FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 9, 2011) – Sacred Heart head coach Paul Gorham, beginning his eighth season on the sidelines, announced the Pioneers 11-game schedule for the 2011 season. This fall's slate will feature six home games on Campus Field and games against a pair of Ivy League schools.
For the third-straight season the Pioneers will open up against the Marist Red Foxes. SHU will open the 2011 season under the lights on Campus Field as the Red Foxes pay a visit on Saturday, September 3rd. The two teams have met every season since the 2002 campaign with SHU holding a slim 5-4 edge. The Pioneers posted a 28-25 win in last year's match-up in Poughkeepsie, NY.
The non-conference portion of the schedule is rounded out with a pair of games against the Ivy League. The Pioneers will play host to the Dartmouth Big Green on September 24th and will travel New York City for a first-ever match-up with the Columbia Lions on October 8th. Last season's trip to Hanover, New Hampshire was the Sacred Heart's first-ever match-up against an Ivy League school and saw the Pioneers lose a heartbreaker, 21-19, to the Big Green. This season's return match-up with the Big Green will highlight 2011 Sacred Heart Homecoming Weekend.
After a bye in week two, Sacred Heart will open up their 14th season of play in the Northeast Conference on Saturday, September 17th playing host to the Bryant Bulldogs. The Pioneers will be looking to avenge a 25-24 loss to the Bulldogs last season, where they saw a 24-7 fourth quarter lead erased in their first-ever trip to Bryant. The Pioneers will play their first NEC road game of 2011 on Saturday, October 1st when they take on in-state rival Central Connecticut State. The Pioneers are looking to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Blue Devils and trail in the all-time series, 9-4.
The middle of October has the Pioneers at home for back to back games on Campus Field hosting the Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash on October 15th and the Monmouth Hawks on October 22nd. The Pioneers were shut out 41-0 on the road in Loretto last fall, their first time being shut out since the 2006 season, but still lead the all-time series, 9-6. Sacred Heart ended a seven-game losing streak to the Monmouth Hawks last season with a come from behind 26-25 win on the road. The Pioneers scored with 51 seconds left to steal the win. The two teams will face-off this season highlighting "SHU Family Weekend".
Sacred Heart will close out the month of October with a trip to Moon Township, Pennsylvania to face the defending Northeast Conference Champion Robert Morris Colonials. The Colonials, who claimed the NEC first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Tournament, took a slim 7-6 lead in the all-time series after pulling out a 35-31 win on Campus Field last fall in the league opener for both clubs. The month of November kicks-off with the Pioneers facing the Wagner Seahawks on the road on Saturday, November 5th. SHU closed the 2010 season by beating the Seahawks 38-22 at home to take a one game lead in the all-time series, 7-6.
Saturday, November 12th will be "Senior Day" on Campus Field as SHU closes the home portion of the schedule hosting the Duquese Dukes. The Dukes have won two-straight against the Pioneers after a 37-17 win at home last year. Duquesne leads the series, 4-2. The Pioneers will close out the 2011 season on Saturday, November 19th traveling to the University at Albany. The four-time NEC Champion Great Danes lead the all-time series with SHU, 11-2, and have won nine-straight over the Pioneers.