Mass. College Lax: GNAC Women’s Quarterfinal Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com

It was another busy day in the Division III lacrosse world as eight teams competed in four Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinals, including a quartet of teams from Massachusetts.

Emmanuel College – the defending conference champions – scored a 22-6 victory over Mount Ida College at Clemente Field in Boston this evening. The Saints outscored the Mustangs, 15-4, in the first session to secure a quarterfinal victory and a date with Saint Joseph’s (Maine) on Friday.

Sarah Wootten recorded nine points on five goals and four assists, while Kristen Tuleja netted a hat trick and dished out three assists for the Saints. Lauren White faced eight shots between the pipes and registered just two stops.

Mount Ida received a pair of goals from Rebecca Beaulieu and Amanda Bowen, while Sydney Fredette turned away nine shots.

Lasell College extended its season by defeating Norwich University in Newton this afternoon, 18-6. Toni Minelli and Bridget Doherty combined for eighth goals and seven assists and Alexa Katsigianis stopped 13 shots between the pipes.

Greer Gilbert netted five goals for the Sharks, but it wasn’t enough to lift Simmons past Johnson & Wales, which claimed a 15-9 victory in Providence.

Mass. College Lax: GNAC Quarterfinal Recap

Laser's Pat Egan and the Lasers scored a 21-8 GNAC quarterfinal victory this afternoon against Rivier. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Laser’s Pat Egan and the Lasers scored a 21-8 GNAC quarterfinal victory this afternoon against Rivier. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The road to the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship started this afternoon with a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinal matches.

Casey Sullivan recorded eight points with five goals and three helpers, while Pat Egan and Dylan Fernandes each netted a trio of goals as Lasell rolled over Rivier, 21-8, in Newton this afternoon. Laser will look to extend their season on Thursday when they travel to Emmanuel College to face the defending conference champions in the semifinal at 7:00 p.m.

The Lasers jumped out to a 5-2 lead before their advantage extended to 11-5 at the break. Once the third quarter commenced, Lasell added seven goals, which helped them seal the win. Aaron LaPorte and Sullivan scored back-to-back goals before Rivier answered with an unassisted tally by Joe Kelland.

Sullivan initiated a 4-0 run following the Raiders’ tally, helping the hosts extend their advantage for good. Lasell’s David Walen turned away 13 of 21 shots, while Clark Plummer registered 16 stops.

Seth Fuller‘s goal with two seconds remaining – an unassisted goal – lifted the Norwich Cadets past Johnson & Wales to a 7-6 victory in Providence. The Cadets will now face Mount Ida College on Thursday afternoon in the other conference semifinal, which is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start.

Norwich outscored Johnson & Wales during the final session, 4-1, overcoming a 5-3 advantage after three quarters. Fuller opened the session with an unassisted marker at 12:10 before Josh Jenkins and Ian Kennedy scored back-to-back goals, evening the score, which provided Norwich with a 6-5 advantage.

The Wildcats answered with an unassisted tally by Eric Russo with 2:30 remaining, evening the score at 6-6. Johnson & Wales would not score again as the Cadets converted the game-winner off a failed clear.

Sunday Column: Boston’s Playoff Return Shows Progress Under Stevens

Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics begin their postseason play on Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and after a semi-successful season, there is optimism surrounding the Green and White. (Photo Credit: Celtics Hub/CelticsHub.com)

Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics begin their postseason play on Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and after a semi-successful season, there is optimism surrounding the Green and White. (Photo Credit: Celtics Hub/CelticsHub.com)

By Matt Noonan

The Boston Celtics have returned to the postseason.

Yep, the “glory days” of Boston Celtics basketball has returned. However, don’t get your hopes up because Brad Stevens – the head coach of the month! – will be guiding a roster of second and third depth chart players against perhaps the ultimate favorite to defeat San Antonio in June (or Golden State).

Boston will once again see LeBron James in the “second season,” but unlike previous matchups, this particular series favors King James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Framingham’s own David Blatt.

That’s right, the Cavaliers are going to win this series, probably in four or five games.

Perhaps six? Well, that would depend, especially if the Celtics could win one (and hopefully two) game(s) on their own parquet.

Yet, no matter the outcome of this series – again, expect Cleveland to win – this is a huge step forward for a team that became the biggest revolving door earlier this season.

Give credit to Stevens and most of the front office as the Green and White became “pit-stop” for a slew of players over the past few months. Players like Tayshaun Prince, Nate Robinson, Jameer Nelson and Austin Rivers stole the headlines when they all landed in the ‘City of Champions’ during Danny Ainge’s ‘Wheeling and Dealing’ escapade. Rajon Rondo was a Celtic – he was on the opening day roster – but was eventually shipped to Dallas.

Once Ainge stopped shuffling the deck, Stevens had a chance to get to know his team – for the most part! – and teach them a style of basketball that resulted in a 40-42 record.

Boston won more games this year, outlasting their 2013-14 squad that captured 25 games, including 16 contests on Causeway Street. This season, the Celtics won 21 games on their home court, 19 on the road, and 12 divisional matchups. Boston also finished 28-24 in the Eastern Conference, but again, don’t let those numbers fool you because the Celtics won’t be playing basketball in May or June (I am sorry, Boston!).

I am a Celtics fan – always have been! – however, I just don’t think this team has what it takes to defeat the second best team in the East. If they were matched up against the Atlanta Hawks, well … I would think they would have a chance. Chicago? Forget it, I like the Bulls because they’ll contend for an Eastern Conference crown.

Boston – on the other hand – should enjoy seeing their beloved Celtics in the playoffs. It is extremely nice to have a winter team extend their season into mid-to-late April, especially after the Bruins’ collapse last weekend. We love having our teams compete in the postseason, we do, but this team won’t be riding Duckboats around Government Center. Instead, most of the players will learn from this opportunity and apply it to next season.

Year number two of Stevens and the Celtics has been a success. They won more games, were competitive with the league’s top teams – remember when they almost beat the Warriors? – and showed they can compete, even if they look like a squad that resembles a college intramural unit.

I am extremely excited to see the Celtics taking a step forward. And now, it is all about playing your best – at least giving your best effort, Brad! – and learning from the experience. I believe in Brad just like I believe in Boston. Better days are ahead for the Green and White, so consider this the start of something special.

All good teams have to go through a “rebuilding” phase in order to contend. Atlanta was a decent team a few years ago and now they’re number one in the Eastern Conference. Toronto wasn’t that good, even when Vince Carter played for the Raptors, but now they’re a 49-win team. And the same could be said for Milwaukee, but the Bucks won 41 games, not 49.

Let’s all enjoy this series – please do the best you can to enjoy it, but remember that while Cleveland is indeed the favorite, Boston will one day be in their shoes and ready to contend for Banner 18.

Mass. College Lax Notebook: No. 3 Tufts Rolls Past No. 8 Endicott

Tufts' Cole Bailey recorded nine points this evening, netting five goals and dishing out four assists. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Tufts’ Cole Bailey recorded nine points this evening, netting five goals and dishing out four assists. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Third-ranked Tufts University scored an impressive win this evening, downing the eighth-ranked Endicott Colllege, 22-6, in Beverly.

Tufts’ Cole Bailey paced all scorers, including the Powder Blue and White with nine points on five goals and four assists. John Uppgren contributed four goals and four helpers.

Will Jennings led the Gulls with four goals, Kyle Weber netted one marker and Colin Bannon registered one goal and one assist in the setback.

Eight consecutive goals in the opening frame helped the Jumbos secure the lead for good. Uppgren commenced the 8-0 run by locating Zach Richman, who buried the feed past Endicott’s Cameron Bell. Jennings netted a pair in the second for Endicott, including a man-up goal, but the Jumbos countered, netting three consecutive tallies to secure a 13-4 cushion at the break.

Bell turned away 10 of 29 shots and Tufts’ Alex Salazar deflected 16 of 21 attempts. The Jumbos won the battle of the ground balls, scooping 54 grounders, while converting 22 of 25 clear attempts. Conor Helfrich and Ryan Le combined for 21 face-off victories.

Western New England halted Roger Williams’ eight-game winning streak by defeating the Hawks in Springfield, 11-4. Jon Bota led the Golden Bears with a hat trick, Justin Bard and Patrick Dillon netted a pair, and Brandon Body turned away 13 shots between the pipes.

Tim Kelly sliced the four-goal deficit for the visiting Hawks in the second quarter before teammate Jon Gomer brought Roger Williams within one goal at 8:53 in the third quarter. Western New England – leading 4-3 – stretched its advantage with a four-goal run, spanning the third and fourth quarters to push ahead for good.

Trailing 5-2 at the break, the Mount Ida Mustangs rallied with seven third quarter goals to secure an important Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) victory over visiting Lasell College. Mount Ida’s Jon Berry paced the Mustangs with five points on four goals and one assist, while Lucas Stralka dished out a trio of assists. Casey Sullivan led the Lasers with a hat trick and three helpers.

With the victory, the Mustangs find themselves a spot behind first-place Emmanuel College. The Saints, who are 7-0 in conference play, defeated St. Joseph’s College (Maine) in Boston this afternoon by a score of 12-4. Tony Cibelli led the Saints with four goals and one assist.

Make sure to follow Noontime Sports on Twitter (@NoontimeSports & @NoonSportsBlog) for local sports updates. Also, become a fan on Facebook by typing in “Noontime Sports” in the search bar or by visiting Facebook.com/NoonSports.

Mass. College Lax: Get Caught Up On 113 Days

By Matt Noonan 

The first two episodes of 113 Days have been published – a documentary on the current Stonehill College women’s lacrosse season.

Below are both episodes – the first episode, which focuses on getting to know the Skyhawks, while the second highlights the team’s contest against Dowling that Stonehill won in overtime.

Stonehill currently finds themselves in second place in the Northeast-10 Conference with a mark of 13-1 overall and 10-1 in league play. On Saturday, the Skyhawks soared to a 17-3 victory over St. Michael’s College, their third victory in the month of April.

For more on the Skyhawks’ season thus far, as well as news, rosters and stats – HOP HERE

 

Boston Cannons Open 2015 Season With 16-13 Win Over Denver

By Matt Noonan 

Competing at Gillette Stadium – their brand new home for the 2015 season –the Boston Cannons scored an opening-day victory, defeating Denver, 16-13, on Sunday afternoon.

Max Seibald – an alum of Cornell University lacrosse – paced the Cannons with a hat trick, while David Emala, Will Manny (UMass), Rob Emery, Brent Adams and Martin Bowes tallied two goals apiece. Jordan Burke picked up his initial win between the pipes, turning away 12 of 25 shots.

Max Seibald - a Cornell Big Red men's lacrosse alum - recorded a hat trick this afternoon in the Boston Cannons' season-opener. (Photo Credit: Lax.com)

Max Seibald – a Cornell Big Red men’s lacrosse alum – recorded a hat trick this afternoon in the Boston Cannons’ season-opener. (Photo Credit: Lax.com)

Maryland University alum – Drew Snider – led the Outlaws with a hat trick, while pitching in two assists and scooping four ground balls.

Boston and Denver combined for seven goals in the opening quarter, but it was Manny’s tally midway through the frame that provided the Cannons with a 4-3 advantage.

Seibald initiated a 3-0 run in the second, helping Boston head into intermission with an 8-5 lead.

The Cannons tallied five points in the third quarter, including a pair of unassisted two-point goals from Emery and Josh Amidon at 2:33 and 2:53, respectively. Bowes netted the final goal of the stanza at 12:05, extending Boston’s advantage to 13-9.

Denver attempted to close the gap in fourth with three consecutive goals, but Seibald clinched the opening-day victory with back-to-back tallies before Manny buried a feed from David Emala.

With the win, Boston finds itself in a three-way tie for first place with New York and Rochester. New York opened the season with a 14-8 win over Ohio, while Rochester edged Charlotte, 10-9.

For more on this afternoon’s victory – HOP HERE

Frozen Four: BU, Providence Advance To NCAA D1 Championship

Boston University's Jack Eichel netted a pair of goals on Thursday evening, while registering one assist as the Terriers defeated North Dakota, 5-3. (Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

Boston University’s Jack Eichel netted a pair of goals on Thursday evening, while registering one assist as the Terriers defeated North Dakota, 5-3. (Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – A pair of Hockey East teams will compete on Causeway Street on Saturday evening at the TD Garden as Boston University and Providence College earned Frozen Four semifinal victories on Thursday evening.

The Friars, who competed in the first semifinal match, defeated Nebraska-Omaha (4-1), while the Terriers skated past North Dakota (5-3).

BU’s Jack Eichel clinched the victory for the Terriers late in the third period when he sailed a shot into an open North Dakota net from behind the face-off circle, which halted a late rally.

Eichel opened the scoring for the Terriers, netting a back-handed shot off a rebound before Brandon Hickey doubled the Red and White’s advantage with a strike at 19:12 in the first period.

North Dakota sliced the deficit 44 seconds into the second frame when Luke Johnson slipped the puck past Matt O’Connor, but the Terriers responded with back-to-back tallies from A.J. Greer and Doyle Somerby that provided BU with a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes of hockey.

Troy Stecher and Connor Gaarder closed the gap for North Dakota at 12:10 and 16:17, respectively, in the third period, but that would be the closest they would get to the Hockey East champions. O’Connor deflected 33-of-36 shots, while North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre turned away 23-of-27 attempts.

Providence’s Nick Saracino led the Friars with three-points (one goal and two assists) and set-up the game’s first and second tallies, which were recorded by Noel Acciari and Mark Jankowski. Saracino eventually located the back of the net in the third period, capping the Friars’ offensive outburst at 19:23.

Jon Gillies picked up his 23rd victory between the pipes, deflecting 25 shots, including nine attempts in the opening frame. Omaha’s Ryan Massa dipped to 14-8-6 and recorded a game-high 44 stops. Massa’s 14 wins were the most the senior goaltender has recorded with the Mavericks.

Omaha’s Jake Guentzel recorded the Mavericks’ lone goal of the contest – his 14th of the season – at 10:46 in the third period. The loss ended Omaha’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance run.

Mass. College Football: NEWMAC To Add Football In 2017

By NoontimeSports.com 

The New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) announced some very exciting news this afternoon that the conference will be sponsoring football, beginning in the fall of 2017.

Courtesy of the NEWMAC Office, here is this afternoon’s release:

Boston, Mass. – The New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) is excited to announce that it will begin sponsoring the sport of football starting in the 2017 season. Conference members, the United States Coast Guard Academy, MIT, Springfield College and WPI will be joined by Maine Maritime Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and Norwich University, who enter the NEWMAC as associate members in 2017. Football becomes the 20th conference championship and the league’s ninth men’s offering.

“This is a wonderful moment for the NEWMAC,” said H. Kim Bottomly, president of Wellesley College and chair of the NEWMAC Presidents Council. “This growth is a testament to the continued academic and athletic excellence for which NEWMAC schools are known.”

Springfield, WPI, and Merchant Marine have been participating in the Liberty League, while MIT, Coast Guard, and Maine Maritime were members of the New England Football Conference, and Norwich was a part of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. In addition to the connection Maine Maritime, Merchant Marine and Norwich have to Coast Guard, MIT, Springfield and WPI in football; they also have long-standing relationships with NEWMAC members in other sports.

Patrick B. Summers, the NEWMAC Executive Director, shared his excitement about the announcement saying, “The NEWMAC’s commitment to academic and athletic excellence was once again first and foremost in the decision to bring football under the conference’s umbrella. The ability to add another sport which our institution’s sponsor under the conference’s jurisdiction allows us to help create the best possible experience for our student-athletes and falls in line with the NEWMAC’s Strategic Plan.”

Norwich, Maine Maritime, and Merchant Marine join the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (men’s lacrosse) and Simmons College (women’s rowing) as associate members in the conference.

Summers went on to say “It gives me great pleasure to officially welcome Maine Maritime, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Norwich University to the NEWMAC as associate members in the sport. It has been a pleasure working with these institutions and the NEWMAC administrators to establish NEWMAC football. It was clear that their desire to uphold the NEWMAC’s dedication to both academic and athletic excellence was sincere and made them ideal fit as pioneering members of this sport.”

The NEWMAC will not immediately receive an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Football Championship but institutions will be eligible to qualify for the Division III NCAA Football Championship through an at-large selection. Per NCAA bylaws, there is a two-year waiting period, and the conference should receive an AQ for the 2019-2020 academic year.  The seven football-playing members of the NEWMAC have combined to go to 13 NCAA Tournaments and have played in 22 ECAC Championship Bowl Games. The NEWMAC will continue to evaluate the need for an eighth member.

Mass. College Lax: 113 Days Trailer, 10-Part Web Series Begins April 1st (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan

113 Days - a 10-Part Web Series - will feature the Stonehill College Women's Lacrosse team on its quest for a Division II crown. (Photo Credit: 113 Days/Thompson Films)

113 Days – a 10-Part Web Series – will feature the Stonehill College Women’s Lacrosse team on its quest for a Division II crown. (Photo Credit: 113 Days/Thompson Films)

Thompson Films is set to launch a 10-Part Web Series – 113 Days – beginning tomorrow (Wednesday, April 1st), which will profile the Stonehill College Women’s Lacrosse team.

The 10-Part Web Series will document the Skyhawks’ season, following 25 players and two coaches through the beginning to end of their current season.

A brand new episode of the 10-Part series will be posted on the 113 Days’ YouTube channel at 3:00 p.m. each Wednesday for the next 10 weeks.

Stonehill – currently ranked seventh in the latest Division II Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll – has won nine consecutive games this season, including five road games. The Skyhawks’ last outing featured a 16-9 win over Assumption College, which is currently receiving votes in the IWLCA poll.

To learn more about Thompson Films – Hop Here

For information on the Stonehill Women’s Lacrosse team – Hop Here

Mass. College Lax: Brown Nets 100th Goal, No. 20 Bentley Soars Past Assumption

By NoontimeSports.com 

Bentley University’s Jackie Brown and Kathleen Gillespie combined for nine goals, which helped the 20th ranked Falcons soar past Assumption College on Tuesday afternoon.

Brown – a senior at Bentley – recorded her 100th goal in a Blue and Gold uniform during the first half when the Falcons were on a 4-0 run that provided the hosts with an 8-5 lead at the break.

Courtesy of the Bentley Sports Information Office, here is this afternoon’s release:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior Jackie Brown (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) and freshman Kathleen Gillespie (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet) combined for nine goals as the 20th ranked Bentley women’s lacrosse team defeated Assumption 19-10 on Tuesday afternoon. Brown netted her 100th career goal in the first half.

Bentley led from start to finish. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead after eight minutes, and led by as much as six goals, 8-2, in the first half. The team’s biggest lead of 10 goals, at 19-9, came after Brown netted her fifth goal of the afternoon with 2:16 left in the game.

Brown needed four goals to reach 100 for her career, and she accomplished it in the first half. She scored the opening goal 2:59 into the contest. After Assumption’s Camille Auger scored two straight to cut into Bentley’s 4-0 lead, Brown scored three of the next four goals as part of a 4-0 Bentley run. Her goal with 6:35 left in the half to give them an 8-2 lead was number 100.

Assumption scored the final three goals of the half to make it an 8-5 game at halftime, and they scored three of the first four goals of the second half to get to within 10-8 with 19:40 remaining.

But the Falcons took over from that point, going on runs of 4-0 and 9-1 to pull away. Gillespie and sophomore Hannah Lindgren (Southborough, Mass./Algonquin) each had two goals during the extended run, but five others also scored.

In addition to her four goals, Gillespie came down with 10 draw controls.

With the win, Bentley improves to 5-4 overall and 4-3 in NE-10 play. Assumption drops to 7-3 and 3-3.

The Falcons are back in action on Saturday when they host Southern Connecticut.