Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Firebirds Men’s Soccer 2014 Schedule Announced

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

Three top-20 pre-season nationally ranked teams, an intriguing season-opening matchup and an always challenging East Coast Conference lineup highlight the University of the District of Columbia Men's Soccer 2014 schedule, announced by fourth-year head coach Matt Thompson on Tuesday, August 12th.

The Firebirds, who earned an overall record of 7-6-3 last season, will open the season on Thursday, September 4th at Thompson's alma mater, Slippery Rock. Thompson was a Slippery Rock Soccer Ring of Honor inductee on October 18th, 2013. This is the first meeting between the two schools since 2009 when Thompson was head coach at "The Rock," and the first time Thompson coaches against his former school where he was the team's most valuable player in 1997 and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2005, 2008 and 2009.

Two more non-conference road contests follow as UDC will visit Wilmington on September 6th and California (PA) on September 10th. The Firebirds edged Cal, 2-1 in the nation's capital last season thanks to two first half goals. Their scheduled game vs. Wilmington last season was canceled as a result of the US government shutdown.

UDC will host its season home opener on Saturday, September 13th vs. Barton College of the Division II Conference Carolinas. The Bulldogs from Wilson, NC posted a 9-8-1 overall record last season, winning eight of their final 11 games in October and November.

Next, the Firebirds will remain at home to host their first ECC game of the year vs. Queens on September 17th. UDC will look to avenge a bitter, 4-3 loss to the Knights last year where the Firebirds squandered a 3-2 second half lead.

The next two contests are both road games against top-20 pre-season nationally ranked teams from the PSAC. September 20th the Firebirds visit Millersville at their new home - Pucillo Field. The Marauders are ranked No. 20 in the Division II NSCAA Preseason Poll and are coming off of an NCAA Atlantic Region title game appearance in 2013. Millersville was defeated in that title game by the No. 6 ranked team in the pre-season poll, Mercyhurst, who is the Firebirds very next opponent on September 25th. The Lakers have advanced to the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals the last two consecutive years. The Firebirds did, however, stun the Lakers with an improbable 1-0 victory at UDC Field in 2012, the last time these two schools met.

After those two challenging games, UDC enters back into ECC play with two more road contests at Roberts Wesleyan (September 27th) in Rochester, NY and at No. 8 pre-season nationally ranked LIU Post in Brookville, NY. The Pioneers are coming off an 18-2-2 record in 2013, a second straight ECC championship and an appearance in the NCAA East Region final. The Firebirds fought back from a 2-0 deficit to force a 2-2 tie against the Pioneers in their final home game last season.

The Firebirds finally return home to host ECC foe Bridgeport on October 4th and its final non-conference opponent, Chestnut Hill, on October 8th. The Griffins compete in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference in which Thompson is 7-1-1 against all-time at UDC.

UDC then begins a three-game ECC road swing at Mercy (October 11th), St. Thomas Aquinas (October 15th) and NYIT (October 18th).Then, the Firebirds close the season with three consecutive home ECC games vs. Daemen (October 25th), Molloy (October 29th) and Dowling (November 1st).

Here's a rundown of this season's schedule (Home games in BOLD.)


Thu., Sep. 4 at Slippery Rock, 4:00 PM
Sat., Sep. 6 at Wilmington (Del.) 2:00 PM
Wed., Sep. 10 at California (Pa.) 3:00 PM
Sat., Sep. 13 vs. Barton, 1:00 PM
Wed., Sep. 17 vs. Queens (N.Y.)* 4:00 PM
Sat., Sep. 20 at Millersville, 1:00 PM
Thu., Sep. 25 at Mercyhurst, 4:00 PM
Sat., Sep. 27 at Roberts Wesleyan*  3:30 PM
Wed., Oct. 1 at LIU Post* 3:30 PM
Sat., Oct. 4 vs. Bridgeport* 1:00 PM
Wed., Oct. 8 vs. Chestnut Hill, 4:00 PM
Sat., Oct. 11 at Mercy* 3:00 PM
Wed., Oct. 15 at St. Thomas Aquinas* 4:30 PM
Sat., Oct. 18 at NYIT* 2:30 PM
Sat., Oct. 25 vs. Daemen* 1:00 PM
Wed., Oct. 29 vs. Molloy* 3:00 PM
Sat., Nov. 1 vs. Dowling* 1:00 PM

* Conference