MIAMI SHORES, Fla.—Barry University men’s soccer coach Steve McCrath has put together a challenging slate for the Buccaneers this season. Entering his 17th season at the helm, McCrath has compiled a 183-85-29 record with Sunshine State Conference titles in 2000, 2002 and 2010 and conference tournament titles in 2009 and 2013.
The Bucs are fresh off their second conference tournament title. After finishing fourth in the regular season, the Bucs worked overtime for the tournament championship, going to extra time in all three games, including two shootouts.
The Bucs will have to be road warriors in 2014, with 10 of the 16 games coming away from the friendly confines of Buccaneer Field, where Barry has built a 145-76-18 (.644) mark in 30 years.
The Bucs kick off the regular season in Georgia, facing North Georgia in Dahlonega on Sept. 4 and Young Harris on Sept. 7. The Bucs and Nighthawks have split three games and have played overtime twice. The last time in Dahlonega, the teams played to a 1-1 draw. The Bucs dropped their only game with the Mountain Lions of Young Harris last year in Miami Shores.
The Bucs’ home opener comes on Sept. 10 against crosstown rival Johnson & Wales. The Bucs and Wildcats have not played since 2011, with Barry winning all three games by shutout.
Barry travels up to Daytona Beach, Fla., on Sept 13 to face new SSC foe the Embry-Riddle Eagles for the first time. The Eagles officially joined the league on July 1, 2014 and are not yet eligible for the conference title.
The Bucs play two matches against conference foes which will not count in the standings. On Sept. 17, they host the Florida Tech Panthers. The Bucs won both meetings last year, taking a non-conference tilt in Melbourne, Fla., 4-1 and winning the conference battle 2-0 in Miami Shores. Overall, the Bucs lead the series 17-12-3, including a 14-2-2 mark since 1999.
The Buccaneers hit the road again on Sept. 20 to visit the Florida Southern Moccasins in Lakeland, Fla. The Bucs hold the edge in the all-time series 22-6-2. Last season, Barry won 1-0 in Lakeland during the regular season. In the conference tournament, the teams played to a 1-1 draw, but the Bucs advanced in the shootout.
The SSC slate opens as September closes with the Bucs visiting the Eckerd Tritons in St. Petersburg on the 27th. The teams tied in St. Pete last year 1-1 and Barry won 1-0 in Miami Shores. The Bucs hold a 23-9-2 edge in the all-time series.
Arch-rival Lynn comes to town on Oct. 1. The teams split the regular season series last year, with each winning on their home field. They squared off again for the SSC Tournament championship, playing to a 2-2 draw, while Barry claimed the title in the shootout. The Knights lead the all-time series 24-9-4, but since 2000, the Bucs are 5-3 at home.
Another of the SSC’s heavy hitters, the Rollins Tars come calling on Oct. 4. The Tars won 2-0 last year in Winter Park and lead the overall series 18-16-2.
On Oct. 8, the Bucs travel up the road to face the Nova Southeastern Sharks in Davie, Fla. The Bucs carded a 4-1 win in Miami Shores last season and hold a 16-9-4 edge in the series.
The Tampa Spartans come to town on Oct. 11. The Bucs and Spartans slit two games last year, with each winning on the road. The Spartans gutted out an overtime win 2-1 in Miami Shores, while the Bucs put a 3-1 defeat on them in Tampa. The series has been remarkably tight since 1998, when McCrath became coach. Fifteen of 21 games have been decided by one goal or less and seven have gone to overtime as Barry leads 11-7-3. Overall, the Spartans hold a 12-18-3 edge.
Four of the last five matches are on the road, starting at Palm Beach Atlantic’s new facility on Oct. 14. The new facility opens Sept. 1 so this will be the first trip up there for the Bucs. Led by D-II scoring champ Kenny Hogg’s hat-trick, the Sailfish won 4-3 in Miami Shores last year, though Barry maintains a 16-2-1 edge overall.
The Bucs head back to St. Leo, Fla., on Oct. 18 to face the Lions. After dropping the regular season contest to the Lions 2-0, the Bucs battled back to post a 4-3 double-overtime win in the conference tournament semifinals in St. Leo. The Bucs lead the Lions 19-11-2 in the all-time series.
The Bucs travel to Melbourne, Fla., on Oct. 22 to face the Florida Tech Panthers, then host the Florida Southern Moccasins on Oct. 25 for Senior Night.
They close out the regular season on Nov. 1 in Morrow, Ga., against the Clayton State Lakers. The all-time series stand 1-1-1, though the Bucs claimed their win in Morrow in 2008, 2-1.
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