NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team will enter a new era next season.
The Corsairs, who have been longtime members of the New England Football Conference, will join the Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference next fall, joining seven other NEFC members and Western Connecticut State, which is moving from the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
For the third year in a row, UMass Dartmouth will open their season against Mount Ida. The Corsairs and Mustangs will meet at Cressy Field on Friday evening, September 6th. UMass Dartmouth will also host Plymouth State in the annual homecoming game September 28th. Bridgewater State will be the visitor Friday night, October 11th. Worcester State will visit Cressy Field Saturday, October 19th, and Western Connecticut will be the visitor for the season's final home game November 2nd.
After a week off following the opener, UMD will visit Westfield State September 21st. The Corsairs will also play at Framingham State October 5th, Massachusetts Maritime October 26th and Fitchburg State in the season finale November 9th.
Westfield State, Worcester State and Western Connecticut are newcomers to the schedule, and the Corsairs and Mass Maritime last met in an NEFC crossover game in 2005.
"I'm very pleased with the schedule, and I am excited to start playing in the MASCAC," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "There are a few teams on the schedule that we've never played. It will be extra work preparing for them, and it will be a great challenge."
The opener should be a tight contest, as UMD and Mt. ida have opened against each other in each of the past two seasons and split victories by identical scores of 24-21, with each team winning at home.
"That meeting will set the tone for the season," said Robichaud. "We've played them first in each of the last two years and we won one and they won one. It's nice to open at home and at night, and I think we'll continue that relationship for the foreseeable future."
An off week follows before UMD visits Westfield State. "We really haven't had an off week since I've been here, and I think it will be a good change in our routine," said Robichaud. "We've never played Westfield, and that's the alma mater of our defensive coordinator (Steve Faniel), and he's excited o play them. It will give us another week to prepare."
MIT, Salve Regina, Nichols, Endicott, Curry and Western New England were regulars on past football schedules, and they're all gone as a result of the move to the MASCAC.
"We're playing against schools that are similar to us," said Robichaud. "I think the move to the MASCAC has leveled the playing field. I'm very excited to see what we can do in the new conference."
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL