Students (with valid NE-10 ID)- $2
Tickets Available gameday only at the ticket booth
| Student-Athlete Spotlight with Nate Robitaille
| Coaches' Corner with Robert Talley
The Game: Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll, ranked eighth in the NCAA Division II Super Region 1 rankings and fifth in the ECAC Lambert Meadowlands poll, and American International College clash for the 2013 Northeast-10 Conference Championship at Ronald J. Abdow Field this afternoon. The Skyhawks and Yellow Jackets earned a share of the NE-10 Regular Season title, with AIC earning the top seed and by way of its regular season win over Stonehill in October. The winner of this afternoon's game will also likely earn a spot in the NCAA Division II Tournament set to kick off next Saturday with first round action. The Skyhawks are winners of five straight since its loss to AIC after posting a 26-14 win at Merrimack last Saturday, while the Yellow Jackets have won six in a row after a 33-14 win over Southern Connecticut State here last weekend.
Media Info: Live video of this afternoon's game is available via www.northeast10.tv. Roei Biberstain and Jacob VanRyn have the call of the action powered by Pack Network. WSHL 91.3 FM will also be broadcasting the game back to Easton with Tim Culverhouse and Brandon Murray calling the action for the radio broadcast.
We're Going to the 'Ship!: Stonehill is making its first appearance in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship in program history. The Skyhawks did participate in an IFC Bowl in 1995, dropping a 46-3 decision to rival Bentley.
Postseason History: This marks the second year of the Northeast-10 Conference's Championship Weekend format. In addition to this afternoon's NE-10 Championship, all of the other eight Conference teams are also playing. Stonehill was seeded fourth last season and dropped a 13-10 decision to seventh-seeded Southern Connecticut State at W.B. Mason Stadium in Easton. Prior to that, Stonehill competed in one IFC Bowl in 1995.
We Could Be Dancing: Stonehill moved up one spot to No. 8 in this week's NCAA Division II Super Region 1 rankings released by the NCAA Regional Advitory Committee on Monday. The Skyhawks were ranked seventh in the first edition of the rankings released on October 28, marking the first time in program history the Skyhawks have been ranked in the regional rankings used for NCAA Tournament selection, and slipped to 9th the following week. Stonehill and American International (ranked 7th) are the lone Northeast-10 Conference programs in this week's rankings and are both within the necessary top eight to put themselves in position for at least an Earned Access bid to the NCAA Tournament for the winner of today's game. Six teams from each of four regions earn bids to the NCAA Division II Championships. The Skyhawks seek their first NCAA Tournament bid in program history.
Against the Yellow Jackets: This afternoon marks the 18th meeting all-time between these two programs. American International has won each of the first 17 encounters between the two programs dating back to 1997, including a 31-10 triumph in Easton, Mass., in the regular season matchup on October 5. Stonehill is 0-7 all-time here at Abdow Field, with the Yellow Jackets claiming a 28-17 victory here in 2012. Head Coach Robert Talley is 0-7 in his career against the Yellow Jackets.
Defensive Player of the Week: Stonehill junior cornerback Sterry Codrington (Freehold, N.J.) has been named the Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week by the league office on Monday. He led a Stonehill defensive effort in Saturday's 26-14 triumph at Merrimack College that quieted the Northeast-10's top offense, which entered the game averaging 42.3 points and 525.2 yards of total offense per game. The Skyhawks held the high-powered Warriors to just 14 second half points and 359 total yards, including just 62 yards in a scoreless first half and forcing four turnovers for the afternoon. Codrington posted a career-high 11 tackles (eight solo), including 1.0 for a loss of two yards, a forced fumble, interception and pass breakup. Codrington earns the weekly award for the second time this season, but it marks the seventh time in ten weeks this season a Stonehill student-athlete has collected the honors with junior Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass.) leading the way with four and junior cornerback Nate Morris (Providence, R.I.) receiving one.
They're Honored: Stonehill junior linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass.), junior defensive tackle Taylor Russell (Keene, N.H.) and junior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass.) as well as sophomore running back Colin Markus (Monroe, Conn.) and classmate Steve Grzywacz (Manchester, N.H.) were all named to the Northeast-10 Conference's weekly honor roll on Monday for their efforts in Saturday's win at Merrimack. Harrington posted a game-high 16 tackles (eight solo), with a sack for a loss of nine yards and a pass breakup. Russell matched his career-high with five tackles (three solo), including 1.5 for a loss of ten yards, a sack, fumble recovery and interception. Robitaille caught seven passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Markus had a career-high 31 carries for 185 yards. Grzywacz kicked a pair of field goals, including a career-best 45-yarder, and chipped in two extra points. Harrington, Russell, Robitaille and Markus all were also named to the NoontimeSports.com New England Football Weekly honor roll along with junior cornerback Sterry Codrington (Freehold, N.J.).
Team of the Week: Stonehill has earned New England Division II Team of the Week recognition from NoontimeSports.com for the fifth time this season on Monday for its performance in Saturday's 26-14 win over Merrimack to clinch a share of its first NE-10 regular season championship. Stonehill's defense quieted the Northeast-10's top offense, which entered the game averaging 42.3 points and 525.2 yards of total offense per game, holding the high-powered Warriors to just 14 second half points and 359 total yards, including just 62 yards in a scoreless first half and forcing four turnovers for the afternoon. Merrimack quarterback Joe Clancy was held in check on 33-of-56 passing for a season-low 251 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, while being sacked four times. He entered the game ranked second in Division II with 400.6 yards per game and Division II leading 42 touchdown passes. The Skyhawks have received the recognition following wins over Assumption, Bentley, Southern Connecticut State and New Haven as well.
Votes of Confidence: Stonehill appears among teams receiving votes in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll for the fifth-straight week and sixth time this season overall. The Skyhawks received votes for the first time in program history in the September 23 poll with five votes and have collected four votes this week. Stonehill is joined in the receiving votes group by fellow NE-10 Championship Game participant American International (12 votes) in this week's poll.
#VoteTalley: Fans can now vote for head coach Robert Talley for the NCAA Division II Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year program at coachoftheyear.com. The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recognizes college football coaches who demonstrate Sportsmanship, Integrity, Responsibility and Excellence both on and off the field. Endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame, the program awards one winning coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II, and III) with $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school's alumni association, and the Coach of the Year trophy. Coach Talley is now close to cracking the top ten, sitting at ninth as of Wednesday morning. Remember to #VoteTalley once a day!
Polling Information: Stonehill held its position at No. 5 for the third straight week in this week's Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Lambert Meadowlands Division II poll released on Monday. The Skyhawks made its first appearance in the prestigious regional poll in program history in the inaugural poll of the season at No. 8 before moving up to No. 6 the following week and then fifth on October 28. Stonehill is one of three NE-10 members in the poll with American International tied for second and New Haven ninth.
November Reign: Since head coach Robert Talley took over the program in 2007, Stonehill is 10-3 in the month of November after last weekend's 26-14 win at Merrimack. The three losses are to American International in the final game of 2007, at Bentley to close out the 2010 season and against Southern Connecticut State in 2012 on NE-10 Championship Weekend.
Five in a Row: The Skyhawks have won five straight games for the first time since 1996, which also marks the last time Stonehill has won eight games in a season – one shy of the program record of nine wins in 1995.
History in the Making: Stonehill enters today's NE-10 Championship just a win shy of the program record set with its 9-2 season in 1995. Stonehill's 8-2 start is the program's best since 1996 when it finished 8-2, which also marks the last time Stonehill finished above .500 before this season. The Skyhawks 38-28 win over LIU Post clinched the program's first winning season since 1996 and the Skyhawks 29-26 comeback win at New Haven clinched a second-straight winning record in the NE-10, marking the first time the Skyhawks have finished above .500 in back to back seasons since the NE-10 started sponsoring football in 2000 and the first time the program has posted back to back winning Conference records since 1995 and 1996.
Comeback Kids: Stonehill has rallied from double figure deficits four times this season. The Skyhawks trailed LIU Post by 14 early in the second quarter on October 26 before reeling off 31-straight points to take control. Stonehill rallied from a 12 point (26-14) deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to claim its 29-26 victory at New Haven in week seven. The Skyhawks erased three 14 point margins before claiming a 41-38 overtime victory at Assumption on September 20 and then dug out of a pair of 14 point holes in the first half at Southern Connecticut State on October 12 to win 23-21.
Tops in Tackles: Junior linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass.) has set a new single-season program record with his NE-10 leading 134 tackles (3rd nationally), breaking the previous record of 128 stops by Steve Sheeler, '04, in 2003. Harrington enters the NE-10 Championship 14 stops shy of the NE-10 single-season record of 148 by Joe Streany of Pace in 2007. Harrington has posted double-figure tackles in nine of ten games and also leads the Conference with 62 solo tackles (16th nationally) and 72 tackle assists. Harrington has posted a team-high 92 tackles against the rush this season, with 33 against the pass and three on special teams.
Top Target: Junior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass.) enters this afternoon's NE-10 Championship just one touchdown catch shy of the single-season record of 13 touchdown receptions set by Mike Plichta, '06, in 2005 and his 72 points scored this season are 12 shy of the single-season scoring record of 86 points by Eddie Vachon, '11, in 2010. Robitaille has 20 career touchdown receptions, which is just two behind the all-time record at Stonehill of 22 by Dan Cahill, '96. Robitaille's 20 career TDs ranks seventh in program history for total touchdowns scored - 14 shy of Vachon's career record of 34. Robitaille has already shattered the program's single-season records for receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,145) this season. His 116 yards on seven receptions against Pace in week nine made him the first player in program history to go over 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Robitaille's 8.7 receptions per game is on pace to shatter the previous record of 5.8 per game by Adamson in 1996.
In the Nate of Time: Junior defensive back Nate Morris (Providence, R.I.) took over the Northeast-10 Conference lead (13th nationally) with five interceptions this season after collecting a pair in Stonehill's 38-28 win over LIU Post in week eight. He returned his second interception of the day 37 yards for a touchdown, marking the 16th player in program history with an interception returned for a TD. His five interceptions this season are good for fourth on the program's single-season list, three shy of the school record of eight by Tom O'Connell in 2001.
Movin' On Up: Senior QB Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif.) broke both the program's single-season records for touchdown passes with his 25th scoring pass against Pace last weekend, breaking the previous record of 24 set by Dan Field in 1995, while his 314 pass attempts this year surpassed the previous record of 208 by John Darak in 1998. Meyer is now eight completions shy of his own single-season mark of 166 set last season, while his 2,149 passing yards this fall is 66 short of his own single-season record of 2,215 in 2012.
Iron Man: Senior defensive back Tim Bennett (Ventura, Calif.) has started 36-straight games for Stonehill entering this afternoon's game. He ranks 16th among NE-10 leaders with 64 tackles, and his ten career interceptions rank sixth on the program's all-time list. Bennett's 17 career pass breakups are good for seventh all-time.
Return Streak: Stonehill has returned at least one kickoff for a touchdown in each of the last nine seasons dating back to 2005 after senior Paul Piccirillo (Shelton, Conn.) ripped off a 90-yard return for a score to answer Merrimack's second touchdown of the day on Saturday. The Skyhawks have returned 15 kickoffs for a touchdown over that span. Former Stonehill All-American Stephan Neville, '12, set an NCAA Division II record with ten career kickoff return touchdowns during his career from 2008-2011. Kevin Anderson, '13 kept the streak alive by taking the opening kickoff of the 2012 season against Bloomsburg back for a score, marking the team's last return TD.
Slow Starters: Stonehill has been outscored 59-37 in the first quarter this season. The Skyhawks have recovered to hold an 89-65 advantage in the second quarter, 81-58 in the third quarter and a dominant 91-55 advantage in the fourth quarter. Stonehill holds a 178-116 scoring advantage (17.8-11.6) in the second half this year.
We Could Be Here A While: Stonehill features a combined 21 freshmen and sophomores in this week's two deep. 13 freshmen are among the 21 underclassmen on the two deep and seven underclassmen are slated to start this afternoon.
Hey, Hey, You, Get Off of McLeod: Sophomore wide receiver Gordon McLeod (Weymouth, Mass.) leads the NE-10 with 15.8 yards per reception, having caught 33 passes for 520 yards, both second on the team, with three touchdowns.
Turning Them Over: Stonehill leads the NE-10 with 28 forced turnovers this season, ranking 12th nationally for turnovers gained and 16th for turnover margin (T1st NE-10) . The Skyhawks, who have forced at least one turnover every week, are +11 for the season and have recovered 12 fumbles (2nd NE-10/27th nationally) and intercepted 16 passes (2nd NE-10/19th). Stonehill forced a season-high five turnovers in its week six win at Southern Connecticut State, finishing with three fumble recoveries and two interceptions, and added four more (all interceptions) against LIU Post in week eight as well as week ten at Merrimack (2 FR/2 INT).
Handy Ryan: Junior Ryan Handy (Howell, N.J.) ranks second among NE-10 leaders for punts (55) and punting average (40.3 yds/punt). He has a long of 68 yards and leads the NE-10 with 16 punts inside the opponent's 20 yard line. Handy's punting average ranks 36th nationally in Division II and is on pace to set a new program record, topping Sean Donahue's '08, single-season best of 39.53 yards per punt in 2007. His 39.02 career average is also on pace to break Joe Crowley's, '04, record of 37.84 from 2000-03.
All-Purpose Performer: Junior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass.) ranks fifth among NE-10 leaders (30th nationally) for all-purpose yards per game (152.6). He leads the NE-10 (15th nationally) with his team-high 1,145 receiving yards, ranking third with 85 receptions (9th) and second with 12 touchdown catches (11th). Robitaille also ranks second in the NE-10 (19th nationally) with his 28.6 yards per kickoff return. His 1,526 all-purpose yards has moved him into second on the program's single-season list, 11 yards behind the single-season record of 1,537 by Mike McSharry in 1995.
Don't Hurt Yourself: Stonehill leads the NE-10 and ranks sixth nationally for fewest penalty yards per game (33.8) and eighth nationally with a league-low penalties per game (4.10).
In the Zone: Stonehill leads the Northeast-10 and ranks 12th nationally for red zone offense, scoring on 88.6-percent (31-of-35) of its trips inside the opponents 20-yard line this season. The Skyhawks enter this weekend's matchup at American International having scored on 14 straight trips inside the red zone with nine touchdowns and three field goals in that span. The Skyhawks have scored 25 touchdowns (10 rushing, 15 passing) and kicked six field goals for its 31 red zone scores this season.
Aye, Aye, Captains: Head Coach Robert Talley named seniors Tim Bennett (DB), Logan Meyer (QB) and Justin Willis (RB) as team captains for the 2013 season after a vote of the returning players last spring.
Making an IMPACT: Prior to the start of spring ball, the Stonehill College football team welcomed Nick Claudio (Mattapoisett, Mass.) to its program during a draft ceremony through Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges, Together). Team IMPACT is a New England based non-profit that aims at improving the quality of life for kids facing life-threatening illnesses by creating unparalleled team based support systems with area college athletic teams. Nick is the latest from Team IMPACT to join the Skyhawk family as the football team joins the men's and women's basketball, field hockey and ice hockey teams to be involved with the program. Nick, 12-years old, was diagnosed with a brain tumor on his optic nerve in July, 2010, that put so much pressure on his optic nerve that it led to losing his vision. He has remained upbeat, being quoted as saying in a recent news article, "A loss of sight is never a loss of vision, you need to be able to look forward and keep moving." After losing his vision, he has adapted to life being blind by teaching himself braille, learning to ski and graduating from his elementary school at the top of his class. In July 2012, doctors found two additional tumors, one on his auditory nerve. In an effort to save his hearing, doctors opted to treat it with chemo and radiation rather than doing surgery which carries the threat of him going deaf.
Academic Success: Stonehill College has been recognized for its academic performance with regard to graduation rate by earning a 97-percent Academic Success Rating (ASR) as released by the NCAA last fall. The ASR considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes while also giving credit for any student-athletes that transferred from the institution while in good academic standing. In addition to Stonehill's overall ASR of 97%, nine of Stonehill's 16 athletic programs (cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field are combined by the NCAA) received perfect scores of 100%. Stonehill's 97% ASR ranks second among NE-10 institutions behind just Saint Michael's College (98%) and ranks fifth overall in NCAA Division II. The football team maintained an ASR of 95% - signifigantly higher than the federal rate of 80%.
Getting Social: Fans and media members of Stonehill athletics now have two social media outlets to get updates on all 20 varsity programs. The department's Facebook page is www.facebook.com/stonehillskyhawks, and you can also follow @SkyhawkTalk on Twitter!
On Deck: The winner of this afternoon's game will most likely earn an NCAA Tournament bid, either as the six-seed or through Earned Access by being ranked in the top eight and not having an NE-10 team ranked in the top six. The NCAA Tournament gets underway next Saturday with each region's No. 3 seed hosting the No. 6 and No. 4 seed hosting the No. 5.