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Fairfield, CT -- The Sacred Heart football program announced their 11-game schedule for the 2012 season. The Pioneers begin their 22nd season on the gridiron this fall and 14th season playing in the Northeast Conference. This year's slate features just four home games and first ever meetings with Morgan State and Colgate.
The season will kick-off on Saturday, September 1st with the Pioneers making the trip to Baltimore to take on the Morgan State Bears. This will not only be the first-ever meeting with the Bears but the first time SHU will face a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The Bears finished 5-6 last season including a 13-12 win over Robert Morris at home.
Game two will also feature a first-ever match-up as the Pioneers travel to Hamilton, NY to take on the Colgate Raiders of the Patriot League. SHU will have a week off to prepare for Colagte, taking the field against the Raiders on Saturday, September 15th. The Pioneers are 1-3 all-time against teams from the Patriot League, beating Georgetown and losing to Holy Cross twice and Lafayette. Colgate will also play Albany from the NEC this season.
The Pioneers last non-conference game is scheduled for October 13th at Dartmouth. This will be the third-straight season the two teams have met on the gridiron, splitting the first two meeting with both winning on their home field. SHU posted a 24-21 win last season on Homecoming Weekend. The Pioneers are 2-1 against the Ivy League, beating Columbia last year as well.
SHU closes out a three-game road swing to start the season by opening Northeast Conference play on September 29th traveling to Monmouth. The Hawks lead the all-time series 12-5 and posted a 31-17 win in Fairfield last season. SHU took home a 26-25 win on their last visit to the Jersey Shore in 2010.
Sacred Heart will also travel to Duquesne, Bryant and Saint Francis (PA) and play host to Central Connecticut State, Wagner, Albany and Robert Morris to complete the NEC slate. After traveling to Monmouth, SHU comes home to face in-state rival CCSU in their 2012 home opener and on Homecoming Weekend, Saturday September 29th. SHU ended a seven-game Central winning streak in the series last fall with a 37-24 win on the road in New Britain. The Blue Devils lead the all-time series, 9-5.
The Wagner Seahawks come to town on Saturday, October 6th to continue a series that has been dominated by the home team over the years. The series is locked a seven wins apiece, and starting in 2002, the two teams have alternated wins each year on their home fields. The Seahawks won 27-21 last season on Staten Island. SHU is 6-1 at home on Campus Field all-time vs. Wagner.
The first of two road trips to Western Pennsylvania takes place on Saturday, October 20th when SHU heads to Pittsburgh to take on the Duquesne Dukes. SHU has lost three-straight to the Dukes and trail 5-2 in the all-time series, but both wins have come on the road at Duquesne.
The defending NEC Champion Albany Great Danes come to Fairfield on Saturday, October 27th for "SHU Family Weekend". The Pioneers are hoping to end a 10-game losing streak to the Great Danes, a streak that dates back to the 2001 season. The Robert Morris Colonials close out the home schedule on Saturday, November 10th for "Senior Day". The series is tied at 7-7 after SHU posted a 27-15 win in Moon Township last season.
The Pioneers final two road games of the 2012 season are slated for Saturday, November 3rd at Bryant and Saturday, November 17th at Saint Francis (PA). The Pioneers lead the all-time series with Bryant 3-2 but are just 1-2 against the Bulldogs since they became members of the NEC in 2009. Bryant has won two-straight, posting a 25-24 win at home in 2010 and a 26-6 win in Fairfield last season. Sacred Heart heads back to Western Pennsylvania to close out the season against the Red Flash. SHU is 10-6 all-time against SFU and pasted the Red Flash 60-45 last season. The Pioneers last trip to Loretto in 2010 saw SHU shut-out for the first time in four seasons in a 41-0 loss.
Spring practice is currently underway and will culminate on Saturday, April 28th with the annual Red & White Spring Game.