NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-For the second time this seasons, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team will play at home as they host Salve Regina Saturday in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game. Kickoff is set for 12 noon at Cressy Field.
The Corsairs enter the game at 1-4 after losing to MIT last Saturday, 28-27. The Seahawks are 5-0 after a defeating Western New England last Saturday, 43-0.
"It's always a boost to play at home," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "You don't have the stress of traveling, you can focus a little bit more on game day, and it's always a challenge to play a quality opponent."
SRU has beaten three NEFC opponents decisively, and earned wins against regional powers Union and Montclair State prior to beginning their conference schedule. "Salve Regina is a very good team, they're the number one team in New England," said Robichaud. "They've played some very tough opponents. Salve is extremely talented. Defensively, they run a very good scheme that is very difficult to take advantage of. Their offense is well-balanced, they play hard, and they are very well-coached."
Freshman Liam Cosgrove (Plymouth, MA/Plymouth South HS) will make his first start at quarterback, taking over for starter Patrick Orlando (Sr. Manchester, MA/Essex HS/Saint Anselm), who was injured last week against MIT.
"Losing Patrick is a huge loss, but with Liam Cosgrove, our offense will be in good hands," said Robichaud. "It's going to be a baptism under fire for him, and I think he's going to react very positively. Liam is not as experienced as Patrick, but we will have to have other people step up, and we will."
The Seahawks will be a challenge. "They are well-balanced, and will be well-prepared," said Robichaud. "They don't run a complicated offense, they just have very good personnel and a very good scheme. We have to be very disciplined defensively, and each person has to do his job and we'll be fine."
The play of senior kicker Edgar Osols (Summit, NJ/Summit HS) could be a key. "Edgar is having an outstanding year," said Robichaud. "He has had a number of punts inside the 10 yard line that have changed field position, and his kickoffs have been inside the five-yard line. His field goal percentage is outstanding, and he is having a tremendous year."
A strong effort could go a long way this weekend. "We need some big plays, both offensively and defensively," said Robichaud. "We need to put some points on the board, maintain our confidence and come out and play to the best of our ability."
The Corsairs will visit Nichols next weekend, returning home in two weeks to play Endicott.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL