On the field, the men's soccer exhibition game against the Richmond alumni team Saturday night had the aura of an official game. But off the field, the players' returns carried the feeling of a family reunion.
"[The game] was about camaraderie," Richmond coach Jeff Gettler said. "It was about spirit, and the connection between the old and the new."
The alumni players had numerous scoring opportunities -- a show of their past playing skills -- and beat the current Richmond team 3-1, scoring all of their goals in the second half.
"A lot of these guys were first-team and all-region players," Gettler said. "It was the cream of the crop coming out."
Some alumni said that while winning was satisfying, playing together was more important.
"[They are] my second family. These are my boys," said Keith Donahue, who graduated in 2000.
"[Playing at here] was great," said Bryan Waggoner, class of 2002. "It brings back many memories. I had a blast."
The game offered the current team a break in its schedule before conference play begins.
"It allowed us to give some playing time to some guys who have not played a whole lot so far," Gettler said. "It also allowed us to take time to heal."
The Spiders have their last non-conference game Oct. 4 at home versus Marist College, with conference play beginning Oct. 10 at the University of Dayton.
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Although the current team has struggled in the early part of the season -- going 1-7-0 -- the players say they hope for wins against Atlantic 10 teams. The Spiders are seeking their fifth conference championship berth in eight years.
"They have a lot of potential," said Waggoner, a former captain of the soccer team. "They have a new season with the A-10 season. They saw our tradition and hopefully it rubs off on them. I think they can make a run in the A-10."
Contact reporter Andrew Prezioso at email@example.com
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