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Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Preview: VMI

The NCAA D1 season is now well underway, and it’s only February. Instead of previewing these last few teams, we’ll talk about their 2014 seasons so far, assuming they’ve played games… We narrow down the alphabetical list with the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Keydets, located in Lexington, VA.

What’s a Keydet, you might ask? VMI isn’t even sure. It’s most likely a military term, but the etymology is up in air according to VMI. The Keydets does have a functional mascot though, and it’s a Kangaroo. Why? Because it’s weird. Seriously, that’s pretty much the reason why. Man, I love VMI’s mascot situation. Seriously, it is truly amazing.

VMI is 0-2 right now, and both losses have come at the hands of military academies. Navy was up first and the Midshipmen won 18-5. Army was up next and the Black Knights won 15-6. 6 or 7 of the other teams VMI faces in 2014 will provide as stiff a test as the USMA and USNA, or stiffer. There are also 3 or 4 very winnable games on the Keydet schedule.

VMI has also been doing a great job of showcasing their squad with video work. If you’re not winning games, at least show people how hard you’re working. It’s a step, and can help bring in the right kind of recruits. Keep it up, Keydet nation!

I don’t think VMI is going to win a lot of lacrosse games this year. D1 lacrosse has improved rapidly over the last number of years and it’s hard to keep pace, especially for smaller programs. If VMI wants to start winning the school will need to support the team in a serious way, and even then it could take a number of years.

Definitely check out the Lee-Jackson Classic highlights, which pits crosstown rivals VMI and Washington & Lee (NCAA D3) in an annual lacrosse game. It used to be a Spring game, but the inter-divison stuff got in the way. The game is now played in the Fall and it might be the most meaningful game played during that season, even if counts for nothing more than pride.

Mickey Hoffmeister, Mike DeBlasio, Ben Huger, Dale Mattice, and Andrew Erber should lead the O and take most of the team’s shots. The attack is deep with some good younger guys and freshman Mitch Wilson should lead the way on face off duty. First years make up a huge chunk of VMI’s midfield group.

Evan Windisch is the starting keeper for VMI, with Mike Hutwelker backing him up. Tom Brown, Tyler Prasnicki (LSM), and Rory Dillon are the defensive starters. Overall, VMI is a bit thin when it comes to long sticks.

This VMI team is very young, and while they have some talent, 2014 could be a rough year of losses. We’ll be following the Keydets via video no matter what happens because the program intrigues us. Plus they do good work!

For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse team coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air_ForceAlbanyArmyBellarmineBinghamtonBostonBrownBryantBucknellCanisius,
GeorgetownHartfordHarvardHigh PointHobartHofstraHoly CrossJacksonvilleJohns_HopkinsLafayetteLehighLoyolaManhattanMaristMarquette,
Robert_MorrisRutgersSacred_HeartSaint_Joseph’sSienaSt. John’sStony_BrookSyracuseTowsonUMBCVermontVillanova, and Virginia.