POUGHKEEPSIE, New York – The Marist men’s soccer team will begin the 2015 regular season with a match at Saint Joseph’s at 5 p.m. August 28.
Head Coach Matt Viggiano will be at the helm of the Red Foxes for a ninth season and will look to improve on a 2014 season that graduated four seniors. Marist enters 2015 with momentum however, as it won its last two home scrimmages against Adelphi and UMass after falling at Delaware in its first preseason contest.
Home Sweet Home
Following its regular season opener against the Hawks Friday, Marist begins its longest home stand of the season when it hosts UNH at 5 p.m. Aug. 30. The non-conference schedule continues with contests against NJIT (Sept. 5), Columbia (Sept. 8) and Binghamton (Sept. 12), all of which will begin at 7 p.m. in Tenney Stadium. The Red Foxes finished 4-2-2 outside of the conference in 2014 with the help of a 1-0 shutout at Binghamton and a 3-2 double overtime win at Columbia.
After traveling to Stony Brook and Vermont for non-conference clashes, the Red Foxes open Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play with a 1 p.m. contest at Rider. Four of the next six games are at home for the Red Foxes, as Canisius comes to Poughkeepsie at 4 p.m. Sept. 30 followed by Saint Peter's at 2 p.m. Oct. 3. The schedule then alternates between away and home contests, as Marist plays at recent MAAC addition Quinnipiac on Oct. 7, host Fairfield on Oct. 10, goes up against Iona on Oct. 14 in New Rochelle and faces off against arch rival Siena on Oct. 21 in Tenney Stadium.
The Red Foxes have a chance to blank Manhattan and Niagara for the second straight year in games slated for Oct. 24 and Oct. 28, respectively. The regular season concludes at home against the defending MAAC champion Monmouth Hawks at 7 p.m. Oct. 31.
Going To Disney World
The 2015 MAAC Men’s Soccer Championships will be held from Nov. 5-9 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. While all 11 conference teams will compete at the Disney facility, the top five seeds will receive an opening round bye. Marist has competed in its last two MAAC Championships under Matt Viggiano in Orlando, reaching the quarterfinals of the tournament in 2007 and the semifinals in 2011 after defeating Niagara on penalty kicks.
2014 MAAC All-Rookie Team selections Erik Dahl and Kevin Kappock lead a young core of returners for the Red Foxes. Dahl racked up eight points on three goals and two assists and came up big in the clutch, converting on two of his three penalty kick attempts. Kappock led a stingy Marist defense that allowed just 1.33 goals per game all season.
Mark Rajovic will play in net after finishing third in the MAAC with 80 saves last season. His seven shutouts put him fifth all time among the program’s goalkeepers. After finishing second on the team in goals (three) and points (seven) in 2014, Brandon Curtis is looking to have another offensively productive season.
Comings and Goings
The Red Foxes added seven freshmen to the roster during the offseason. Four members of the program’s Class of 2019 can play multiple positions across the back line and at midfield.
“We have a solid class from top to bottom coming in this year,” Viggiano said. “They’ll all fit into our culture as both players and excellent students. There are a lot of impact players and guys who will help our team’s depth.”
One of the leading scorers for the top-ranked New York Red Bulls U.S. Development Academy Team in 2014, Cameron Harr will be coming to Poughkeepsie. Beau Hornberger, former captain of a national championship club team and as well as back-to-back New York State Championship squads will also suit up for the Red Foxes this year. Local product Patrick Burke, Bruce Jeter, Jack Monnes, and Alexandre Reis also join Marist along with Danish back/midfielder Simon Lund Jorgensen.
Three of last year’s four graduating seniors played in all 18 games for Marist with leading scorer Myles Ashong (four goals) anchoring the midfield alongside captain Matty Berman (two assists and eight shots). MJ Stellwag was a fixture at back with six points and nine shots. Dylan Lee also graduated after being a contributor on defense last season.
Keep An Eye On
In just 11 games, including five starts, during his sophomore year last season Mario Vukadinovic was still able to score a pair of goals and pick up two assists. He’ll be looking to play a prominent role in the midfield alongside some of his younger counterparts. Senior Connor Preece and junior Dylan MacVane were selected as the 2015 captains after starting every game they played in last year.