Admission to tomorrow's game is free of charge due to Homecoming Weekend at Southern Connecticut State
|Student-Athlete Spotlight with James Lanier
|Coach's Corner with Robert Talley
The Game: Stonehill College heads to New Haven for the first of back to back weeks as it visits Southern Connecticut State University for a Northeast-10 Conference matchup at Jess Dow Field this afternoon. The Skyhawks are looking to bounce back from its first NE-10 loss of the year to preseason Conference favorites American International in Easton, Mass., last Saturday. The Owls are winners of four straight after a 47-18 win over Pace here last Friday night. The two teams are part of a three way tie for second place in the NE-10 with American International, behind 4-0 New Haven.
Media Info: Live video webcast provided by Southern Connecticut State via www.sportingnewsct.com with Don Boyle calling the action.
Against the Owls: This afternoon marks the 18th meeting all-time between these two programs. Southern Connecticut State holds a 16-1 advantage in the all-time series, which has certainly become more competive over the last two seasons. The two teams split a pair of meetings in Easton, Mass., last season with Stonehill claiming its first ever win over SCSU with a 13-0 decision in week two, but the Owls exacted revenge with a 13-10 triumph as part of NE-10 Championship Weekend in November. Southern is 7-0 all-time against the Skyhawks here at Jess Dow Field, including a 16-6 decision here in 2011. Head Coach Robert Talley is 1-6 in his career against the Yellow Jackets.
Let's Hope the Weather Outside is Less Frightful: The early weather forecast for Saturday is for partly cloudy skies and 67-degrees. That's a far cry from Stonehill's last visit to Jess Dow Field as the 2011 game was played during the Halloween Nor'easter, which dumped heavy wet snow on the field throughout the game. Southern Connecticut survived with a 16-6 decision.
They're Honored: Stonehill junior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass.) and sophomore safety Anthony Masucci (East Haven, Conn.) were both named to the Northeast-10 Conference's weekly honor roll on Monday. Robitaille posted his fourth-straight 100 yard receiving game by totaling seven receptions for a game-high 110 yards against American International last Saturday. Masucci posted ten tackles (three solo), including 0.5 for a loss and a forced fumble against the Yellow Jackets. Both also earned a spot on the NoontimeSports.com New England Football weekly honor roll for their efforts.
Elm City State of Mind: Stonehill will become quite familiar with the Greater New Haven, Conn., area over the next two weeks as the Skyhawks visit the University of New Haven over in West Haven next Saturday (1 p.m.). The Skyhawks look to chalk up their first ever win in the city, having gone a combined 0-9 against the NE-10's two New Haven programs on the road.
Semifinalist Scholar-Athlete: Senior defensive back James Lanier (Westampton, N.J.) has been named one of a record 170 candidates for the 2013 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments. The nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, to be announced on October 31, to receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and will vie as finalists for the Campbell Trophy to be announced at the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Lanier, a Capital One Academic All-District I selection as a junior, has earned a 3.43 cumulative grade point average as a criminology major at the College.
Tops in Tackles: Junior linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass.) has totaled a Northeast-10 Conference leading (4th nationally) 66 tackles this season, ranking second in the Conference (23rd nationally) with 31 solo stops, while his 35 tackle assists lead the NE-10 as well.
Top Target: Junior wide receiver Nate Robitaille (Attleboro, Mass.) has posted over 100 receiving yards in each of the last four games, heading into this afternoon's contest and leads the NE-10 in receiving yards with 612 yards (7th nationally) and 123.4 yards per game (10th), while ranking second in the Conference with 42 receptions (8th nationally with 8.4 receptions per game. Robitaille posted career-highs for recptions (13) and receiving yards (190) for the second-straight week at Assumption in week three, finishing with a career-high matching two touchdown catches as well. The reception total is tied for second-highest all-time at Stonehill, while his yardage total ranks fourth on the single-game charts.
Don't Hurt Yourself: Stonehill ranks 26th nationally in Division II for fewest penalties against, being whistled for 5.40 penalties per game, with its 48.20 penalty yards against the 27th-lowest average in Division II. The Skyhawks rank second in the NE-10 for fewest penalties per game and third for fewest penalty yards per game.
In the Zone: Stonehill ranks second in the Northeast-10 and 24th nationally for red zone offense, scoring on 87.5-percent (14-of-16) of its trips inside the opponents 20-yard line this season. The Skyhawks have scored 11 touchdowns (5 rushing, 6 passing) and kicked three field goals for its 14 red zone scores this season.
Chart Topper: Senior quarterback Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif.) is undergoing an massive rewrite of the Stonehill passing records, having broken Hall of Famer Tony Dello Iacono's, '95 career record for touchdown passes (46) at Assumption in week three with Meyer having now passed for 50. Meyer became the program's all-time leader in passing yards (5,887) against Saint Anselm in week two and also holds career records for completions (463) and pass attempts (871).
Turning Them Over: Stonehill shares the NE-10 lead with 13 forced turnovers this season, ranking 33rd nationally for turnovers gained and 27th for turnover margin (2nd NE-10). The Skyhawks, who have forced at least one turnover every week, are +5 for the season and have recovered seven fumbles (3rd NE-10/26th nationally) and intercepted six passes (2nd NE-10/43rd nationally)
Weekly Double: Junior linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass.) posted his fifth-straight double-figure tackle performance to open the season with his 10 stops (two solo) against American International last Saturday. He posted a career-high 17 stops (nine solo) at Assumption in week three and opened the season with a then career-best 16 tackles (eight solo) at #16/18 Bloomsburg (Pa.) in week one.
You Can Put it On the Board: Senior quarterback Logan Meyer (Ventura, Calif.) ranks 10th nationally in Division II (2nd NE-10) with his 14 touchdown passes this season, also ranking 14th in points responsible for with his 14 TD passes and two rushing touchdowns giving the Skyhawks 96 points. Meyer ranks among NE-10 leaders with 1,226 passing yards (fourth), 14.4 yards per completion (2nd) and 245.2 passing yards per game (5th).
Iron Man: Senior defensive back Tim Bennett (Ventura, Calif.) has started 31-straight games for Stonehill entering this afternoon's game. He ranks tenth among NE-10 leaders with 37 tackles, while his 20 solo tackles are good for 15th. Bennett moved into a tie for sixth all-time at Stonehill with his ninth career interception at Assumption in week three, while his 12 career pass breakups are good for tenth all-time.
Force the Issue: Sophomore Anthony Masucci (East Haven, Conn.) forced his Northeast-10 leading second fumble of the season against American International last weekend (24th nationally). He leads a Stonehill defense which ranks 3rd in the NE-10 and 26th nationally with seven fumble recoveries.
For Henry: The Stonehill football team keeps the memory of former teammate and friend,Henry Thevenin, '14, close to them once again in what would have been his senior season. Thevenin passed away on June 14, 2011, due to complications from a two-month battle with leukemia. The Skyhawks continue to maintain his locker in a place of prominence in the team lockerroom. In week one of last season against Curry, the team honored Thevenin by playing its first defensive play with ten players. Thevenin appeared in seven games for the football team, starting the last six, as a freshman in 2010. He totaled 18 tackles, eight solo, with a pass breakup for the Skyhawks. Thevenin was a 2009 graduate of nearby Brockton High School and prepped one year at Suffield Academy in Connecticut.
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%.
Leaders of the Pack: For the fourth-straight year, Stonehill College is partnering with Pack Network to provide live "Packcasts" of all home football and men's and women's basketball games along with other select athletic events. Fans can access the webcasts via www.stonehillskyhawks.tv. Viewers can opt to purchase single-game passes for $6.99 or purchase an "All-Access" pass for $59.99, however Skyhawks Fans who sign up for an All-Access pass before October 1 will receive a $10 discount. All-Access pass members can view all Stonehill webcasts for the entire year, while also gaining access to the archives and be able to watch the webcasts at any time.
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: Stonehill is right back here in the New Haven area next Saturday when it visits the University of New Haven for a Northeast-10 clash at 1p.m. The Skyhawks return home the following weekend, October 26, to host LIU Post at noon.