Fairfield, CT – Sacred Heart head coach Kim Banner has released the Pioneers 2011 women's soccer schedule, which features seven games at Campus Field. SHU will kick-off the season on the road August 26 against Albany before the Pioneers' August 28 home opener versus Illinois State. SHU has narrowly missed the playoffs in each of the last two years and will look to return to the postseason for the first time since reaching the Northeast Conference title game in 2007.
Sacred Heart will play under the lights at Campus Field for the first time in 2011 September 2 at 7:00 pm in a meeting with Maine. The match-up will be the fourth straight season that the Pioneers and Black Bears collide as Maine edged out SHU, 3-2, in overtime last year. Sacred Heart will then hit the road, playing six consecutive tilts away from the friendly confines of Campus Field. The trip begins with a visit to New Haven, CT to face-off with Yale and continues in Stony Brook, NY to take on the Seawolves of the America East Conference.
The Pioneers continue the swing September 9-11 at the Army Soccer Classic with scheduled clashes against St. Bonaventure as well as the host Black Knights. SHU concludes its long road trip and 2011 non-conference slate the following weekend at Manhattan and Brown.
Sacred Heart will take to the pitch at home during homecoming weekend on September 23 and 25, opening NEC play against in-state rivals Quinnipiac and Central Connecticut State. The Pioneers close out September in western Pennsylvania versus defending NEC champion Saint Francis (PA). SHU wraps up its trip to the Keystone state October 2 in a 3:00 pm tilt with Robert Morris. The following weekend sees Sacred Heart with just one game on the schedule as they square-off with the NEC's newest member, Bryant.
The Pioneers will have another short weekend as the red and white host Fairleigh Dickinson October 14 at 4:00 pm in the lone game of the week. Sacred Heart heads into New York for action against Wagner on October 21 and meets the 2010 NEC regular season champion Long Island Blackbirds on October 23. SHU ends the regular season at home the next weekend against Monmouth Friday and rounds out the year with a Sunday afternoon senior day showdown with Mount St. Mary's. The Pioneers have not lost a game on senior day since 2003 and defeated the Mountaineers 5-1 on senior day in 2009.
The 2011 Northeast Conference tournament is scheduled to be held November 4 & 6 and will be hosted by the top-seeded regular season champion.