Links: 2019 Season Schedule
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Beginning to write a new chapter for the storied program, the Merrimack College men’s soccer team under the direction of 38th-year head coach Tony Martone announced its 2019 schedule on Wednesday, the first for the Warriors as a Division I program and members of the Northeast Conference (NEC).
The program ended its Division II history with a myriad of notable accolades including five NCAA Tournament bids over the last seven years, a 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Championship and a berth in the Round of 16 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Martone’s teams have won at least 13 games in each of the last seven seasons, as well, amassing an overall record of 102-32-10 (.770) during that span.
With a slate that sees Merrimack play contests up and down the East Coast including as far south as Georgia, the team’s geographic footprint will be as large as ever. In addition to its first full NEC slate, the team will play fixtures against seven other Division I conferences including two games against America East opponents and one foe each from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Sun Belt Conference, Patriot League, Atlantic-10 Conference, Ivy League and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Six of the team’s 17 games in 2019 will be played at Martone-Mejail Field.
The Warriors’ season begins with a four-game road swing. Merrimack’s first game as a Division I institution is set for Monday, September 2, when the Warriors visit Northeastern in Brookline, Mass. Merrimack will then travel down south to Statesboro, Ga. where the Warriors will play Georgia Southern on Friday, Sept. 6, for the first time ever. That contest is followed by a pair of road games against fellow New England schools when Merrimack faces Boston University (Sept. 10) and the University of Rhode Island (Sept. 13).
Merrimack’s home opener sees the Warriors reignite a local rivalry, and one that has history in the DII realm when Merrimack hosts UMass Lowell at Martone-Mejail Field on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. on campus. The two programs – separated by less than 20 miles – last played in 2012 as conference rivals in the NE10. After the Riverhawks, Merrimack heads back on the road to face another America East institution – the University of Vermont – on Saturday, Sept. 21, before another road tilt against Harvard on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
The month of September concludes with the Warriors’ first-ever NEC game, when Merrimack battles Sacred Heart University on Friday, Sept. 27, at 3 p.m. in Fairfield, Conn. The program then shifts its attention to arguably its most high-profile non-conference game when the Warriors travel to Newton to face Boston College on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The contest will the Eagles also marks the last non-league game of the year.
The remaining eight contests of Merrimack’s schedule are all in NEC play. Robert Morris comes to campus for the first time on Friday, Oct. 4, which will be a 7 p.m. contest at Martone-Mejail Field as part of Homecoming Weekend. The team will then be off until the following weekend, when Merrimack travels to New York to play defending league champion Long Island University (Oct. 11) and St. Francis Brooklyn (Oct. 13).
A home-heavy stretch run, the Warriors conclude the season by hosting four of their final five matches. Merrimack will play its first home game of that stretch against Saint Francis University (Pa.) on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. followed by Mount Saint Mary’s one week later (Oct. 27) at the same time (3 p.m.). The lone road contest of the final five comes on Friday, Nov. 1, when Merrimack visits Central Connecticut State (6 p.m.). The remaining two contests of the year will be played at Martone-Mejail Field when the Warriors host Fairleigh Dickinson (Nov. 3) and Bryant (Nov. 10). Both tilts will kick off at 3 p.m.
Merrimack finished the 2018 season with a 13-6 overall record, reaching the conference championship game. Martone will begin 2019 needing eight wins to reach 400 career victories in his esteemed career.