Elm City Rivalry Favors Chargers


Graphic Courtesy of Chris DiGeronimo

Chris DiGeronimo, Sports Editor

There is nothing better in sports than a good crosstown rivalry. For Elm City, that rivalry belongs to the University of New Haven Chargers and the Southern Connecticut State Owls. For decades, these two schools have been battling it out on the field for bragging rights and, more recently, dominance in the NE-10 Conference.

The New Haven Chargers are currently 13-2 overall against the Owls in the 2018-19 academic year. The two wins for the Owls came early in the fall when their men’s and women’s soccer teams swept the season series against the Chargers. The Southern Connecticut soccer programs own a collective 48-17-8 all time record against the Chargers. Since then it has been straight dominance by the Chargers in all other categories.

Chargers’ football defeated the Owls 37-18 on Sept. 15, making 10 consecutive wins against Southern Connecticut. The Chargers hold a 23-6-1 all-time record against the Owls, with their first meeting coming in 1981. The Chargers are 10-1 since they reinstated the football program in 2009.

Chargers women’s volleyball has also been very dominant as they defeated the Owls three sets to one on Sept. 18, making five consecutive wins against the Owls, including two postseason meetings in the NE-10 Final and East Region Semifinal in 2017. Chargers volleyball owns an impressive 69-6 all-time record against the Owls.

Women’s field hockey got in on the action on Oct. 9 when they defeated Southern Connecticut 2-1. This win was historic for the young program as it was the team’s second win in program history, and it was the program’s first ever home win at Dellacamera Stadium.

After being swept by the Owls in 2017-18, women’s basketball returned the favor by sweeping Southern Connecticut in 2018-19. The wins came on Nov. 28 and Feb. 6 with the latter snapping a five-game losing streak, giving the Chargers momentum for NE-10 Tournament seeding. Women’s basketball holds a 44-29 all-time record against their crosstown rivals.

Men’s basketball suffered the same fate as the women as they also got swept in 2017-18 but turned the tide in 2018-19, collecting three wins against the Owls. The two teams met on Nov. 28, Feb. 6, and Mar. 6. The Chargers defeated the Owls in the NE-10 Semifinal 87-66 to advance to the NE-10 Final. This was the second postseason meeting between the rivals. The first came in 2013 when Southern Connecticut defeated New Haven to capture the NE-10 Championship. The Chargers hold a 47-44 all-time record against Southern Connecticut with their first meeting coming in the 1965-66 season.

Spring sports have just gotten underway, but women’s lacrosse and softball continued the tradition of the season. The Chargers and Owls women’s lacrosse teams met on Kathy Zolad Stadium on Mar. 12. New Haven defeated Southern Connecticut 22-6, for their 13th consecutive win against the Owls. Women’s lacrosse holds a 16-2 all-time record against the Owls. Softball swept a doubleheader on the road against the Owls on Mar. 20. The Chargers took both games in convincing fashion 5-2 and 7-2 for their first sweep of the season. The Chargers and Owls met again on Mar. 26 for a doubleheader with New Haven sweeping the twin bill 11-3 and 6-5. Baseball will get their turn against Southern Connecticut State later this spring. Baseball comes into the 2019 season with a 73-30-1 all-time record against the Owls.

The Chargers have dominated this rivalry in recent months, but history proves this rivalry to be strong. As long as both schools remain conference rivals, there should be more battles to come.