July 23, 2009
FAIRFIELD, CT (July 24, 2009) -The Sacred Heart University women's basketball team released their 29-game schedule with the Pioneers tipping-off the 2009-10 season on Friday, November 13th at Columbia University. Head Coach Ed Swanson begins his 20th season on the sidelines as he leads the Pioneers into the season riding an 18-game Northeast Conference winning streak looking to defend their second league title.
Sacred Heart will face an 11 non-conference game slate to prepare for the Northeast Conference schedule. Following their season opener at Columbia, the Pioneers return home to the friendly confines of the William H. Pitt Center to host Villanova and Harvard. The Wildcats pay a visit to Fairfield, Connecticut after beating the Pioneers last season at home in the first-ever match-up between the two schools. The Pioneers will take on the Harvard Crimson for the first time since the 1999-00 season.
Return match-ups from last season are scheduled on November 24th at Stony Brook, November 28th at home against Manhattan and December 21st at Binghamton. The Pioneers and cross-town rival Fairfield Stags are scheduled for their annual meeting on Sunday, December 13th at the Arena at Harbor Yard as part of a double header with the men's teams.
After taking the last two seasons off, Sacred Heart will once again take on the Saint Peter's Peahens and the Yale Bulldogs this year. Sacred Heart will head to Saint Peter's on December 9th and welcome the Bulldogs to the Pitt Center on December 28th. Sacred Heart has beaten Yale eight-straight times, never losing to the Bulldogs since joining the ranks of Division I in 1999-00. Also back on the schedule this season is the Hartford Hawks who return for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The Hawks will visit the Pitt Center on December 1st. SHU closes out non-conference play on December 30th with a trip to Siena to take on the Saints for the first time in program history.
The Pioneers will begin defense of their league title in early December when the Northeast Conference schedule gets underway. Sacred Heart ran through the NEC slate a perfect 18-0 last season and completed the unblemished run by capturing their second title in the last four years. The Pioneers finished last season at 25-8, their fourth 20 plus win season in the last six seasons.
The Northeast Conference schedule will feature a new wrinkle this season as 17 of the 18 match-ups will be played as a doubleheader with the men's program. The Pioneers open the league slate on December 3rd traveling to Fairleigh Dickinson, the only game this season that will not be featured as a doubleheader. The schedule will feature home and away match-ups with FDU, Monmouth, Wagner, Mount St. Mary's, Central Connecticut State, Quinnipiac and Bryant, who will be part of the league slate this season. SHU will face Long Island and St. Francis (NY) once each at home and Robert Morris and Saint Francis (PA) once each on the road.
Another scheduling quirk will have the Pioneers taking on NEC rival Quinnipiac twice in the span of three days as they host the Bobcats on Thursday, February 4th and head to Hamden on Saturday, February 6th. A rematch of last season's NEC Championship game is slated on Saturday, February 20th as the Pioneers face the Red Flash in their only scheduled meeting on the year out in Loretto, Pennsylvania.
2009-10 Women's Basketball schedule
November - at Columbia (13th), VILLANOVA (16th), HARVARD (21st), at Stony Brook (24th), MANHATTAN (28th)
December - HARTFORD (1st), at Fairleigh Dickinson (3rd), MONMOUTH (5th), at St. Peter's (9th), at Fairfield (13th), at Binghamton (21st), YALE (28th), at Siena (30th)
January - WAGNER (7th), MOUNT ST. MARY'S (9th), at Bryant (14th), at Central Connecticut State (16th), BRYANT (21st), CENTRAL CONNECTICUT (23rd), at Mount St. Mary's (28th), at Wagner (30th)
February - QUINNIPIAC (4th), at Quinnipiac (6th), LONG ISLAND (11th), ST. FRANCIS-NY (13th), at Robert Morris (18th), at Saint Francis-PA (20th), FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON (25th), at Monmouth (27th)