LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena Women’s Soccer Head Coach Steve Karbowski has revealed his team’s 2017 schedule. The Saints will play an 18-match regular season slate, highlighted by seven dates at Siena Field.
“We’re excited for the fall season, and are looking forward to a competitive schedule,” said Karbowski, who begins his 19th season leading the program. “The team had a great spring season, and headed home for the summer in great spirits. With 2017 being a Disney year (site of the MAAC Championships), there is even more anticipation and challenges ahead.”
Siena will be tested this season with 11 regular season matches away from home. The Saints are scheduled to play four of their first five matches outside the friendly confines of Siena Field, and six of the team’s eight non-conference contests will take place on the road. Siena’s 10 true road dates tie for program’s most on the regular season docket since playing 11 during the MAAC Championship year of 2010.
Siena kicks off its 38th varsity campaign with the program’s earliest-ever regular season opener, when the Saints battle Big East foe Seton Hall on Friday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. in South Orange, New Jersey. The team’s 2017 home opener is scheduled for two days later, when Siena hosts Lafayette at Siena Field on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m.
The Saints are then set to embark upon a season long, three-match road trip highlighted by the program’s first-ever appearance in the Peach State. Siena will face both Tournament host Mercer (Aug. 25) and Georgia Southern (Aug. 27) as part of the Mercer Invitational in Macon, Georgia. The trip will serve as a homecoming for freshman Rachel Sullivan, who hails from nearby Leesburg. The Bears and Eagles are amongst three first-time opponents for the Saints in 2017, along with the Pirates.
“This will be a great early season test for us,” noted Karbowski. “We are really looking forward to flying out of the region, and (the Mercer Invitational) will be a nice preparation for when we return south for the MAAC Championships.”
Siena concludes the extended road swing back in the Capital Region when they face crosstown rival and defending America East Champion UAlbany on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. at Casey Stadium. The programs will be meeting for the third time in four seasons, following a five-year gap in the series.
The Saints finally return to Siena Field for their second and final non-conference home match vs. Vermont on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. Siena is an impressive 59-18-10 (.736) overall including a remarkable 31-6-2 (.821) in non-conference action over the past 10 seasons at Siena Field. The Saints conclude the non-conference portion of their schedule on the road at LIU Brooklyn (Sept. 8) and Hartford (Sept. 10).
Siena opens its 26th season of MAAC completion on Saturday, Sept. 16 vs. Fairfield at Siena Field. The Saints finished second in the MAAC last season with a 7-3 league mark, which matched both the program’s best-ever conference record and number of victories. Siena is also set to host Canisius (Sept. 27), Marist (Oct. 4), Saint Peter’s (Oct. 7) and defending MAAC Champion Monmouth (Oct. 14 – Senior Day) in home conference action.
The Saints will play Quinnipiac (Sept. 20), Manhattan (Sept. 23), Iona (Sept. 30), Niagara (Oct. 11) and Rider (Oct. 18) on the road in league play this fall.
“The conference matches are always close and competitive, and we expect nothing different this season,” added Karbowski. “With every team heading to Disney at the end of October, the seeding achieved during the regular season will be important. With eight seniors, a talented group of younger players who are all a year more experienced, and a freshman class ready to make an impact, 2017 figures to be an exciting and successful season.”
The 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Women’s Soccer Championships will be contested at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. All 11 teams automatically qualify for this year’s Tournament which will be held Oct. 28 – Nov. 1. Under a newly adopted format this season, First Round action will commence on Saturday, with the quarterfinals set for Sunday, the semifinals Tuesday, and the championship match Wednesday.
Siena returns nine starters, 90% of their goal scoring, and their entire goalkeeping corps from last year’s squad which posted a 9-7-3 overall record and finished second in the MAAC with a 7-3 league mark.