Skyhawks and New Haven to play on national stage at W.B. Mason Stadium for second time in four years on Saturday, October 15
EASTON, Mass. (June 23, 2016) – Stonehill College has officially released its 2016 football schedule, highlighted by its October 15 Northeast-10 Conference matchup with the University of New Haven again receiving a national spotlight through the NCAA Division II Football Showcase which will be broadcast live on ESPN3, WatchESPN.
It marks the second time in four years Stonehill's home matchup with New Haven will receive a national broadcast, after its 2012 contest that was named the Northeast-10 Game of the Year by D2Football.com from Timothy J. Coughlin '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium was televised on CBS Sports Network. The Chargers, ranked No. 3 nationally at the time, won that back and forth battle, 45-41, rallying from a ten point fourth quarter deficit capped by a winning touchdown with six seconds remaining. This year's game on ESPN3, WatchESPN is scheduled for Saturday, October 15, from W.B. Mason Stadium at 6 p.m.
"Our program is very excited about the opportunity to compete on ESPN3," said Stonehill first year head coach Eli Gardner. "We feel very fortunate to be selected for another national broadcast, allowing us an opportunity to display what Stonehill football is all about on a national stage. It is a great experience for our players and community alike, and I'm sure it will be another great atmosphere for a football game W.B. Mason Stadium."
The Stonehill/New Haven game is part of the NCAA Division II Football Showcase, in which 22 regular season games will be carried by ESPN3, WatchESPN and American Sports Network. Of the 22-game slate, 18 games have been predetermined. An additional four flex games (two per network) will be finalized later in the football season and played Nov. 5 and 12. The flex games are expected to highlight premier and pivotal matchups.
"This second year, with an expanded broadcast schedule, continues to give Division II student-athletes a chance to play in front of a national audience," said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II. "Division II student-athletes balance community engagement and strong academics with their athletics, and this national platform gives the division the opportunity to highlight the successes of these student-athletes on and off the field."
ESPN3 is ESPN's live multiscreen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through WatchESPN. The network is currently available nationwide at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. It is also available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
Stonehill's ten game football schedule opens on Saturday, September 2, when it hosts perennial NCAA East Regional power Bloomsburg (Pa.) University from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) for a non-conference matchup as part of "Skyhawks Kickoff Weekend" at W.B. Mason Stadium at 6 p.m. It marks the Huskies third visit to Easton as the two programs open a third-straight home and home series scheduling agreement which will see the Skyhawks return to Pennsylvania to open the 2017 season.
Stonehill opens its NE-10 schedule in week two at Southern Connecticut State University on Friday, September 9, at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks schedule features no back to back road or home dates this season, with them returning to W.B. Mason Stadium on Saturday, September 17, to host LIU Post on Family Weekend at 6 p.m. Stonehill rounds out the opening month of the season at Saint Anselm College for the "Battle for the Ol' Bronze Hawk" on Saturday, September 24, at noon.
Stonehill will be home for three of five weekends in October, opening the month by hosting Merrimack College on Saturday, October 1, at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks visit American International College on Saturday, October 8, at 1 p.m., before returning home for its nationally broadcasted matchup with New Haven on October 15 at 6 p.m. Stonehill heads to Waltham, Massachusetts on Saturday, October 22, to battle rival Bentley University at 1 p.m., before returning home on Saturday, October 29, to host defending NE-10 Champions Assumption College for Senior Day at 1 p.m.
Stonehill closes out the regular season on Saturday, November 5, at Pace University at noon. The fifth annual NE-10 Championship Weekend will be conducted on Saturday, November 12. In addition to the top two teams in the Conference battling for the NE-10 title, games will be played between the No. 3 and 4 seeds, No. 5 versus No. 6, No. 7 versus No. 8 and No. 9 versus No. 10, with higher seeds hosting throughout.
"The NE-10 has been very competitive over the last several years and this year will be no different," said Gardner. "Every week will be a huge game that can severely impact your season. We are excited to kick off our season at home against an extremely tough out of conference opponent, and our goal is to be playing on November 12th with a trip to the NCAA tournament on the line."
Stonehill finished 2015 with its second winning season over the past three years, posting a 7-4 record overall, including 5-4 in NE-10 play to finish fourth in the Conference standings. The College promoted Gardner, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston's 2015 Division II Assistant Coach of the Year, as its seventh head coach in the program's varsity era earlier this month.
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