MANCHESTER, N.H. – Head coach Brunal Victal and the Saint Anselm College men's soccer program have announced the team's schedule for the upcoming 2017 season, which will see the Hawks play eight of their 15 games at Melucci Field.
In the fall, Saint Anselm will host St. Thomas Aquinas and Saint Michael's in non-conference play, before beginning its 13-game Northeast-10 Conference slate. The Hawks' schedule is highlighted by four NE10 games against teams that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
"We are excited about our 2017 schedule," said Victal. "After our two non-conference games, we open Northeast-10 Conference play against a traditionally very strong Southern New Hampshire team and then play three tough games to end September. The NE10 is one of the top Division II conferences in the entire country, so there are no easy games."
The Hawks open their season with home games against the Spartans and Purple Knights on Saturday, Sept. 2 and Saturday, Sept. 9. Saint Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas will meet for the second-straight season and the sixth time all-time prior to the first of two meetings between the Hawks and Purple Knights in 2017.
Saint Anselm opens NE10 play by traveling across town to face Queen City Cup rival Southern New Hampshire on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The Hawks and Penmen played to a 0-0 tie at Melucci Field last year before SNHU went on to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. After that, Saint Anselm hosts Saint Rose in its NE10 home opener prior to a trip to Saint Michael's.
The Hawks close out September with three-straight games in the space of eight days against teams that qualified for the NE10 Championship last season. The run begins with home games against Adelphi on Saturday, Sept. 23 and Franklin Pierce on Tuesday, Sept. 26, both of which made the NCAA Tournament in 2016, before a road matchup with American International on Saturday, Sept. 30.
After a home game against New Haven to start October, Saint Anselm makes trips to NE10 Championship teams Merrimack and Le Moyne on Oct. 10 and 14. The Hawks close the season with consecutive home games against Stonehill and Assumption, prior to trips to Bentley and Southern Connecticut State. Saint Anselm posted wins against three (Assumption, Stonehill and Bentley) of its final four opponents last season.
Saint Anselm's 2017 roster features 13 returners, six freshmen and one transfer, as the Hawks look to build off a 4-11-1 season in 2016 in Victal's first season.