Men’s Soccer Finalizes Schedule With Trio Of Non-Conference Matchups
The spring schedule marks the start of the 44th season of Longwood soccer, with Atkinson entering his 16th season at the helm.
The February start date, however, marks a first for Atkinson, as the matches will take place during the spring instead of the traditional fall schedule following a Big South Conference-wide postponement due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now with health and safety protocols in place, as outlined by the NCAA, Virginia Department of Health and Longwood University, Longwood will embark on an 11-match journey.
The Lancers open up with a trip to Liberty to renew an in-state rivalry on Feb. 14. Three days later, the squad returns for its home opener to take on VCU on Feb. 17 at the Longwood Athletics Complex at 6 p.m. The Lancers add a trip to VMI on March 10 amidst a bye in Big South play as well.
The contest against VCU is the first of five home dates for Longwood, with four Big South foes comprising the rest of the schedule. Gardner-Webb (March 7, 2 p.m.), USC Upstate (March 14, 2 p.m.), Campbell (March 24, 6 p.m.) and Radford (April 8, 6 p.m.) comprise the remainder of the team’s home slate.
In addition to the trips to Liberty and VMI, Longwood will also travel to UNC Asheville (Feb. 21), Presbyterian (Feb. 28), Winthrop (March 28) and High Point (April 3).
Following the regular season, the Big South Men’s Soccer Championship will take place at campus sites on April 14 and 17 in a two-round bracket comprised of the top four teams in the final Big South standings.
The Lancers return a wealth of experience with eight starters back, headlined by Second Team All-Big South selection Jonas Kalchner. The junior defender was a stalwart along the back line for the Lancers, leading Longwood in minutes played while also playing 90 minutes in a match 14 times. Senior defender Tyrique Lake, senior goalkeeper Jacob Reimers and junior defenders Dan Ahrens and Paul Caspar also return along the back line, while senior midfielder Ander Etxaniz, junior midfielders Markus Gronli, Matt Ward and Leif Vanslyke along with sophomore Eli Carr also return for an offense that ranked fourth overall in the league with 1.5 goals per game.
All Longwood athletics events this spring will begin the season under a no-fans model due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Longwood athletics department and university leadership will assess that policy throughout the season with guidance from local and national health professionals and agencies.
All Longwood athletics events and participants will also adhere to local, state and national safety protocols, as established by the NCAA, Centers for Disease Control, Virginia Department of Health, and Longwood University medical professionals.