Spiders To Drop Men’s Soccer.
The University of Richmond has announced that men’s soccer and men’s track and field, will be dropped after the 2012 season in order to add men’s lacrosse to the Spiders’ athletic program.
UR becomes the latest in a long list of schools that have dropped men’s soccer over the past two decades.
When Title IX claims a sport at a particular college, usually it’s because a women’s program is being added. In Richmond’s case, it’s to add a new men’s sport.
The Spiders have had only one winning season since 2003, and that apparently was the deciding factor in dropping soccer rather than baseball, which was the other program under consideration.
Richmond hosted the NCAA Division I men’s soccer tournament for four straight years from 1995-98, drawing huge crowds of approximately 20,000.
Former coach Clint Peay, who played at Virginia and for D.C. United, left this summer to join U.S. Soccer. Spiders alum Leigh Cowlishaw, who also coaches the minor league Richmond Kickers, stepped in as an interim replacement.
Lacrosse is on the rise and with just 61 Division I programs as of last spring — as opposed to hundreds in soccer — Richmond decided it has a better chance to make an impact.