Chris Smith was named the head coach of the men’s soccer program on April 1, 2010.
The combination of the toughest schedule in the East Region of Division II and injuries in 2014 prevented the Mavericks from finding success that they had enjoyed the prior two seasons. "It was a difficult season with many struggles that were out of our control. The 2015 winter session has gone well thus far and the boys are working hard. Combined that with our current list of incoming recruits, this upcoming season is looking full of promise," states Smith.
The 2013 campaign culminated in an 11-4-4 record as the best season during Smith’s tenure. The Mavericks qualified for the East Coast Conference Championship for the second straight season and ranked in the East Region top 10 (among 38 teams). A perfect 4-0 start without a single goal allowed over the first three weeks of the season earned the program a No. 18 national ranking among the 202 teams in Division II.
The program has been ranked in the top 10 of the East Region for every week of the past two seasons. Additionally, 2013 marks the best year under Smith in the goals against category, thanks in large part to NSCAA and Daktronics All-East Region selection and the ECC Goalkeeper of the Year, Nick Papas. The Mavericks finished seventh in the final NCAA regional poll, just missing out on a bid to the NCAA Championship.
The Mavericks earned a berth in the ECC Championship in 2012 as well, finishing with a 10-5-3 record. After a 5-0 start to the season, the program received a national ranking of No. 24 in Week Two. Three players were named All-Conference and William Koki, after finishing second in scoring in the ECC, was named to the NSCAA All-East Region Second Team.
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 victory of the season. In his first season in 2010, Smith led the program to an improved record of 6-7-4. His defense allowed 18 fewer goals than the year before and forced overtime in nine of the 17 matches, including five conference games.
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 reached the MAAC Tournament twice and posted an overall conference record of 15-8-4. He coached two Offensive Players of the Year, 14 All-Conference players and had the top-ranked offense and second-ranked defense in the MAAC in his last season. 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 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, Emily and Delia.
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.
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.
Salma Tarik was named to the staff as a graduate assistant for the fall 2013 season.
“Salma is a great addition to our staff and will be involved with day-to-day operations of the program," Head Coach Chris Smith said upon her hiring.
Tarik started her collegiate career at California State University Northridge in 2007, where she appeared in all 18 games, including 17 starts. She finished the year with three goals and two assists. Two of her three goals came against teams, which qualified for the College cup (UCLA, Florida State).
In 2008 she transferred to Hofstra University where she became the third highest scorer in Hofstra history, scoring 28 goals in three years. She was an All-Colonial Athletic Association First team selection in 2009 and 2010. Those same years she was selected as a First team NSCAA Regional All American. Tarik was also a two-time finalist for CAA player of the year in 2009 and 2010.
She participated with the Egyptian National Team between 2009-2012, where she played in international matches tallying 3 goals. She made appearances in World Cup Qualifiers as well as the African Cup of Nations.
Tarik holds a United States Soccer Federation "C" License. She currently resides in Bellmore, N.Y.