|College:||Southern Connecticut '95|
Chris Smith was named the new head coach of the men’s soccer program on April 1, 2010.
This past season, the 2012 campaign culminated with the men's soccer program's first East Coast Conference playoff berth since 2005. Overall, the Mavericks had a 10-5-3 record and were ranked in the top ten of the East Region for every week of the season. In week two of the season, after starting 5-0, the program received its first national ranking, #24 for the first time since 1990. "This season's success was the end result of three years of building the program with student-athletes who embraced our mission to become a legitimate contender in the ECC and Division II. I am very proud of our guys and appreciative of the seniors and their dedication in the offseason," Smith said. "2013 will be exciting as we have improved our schedule, our returners have great experience and recruiting is going well so far." Three players were named All Conference and William Koki, after finishing second in scoring in the ECC, was named NSCAA Second Team Regional All-American.
The 2011 Mavericks jumped out to an impressive 5-1-1 record which earned them a Top 10 regional ranking for three consecutive weeks. Over that span, Mercy defeated the heavily favored University of Bridgeport, 2-1, in overtime for the team's first ECC contest of the season. Unfortunately, injuries piled up quickly and contributed to the Mavericks dropping eight straight to end the season 6-10-1.
"We had a lot of successes, growing pains and adversity in 2011" Smith said. "We were so much better than 2010 but could not get the results in the second part of the season. Our record did not truly reflect all the progress we made as a program."
In 2010, Smith led the Mercy College Men’s Soccer program to an improved record of 6-7-4. Prior to his arrival in Dobbs Ferry, the Mavericks were a combined 4-26-1 over the past two seasons. Defensively, the goals against were lowered from 42 in 2009 to 24 in 2010. The team was more competitive going to overtime in nine of the 17 matches with five out of seven conference games heading into extra time. "2010 was about changing the culture, creating a competitive environment and recruiting quality student-athletes with character, ambition and desire," says Smith. "I think we've improved every aspect of our program."
Prior to his arrival in Dobbs Ferry, Smith held the same position at Division I Saint Peter’s College from 2004-2006. While at SPC, he posted a 26-23-11 overall record. He went to the MAAC Tournament two out of three times and had an overall conference record of 15-8-4. He coached two offensive players of the year, fourteen all conference players and had the number one offense and number two defense in the MAAC in his last year at Saint Peter’s. Smith’s head coaching tenure began at Division III Manhattanville College where he posted a mark of 32-26-3 from 2001-2003. During his time with the Valiants, he earned Skyline Conference Coach of the Year in 2001 while guiding the team to two out of three conference tournaments.
Before his head coaching posts, Smith was an assistant at The College of New Jersey from 1996 to 1999. TCNJ won the National Championship in 1996 and finished as the runner-up in 1997. In 2000, Smith did one season as an assistant at Southern Connecticut State University before moving on to Manhattanville in 2001.
While an undergraduate at Southern Connecticut State, he started on three Final Four teams winning a National Championship in 1992. After graduation from SCSU in 1995, Smith played professional soccer with the Tampa Bay Terror of the National Professional Soccer League.
Smith has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Master of Arts in Athletic Administration and holds a United States Soccer Federation “A” license. He resides in Long Island, New York with his wife, Maureen, and their three daughters, Alana (12), Emily (9) and Delia (4).
|Title:||First Assistant Coach|
Pedro Velazquez returns to the Mavericks after volunteering as an assistant coach two years ago and serving as the graduate assistant last season. This season he will assist with daily operations of the men's soccer program, including conducting invidual training of goalkeepers, scouting, recruiting, ordering and cataloguing inventory, supervising film sessions and game taping and monitoring academic progress and study hall assignments.
A former standout at goalkeeper for the Mavericks during the 2010 season, Velazquez ranked in the Top 50 in Division II in saves per game and save percentage, as well as earning ECC Defensive Player of the Week recognition.
Velazquez transferred to Mercy from Ulster County Community College. In 2007, Velazquez posted a goals-against average of 0.42 in 19 games. Member of the national finalist team, and was selected to the National Tournament Team. In 2008, he recorded a goals-against average of 1.3 in 19 contests. In addition, Velazquez was tabbed to the All-Region Second Team.
He currently resides in Queens, N.Y.
|Title:||Second Assistant Coach|
Juan Peralta was named to the staff as a graduate assistant for the 2012 fall season. In May 2013, he was named the Second Assistant Coach on the staff.
Peralta most recently served as a physical education intern at Champlain Elementary in Burlington, Vt. where he managed and taught physical education classes to first-fifth graders. He has also served as a coach at the Catamount Soccer Club, camp counselor at the Vermont Futbol Academy and summer camp director and counselor at Vermont Voltage Summer Camps in St. Albans, Vt.
Peralta started his collegiate soccer career at Ulster County Community College in 2007 where he was part of the team that was a National Tournament Finalist, while he himself was named to the All-American Second Team. Peralta played another season at Ulster before transferring to the University of Vermont.
In 2009, he redshirted due to medical reasons, but in 2010, he came back strong, playing in 19 games. He started in eight of them and had two goals and two assists. In 2011, Peralta had a breakout year. He was selected to the All-America East Conference Second Team as he scored four goals and dished out 11 assists. Those 11 assists gave him the school record for most in a single season. Peralta started in 13 of the 19 games he appeared in that year.
He currently resides in Woodhaven, N.Y.