FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart women's lacrosse head coach Laura Korutz has announced the Pioneers' 16-game 2020 schedule including eight home games and eight Northeast Conference games as SHU looks to make it back to the league tournament for the first time since 2017.
The three-time NEC Champion women's lacrosse program heads into the 2020 campaign with six repeat opponents and two first-time foes in the non-conference slate. The Pioneers open the new season with a first-time matchup against Bucknell on Saturday, Feb. 8. This also marks the first time since 2016 that the Pioneers will face a Patriot League opponent.
The first of three straight non-conference repeat opponents from 2019 starts on Feb. 15 with a game at former NEC rival Monmouth before the Pioneers host Vermont in their 2020 home opener on Feb. 28. A third trip on the road in four games to start the season comes on Tuesday, March 3 as SHU heads to face Iona in New Rochelle. This will be the sixth straight season SHU has taken on the Gaels, with Iona winning all five matchups including a tightly-contested 8-7 overtime victory in Fairfield.
Back at home, the Pioneers welcome Delaware State for another new opponent that SHU has never faced before on Friday, March 6. The Hornets are still in relative infancy at the Div. I level, having been a full-fledged program for eight seasons starting in 2020.
Three more common foes conclude the non-conference slate as SHU hosts Manhattan on Wednesday, March 11 before traveling to UMass Lowell on Saturday, March 14. SHU defeated the Riverhawks, 11-8, last season in the lone non-conference win for the Pioneers in 2019. The non-conference finale comes at home on Wednesday, March 18 as SHU welcomes crosstown rival Fairfield. SHU gave the 2019 MAAC Champion Stags everything they could handle last season, falling by a 12-11 margin in Rafferty Stadium.
The eight-game NEC slate opens on Friday, March 27 as SHU hosts the defending NEC Champion Wagner Seahawks before traveling to in-state conference foe CCSU on Sunday, March 29. SHU dominated the Blue Devils, outscoring CCSU 9-3 in the second half to win 15-9 last season, coming away with their lone NEC win of 2019.
Two more home games follow as SHU welcomes Merrimack for the first time as conference opponents in 2020. The Warriors went 11-8 last season at the Div. II level and won the NE-10 title with a 10-9 upset victory over top-seeded Le Moyne.
An extended string of home games finishes up on Saturday, April 11 with a game against the 2019 NEC Regular Season Champion Mount St. Mary's. That contest against the Mountaineers finishes a string of six-of-eight games played at home for the Pioneers. Throwing in the road game at CCSU on March 29, the Pioneers will play one game outside the state of Connecticut between March 6 through April 11.
The league slate continues with the lengthy trip out to western Pennsylvania where the Pioneers will take on Robert Morris on April 17 and Saint Francis U on April 19. The team is then back at home on Friday, April 24 for Senior Day against LIU before wrapping up league play at Bryant on April 26.
The 2020 NEC Tournament is scheduled for April 30 – May 2 with the games to be played at the top-seeded team. The semifinal round is slated for April 30 while the title game will be played on Saturday, May 2, with the winner earning the league's automatic bid into the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
The Pioneers return a bevy of contributors from the 2019 campaign including eight of the team's 10 goal scorers, the top three defenders from last season and both goalkeepers who saw action in the cage. Senior captains Elizabeth Small, Cassie Cesario and Olivia Millard anchor the team at all three levels of play while Lydia Werlau returns following one of the top rookie seasons in program history. Werlau was named Second Team All-NEC after leading all rookies in the conference in goals (38) and points (45), setting a SHU rookie record in both marks.
|2020 SHU Women's Lacrosse Schedule|
|Sunday, Feb. 2||PACE (Scrimmage)||Fairfield, CT||1:00 PM|
|Saturday, Feb. 8||at Bucknell||Lewisburg, PA||TBA|
|Saturday, Feb. 15||at Monmouth||West Long Branch, NJ||1:00 PM|
|Friday, Feb. 28||VERMONT||Fairfield, CT||2:00 PM|
|Tuesday, March 3||at Iona||New Rochelle, NY||3:00 PM|
|Friday, March 6||DELAWARE STATE||Fairfield, CT||2:00 PM|
|Wednesday, March 11||MANHATTAN||Fairfield, CT||3:00 PM|
|Saturday, March 14||at UMass Lowell||Lowell, MA||TBA|
|Wednesday, March 18||FAIRFIELD||Fairfield, CT||3:00 PM|
|Friday, March 27||WAGNER *||Fairfield, CT||3:00 PM|
|Sunday, March 29||at CCSU *||New Britain, CT||TBA|
|Sunday, April 5||MERRIMACK *||Fairfield, CT||1:00 PM|
|Saturday, April 11||MOUNT ST. MARY'S *||Fairfield, CT||1:00 PM|
|Friday, April 17||at Robert Morris *||Moon Township, PA||TBA|
|Sunday, April 19||at Saint Francis U *||Loretto, PA||TBA|
|Friday, April 24||LIU *||Fairfield, CT||3:00 PM|
|Sunday, April 26||at Bryant *||Smithfield, RI||1:00 PM|
|Thursday, April 30||NEC Semifinals||@ No. 1 seed||TBA|
|Saturday, May 2||NEC Championship||@ No. 1 seed||TBA|