FAIRFIELD, CT (April 4, 2013) – Sacred Heart head football coach Mark Nofri announced the 11 game schedule for the upcoming 2013 football season. The Pioneers begin their 23rd season on the gridiron this fall and 15th season playing in the Northeast Conference. This year's slate features five home games and non-conference match-ups against Bucknell, Chowan, Lafayette, Marist and Monmouth.
The 2013 season will kick-off on Saturday, August 31st with a trip to Poughkeepsie, NY to take on the Marist Red Foxes. The Pioneers and Red Foxes return to a series that took a year off in 2012. The two met for the first time in 2002 and every season through the 2011 campaign splitting the 10 meetings. SHU and Marist faced each other in the season-openers in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Red Foxes took the last meeting, a 20-7 win on Campus Field. The series is so even, SHU is 2-2 in Poughkeepsie and 3-3 in Fairfield.
The Pioneers will stay on the road in week two and head to Lafayette College on September 7th. Sacred Heart is 1-4 against teams from the Patriot League after falling at Colgate last fall, 35-14. The Pioneers last faced Lafayette when they opened the 2006 season hosting the Leopards, falling 25-14 on Campus Field. SHU will play against the Patriot League twice in 2013, also heading to Bucknell on September 28th for a first-ever meeting with the Bison. The Pioneers lone win against the league came against Georgetown in 2010.
SHU will open up at Campus Field on "Homecoming Weekend" taking on Chowan on Saturday, September 21st. The Hawks hail from Murfreesboro, North Carolina and play in the Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Saturday, October 5th will serve as the Pioneers 2013 NEC opener, highlighting "SHU Family Weekend". The defending NEC Champion Seahawks come back to Campus Field after dealing the Pioneers a 12-3 loss last fall. Wagner took an 8-7 lead in the all-time series and ended a streak of the home team wining each season that dated back to 2002. SHU is 6-2 at home on Campus Field all-time vs. Wagner.
The Pioneers will also host Central Connecticut (October 12th) and Duquesne (November 9th) in NEC home games in 2013. After ending a seven-game Central winning streak in the series with a 37-24 win on the road in 2011, the Pioneers made it two-straight over the Blue Devils with a 34-21 win at home last year. CCSU leads the all-time series, 9-6. SHU has lost four-straight to the Duquesne and trails 6-2 in the all-time series with both wins coming in Pittsburgh.
Sacred Heart will make two road trips in 2013 to Western Pennsylvania for NEC games, playing at Saint Francis U on October 26th and closing the season at Robert Morris on November 16th. SHU is 10-7 all-time against SFU but have lost in both of their last two trips to Loretto. The Pioneers closed 2012 with a 44-24 loss on the road to the Red Flash. Robert Morris took an 8-7 lead in the all-time series with a 21-17 win in Fairfield last fall.
SHU will also return to Bryant this fall, heading to Smithfield, Rhode Island for an October 19th meeting. The Pioneers led the all-time series at one point 3-0 but have lost three-straight to the Bulldogs heading into 2013. SHU lost 34-14 last season and are now just 1-3 against the Bulldogs since they became members of the NEC in 2009.
The Monmouth Hawks have departed the Northeast Conference for the MAAC and the Big South for football but will remain on the Pioneer's schedule in 2013. SHU will host the Hawks on November 2nd. The Hawks lead the all-time series 13-5 27-14 win at home last season.
Spring practice is currently underway and will culminate on Saturday, April 27th with the annual Red & White Spring Game.