FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart University head football coach Mark Nofri announced the 2019 schedule on Tuesday, highlighted by five games played on Campus Field. The defending NEC Co-Champion Pioneers' 2019 slate features 12 contests, the most regular season games SHU has played since the 2013 campaign, and a spotlight Friday night matchup at 2018 FCS Semifinalist Maine to kickoff the season on August 30. All home game start times and promotions will be announced at a later date.
"We can't wait to kick off the 2019 campaign and feel this schedule will prepare us to compete for another opportunity to win a NEC Championship," Coach Nofri said. "I'm excited for our first-ever matchup against the University of Maine, a top 20 FCS program. We are lucky to play in front of one of the best crowds in the conference and can't wait to see Pioneer Nation on September 7th at our home opener against Bucknell."
Those interested in purchasing or renewing season tickets will be available as a presale at the annual Red-White Spring Game held on Saturday, April 13th. Season tickets will be available on sale to the general public on Monday, April 15th at the SHU Box Office or via the Pioneers' ticket website. In addition, fans can purchase or renew 2019 Tailgate Village presented by Stamford Ford Lincoln passes as a presale at the Spring Game or online and by-phone beginning Monday.
The Pioneers open the 2019 season with a featured matchup at Maine on Friday, August 30th, with kickoff from Alfond Stadium set for 6 PM. The Black Bears, who advanced to the FCS Semifinals for the first time in program history, concluded the 2018 campaign with a Top 5 national ranking. This is the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
The home opener is slated for the following weekend as the Pioneers welcome Bucknell on Saturday, Sept. 7th. SHU defeated the Bison in Lewisburg last season, 30-14, to even their all-time record to 2-2 against Bucknell. The Pioneers head into 2019 having won their last seven consecutive home openers, with their last home opening defeat coming to Marist back in 2011.
The reigning NEC Regular Season Co-Champion's conference home opener and SHU's Homecoming Weekend coincide on Saturday, Oct. 5th as in-state rival CCSU comes to Campus Field. The Pioneers scored a thrilling 28-25 come-from-behind win over the Blue Devils in New Britain last season.
SHU looks to avenge its lone 2018 NEC loss on as the Pioneers welcome Duquesne on Saturday, Oct. 19th. The Pioneers dropped to 4-10 all-time against the Dukes after a tightly-contested 28-24 defeat last season. The contest also falls on SHU's annual Family Weekend.
The final home NEC contest of the season falls on Saturday, Nov. 9th as Wagner comes to Campus Field. SHU dominated last season's meetup with the Seahawks, 41-14, to win their fourth straight road game played at Wagner.
The Pioneers are set to honor their senior class members prior to the home finale on Saturday, Nov. 17th as they host Lehigh for the final non-conference game of the 2019 slate. This marks the second first-time opponent for SHU in the new season and the lone time the Pioneers host consecutive home games.
In addition to the season opener at Maine, the Pioneers play seven of their 12 games away from Campus Field in 2019, with four coming against NEC foes and two against Patriot League competition.
Following the Maine opener, the Pioneers' next road trip falls on Saturday, Sept. 14th with a trip to Easton, Pennsylvania to face Lafayette (game time TBD). This marks the third straight season the Pioneers face the Leopards as SHU looks to extend their three-game win streak against Lafayette. SHU posted a dominating 35-6 win over the Leopards in the Pioneers' 2018 season opener from Campus Field.
The NEC welcomes a new member in 2019 as the Pioneers travel to LIU (formerly LIU Post) on Saturday, Sept. 21st (game time TBD). This marks just the second time these two sides have met (first and only meeting came in 1997) and the first time as league foes. LIU enters the NEC and FCS ranks as a very successful NCAA Div. II program, having won 13 NE-10 Titles.
SHU will next hit the road again for a non-conference game at Penn on Saturday, Oct. 12th (game time TBD). A repeat opponent from the 2018 campaign, the Quakers toppled the Pioneers, 31-27, on Campus Field in what was the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
Consecutive away NEC games fall on Saturday, Oct. 26th and Saturday, Nov. 2nd as the Pioneers first travel to Saint Francis U (Oct. 26th – 12 PM kickoff). SHU and SFU are set to meet for the 24th time in 2019 (Pioneers lead all-time series 12-11). Last season's meeting saw the Pioneers claim a 13-7 home win that clinched a share of the 2018 NEC Regular Season title.
The conference road swing continues at Beirne Stadium with a showdown against Bryant on Saturday, Nov. 2nd (game time TBD). The Pioneers look to repeat what was a historical 49-26 win over the Bulldogs last season that saw running back Jordan Meachum break the program record with 318 rushing yards (fourth-highest single-game total in NEC history). SHU rushed for 538 yards against the Bulldogs in 2018 to become the first team in NEC history to rush for over 500 yards in a game. The Pioneers are 6-5 all-time against the Bulldogs and have won two of the last three contests played in Smithfield.
The 2019 season concludes with a lengthy trip to face Robert Morris on Saturday, Nov. 23rd (game time TBD). The Pioneers have dominated the Colonials of-late, heading into the 2019 campaign riding a six-game win streak against RMU. Last season's 38-7 drubbing at home stood as the largest win of the 2018 season for the Pioneers. SHU is 7-4 all-time on the road against the Colonials and have won four straight meetings in Moon Township.
|2019 SHU Football Schedule|
|Aug. 30||at Maine||Alfond Stadium - Bangor, ME||6 PM|
|Sept. 7||Bucknell||Campus Field - Fairfield, CT||TBA|
|Sept. 14||at Lafayette||Fisher Stadium - Easton, PA||TBA|
|Sept. 21||at LIU*||Bethpage Stadium - Brookville, NY||TBA|
|Oct. 5||CCSU*||Campus Field - Fairfield, CT||TBA|
|Oct. 12||at Penn||Franklin Field - Philadelphia, PA||TBA|
|Oct. 19||Duquesne*||Campus Field - Fairfield, CT||TBA|
|Oct. 26||at Saint Francis U*||DeGol Field - Loretto, PA||TBA|
|Nov. 2||at Bryant*||Beirne Stadium - Smithfield, RI||TBA|
|Nov. 9||Wagner*||Campus Field - Fairfield, CT||TBA|
|Nov. 16||Lehigh||Campus Field - Fairfield, CT||TBA|
|Nov. 23||at Robert Morris*||Joe Walton Stadium - Moon Township, PA||TBA|
* - Northeast Conference game
Home games are in bold