BRYN ATHYN, Pa. – The Bryn Athyn College men's soccer team announced its schedule for the 2017 season Monday. The Lions will play six non-conference matches and 10 matches against the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC). The schedule has an even split of eight home matches, which will be played on General Ronald K. Nelson Field, and eight road matches.
"Last year was a tough year for our men's program. We competed in every game but our chemistry and overall approach mentally lacked, which prohibited us from winning close games. We have our core group returning for our 2017 season and they have spent a lot of time together in the off season working on building a better overall atmosphere for our program.
Bryn Athyn opens the season with five consecutive non-conference matches, starting on Sept. 1 against visiting Cairn. The Lions hit the road for back-to-back games in a three-day span versus Valley Forge on Sept. 7 and Clarks Summit on Sept. 9. The showdown with Clarks Summit will be the first since 2013.
After a week off, Bryn Athyn welcomes Penn State Brandywine, the 2016 Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference champion, to campus for a home match on Sept. 16. The early straight of non-conference play comes to an end on Sept. 20 against visiting Immaculata.
The Lions will play one final non-conference match to close out the 2017 regular season at Gwynedd Mercy on Oct. 28.
NEAC play starts up with the Lions on the road in four of the first five matches, including the conference opener on Sept. 23 at Gallaudet. Bryn Athyn will also make trips to Penn State Abington on Sept. 27, Cazenovia on Oct. 7 and Morrisville State to face the defending NEAC champion on Oct. 8.
The lone home game during that early stretch is on Sept. 30 against Wilson.
Bryn Athyn has a home-heavy back end of the conference schedule, playing four straight NEAC matches on Nelson Field. The home stand gets underway on Oct. 14 against Lancaster Bible. The Lions have a mid-week date with College of St. Elizabeth on Oct. 18. SUNY Cobleskill and SUNY Poly close out play at Nelson Field for 2017 on the weekend of Oct. 21-22.
Bryn Athyn returns 10 players from the 2016 squad that posted a 4-13-1 overall record, 3-9-1 against the NEAC. Leading the list of returnees are midfielder Matheus Souza and forward David Camara. Souza was an All-NEAC third team selection after recorded five goals and five assists. Camara finished the season 11th in the conference with 10 goals and 12th with 23 points, both team highs.
"We have a great group of players coming in for 2017, who understand the importance of hard work and being a good teammate," stated O'Neill. "I am hoping our veterans and leaders will bring this group together to make a strong run in the NEAC for 2017."