NEW YORK—Columbia Football will host NCAA Division III Montclair State in a preseason scrimmage scheduled for Friday, September 1 at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli announced on Wednesday. Kickoff for the scrimmage is at noon, while admission is free and open to the public. Parking is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.
Columbia begins preseason practice on Monday, August 21. The Lions are set to practice 10 times before their scrimmage with Montclair State. All players will report to camp on Saturday, August 19.
Columbia officially opens its 2017 season on Saturday, Sept. 16 when it hosts Wagner at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium.
The Lions return 13 starters (seven on offense and six on defense) and 61 letterwinners to a youthful and talented team that finished 3-7 overall and tied for a sixth place finish in the Ivy League with a 2-5 record. The 2016 Lions concluded their season with a victory at Brown, while five of their seven losses were decided by 10 or fewer points. Three All-Ivy League picks return in freshman placekicker Oren Milstein, junior defensive back Cameron Roane and junior defensive lineman Lord Hyeamang. Additionally, Columbia will return players who accounted for 88 percent (162 of 185) of its points scored, 82 percent (1,651 of 2,014) of its passing yards, 51 percent (1,037 of 2,014) of its receiving yards, 60 percent (3 of 5) of its starters on the offensive line and 49 percent (333 of 680) of its tackles in 2016.
Led by head coach Rick Giancola, who begins his 35th year in 2017, Montclair State finished 4-6 last season. Montclair State returns 12 starters overall including eight on the defensive side of the ball. Leading that group is senior defensive lineman Vin Cordasco. Cordasco was named All-NJAC after leading led MSU in tackles with 76, ranking third in the NJAC in that category. He also totaled seven sacks, which was third and registered 11.5 tackles for loss. Also back for the Red Hawks is senior linebacker Joshua Betts and offensive lineman Kevin Merkle who were also chosen All-Conference.
It is the second time that Bagnoli and Giancola will meet on the sidelines as the duo’s teams last met in the NCAA Division III Playoff Quarterfinals on November 25, 1989 when Bagnoli coached at Union College, N.Y. Union defeated Montclair State 45-6 that day to advance in NCAA Championship play. Bagnoli’s Union team advanced all the way to the national title game/Alonzo Stagg Bowl before losing to Dayton 17-7 in Phenix City, Ala.
Last year, the Lions scrimmaged Ivy League rival Cornell at Union College in Schenectady.
On July 24, Columbia announced its finalized schedule with television designations and kickoff times. The Lions will appear on Eleven Sports Network four times in 2017 including games at Princeton (Sept. 30) vs. Penn (Oct. 14), at Dartmouth (Oct. 21) and vs. Harvard (Nov. 4). For more information on Columbia’s TV broadcast schedule, click here.
Kickoff times for all 10 Columbia football games were also announced. Columbia will host five games at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium (corner of 218th Street and Broadway in New York City) in 2017. The Lions open their season against Wagner (Sept. 16) for Northern Manhattan Neighbors Appreciation Day at 1 p.m. The following week on Saturday, Sept. 23, Columbia will host Georgetown in the third annual Lou Little Cup game at 1 p.m. Homecoming Weekend 2017 is slated for Saturday, Oct. 14 against Penn (1:30 p.m.). Columbia hosts Harvard on Saturday, Nov. 4 (1 p.m.) and concludes its season by hosting Brown on Saturday, Nov. 18 (1 p.m.).
Columbia will play five road games including its Ivy League opener at Princeton (Sept. 30), a non-conference contest at Marist (Oct. 7), Ivy League matchups at Dartmouth (Oct. 21), Yale (Oct. 28) and Empire State Bowl game at Cornell (Nov. 4). The schedule can be accessed at this link.
Now is the time to lock in your season tickets! Starting at just $45, Columbia Football season tickets are one of the most affordable, fan-friendly entertainment options in New York City. Purchase yours today at gocolumbialions.com/tickets or call 888-LIONS-11. The 2017-18 True Blue ticket package is also on sale now. Designed for our most loyal fans, the package includes a season ticket to Columbia football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball at a discounted rate. The True Blue package is your gateway to all of the great football and basketball action plus our interactive in-game fan experiences and enhanced game day atmosphere. Click here to view the 2017 Columbia Football Promotional schedule.