Florida International, coached by Scott Calabrese, will pay a visit to Summers-Taylor Stadium on Sept. 16. Calabrese began ETSU’s program and coached it for seven years before moving to FIU in January.
“I am excited for that game,” Calabrese said Saturday from Miami. “It was my home for seven years. Obviously, I have a lot of strong relationships with the players, with the people at ETSU, coaches and administrators and people across campus. I think it’ll be great to be back.”
Calabrese said FIU had some schedule changes and needed to pick up a game. As it turned out, ETSU was in the same boat.
“It was just fate that we both needed a game during that time period,” he said.
Calabrese’s departure happened quickly, exactly one month after he led the Bucs to their second NCAA tournament appearance, a 2-0 first-round loss to Coastal Carolina. He was replaced by Bo Oshoniyi, who will coach ETSU as it returns to the Southern Conference this fall.
“I left on very good terms with the administration,” Calabrese said. “And Bo, I think he’s a fantastic hire. I don’t anticipate or believe there will be any awkwardness with regards to me being back there. I am looking forward to it, but it will be strange being on the visitor’s side.”
The Bucs are scheduled to begin the season Aug. 29 against William & Mary at VCU’s weekend tournament. They’ll take on VCU the next day. Both of those opponents were in the NCAA tournament last winter.
The home opener is Sept. 6 when Radford pays a visit to Summers-Taylor Stadium. The Bucs will also play host to South Carolina on Sept. 20.
Their official return to the Southern Conference comes Sept. 30 when they play at Wofford, the league’s defending regular-season champion. Six SoCon schools play men’s soccer and ETSU will play home-and-home conference matchups with Wofford, Mercer, VMI, UNC Greensboro and Furman.
The road schedule also includes a game at Kentucky on Sept. 13.
The Bucs went 10-6-4 last season and won the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament.