Sacred Heart University announced its 2018 football schedule on Tuesday, highlighted by five games at home on Campus Field. The Pioneers slate features 11 games, with six Northeast Conference contests.
"I am looking forward to the coming season and I believe that we have put together a schedule that our fans can be excited about; especially our home games," said Pioneers head coach Mark Nofri. "Our non-conference home games are top-quality opponents in the FCS and we host three top-notch NEC opponents in front of the best fans in the conference."
Season-tickets for the 2018 season will be available at the Annual Red-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 14th. Those tickets will be available on sale to the general public on Monday, April 16th at the SHU Box Office or via the Pioneers Ticket Website. In addition, fans can purchase 2018 Tailgate Village passes at the Spring Game or online and by phone also beginning Monday.
The Pioneers open the 2018 season at home on September 1st as they host Lafayette at 6 p.m. for the Third Annual Hero's Day. The Pioneers lead the series with the Leopards, 3-1, including a 38-24 victory on the road last season.
The first Saturday of October is Homecoming Weekend at Sacred Heart University, as the Pioneers host the University of Pennsylvania at 3:00 p.m. It marks the first-ever meeting between the two teams. SHU will also honor cancer survivors in kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The NEC home opener falls on October 27th when Bryant visits Campus Field for Emotional Health Day. The student-athlete founded Heart-to-Heart organization will promote the importance of mental health awareness. Bryant is one of the Pioneers biggest NEC rivals, with the two teams having split the first 10 meetings of the series. The weekend is also Family Weekend on the SHU campus.
SHU Football will host Military Family Appreciate Day at its November 3rd game versus Robert Morris. SHU is 12-10 all-time against the Colonials, including a thrilling win on the road last season, as Khaamal Whitaker returned a late interception for the game-winning score. The Pioneers will recognize the role that families play in the sacrifice made by members of the US Military throughout the afternoon.
The Pioneers will honor their Senior Class prior to the home finale on November 17th as they host Saint Francis University. SHU will also take part in a celebration on National Adoption Day, helping bring attention to this important need in the nation. SHU and SFU will be playing for the 23rd time in 2018, with the Pioneers evening the all-time series, 11-11 with a 16-7 win in Loretto last season.
The Pioneers will play six games away from Campus Field this season, three against Ivy League opponents and three NEC foes. The Pioneers first road trip of the year will be to Bucknell, on September 8th. The Bison lead the all-time series 2-1.
SHU ends the month at Cornell, a team they have never lost too. The Pioneers are 2-0 all time versus the Big Red, winning 31-24 when the teams last met in Ithaca in 2016. The non-conference finale comes on the road, at Dartmouth, October 13th. It marks the sixth all-time meeting between the two teams, with the Big Green leading 3-2, including a 29-26 win last season.
The road conference slate begins at Wagner on September 22nd at 6 pm. The Seahawks have won back-to-back games in the series, which they lead 11-9, but the Pioneers have not lost at Wagner since 2011.
The Pioneers will travel in in-state rival Central Connecticut, the defending NEC Champions on October 20th. The two squads will be meeting for the 21st time with the Pioneers winning four of the last six meetings, despite trailing the series 12-8.
The road finale comes November 10th at Duquesne, in Pittsburgh. The Pioneers trail the series with the Dukes 9-4.