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Niagara men’s soccer releases 2018 Schedule

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

soccer schedule
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Niagara University men's soccer head coach Bill Boyle announced the team's schedule for the 2018 campaign. 
 
The 18-game regular season schedule will be preceded by two exhibition games, with a home date against Mercyhurst opening the slate on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 5 p.m. The second exhibition will be played in Binghamton on Aug. 19 against the Bearcats. Niagara hosts Siena in the regular season home opener on Sept. 26. The Purple Eagles will also square off against Monmouth, Canisius, Manhattan and Iona at newly-renovated Niagara Field during the course of the season.
 
"This year we focused on creating a challenging schedule that will prepare us for our MAAC opponents," stated head coach Bill Boyle. "At the same time, we are trying to add regional home and home agreements to balance the schedule every year. We will go to Northeastern, Yale, Hartford, Cornell and Binghamton which will all be very good teams, but they will also return to us in following years. We were also invited to play at perennial powerhouse UConn on opening weekend, which will test our squad after a tough game with Northeastern. Overall, this year's schedule should really test us, and prepare our players for the grind of the MAAC, where every game is a battle."
 
Niagara's regular season begins in Boston as the team travels to take on the Northeastern Huskies on August 24 at 1 p.m. Two days later, the Purple Eagles will square off against the UConn Huskies in Storrs, Conn. Labor Day weekend will feature games at Yale (Aug. 31) and Hartford (Sept. 3), while meetings with the Liberty Flames (Sept. 7) and VMI Keydets (Sept. 9) will follow.
 
To wrap up non-conference play, the Purple Eagles renew their rivalry with St. Bonaventure on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. before traveling to Ithaca to play the Cornell Big Red on Sept. 21.
 
Niagara will open MAAC play at Niagara Field on Wednesday, Sept. 26, kicking off at 4 p.m. against Siena. Last season, the Saints and Purple Eagles played to a scoreless, double-overtime draw in Loudonville, N.Y.
 
Following its home debut, Niagara hits the road again for a pair of challenging conference outings, first against the defending MAAC champion Fairfield Stags on Sept. 29, then against the 2017 runners-up Rider Broncs on Oct. 3.
 
Niagara will host two straight matches for the only time during the regular season when the Monmouth Hawks visit Western New York on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, Oct. 10, the Battle of the Bridge gets its 2018 update, when the Canisius Golden Griffins head north for a 7 p.m. tilt.
 
After a road trip to Jersey City, N.J. to play Saint Peter's on Oct. 13, the Purple Eagles will have a full week of rest before returning home on Oct. 20 to face the Manhattan Jaspers at 6 p.m.
 
A midweek clash on Oct. 24 in Hamden, Conn. will see Niagara go up against the Quinnipiac Bobcats before the squad closes out the home portion of its regular season slate against Iona on Oct. 27. Marist will host the Purple Eagles on Oct. 31 in their regular season finale.
 
"There will be no easy opponents in the MAAC in 2018 as everyone is improving and returning a ton of talent," Boyle added. "It will be a great year, and we will look to grow more as a program and compete to make it to the postseason."
 
The 2018 MAAC Men's Soccer Championships begin on Sunday, Nov. 4 with first-round games hosted by the third and fourth seeds. The MAAC semifinals, hosted by the No. 1 seed, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8 followed by the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 11.
 
Boyle enters his third season as the head coach of Niagara men's soccer in 2018. David Hesch returns for his second season on the Purple Eagles' staff as an assistant coach, while Michael Tanke prepares for his first year as an assistant at Niagara. Jeremy Figler will also return as the team's volunteer coach for the upcoming season. 19 of Niagara's 33 players from 2017 will be back in 2018, with incoming players expected to be announced in the coming weeks.