BUZZARDS BAY, Mass – As the start of the new academic year approaches at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 27th year head men's soccer coach Greg Perry and his team are preparing for the 2019 season on Taylor's Point. Last season, the Bucs finished 5-11-1 overall, 1-6 in the MASCAC. The Buccaneers return 17 players from 2018 and will welcome in a host of freshman to round out the roster. In the MASCAC preseason poll, the Buccaneers were voted to finish in the 6th spot, the final conference playoff spot, ahead of Fitchburg State and MCLA.
"Our four captains are well respected by their teammates and leaders on and off the field." Said Coach Perry. "We will be looking to them all season for their poise and composure."
Crawford scored three goals, including a game winner, and added an assist in 15 games last season from the midfield position. He was also named to the 2018 MASCAC All-conference 1st Team. Defender Kyle Daly started 15 games last year for the Bucs and was a key piece in the Maritime backline. Offensively, he assisted in one goal on the season. Jake Pforr started 16 games for the Buccaneers in 2018, tallying an assist on the offensive side and was a big part of the defense along with Daly. Finally, junior Ben Paine started in each game for Perry in his sophomore season. Paine was named to the 2018 MASCAC All-Conference 1st Team and though he did not record any goals or assists, the midfielder/defensemen is an integral part of the Buccaneer game plan and cohesion.
Outside of the captains, returning for 2019 is last year's leading goal scorer Benjamin Cook (Fort Myers, Fla). Cook scored eight times last season, including two game winners, adding three assists. Seniors Stephen Froio (Auburn, Mass) and Adam Wayrynen (Rockport, Mass) are both back for their fourth seasons with the Bucs. Froio was second on the team last season with five goals. Wayrynen scored four times and added three assists in 17 games.
The goalkeeper spot is up for grabs in 2019. Last season, Mitch Hardy (Pepperrell, Mass) played as the number two behind Connor Murphy who has now graduated. Hardy played in 11 games last year, starting seven of them. He allowed 19 goals and made 36 saves posting a 1-6-1 record.
"We want to improve on last year both overall and in conference." Said Coach Perry. "We had a very talented, skillful team in 2018 but were fairly unlucky."
Coach Perry's squad will be the first of the Buccaneer fall teams to begin their season when they open with a non-conference matchup with Suffolk University on Saturday, August 31st at 7pm at home.
The first two weeks of the season are busy ones for the Bucs. Following the season and home opener against the Rams, the team travels to Curry College on Wednesday, September 4th to take on the Colonels. The following weekend, Maritime travels to Maine Maritime to take part in the Inaugural Maritime Cup. They will take on Maine Friday evening and SUNY Maritime on Saturday the 7th. After returning from Maine, the Bucs will be closer to home but still on the road against UMass-Dartmouth on Monday, September 9th. They will close out their seven games in 14 day span with home games against Nichols on Wednesday, September 11th and WPI on Saturday the 14th.
Maritime opens their MASCAC schedule on Friday, September 20th against Worcester State at home. They will host Salve Regina in non-conference play and Framingham State in conference play on the 24th and 27th before closing out the month of September with a road non-conference game against Becker on September 30th.
October features six games, four of which are in conference. Road games against Bridgewater State and Fitchburg State on the first two Saturdays of the month are followed by a three-game home stand. On October 15th Brandeis comes to town followed by Salem State on Friday, October 18th in MASCAC play. Coast Guard will be on Taylor's Point on the 22nd for a 7pm kickoff. October closes with a road game in western Mass against MCLA, the lone team the Bucs finished above in 2018.
The squad will conclude their regular season on Friday, November 1st against Westfield State at home on senior day. Should the Bucs finish top six in the conference, the Bucs would compete in the MASCAC playoffs which begin on November 5th.
For more information about the men's soccer schedule, roster and coaching staff, visit mmabucs.com.