Sydney Johnson and Fairfield seek third straight postseason appearance this season, which begins with home game against Penn. (Photo by Vincent Simone/NYC Buckets)
In search of a third consecutive trip to the postseason, which would be the fifth under head coach Sydney Johnson as he begins his seventh season at the helm of Fairfield University, the Stags took the first step toward their long-term goal Wednesday afternoon with the release of their non-conference schedule.
"This could be one of the most difficult non-conference schedules that Fairfield has faced in some time," Johnson said in a statement Wednesday. "With five 20-win teams on the schedule, our team will be challenged every time they take the court."
Beginning first with a trip to Italy this August and continuing with an exhibition tilt against the University of Bridgeport on November 3, the Stags will officially tip off the 2017-18 season with a pair of home games, welcoming the University of Pennsylvania to Webster Bank Arena on November 11 before hosting former Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival Loyola (Md.); now a member of the Patriot League, on November 14.
Fairfield's marquee non-league matchup awaits four days later, when Purdue will entertain the Stags on November 18 at Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers must replace All-American forward Caleb Swanigan, but are nonetheless one of the more formidable foes on the ledger for a Stags team that boasts the likely MAAC Preseason Player of the Year in senior guard Tyler Nelson. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Fairfield concludes the month of November by taking part in a multi-team tournament at Wright State University. The Stags will face three teams at the Nutter Center in Dayton, beginning with Jacksonville on November 24 before meeting Gardner-Webb the next day and concluding the event against the host Raiders on November 26.
The month of December begins with a trek to Staten Island for Fairfield, who will face Wagner on the road for a second straight season on December 1. The Seahawks are one of two Northeast Conference opponents for the Stags this season. The third of four straight road games takes place on December 6, when Fairfield squares off with Houston, and the journey away from home concludes on December 10 against LIU Brooklyn.
After a brief hiatus for final exams, the Stags contest both of their final tuneups before MAAC play at home, welcoming Old Dominion to their on-campus court at Alumni Hall on December 17, with New Hampshire making their way to Webster Bank Arena on December 22. Fairfield's MAAC schedule will be released at a later date.
2017-18 Fairfield Non-Conference Schedule (all times TBD)
Friday, November 3: vs. Bridgeport (exhibition)
Saturday, November 11: vs. Penn
Tuesday, November 14: vs. Loyola (Md.)
Saturday, November 18: at Purdue
Friday, November 24: vs. Jacksonville (Wright State University)
Saturday, November 25: vs. Gardner-Webb (Wright State University)
Sunday, November 26: at Wright State
Friday, December 1: at Wagner
Wednesday, December 6: at Houston
Sunday, December 10: at LIU Brooklyn
Sunday, December 17: vs. Old Dominion (George Bisacca Court at Alumni Hall)
Friday, December 22: vs. New Hampshire