including a trio in his first career win against George Washington University in the Keydets’ first game of the Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament. Twice during the last season, Kitchen reached double-digit saves, including a season-high 11 against No. 23 High Point University in a 0-0 draw, the first full-game shutout of Kitchen’s career.
McCauley made 16 starts in his 17 appearances during the 2012 season. The Fuquay Varina, N.C. resident tallied four goals, striking in back-to-back Big South Conference games against Liberty University and UNC Asheville. McCauley, who co-led the team in points (8) and had a squad-high four goals, scored big time markers, helping VMI to one-goal decisions in each game he scored. McCauley took 19 shots throughout the season, putting 11 of those efforts on goal.