The new era of Alfred State athletics begins on Friday evening as the Pioneers play their first NCAA Division III competitions. Both the soccer programs will play at Pioneer Stadium as the women take on Lycoming and the men take on Penn College.
The Lady Pioneers, coming off a 17-2 season in their final campaign competing in Division III of the NJCAA, will kickoff the 2013 season versus the Warriors at 5 p.m. In 2012, Alfred rode a 17-game winning streak to rise all the way up to the #1 ranking in the country but was tripped up in the Regional finals.
Returning NJCAA All-Americans Kali Muhleisen (Alfred Almond) and Hannah Holmok (Alfred Almond) return to lead the Lady Pioneers along with goalkeeper Krista DeCarlo (West Islip).
Lycoming is coming off a 2-13-3 season and the contest will mark the first contest for new coach Eric Lewis.
The Pioneers are coming off a 5-8-3 season in 2012 and will battle the Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. The blue & gold's roster features 13 players with playing experience at Alfred including 2012 All-WNYAC selections Mitchell Porter (Alfred Almond), Kyle Jones (Wilson), and Nick Peraino (Geneseo). Two-year starting goalkeeper Nick Smith (Arkport) also returns.
Penn College is coming off a 15-4-1 season. Last year Alfred State and Penn College tied 2-2.
2013-14 is the first season in which Alfred State athletes will compete in NCAA DIII. The Pioneers had been long time members of the NJCAA before being admitted to the NCAA in the spring. The blue & gold will compete in the NCAA, the USCAA, and the ECAC.