The Berkeley College New York men's soccer team released its 2017 schedule on Friday afternoon. The slate – which consists of nine Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contests – and seven challenging non-conference matches – will certainly put Head Coach Stavros Zomopoulos' team to the test.
The Knights open the season on Saturday, September 2, with a road match against Fisher College. That contest will serve as a rematch of the 2016 opener in which Berkeley College suffered a tough 5-4 overtime loss to the Falcons at Hormel Stadium in Medford, MA. Four days later – on September 6 – the Knights will open up its HVIAC portion of the campaign with a match against Webb Institute. It will be the second consecutive season in which Berkeley has opened up its regional conference portion of the schedule against the Webbies.
From September 11 through September 16, the Knights will play three very difficult road contests, as Berkeley will battle Keystone College (September 11), SUNY-Maritime (September 13), and Moravian (September 16), before playing its home-opener against HVIAC foe Davis College on September 20. The Knights' final two non-conference matches until November will feature contests against SUNY-Canton and SUNY Delhi on September 23 and September 24, respectively.
Berkeley will then close out September with a conference match against The King's College on September 27, before traveling to Hyde Park, NY on September 30 for a tussle with Culinary Institute of America. The Knights currently have a three-game winning streak against the Steels dating back to 2014. Berkeley defeated CIA in penalty kicks in the 2014 HVIAC semifinals, while also outscoring the Steels a combined 11-1 in victories during the 2015 and 2016 campaigns.
The Knights open October with home match against the College of New Rochelle (October 2). Berkeley College will have redemption on its mind that evening, as it was the Blue Angels who eliminated the Knights from the conference tournament a season ago with a convincing 6-0 win in the semifinal round. Five days later on October 7, Berkeley will take on Pratt Institute for the first time in program history. The Knights' final three regular season October matches include road battles against conference rivals Vaughn (October 11), Albany College of Pharmacy (October 14), and SUNY-ESF (October 22).
Should Berkeley College qualify for the 2017 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, the semifinals will be played on Saturday, October 28, followed by a potential championship match a day later on Sunday, October 29. Albany College of Pharmacy will serve as the tournament host for the third consecutive season.
November 5, 2017 could very well serve as the Knights' final match of the season, as Berkeley College is set for a road contest at Yeshiva University. Head Coach Stavros Zomopoulos hopes that the game against the Maccabees will instead help his team stay fresh as it awaits participation in the 2017 United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Men's Soccer Tournament. Berkeley College's last trip to Nationals came two years ago in 2015, when the Knights defeated scholarship school Concordia College-Alabama to advance to the semifinal. Zomopoulos believes with a new season, brings new opportunities.
"Last year was certainly very challenging for us, as we had a primarily young team, and there was a tremendous amount of pressure on a lot of our younger student-athletes to perform well. I feel as though as the season progressed, we continued to improve. We won three matches in October and played to a tie against Albany College on the road, so I feel as though we showed a lot of character and portrayed a team with plenty of heart. This year, we're looking to bounce back, and we're hoping to push for a HVIAC title – the fourth in our history. If we're able to do that, we will be at Nationals. I am very confident in this team, and we're all ready to start the season."
Those interested in viewing the full 2017 schedule can do so by clicking here