MANCHESTER, N.H. – First-year head coach Joel Bancroft and the Saint Anselm College women's soccer program have announced the Hawks' 16-game schedule for the upcoming 2017 season.
This fall, Saint Anselm will play nine games at Melucci Field and seven road games. In addition to the 14-game Northeast-10 Conference slate, the Hawks will host Caldwell and Nyack of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) in their first two games of the season. Four teams on Saint Anselm's schedule made the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
"We all feel great about the composition of our 2017 schedule and there are challenges at every turn," Bancroft said. "The NE10 is one of the best, if not the best, league in the country, a league that routinely gets at-large bids into the NCAA Tournament. Our preseason and out-of-conference schedule is designed with this in mind. The goal is always to create the best environment possible for maximum team growth and we feel that playing the best programs within our region and beyond will accelerate this process."
The Hawks kick off their season by hosting Caldwell at noon on Sunday, Sept. 3. The meeting with the Cougars, who fell to LIU Post in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season, is just the second head-to-head matchup between the two programs, with Saint Anselm winning the first 1-0 in 2007. Two days later, the Hawks welcome Nyack to Melucci Field, marking the second-straight season the two programs will square off.
Saint Anselm begins NE10 Conference play with four-straight games against teams that made the NE10 Championship in 2016, as the Hawks open with trips to Pace and Southern New Hampshire before Adelphi and Southern Connecticut State come to town. The Saturday, Sept. 16 matchup with Adelphi will pit the Hawks against last season's NE10 regular season champions and a Panthers squad that went on to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
After finishing September with a visit to Franklin Pierce and a home game against Bentley, the Hawks start October by traveling to Assumption and home games against Le Moyne and Saint Michael's. In mid-October, Saint Anselm faces a run of three consecutive games against NE10 Championship teams, as the Hawks head to Saint Rose and Stonehill prior to hosting American International. Last season, Saint Anselm handed No. 4 Stonehill its first loss of the season, 2-0, at Melucci Field before the Skyhawks went on to win the NE10 Championship and qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
The Hawks conclude their regular-season schedule by traveling to New Haven on Wednesday, Oct. 25 and hosting Merrimack on Saturday, Oct. 28. Saint Anselm graduated eight seniors from last season's roster of 25 but returns six players who started at least eight games last season.