Noontime 2012 Countdown: Revisiting Amherst-Williams Basketball Games

By Matt Noonan

One of my fondest memories from this past year was covering the Amherst-Williams men’s and women’s basketball games in Williamstown.

This is a rivalry that certainly lives up to the hype. Its Harvard-Yale, Ohio State-Michigan, and Notre Dame-USC all in one. And on a bone-chilly January evening, I was treated to some great basketball, as well as an exciting ending in the men’s game.

Below I have provided links to my game stories, as well as video interviews and packages from that evening.

Game Stories

Amherst 80, Williams 58 (Women’s Hoops)

Amherst 67, Williams 65 (Men’s Hoops)

Videos

* The final seconds of the men’s game:

* Amherst College’s Aaron Toomey talks about his heroics at the end of the game:

* Both men’s coaches provide their take on the 67-65 outcome:

* Amherst College’s Caroline Stedman talks about her team’s enormous win:

Mass. College Hoops: Div. III Men’s Basketball Rankings

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Div. III college basketball season is in full swing, and below is our first official men’s poll of the season.

Do you agree with our rankings? If not, send us an email to NoontimeSports@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog).

1.) Amherst College (5-1) – The Lord Jeffs might indeed be the best squad in the state, but a loss to Springfield College, an honorable mention, proves the purple and white are beatable. The schedule doesn’t get easy for David Hixon’s bunch, as they’ll face Brandeis, Babson and Emmanuel this week.

2.) MIT (6-1) – Despite being the number one team in the country to kickoff the season, the Engineers came down to earth last week with a tough loss to Rhode Island College. However, they rebounded with a victory against Newbury College at home last weekend. Larry Anderson and his Engineers can regain their early season momentum by picking up wins this week.

3.) WPI (7-0) – The Engineers squeaked out a non-conference overtime victory on the road Saturday against Husson. This week, WPI will face Fitchburg State, Rhode Island College and Salem State, which will be telling signs of where this unit is headed.

4.) Westfield State (6-0) Rich Sutter’s squad is on a roll. The Owls remain the top squad in the MASCAC and have picked up wins against Elms, Regis and Springfield. Keep your eyes on Lee Vasquez, who currently leads the squad with 99 points.  

5.) Brandeis (5-1) – After dropping their first game of the season, the Judges have won five straight. Their only setback came against Rhode Island College, a squad that’s receiving a good chunk of votes on the D3Hoops.com poll. Brian Meehan’s squad will play four of their next five contests on the road, which won’t be easy.

Honorable Mentions: Curry College, Springfield College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Wheaton College, Williams College, Worcester State, UMass Boston

Mass. College Soccer: Updated NCAA Soccer Brackets

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Div. II and III NCAA soccer tournaments kicked off last weekend, and some Massachusetts teams managed to advance to this weekend’s third round.

Here is a look at the remaining squads in each division.

Div. II Men’s Soccer

* UMass Lowell earned back-to-back wins against Post and LIU Post in the first and second round, which earned them a date with Northeast-10 Conference foe Southern New Hampshire on Friday, Nov. 16 in the third round.

Div. III Men’s Soccer

* Following a first round bye, Amherst College defeated Dickinson, 4-0. The Lord Jeffs will remain at home for their third round matchup against Swarthmore College on Saturday, Nov. 17.

* Brandies University and Williams College will tangle in the third round in Amherst on Nov. 17, too, and the winner will meet Amherst or Swarthmore in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Div. III Women’s Soccer

* Brandies University earned a spot in the third round following wins against Lasell and Union. The Judges will face-off against SUNY Cortland on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Ithaca, New York.

* MIT will take on Messiah on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Grantham, Pennsylvania. The Engineers first two wins came against Haverford and TCNJ.

* Wheaton College will face Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Lyons secured a spot in the third round with wins against Westfield State and Williams College.

Mass. College Football: Championship Saturday Predictions

By NoontimeSports.com 

Saturday will be a special day for some local Massachusetts college football teams, as some units will be competing for their conference championships, while others will attempt to earn one more victory for their seniors.

Below, we’ve provided overviews and predictions on three marquee matchups.

American International at New Haven (NE-10 Championship): You couldn’t have picked a better matchup for the inaugural Northeast-10 Conference championship game. It’s No. 1 vs. No. 2. It’s David vs. Goliath. It’s the “Greatest Show on Turf” vs. “Tom Brady’s 2001 New England Patriots.” And finally, it’s a chance for AIC to redeem themselves following last week’s 37-6 thrashing.

The Yellow Jackets won seven of their eight conference tilts this season, while the Chargers extended its streak from last year to 16-0.

AIC is 2-0 in championship games, according to the NE-10 Football Report (1999 and 2000 Eastern Football Conference Champions).

New Haven’s perfect record marks their fifth undefeated season in program history. The last time the Chargers concluded a season with no losses was in 1995.

Prediction: New Haven 33, AIC 21

Salve Regina at Framingham State (NEFC Championship): Both squads finished the regular season with nine wins. Their defenses were fantastic. However, one thing that separates the two squads is the running game.

Framingham State’s Melikke Van Alstyne led all rushers in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) in yards (1,467 yards) and touchdowns (14). Also, he eclipsed the 4,000 rushing yard mark for his career in a game against Coast Guard three weeks ago.

Expect FSU head coach Tom Kelley to utilize the running game against a defense that’s surrendered 1,828 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.

Prediction: Framingham State 20, Salve Regina 14

Williams College at Amherst College: This is not a championship game, but instead the 127th meeting between these two prestigious institutions.

Trinity College will most likely wrap up the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) on Saturday; so don’t expect either squad to be doing some scoreboard watching. Although, you can expect Amherst senior quarterback Max Lippe to throw the ball a lot against a defensive unit that’s allowed 1,637 yards through the air.

The Lord Jeffs rank second in scoring and total defense, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Ephs offense will fare.

Williams head coach Aaron Kelton, who is in his third season, is 1-1 against Amherst.

The Lord Jeffs beat the Ephs last year and will attempt to win back-to-back games for the first time since 1985 and 1986.

Prediction: Amherst 31, Williams 17 

Mass. College Football: Week 6 Honor Roll

By NoontimeSports.com 

Week six has officially concluded, and while we’re slowly turning the page to week seven, here is this week’s Noontime Sports Honor Roll.

Colton Chapple (Harvard): The senior quarterback not only returned to our list for the second week, but also earned some additional honors, too. Chapple was named this week’s Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week for the second-straight week after he completed 24-of-36 passes for 362 yards with four touchdowns, while rushing for 53 yards and one score against Cornell University.

Steve Hopkins (Bentley): Against Saint Anselm, Hopkins had three takeaways, which led to 17 points in the Falcons fifth win of the season. Hopkins had two interceptions on Saturday, which included one he returned for a 40-yard touchdown, as well as a fumble recover in the end zone that resulted in a field goal by the offense following a 14-play drive. Finally, the senior concluded the contest with seven tackles and a pass break-up.

Kevin Arduino (American International College): The sophomore quarterback led all rushers wit 100 yards, as well as completed 8-of-17 passes for 75 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for one touchdown in his team’s fourth win of the season.

Danny Chun (Amherst College): Despite dropping their team’s first game of the season to Middlebury, the junior linebacker finished the game with 13 tackles (10 solo) and one sack.

Justin Weaver (Tufts University): The first-year halfback tallied 91 total yards (66 yards on 18 carries, five catches for 25 yards) and one touchdown. His touchdown tied the game at 10-10 in the third quarter. However, the Jumbos dropped their third consecutive contest to the Bowdoin College, 17-10.

Brian Staub (Springfield College): The senior cornerback led the Pride’s defense against Hobart with 11 tackles (nine solo), along with one tackle for a loss, one interception and one break-up.

Chris Turner (WPI): Against Union College, the sophomore running back recorded a career-high 154 yards on the ground on 20 carries and a touchdown. He also earned Robert Pritchard Award, too.

Nick Chambers (WPI): The senior, who also earned the Robert Pritchard Award, recorded two sacks in his team’s 21-6 loss against Union. His award signified him as the Most Outstanding Lineman on Homecoming Weekend.

Rob Bambini (Curry College): Against Western New England College, Bambini caught the game-winning score with one second remaining, which clinched Curry College’s third victory of the season. The senior established a few program records on Saturday, too, which included receptions (181), receiving yards (2,537) and touchdown receptions (32). Yet, against the Golden Bears, he caught four touchdowns and led his receiving core with 14 receptions for 177 yards.

Liam Cosgrove (UMass Dartmouth): In his first collegiate start, the freshman gunslinger completed 24-of-45 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns.

Brad Goldsberry (MIT) – The sophomore running back recorded a career-high 121 rushing, yard in the Engineers 28-7 victory against Plymouth State. He racked up 191 all-purpose yards in the contest, which included 31 receiving yards and 44 yards on kick returns.

Matt Begley (Worcester State): Against Mass. Maritime, the junior linebacker recorded 18 tackles (16 solo), and a sack. He also had an interception in the third quarter, which provided the offense with the ball to score the game-winning score.

Justin Ehrhardt (Westfield State): The Owls senior linebacker had a game-high 11 tackles (eight solo) with three sacks, which resulted in a loss of 28 yards. He also had a forced fumble and fumble recovery, too.

Scott Drosendahl (Mount Ida College): The senior quarterback tallied six touchdowns against Anna Maria on Saturday — four through the air, two on the ground, which lifted the Mustangs to their fourth win of the season.

Mass. College Football: Afternoon Roundup

By Matt Noonan 

A majority of Saturday’s contests are in the books. Yet, while we still wait for the outcomes of the late afternoon and evening affairs, here are the results and highlights from some of the earlier contests.

Hobart 61, WPI 8:Quarterback Nick Strang completed 21-of-31 passes for 309 yards and tossed three touchdowns, while running backs Steven Webb and Bobby Dougherty each tallied two scores on the ground in the Statemen’s fifth consecutive victory of the season.

Endicott College 33, Curry College 28: The Gulls rallied to outscore the Colonels 20-7 during the final two quarters, as Endicott snapped its two-game losing streak with their third win of the season. Quarterback Drew Frenette tossed two touchdowns, while running back Jared DiBiase rushed for 128 yards on 18 carries.

Framingham State 35, Mass. Maritime 28 (OT): The rams overcame a 21-7 first quarter deficit to defeat the Buccaneers in overtime on a one-yard score by running back Melikke Van Alstyne, who 158 yards on 35 carries. Van Alstyne also led all rushers with three touchdowns.

MIT 28, UMass Dartmouth 27: MIT overcame a 17-0 second quarter deficit to claim their second win of the season. The Engineers defense recorded seven sacks for a loss of 22 yards, while quarterback Peter Williams tossed three touchdowns in the win.

Plymouth State 20, Nichols College 14 (OT): Despite a late fourth quarter rally, the Bison’s quest to obtain their first win of the season fell short, as Dustin Matthews capped off a four-play, 25-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown in overtime, which provided the Panthers with their first win of the season.

American International College 27, Assumption College 23: The Hornets scored two touchdowns during the final nine minutes, which lifted them past the host Hounds for their third victory of the season. Kevin Arduino tossed two touchdowns in the win and completed 16-of-29 passes for 152 yards.

Mount Ida College 36, Norwich 32: Quarterback Scott Drosendahl connected with Jordan Hyman on a 17-yard pass with seven seconds remaining in regulation, which helped the Mustangs defeat the Cadets. Drosendahl tossed four touchdowns in his team’s win and completed 25-of36 passes for 389 yards.

* Salve Regina 43, Western New England College 0

* Worcester State 47, Maine Maritime 34

* Coast Guard 59, Fitchburg State 0

* Bridgewater State 26, Westfield State 14

* Merrimack 63, Pace 14

* Gallaudet 52, Anna Maria 24

* Amherst College 22, Bowdoin College 10

* Bates College 31, Tufts University 23

* Trinity College 17, Williams College 13

Amherst College Football Season Preview (VIDEO)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The fourth week of college football is upon us. However, teams from the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) officially begin their season this weekend.

Amherst College, the league’s defending champion, will begin their title defense on Saturday at home against Hamilton College. Below is a YouTube video from the college’s athletic department, which highlights the team and the season.