WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's soccer team and second-year head coach Paul Wright have announced the schedule for the upcoming 2019 season. Highlighting the Blue Jays' 17-game regular-season slate are nine home matches which are set to be played on USJ's brand new turf soccer/lacrosse field on the campus of USJ.
The Blue Jays will not have to wait long to debut their new turf soccer/lacrosse field as they kick off the 2019 season at home on Friday, August 30th versus MCLA at 5:30 p.m. The match will be played as part of a season-opening and home-opening doubleheader with the USJ women's soccer team who host Manhattanville earlier in the day at 3:00 p.m.
Following the home opener, USJ will go on a four-game road swing with non-conference trips to Medgar Evers (Sept. 7) and Fisher (Sept. 11), before opening up Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play on Saturday, September 14 at Rivier. The Blue Jays conclude the road trip with a non-conference stop at Becker (Sept. 18).
The Blue Jays will then return home for a six-game homestand that spans two and a half weeks from the end of September to the beginning of October. Both non-conference opponents during the stretch hail from the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) in Eastern Nazarene (Sept. 25) and Mitchell (Oct. 2). The other four matches will be GNAC contests as USJ hosts Lasell (Sept. 21), Colby-Sawyer (Sept. 28), Norwich (Oct. 5) and Anna Maria (Oct. 9).
The final six matches of the 2019 men's soccer schedule are all GNAC matches with four of the six on the road. USJ will get a tough two-game road test visiting three-time defending GNAC champion Saint Joseph's (Me.) on October 12 before traveling to GNAC runner-up Johnson & Wales on October 16.
USJ returns home for a match with Suffolk (Oct. 19) before heading towards Boston twice with matches against Regis (Oct. 23) and Emmanuel (Oct. 26). The Blue Jays conclude the regular-season at home against GNAC and intrastate foe Albertus Magnus on Wenesday, October 30 at 3:00 p.m. USJ will look to avenge a 3-1 setback to the Falcons from last season in New Haven.
The top-eight teams in the league standings will advance to the 2019 GNAC Tournament, which is set to begin with the quarterfinal round on Saturday, November 2, with the top-four seeds serving as hosts. The semifinals will be held on Wednesday, November 6 by the remaining two highest seeds, followed by the championship match on Saturday, November 9 by the highest remaining seed.
The Blue Jays finished sixth in the regular-season standings at the conclusion of their inaugural 2018 campaign and earned a berth to the postseason tournament before falling to third-seeded Norwich, 2-1, in the quarterfinals.
Admission to all USJ men's regular-season soccer games in 2019 are free of charge.