OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — The NYIT men's soccer team will open its 2017 season on Aug. 31 with a home match against Concordia, coach Carlos Delcid announced Thursday.
The schedule also features home matches with Chestnut Hill (Sept. 6), Caldwell (Sept. 11), Goldey-Beacom (Sept. 21), Mercy (Sept. 23), Wilmington (Sept. 28), Daemen (Sept. 30). St. Thomas Aquinas (Oct. 14), Nyack (Oct. 16) and Queens (Oct. 21).
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The Bears are graduating Ben Wilson, a first-team All-East Coast Conference selection at midfielder, but still return a talented squad. Second-team All-ECC selections Martin Sundell and Dan Babar and third-team selections Krishen Patel and Jonathan Rico highlight the returnees.
Sundell led the Bears with eight goals, while Patel had a team-high 17 points (six goals and five assists) last season.
Rico, a goalkeeper, will enter his senior season with a career 1.11 GAA. That's within striking distance of the program record of 1.05, established by Francisco Banuelos during the 2005 and '06 seasons. Rico also has 13 career shutouts. The program record of 17 is shared by Liam Waddy (2011-14) and Matt Burke (2000-03).
The Bears also should get an infusion from players injured last season. John Camponeschi and Jason Scott both sat out last season with knee issues, while Carlos Coto was limited to six games because of a toe issue. Camponeschi participated in spring games. He netted the game winner against Queens as a sophomore in an ECC semifinal on Nov. 4, 2015.
NYIT has a talented incoming freshman class to bolster Delcid's squad. Those players include Randy Gomez (Bayshore, N.Y.), Jonathan Koenig (Fayetteville, N.C.), Kevin Martinez (Bayshore, N.Y.), Adam Raso (Islip, N.Y.), Victor Sanchez (Orihuela, Spain) and Justin Quintero (Morristown, N.J.).
The Bears went 10-4-4 overall and 5-2-2 in ECC play in 2016. Their season ended in the ECC semifinals after falling in penalty kicks to Molloy.