April 22, 2009
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (April 22, 2009) - Sacred Heart head coach Paul Gorham announced the 2009 schedule as the Pioneers are set to kick-off their 19th season on the gridiron on Saturday, September 5th playing host to the Marist Red Foxes. The 2009 schedule will be the Pioneers 12th season in the Northeast Conference.
Sacred Heart is coming off an 8-3 campaign in 2008 where they finished tied for third with a 4-3 NEC mark. The Pioneers have seven All-NEC players returning for next season led by r-junior quarterback Dale Fink (Swansea, IL) and senior wide receiver Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA).
The Marist match-up is the first of five home games next season on Campus Field. The Pioneers lead the all-time series with the Red Foxes, 4-3, after a 28-16 win last season in Poughkeepsie, NY. The two teams have met every season since the 2002 campaign and are 2-1 against Marist on Campus Field.
SHU will head to Holy Cross to take on the Crusaders of the Patriot League on Saturday, September 12th. The Pioneers have faced Holy Cross just once, falling 56-21 in the 2005 season opener on the road. Sacred Heart's only other non-conference match-up with be against future NEC member Bryant University on November 7th at home. The Pioneers and Bulldogs will meet for the first time since the 2000 season, a 19-13 Sacred Heart win on Campus Field. Their only other meeting took place during the 1998 season, a 42-28 win, also at home. Bryant will become a full-time member of the Northeast Conference in 2012-13.
The 2009 NEC seven-game schedule will kick-off with a pair of road games, starting on Saturday, September 26th with a trip to two-time defending champion Albany. The Great Danes are coming off a 7-0 run through the league a year ago and a 28-0 win over Jacksonville in the Gridiron Classic. UAlbany leads the all-time series 9-2 and has won seven-straight against the Pioneers.
SHU will be looking to snap another streak the following week when they take on the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils on the road on October 3rd. The Blue Devils own a five-game winning streak in the series they lead 7-4 all-time. The Pioneers also have back-to-back NEC road trips slated for October 24th and 31st as they head to Wagner and Robert Morris. SHU beat the Seahawks last season 42-20 live on MSG TV to take a 6-5 edge in the all-time series. The Pioneers also dealt Robert Morris a loss last year, winning 31-28 at home to take a 6-5 edge in that series as well.
The rest of the home schedule has the Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash, Monmouth Hawks and Duquesne Dukes paying visits to Campus Field. The Red Flash comes to Fairfield on Saturday, October 10th followed by the Hawks a week later on October 17th. The Pioneers dealt Saint Francis a 41-24 loss last season to snap a two-game Red Flash streak in the series. SHU is looking to end a six-game MU winning streak after a 19-7 loss last season on the road.
The 2009 season will conclude with the Dukes coming to town on Saturday, November 14th. Last season was Duquesne first in the Northeast Conference as the Pioneers battle their way back from a 17-0 deficit to win 29-17 on the road.
Sacred Heart's "Family Weekend" will coincide with the October 17th game against Monmouth. The 2009 "Homecoming Game" is slated for the November 7th match-up with Bryant University.