July 22, 2014
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Second year Siena Soccer Head Coach Cesar Markovic had released his program's 2014 schedule. The Saints will play a program record tying 19 regular season matches which includes eight home dates and a pair of tournaments.
"I put together a tremendously challenging schedule with the intent of exposing our young team to a very high level of opposition," Markovic said. "This schedule will challenge our talented group, bring out our best qualities and truly teach us about where we are and the kind of work we need to put forth to compete at the high level we will pursue."
Siena's 19 regular season contests tie for the most in program history along with the 1986 and 2009 slates. The Saints will play 11 true road matches, which also ties for the most in program history (1989).
Three of the Saints' first four matches will be contested at Siena Turf Field, kicking off with the season opener against LaSalle on Sun., Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. Siena will also host Boston University (Sept. 3) in non-conference action before taking to the road for the first time to face Brown Sept. 5.
"They (Brown) are perennial Ivy League contenders and NCAA College Cup participants," noted Markovic. "I always enjoy the challenge of facing this type of power in that kind of special environment. These are the types of challenges that I want my team to embrace and be accustomed to."
Siena returns home to host Sacred Heart Sept. 9 before participating in consecutive tournaments. The first will take the Saints over 3,000 miles for the Henson/Zaher Nike Classic in Oregon. The Saints open with Pac-12 foe Oregon State in Corvallis Sept. 12 before taking on perennial power Portland Sept. 14 at Ronaldo Field at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton.
"These games put us up against two teams from a pair of tremendous soccer conferences," added Markovic. "This trip will challenge us in a variety of ways from travel to playing styles. We, as a program, are extremely excited about exploring the Pacific Northwest, a part of the country virtually nobody on the team has ever visited."
The Saints then return east the following weekend for the CU Inaria Classic with road contests at Cornell (Sept. 19) and Colgate (Sept. 21). Siena's nine-match non-conference slate concludes with a trip to Philadelphia to face Saint Joseph's on Sept. 24.
For the second straight season, Siena will play a 10-match MAAC schedule under the new 11-team conference structure. The Saints will play both five home and five road conference matches.
"The MAAC is quickly becoming a strong soccer conference with the emergence of several programs and the addition of two top ones (Monmouth and Quinnipiac)," commented Markovic. "The games are all incredibly competitive with a very small margin for error. We have put together a difficult non-conference schedule that we hope will prepare us well for the serious challenge that is the MAAC. Our players and coaches understand the kind of serious work that we will have to put forth in order to reach our ultimate goal in this league."
Siena kicks off its 26th season of MAAC competition on Sept. 30 at perennial conference contender Iona. Additional road MAAC matches include contests at Niagara (Oct. 8), Manhattan (Oct. 11), Rider (Oct. 25) and defending conference tournament champion Quinnipiac (Oct. 29).
The Saints host Saint Peter's for their conference home opener Sat., Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. Siena will also play host to Canisius (Oct. 15) and Fairfield (Oct. 22) before concluding regular season action with a pair of home matches against defending MAAC Regular Season Co-Champion Monmouth for Senior Day (Nov. 1) and vs. Marist (Nov. 5).
Under a new format, the top-six teams in the MAAC will qualify for the conference championships this fall. The top two seeds will earn byes to the semifinal round with the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds hosting quarterfinals contests against the sixth and fifth ranked finishers respectively on Nov. 8. The MAAC Regular Season Champions will then have the privilege of hosting the MAAC Semifinals (Nov. 14) and Championship (Nov. 16) matches.
Siena welcomes 13 newcomers to the program this fall and returns six starters and 17 letterwinners from last year's team which posted a 7-10-1 overall record and finished tied for sixth in the MAAC with a 3-6-1 league mark.