NEW ROCHELLE, NY – First year Iona College women’s soccer Head Coach Sarah Brady has announced the program’s 2016 schedule. After finishing the 2015 season with a 3-16-0, 2-8 MAAC record, the Gaels bring an exciting youthful roster into the upcoming season. Coach Brady is excited for the opportunities that’ll arise in the upcoming swing season.
"The team and I are very excited about our 2016 schedule. This is what it is all about for players, getting back on the pitch and representing your school in competitive games. This coming season is an important one for us as we intend to show the community that the women’s soccer program is ready to come back and ‘fight the good fight’.”
The first two games of the season will be on the road against Holy Cross and Bryant on Friday, Aug. 19 and Saturday, Aug. 21. The Crusaders finished 5-8-4 last season, and placed sixth in the Patriot League with a 2-4-3 conference record. The Bulldogs ended last season with a 5-11-3 overall record, but placed third in the NEC with a 4-2-2 NEC mark.
The Gaels last played Holy Cross in 2005 in Worcester, MA, and the Crusaders came out victorious with a slight 1-0 win. The Bulldogs came to Mazzella Field in 2014 and came away with a 2-1 win over thr the Maroon & Gold.
The first home game of the 2016 season will be against the Columbia Lions on Friday, Aug. 26. The Ivy League competitor struggled on the road last season, going just 2-6 away from their home field. The Gaels travelled to New York, NY last year and had a somber bus ride home after a 0-1 loss.
It’s back-to-back Ivy League opponents for the Maroon & Gold when they travel to Dartmouth in Hanover, NH on Sunday, Aug. 28. The Big Green placed seventh in the Ivy last season, going 1-3-3 in conference. Dartmouth performed well out of conference however, ending the season with a .625 winning percentage.
Before Iona takes on Yale, their final Ivy League opponent, on Sunday, Sept. 4, NJIT will make the trip to New Rochelle for an afternoon showdown on Friday, Sept. 2. The Highlanders took home a decisive 4-1 victory over Iona in the early portion of last season.
The Bulldogs placed behind the aforementioned Big Green, registered just one win in conference. They ended the 2015 season with a 4-10-2 record.
On Thursday, Sept. 8 is the Gaels’ final road nonconference matchup. The Fordham Rams will be hosting Iona in the Bronx, NY. The 6-3-1 Atlantic 10 record put the Rams in fifth place within the conference. The Gaels hosted Fordham back in 2014, and it resulted in a 0-1 loss.
Before Coach Brady begins her first MAAC season as a Head Coach, she will lead her athletes against the Bucknell Bison on Sunday, Sept. 11. It was a successful season for Bucknell in 2015; they finished second in the Patriot League with a 6-1-2 record, and an impressive 11-6-3 overall mark.
Iona’s first MAAC game will be on the road against the defending conference champions Siena Saints on Saturday, Sept. 17.
The first conference home game will be somewhat personal for Coach Brady as the Manhattan Jaspers come to Mazzella. Brady was an assistant coach at Manhattan for two seasons, including 2015 when they reached the conference championship game.
The contest against the Jaspers is the opening of a three game home stand. The Maroon & Gold will be wearing their home whites against Fairfield on Saturday, Oct. 1, and Marist on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
The MAAC finale will be on the road at Monmouth, at which point the Gaels hope to be preparing for the conference championship which is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Iona will have ten games broadcasted on ESPN3 this season, including every home game. The final two road contests of the season at Canisius and versus the Hawks will also be viewable on the ESPN platforms.