The loss of seven seniors, including a four-year starting goalkeeper, will challenge this year's University of Richmond men's soccer team, but it still looks to compete in the Atlantic 10 conference.
Atlantic 10 coaches picked Richmond to finish 10th in the 14-team league in the preseason poll, but assistant coach Matt O'Toole thinks the team should be able to qualify for the conference tournament. The Spiders failed to qualify for the postseason last year.
"This year with the class coming in and the returners we have I think we do have a good shot of making the A-10 tournament," O'Toole said.
The Spiders will be led by senior forward Delano Pierre, senior midfielders Brennan Lincoln and Thomas Kale and junior midfielder Fynn Glover, O'Toole said. Freshman Grant Schonberg and transfer Brock Tomlinson will compete for the starting goalkeeper position.
"We couldn't be happier with the two guys that came in," O'Toole said of the new keepers.
Senior midfielder Kern Gardiner and sophomore goalkeeper Alex Thorup will both miss the season because of injury, but their teammates should be able to fill their roles on the field, O'Toole said.
"His senior leadership is probably what we're going to miss the most," he said of Gardiner.
The team's conference schedule includes games against A-10 leaders University of Rhode Island and University of Massachusetts, O'Toole said. UMass reached the NCAA Final Four last season.
The competition is strong, but O'Toole hoped the team would improve during non-conference play and be a contender in the conference.
"We will be building our team and progressing through our non conference competition," O'Toole said, "and hopefully peaking in time to make statements in the league"
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