BROOKLYN, NY – After spending 2010 as a club sport, men's soccer will be St. Joseph's College's twelfth varsity sport. They will immediately step in as the eighth member of the Hudson Valley Men's Athletic Conference's (HVMAC).
Head Coach Vadim Chenyakhovsky has a difficult challenge with the Bears facing a tough schedule to open the season. The first varsity soccer match in St. Joseph's College history will take place on September 14th against the defending HVMAC champions, Berkeley. Following that, the Bears will head out to take on their rivals, sister school, St. Joseph's College - Patchogue on September 17th. The Eagles finished 11-8-2 and 6-3-1 in the Skyline Conference in 2010 and made it to the semi-finals in the Skyline Championship before falling to eventual champion Maritime in penalty kicks.
The Bears will play host for three matches in 2011, all in a one week span. Their home opener is set for September 25th against the Culinary Institute of America in a HVMAC battle. Also coming to Brooklyn Technical Field are Medgar Evers (September 29) and Webb (October 1).
Most of their 10-game road schedule will keep the team in the Metropolitan area as they'll square off with city schools Vaughn, Lehman, Brooklyn College, Sarah Lawrence and Yeshiva. However there will be road trips to Purchase College on October 4th and HVMAC runner-up, Albany Pharmacy on October 16th.
The Bears season will conclude with the HVMAC Championship. The semi-final round will be held on October 29th and the Championship is slated for November 5th at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, NY.
Coach Chenyakhovsky brings along an extensive and impressive international playing and coaching resume to St. Joseph's. This will be his first time coaching on the collegiate level, but the 10-year Ukrainian professional is ready to tackle this latest challenge. Chenyakhovsky's travels include four years as the Empire State Games coach for the Women's Scholastic under-17 team and he is a head coach for the under-18 Super Club National youth-pro team, which competes in England every August.
Chenyakhovsky also runs the Dynamo Soccer club in Brooklyn, which he founded 12 years ago. He's hopeful that between his experience and his club, he will be able to build a very successful program. Chenyakhovsky feels he has an advantage with his knowledge of the metropolitan area teams, which gives him a chance to continually meet new athletes.
Joining Chenyakhovsky on the sidelines this season will be Kelly Kenny. Kenny, a recent graduate of the College of Staten Island, was a two-sport athlete and received the Female Athlete of the Year Award from CSI in 2010 as a senior and was also a two-time CUNYAC Champion.
The primary goals Chenyakhovsky has for the Bears in 2011 are to get them into physical shape and get them to play together as a team. He knows it might be a struggle at first, but is confident that there will be progress made physically, mentally, and tactfully as the season goes on. The team is young with a number of underclassman, making learning the fundamentals very important. As the team grows together, they'll be able to build chemistry with each other for the future.
The coaches and players are all eagerly awaiting the start of the inaugural soccer season. With a young and talented group, St. Joseph's should be able to turn some heads in the Hudson Valley Athletic Conference.