NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Returning home for the first time since Sept. 15, the Merrimack men's soccer team will kick off a string of four home games in the month of October with a special ceremony to honor recent Northeast-10 Conference Hall of Fame Class of 2012 Inductee and 1998 alum Steve McAuliffe before the Warriors battle Stonehill College on Saturday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field. First kick is set for 1 p.m.
The Warriors (6-2-1, 4-2 NE-10) return to the friendly confines of North Andover following a three-game road trip – all against conference foes – during which Merrimack went a perfect 3-0, with all of its victories coming in double overtime.
Before the game, 31-year head coach head coach Tony Martone, along with Interim Director of Athletics Deene O'Keefe and NE-10 Conference Commissioner Julie Ruppert will honor McAuliffe during a special presentation on the field. McAuliffe, who earned Academic and Athletic All-American honors as a senior in 1997, helped lead the Warriors to their only three NE-10 tournament titles, as well as the program's only ECAC Championship in the fall of 1997.
His decorated career is evident just by looking at the program's all-time record book. McAuliffe ranks second in career goals (45), career assists (48), and total points in a career (138). He was a two-time NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year and garnered First Team All-Conference honors every season he donned the Merrimack uniform.
McAuliffe becomes the fourth-ever Merrimack student-athlete to be named into the NE-10 Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Raffaella Paparo (Softball), Kim Ducharme (Softball), and Sue Plante (Women's Soccer).
The Skyhawks (2-8-1, 1-7 NE-10) have struggled this fall, but most recently defeated AIC, 2-1, on Oct. 3. Ben Zandonella leads the team with seven points (3g, 1a), while Drew Montano and Tyler Brondyk also have posted two-goal campaigns. In net, Adam Colella has started eight game and owns a 1-5-1 record and a team-best 1.62 goals-against average. Luke Besse has posted the other victory in net, and Ryan Rincon has also seen time between the pipes.
After Saturday's showdown, the Warriors hit the road for a pivotal NE-10 tilt at perennial power Franklin Pierce on Wednesday, Oct. 10.