As the calendar hits 2021 in less than a month, Sacred Heart sports are going to continue to return after a vacant fall season due to COVID-19 concerns.
On Thursday afternoon, the Northeast Conference (NEC) announced its return to play plan for six fall sports that had their initial fall seasons postponed due to the virus.
“Today is the culmination of a long journey to provide our fall student-athletes with the opportunity to once again experience the joy and exhilaration of NEC competition,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. “While the season may look different and we need to be prepared to adapt along the way, I applaud the NEC Council of Presidents, conference administrators and medical staff, and coaches in their unwavering commitment to create a healthy and safe competitive environment.”
Cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, field hockey, and football all had their spring schedules laid out, or at least the beginning of them.
The NEC Men’s & Women’s Cross Championships will take place on Saturday, February 27th hosted by Bryant University, which is location in Smithfield, Rhode Island. In the event of inclement weather, the makeup date is scheduled for March 5.
Women’s Soccer teams will play nine conference matches in a single round-robin format over seven weeks from Feb. 23 to April 9, with games happening on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Men’s Soccer teams will play eight conference matches in a single round-robin format over seven weeks from Feb. 22 to April 8, with matches being played on Mondays and Thursdays.
For women’s volleyball, teams will play 14 conference matches over seven weeks from February 16 to March 31. Each school will play seven opponents in a same-day doubleheader format. Matches will be played on Tuesdays from Feb. 16 to March 2, and on Wednesdays from March 10 to March 31. At season’s end, the top two teams in the conference will battle for the conference title.
Field Hockey teams will play seven conference matches in a single round-robin format over five weeks from March 15 to April 12. Matches will be played on Monday/Thursday. After those five weeks, the top two teams in the conference will play for a chance to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Lastly, football programs will play a four game conference schedule starting on March 5-7, 2021. Games will take place on Sundays or midweek. Following a similar format to the other fall sports, the top two teams will play each other for an automatic bid to the FCS playoffs.