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Niagara men’s soccer opens season this weekend

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Krucko-Moeller
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- The Niagara men's soccer team (0-0-0, 0-0-0 MAAC) opens the 2018 season with a pair of games this weekend. The Purple Eagles head east to face two sets of Huskies; first at Northeastern on Friday, then at UConn on Sunday.

Niagara Notes
  • The Purple Eagles are coming off a 1-1-0 preseason. Aug. 15, the team defeated Mercyhurst at home, 2-0, on goals from Danilo Pekovic and Dylan Avila. On Aug. 19, the Bearcats squeaked out a 2-1 win in Binghamton.
  • Niagara went 2-14-2 last season, with a 1-8-1 mark against MAAC teams.
  • There are several new faces on the team this season. Michael Tanke was brought onto Bill Boyle's coaching staff as an assistant in April. Dylan AvilaLuigi Boa MorteDrew HoltMatt Mielnicki and Lucas Vecchio are the five newcomers to the team roster.
 
Across The Pitch: Northeastern Huskies (0-0-0, 0-0-0 CAA)
  • Northeastern played a pair of exhibition games, taking on Quinnipiac on Aug. 12 and UMass on Aug. 18. The Huskies won both contests via clean sheet; 1-0 over the Bobcats and 2-0 over the Minutemen.
  • Last season, Northeastern went 3-12-3 with a 1-6-1 record against CAA opponents.
  • During the 2017 season, the Huskies played three ranked teams. They were defeated by No. 17 SMU, 6-0, beat No. 12 UMass-Lowell in double overtime, 2-1, and narrowly lost to top-ranked Stanford, 1-0.
  • The Huskies lead the all-time series against Niagara, with a 3-0-0 record since the first meeting in 1994.
 
Across The Pitch: UConn Huskies (0-0-0, 0-0-0 AAC)

  • UConn faced Colgate and Syracuse in exhibition contests earlier this month. The Huskies topped the Raiders, 5-2, on Aug. 13 before playing to a scoreless draw against the Orange on Aug. 18.
  • The 2017 season saw UConn go 8-8-2 with a conference record of 4-3-0.
  • The Huskies squared off against two MAAC opponents last year, Iona and Quinnipiac, with both contests going into overtime. UConn squeaked by the Gaels, 1-0, in double overtime just three days before falling to the Bobcats, 1-0, in overtime.
  • Prior to the game against Niagara, UConn will host Lehigh University in their season opener Friday evening.
  • Sunday's matchup will be the second-ever contest between Niagara and UConn. The Huskies earned a 2-0 decision in the series opener on Oct. 1, 1997.