NEW ROCHELLE, NY – First year Head Coach James Hamilton is proud to announce the men’s soccer program’s schedule for the upcoming 2016 fall season. After falling in the semifinals of last year’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship to the eventual champions Monmouth, the Gaels are excited to bring back an incredibly deep roster that promises lots of possibility.
It’s not an easy start to the season for the Maroon & Gold; on Friday, Aug. 29, Iona will take on American Athletic Conference member Uconn in its season opener. Last year the Huskies went 10-6-6, finishing 3-3-2 in AAC play, placing them third in the standings. The Maroon & Gold played a competitive contest against Connecticut back in 2014 when the two squads tied 1-1.
Iona will play its home-opener against Sacred Heart University on Tuesday, August 30. The 2015 season was a struggle for the Pioneers seeing how they finished 2-12-1 overall, and won only one conference game in the NEC. The Gaels last took on Sacred Heart in 2010 and came away with a 2-1 victory; that season the Pioneers were successful, finishing at 11-6-2.
Drexel makes it way to New Rochelle, NY on Saturday, September 3. The Gaels came away with a slim 1-0 win over the Dragons last season due to Rising junior Brendan Reardon scoring the game-winner off an assist from rising senior Marcos Nunez.
A three-game road trip takes the Maroon & Gold to visit Delaware, Fairleigh Dickinson, and Stony Brook. The Blue Hens host the Gaels on Wednesday, Sept. 7, while FDU takes their turn on Saturday, Feb. 10. Iona will close it up by travelling to Long Island and kicking off against the Seawolves on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Delaware came in third place in the Colonial Athletic Association, finishing the league season with a 5-2-1 mark. The Knights finished the 2015 campaign with a 2-12-3 record, going winless in NEC play while winning one game at home in Teaneck, NJ. Stony Brook hovered around .500 last year, going 7-8-3, 3-3-1 in the America East; one of SBU’s wins came against the Gaels, a 3-1 decision on Sept. 9.
The extended road trip is followed up by a long four-game home stand which features another America East opponent to go along with an Ivy league non-conference fight. Iona takes on Hartford at Mazzella Field on Saturday, Sept. 17, and that’s followed up by a draw against the Crimson Red of Harvard on Saturday, Sept. 24.
MAAC play begins for Iona on Thursday, Sept. 27 when the Saint Peter’s Peacocks come through the heart of Gael nation. Iona’s first road conference tilt will be on Wednesday, Oct. 5 when the Marist Red Foxes play host.
Coach Hamilton will host the defending conference champions Monmouth at Mazzella Field on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Senior day will be on Saturday, Oct. 29 against the Siena Saints, and the regular season finale will be played at Manhattan on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
The Gaels will look to get through this schedule and improve upon their 10-7-3, 5-3-2 MAAC record from last year.