The Hobart College football team received a postseason invitation for the second straight season this afternoon, when the Statesmen were selected to host Norwich University at noon on Nov. 22, in the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl. A 2002 NCAA Tournament team, Hobart finished the 2003 regular season with an impressive 43-25 victory over previously unbeaten Rensselaer, an NCAA Tournament invitee.
The Statesmen will be making their first ECAC Tournament appearance, following NCAA Tournament bids in 2000 and 2002. The Cadets meanwhile will be making their first postseason appearance in nearly 20 years. Norwich’s only other journey beyond the regular season was a 35-14 loss to Ithaca in the 1984 ECAC North Bowl.
Hobart finished the regular season with a 5-4 record and successfully defended its Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association Championship, the fourth for the Statesmen since the league was founded in 1995. The Cadets were 6-4 during the regular season, and finished second in the Freedom Football Conference.
Offensively, the Statesmen are led by senior quarterback Craig Swanson (Jamestown/Jamestown, N.Y.). Hobart’s career passing leader, he has completed 149-of-243 passes (61.3 percent) this season for 1,708 yards and 12 touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Dan Suozzi (New Hampton/New Canaan, Conn.), who boasts 56 receptions for 859 yards and seven touchdowns, is Swanson’s favorite target. Suozzi is just five receptions and two TD catches shy of the Hobart single season records and 98 yards away from becoming the Statesmen’s career receiving yards leader.
On the ground, junior tailback Ty Godinho (Lancaster/Lancaster, N.Y.) is second in the UCAA, averaging 97.1 yards per game, while leading the conference in touchdowns with 11. He has rushed for at least 100 yards in four of Hobart’s past five games, including a career-high 174 against Franklin & Marshall on Oct. 18.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Tony Clemente (Troy/Troy, N.Y.) leads the team with 64 tackles, while senior linebacker David Szentesy (Lackawanna/Lackawanna, N.Y.) is close behind with 60 stops.
Norwich’s offense features senior quarterback Ben Clark, who has completed 163-of-321 passes for 1,964 yards and 12 TD’s, and junior tailback Nate Long, who has rushed for 964 yards in just six games (160.7 yds/g).
The two squads will square off for just the third time, and the first time in 64 years. Hobart tangled with Norwich in its season opener in 1938 and 1939, losing both contests to the Cadets 20-0 and 25-13, respectively.
Tickets will go on sale at Boswell Field an hour and a half prior to kickoff. Admission will be $3 for adults, $1 for children under 12. Admission for Hobart and William Smith students, faculty, and staff is free with proper ID.
Parking at Boswell Field will be restricted to permit holders only. Addition game day parking is available in the O’Dells South and Barn lots on St. Clair St., and in the Medbury lot on Pulteney St.