LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena Soccer Head Coach Cesar Markovic has announced the Saints’ 2017 schedule. Siena will play an 18-match regular season docket, highlighted by eight home dates at Siena Turf Field.
Siena should be well prepared to kick off its 44th varsity season following preseason matches against 2016 NCAA Tournament participants Vermont and UAlbany. The Saints travel to Burlington Aug. 17 before returning to Loudonville to conclude preseason play vs. their crosstown rivals Sunday, Aug. 19 at 1 p.m.
Siena officially opens its 2017 slate with just the program’s second-ever trip west of the Mississippi when the Saints travel to the Golden State to face perennial powers Cal St. Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. Siena previously played a pair of matches in Oregon under Markovic during the 2014 season.
The Saints’ season opener is set for Friday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET) against the Matadors. The defending Big West South Division Regular Season and Tournament Champions, Cal St. Northridge has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of the previous five seasons.
Siena concludes its California swing two days later against UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET) at famed Harder Stadium, which is set to host both the 2018 and 2020 NCAA Men’s Soccer College Cups after previously hosting in 2010. The Gauchos, which captured the Big West’s North Division Championship last season, have made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances over the past 16 seasons and won the 2006 National Championship.
“Our California trip is something we have been looking forward to for a long time,” said Markovic, who begins his fifth season at the helm. “We are playing two fantastic teams, and getting to cap the trip by playing in the most exciting environment in all of college soccer (Harder Stadium) will be a great experience for all involved.”
Siena returns to the Capital Region to open September and the first of two season long, three-match homestands. The Saints’ 2017 home opener is set for Sunday, Sept. 3 at 1 p.m. vs. George Mason at Siena Turf Field. Siena will also play host to Patriot League foes Holy Cross (Sept. 6) and Army West Point (Sept. 13) to round out the homestand.
“I’m really looking forward to our non-conference schedule,” added Markovic. “Those eight matches should prepare us well for the rigorous MAAC schedule ahead.”
The Saints then head back on the road for a season long, four-match road trip to conclude the non-conference portion of their schedule and open MAAC competition. Siena will travel to Sacred Heart (Sept. 16), perennial Sun Belt contender Hartwick (Sept. 19), and LIU Brooklyn (Sept. 22) prior to closing out the road trip by kicking off the program’s 29th season in the MAAC on Sept. 27 at Canisius. The Saints will also face Fairfield (Oct. 7), Monmouth (Oct. 14), Saint Peter’s (Oct. 28) and Marist (Nov. 1) on the road in conference action this fall.
Siena’s conference home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30 vs. Iona at 1 p.m., and the Saints will also host Niagara at Siena Turf Field (Oct. 11), before concluding the home slate with their second, three-match homestand vs. two-time defending MAAC Champion Rider (Oct. 18), Manhattan (Oct. 21), and Quinnipiac (Oct. 25).
The top-six regular season finishers will qualify for the MAAC Championships Nov. 5-12. The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds will host the No. 6 and No. 5 seeds, respectively, in quarterfinal matches Nov. 5, with the regular season champion having the distinction of hosting both the MAAC Semifinals and Championship matches on Nov. 9 and Nov. 12.
Siena is looking to build off a solid 2016 campaign in which the Saints posted an 8-8-5 overall record and finished third in the MAAC with a 6-3-1 league mark. The Saints concluded the season by going unbeaten in 10 of their final 13 matches, advancing to the MAAC Semifinals for the second straight season.