Longwood men’s soccer opens 2018 preseason

With a bevy of fresh faces, the Longwood men’s soccer team kicked off its 2018 season Wednesday night at the Athletics Complex against Barton in the first of two exhibition contests.

One year removed from a Big South Championship game appearance, head coach Jon Atkinson’s squad battled the Bulldogs in a 90-minute scrimmage that saw the Lancers play 26 players on the roster.

“This was a great opportunity for our guys to test the product we’ve been working on in practice and apply it to a game setting,” Atkinson said. “Overall, it was a good, productive exercise. We were able to get a lot of guys rotated in so that they can feel the connection to the program and how we look to play.”

Longwood controlled possession throughout a game that featured three 30-minute periods followed by a 10-minute overtime session while generating more opportunities and debuting 16 of the 19 newcomers.

“Today was a benchmark for us,” Atkinson said. “We will go back and shore up the areas that we need to work on. This game showed us a great deal more that we need to accomplish but that’s understandable being six days into preseason with so many new faces.”

The game came just six days following the start of preseason practice and will be the first of two exhibition games for the Lancers. The second of those games will come Saturday, Aug. 18, as Longwood travels to Wright State for a 4 p.m. kickoff.

Following Saturday’s scrimmage, Longwood will have six days to prepare for its 2018 season opener at VMI on Friday, Aug. 24 at 4 p.m.

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