By: Matt Carney, Athletics Intern
MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine third-year Head Coach Jesse Zafiratos released the 2018 men's soccer schedule, featuring an 18-game slate comprised of nine Penn State University Athletic Conference matches and six matchups with NCAA Division III opponents, on Wednesday.
There will be eight home games played at Penn State Brandywine, including the season opener on Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Lions will host Manor College at 1 p.m. This will mark the teams' first matchup since 2004 when the Blue Jays claimed a 4-1 victory. Brandywine and Manor met at least once every season from 1991-2004 prior to the 13-year hiatus.
Three days later, Brandywine travels north for its first road contest of the year at Division III opponent Gwynedd Mercy before returning home to take on Immaculata on Saturday, Sept. 8. The Lions earned their first-ever victory over GMU at home last season, while Brandywine and Immaculata will face off for the second time in history after the Mighty Macs claimed a 2-1 home victory in 2014.
Brandywine opens a grueling six-game road trip, played over a span of just 12 days, beginning with back-to-back games against a pair former conference rivals. The Lions visit Penn State Abington on Sept. 12 and Penn State Altoona on Sept. 15. Brandywine and Abington have squared off once, a 4-3 overtime victory for Abington in 2013, since Abington left the Penn State University Athletic Conference for Division III. The teams faced off every year from 1973-2009, while Brandywine and Altoona last met in 2004, a game that ended in a 2-2 draw.
The Lions then travel to take on Rosemont College on Sept. 19, before beginning their PSUAC slate with matchups against Penn State York (Sept. 19) and a two-day Pittsburgh swing at Penn State Beaver (Sept. 22), and Penn State Greater Allegheny (Sept. 23). Brandywine, which has won three of the last four PSUAC championships, will be looking to extend its conference winning streak, which currently sits at 22-straight games entering the 2018 season.
The team finally returns home on Wednesday, Sept. 26 to host a non-conference match against Saint Vincent College, the first of a six-game home stand which extends into the second week of October. The Lions close out September with a back-to-back against Penn State Wilkes Barre (Sept. 29) and Penn State Mont Alto (Sept. 30).
The start of October sees Brandywine host Penn State Lehigh Valley, a first-year program, on Oct. 3, before the third and final set of back-to-back games during the season against conference foes Penn State New Kensington (Oct. 6) and Penn State Hazelton (Oct. 7). Brandywine knocked out both New Kensington and Hazleton during last year's PSUAC Tournament en route to winning its sixth conference title all-time.
The Lions make the short trip up Route 352 to Williamson College of the Trades on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7:00 pm to conclude nonconference play. Two days later, Brandywine visits Penn State Schuylkill for a 2:00 pm game.
Brandywine ends the regular-season on the road at Penn State Scranton on Oct. 20.
Four days following the conclusion of the regular season, the PSUAC Tournament begins. The conference title game will be played at University Park on Tuesday, Oct. 30 with a bid in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament on the line.