Mass College Sports: Top 10 Stories From 2013


In honor of the New Year, which is slowly approaching, we’ve decided to revisit 10 of our favorite stories and moments from the past 12 months.

On behalf of everyone from, we’d like to wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

Moment No. 1: There were some tremendous finishes to the various games we covered this past year, but probably one of the most amazing endings occurred in March when UMass Lowell topped Boston University, 1-0, in the Hockey East Championship. The win propelled the River Hawks to the Frozen Four.

Yet, before UML made the journey to Pittsburgh, we caught up with Derek Arnold, who netted the game-winner against the Terriers.

Moment No. 2: WPI’s men’s basketball team won 22 consecutive contests before falling to Springfield College, a squad they defeated in the NEWMAC Championship. Their run toward a conference title was certainly a special one, which Coach Chris Bartley and the Engineers will always remember.

Moment No. 3: Probably one of the best football games we covered this past year was Bridgewater State vs. Framingham State. The Rams, who defeated the Bears and claimed the inaugural MASCAC crown, needed a late score to earn the win.

* Moment No. 4: After falling to Endicott College during the regular season, Western New England managed to rebound by defeating the Gulls in the CCC Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship, 9-5. Brandon Body picked up his 11th win between the pipes as he deflected 14 of 19 shots.

Moment No. 5: Sticking with lacrosse, Endicott College’s women’s lacrosse team, which defeated Western New England during the CCC Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship, earned their first NCAA tournament win in program history by defeating Springfield College, 4-3.

Moment No. 6: Tufts University’s softball team, which finished its season 46-3 overall, claimed its first NCAA Championship with a 6-5 win over SUNY Cortland. The Jumbos, who were making their fourth appearance in the NCAA Finals, won all four of its contests in the winners bracket.

Staying the NESCAC, another exciting championship occurred a few months prior the Jumbos championship as Amherst College’s men’s basketball team celebrated its second NCAA Championship.

Moment No. 7: Kyle Juszczyk, who played fullback for the Harvard Crimson, was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in during the NFL Draft in April. Two months later, we ran a quick profile on our blog about the rookie fullback, who completed in his first NFL minicamp.

In July, we highlighted the various college players, who suited up for the various local teams that were competing for jobs in the National Football League (NFL).

Moment No. 8: One thing we learned through our various preseason college football coverage was that WPI’s football team, specifically the offensive line, had “SWAG.”

Moment No. 9: After earning an impressive road win against New Haven, we caught up with Robert Talley, Stonehill’s football head coach, who discussed the exciting victory, but also the Skyhawks’ momentum. Stonehill clinched its first winning season since 1996 with an 8-3 overall mark.

A few months after our interview, Talley was featured in Sports Illustrated’s ‘Faces in the Crowd.’

Moment No. 10: We’ll conclude our list with a highlight reel goal, which was scored by Wheaton College’s Luke Finkelstein during the first round of the NCAA Division 3 Men’s Soccer Tournament. Finkelstein’s goal secured a 2-0 win for the Lyons over Plattsburgh State. You can see the goal by fast forwarding to the 0:54 mark, enjoy.

Mass. College Football: Baltimore Selects Harvard’s Juszczyk In NFL Draft


Earlier this afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens selected Harvard’s Kyle Juszczyk in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and courtesy of the athletic department, below is the release about the Crimson fullback/tight end being drafted:

NEW YORK  – Harvard senior tight end Kyle Juszczyk has been selected in the fourth round of the 2013 National Football League Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Juszczyk was the 130th overall selection in this year’s draft.

During his four years in Cambridge, Juszczyk established new career records for tight end in receptions (125, sixth all-time), receiving yards (1,576, seventh all-time) and touchdown receptions (22, third all-time). He was a two-time All-American at tight end and H-Back for the Crimson and a three-time All-Ivy selection. Following his senior season, during which he led the Crimson in receptions (52), receiving yards (706) and receiving touchdowns (eight), he was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he carried the ball four times for nine yards, primarily being used as a H-back.

“Guys like Kyle Juszczyk do not grow on trees,” Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, said. “He will go down as one of the great players in Harvard and Ivy Football history. His rare combination of versatility, toughness, leadership and playmaking ability was one of the major catalysts for the highest scoring offense since the Ivy League was formed in 1956.”

The Medina, Ohio native showcased all of those traits on a single play that will live on in Harvard lore for years to come. After catching a ball over the middle against Bucknell this past, the senior bulldozed the first defender in his path. He then shed two arm tackles and stiff armed another defender before outrunning the rest of the Bison defense for a 59-yard touchdown in the Crimson’s 35-7 win. The play ended up on ESPN’s Sportscenter the following day as the No. 3 play in its top 10 segment.

Juszczyk becomes the fourth player drafted under Murphy. He joins Matt Birk ’98, who recently retired after winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens this past season, Isaiah Kacyvenski ’00 and Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05 as players who have heard their name called at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Overall, he is the 20th Harvard player to get drafted and first since Fitzpatrick was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 draft.

Harvard wrapped up its spring football season Saturday with its annual spring game and will now turn its head to the 2013 season opener at San Diego on Sept. 21.

Road To The 2013 NFL Draft: Harvard’s Kyle Juszczyk

Harvard's Kyle Juszczyk hopes to continue his football career in the NFL! (Photo Credit: The Harvard Crimson)
Harvard’s Kyle Juszczyk hopes to extend his football career beyond Cambridge! (Photo Credit: The Harvard Crimson)

By Matt Noonan

Harvard’s Kyle Juszczyk has always wanted to play professional football, and this weekend his dream could come true as he, along with hundred of other college football players from across the country, will wait anxiously to hear their name announced at this year’s NFL Draft.

According to recent reports, the Harvard fullback/tight end has met with a slew of NFL teams, including the Baltimore Ravens, who maybe interested in his services as Vonta Leach is entering his final year of his contract.

Excluding the Ravens, the Ivy League standout has met with the Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers.

The Baltimore Sun confirmed in a report last week that Juszczyk was “snubbed” from this year’s NFL scouting combine, but performed quite well at his campus Pro Day workout.

Juszczyk finished last season tied for first in the Ancient Eight with eight touchdown receptions and fifth in yards per game (70.6). His best effort occurred against Princeton as he finished the contest with three touchdown receptions and 15 catches for 192 yards.

The Ohio native, who played four seasons with the Crimson, ended his career with 125 receptions for 1,576 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Harvard’s last player to be drafted was Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is currently a member of the Tennessee Titans.

Noonan: Thoughts on the ongoing NFL Lockout

Roger Goodell continues to watch the NFL Lockout go no-where, but really, what can he do to save his league?

By Matt Noonan 

It’s been quite a while since I’ve provided my “two-cents” on the NFL and although it seems that every day the same stuff is being reported. Although, I do wonder what is it that I can add that the ordinary journalist has yet to report?

Hmmm…. Does anyone have a thought, idea or comment? Would anyone like to help me write this article?

I’m not sure where to begin, but let me first state that the NFL lockout has been a demoralizing experience for fans, players and coaches.

The NFL Draft, which occurred last month wasn’t too exciting, especially when hundreds of “die-hards” started booing commissioner Roger Goodell and chanting in unison, “We Want Football!”

Yet, what could Goodell do, except listen to his loyal supporters, right?

Goodell has told us numerous times that he is indeed a fan of the NFL and wants a season to be played in September, but again, will it actually happen? Will Goodell take a page out of Harry Potter’s spell book and magically make this lockout disappear?

I doubt it!

The NFL is in shambles and no one is cooperating. Players are getting arrested, judges are siding with the owners and nothing seems to have been accomplished since March. In fact, almost every day we learn more about the greedy owners, as well as players like New England Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko, who are changing their careers.

Heck, haven’t some players contemplated the idea of retirement?

What exactly can be done to make sure there will be a season? Does someone have an ingenious idea that will bring both sides together and end this lockout?

I think it’s fair to say that egos have been an enormous factor in this entire process. The owners want things their way, the players want things their way and well, no one can come to an agreement at the bargaining table.

The NFL owners and players are some of the richest people in America and only seem to care about one thing, money. It’s one thing to say, “Yes, I want to play,” but really, both sides want money and this is just one of the biggest problems that the NFL and other sports leagues in America deal with everyday.

Why is it that these men need so much money? Really, why do the owners want an additional $1 billion? Why do the Players need $8 billion? Again, why do they need so much money?

Also, whatever happened to playing for the love of the game? Does anyone have answer to that question?

I am confident that the NFL lockout won’t get resolved and a major reason will be because of money. These players and owners are incredibly greedy and yes, it makes fans like myself unhappy. They’re ruining the modern day “America’s Past Time,” and have turned themselves into the latest version of the NHL, which has lost a number of fans due to their past lockouts.

Put aside the egos, return to the negotiating table and strike a deal, otherwise, expect the MLB and College Football to be the top two sports to watch in September.

Jeff Howe (NESN) on Noontime Sports the Podcast (4/30/11)

Jeff Howe from joined Noontime Sports the Podcast on Saturday morning to discuss the NFL Draft, as well as talk about the picks made by the New England Patriots. 

Make sure to follow Jeff on Twitter (@JeffPHowe).


NFL Draft 2011: New England Patriots – Rounds 2 & 3

By Andy Lindberg 

The New England Patriots selected four new players to join their successful franchise and here is some more information about each player. 

Round 2: Pick 33

Name: Ras-I Dowling

Position: Cornerback

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 198lbs

Overview: This isn’t a bad pick for the Patriots. Clearly New England did not think great pass rush value was available in the second round and figured if they were not going to put a ton of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, shoring up the secondary would help.  Dowling had a tough time his senior year with injuries, but the Patriots have never shown hesitation to draft a banged up player to let him recover.  Dowling had 8 career picks for the University of Virginia and it is possible he can make an immediate impact as a number 3 or 4 corner behind Leigh Bodden and Devin McCourty.  Players like Dowling usually have to prove themselves on special teams, but Bill Belichick must think highly of Dowling to select him 33rd overall in the draft.


Round 2: Pick 56

Name: Shane Vereen

Position: Running Back

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 204lbs

Overview: I like the selection of Vereen. Even though BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a fantastic year for New England, the Patriots need some depth at the running back position. Much like last year’s draft when New England selected two tight ends in the second round, this year the Patriots took two running backs. Vereen was the first and had a very good year for Cal as a junior rushing for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 22 passes for 209 yards and three scores.  He’s got a low center of gravity and should be able to help New England when needed.  I don’t anticipate a ton of playing time unless the Patriots decide upon platooning their running backs, but Vereen will be a very capable option behind the “Law Firm” and Danny Woodhead.


Round 3: Pick 73

Name: Steven Ridley

Position: Running Back

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 225lbs

Overview: I watch a ton of SEC football being an Alabama Crimson Tide fan and Ridley is a bruiser. He looks for contact and can wear out a defense. In the toughest conference in college football Ridley ran for 1,147 yards and 15 touchdowns, including a 159-yard game at Vanderbilt and 123 yards against Tennessee. In the Cotton Bowl against Texan A&M he torched the Aggies for 105 yards on the ground and a score. I believe (partially biased) that Ridley is a better runner than Vereen, but it will be an interesting battle between the two in the pre-season (if there is one) for who comes out higher on the depth chart.


Round 3: Pick 74

Name: Ryan Mallett

Position: Quarterback

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 253lbs

Overview: I will fully admit (again, I’m an SEC fan) I was completely stoked when New England selected Mallett. Not only do I believe Mallett is a steal, but also a first round, NFL ready talent.

Who better to put behind Tom Brady to learn?  No offense to those who wanted Jake Locker or possibly Blaine Gabbert, but Locker and Gabbert couldn’t hold Mallett’s jock strap in college. Again, Mallett played in (and torched) the toughest defensive conference in college football.  In 2010 he threw for 3,869 yards with 32 touchdowns and 12 picks.

Mallett ended his career with 69 touchdown passes and threw for 30+ touchdowns two years in a row in the SEC. However, what stands out the most (aside from his laser, rocket arm) is his size. Ben Roethlisberger is 6’5” and 241 pounds, making Mallett one inch taller and 12 pounds heavier. He has good awareness and with a lockout possible, the Patriots are preparing for the future of their offense without Tom Brady about a year sooner than anticipated.

Mallett was drafted to eventually take over as the starter after Brady leaves. Mallett will be under phenomenal tutelage and this pick for New England may prove to be one of the bigger steals of the draft in a few years. To editorialize some more, I believe this to be a great pick, if that wasn’t already very obvious.

Kilpatrick: Overall Reactions to Day One of the NFL Draft

While Jake Locker may have been a first round selection, Kilpatrick wasn't too pleased that he won't be a member of the New England Patriots!

By Stacey Kilpatrick 

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft wrapped up Thursday night and I was disappointed within the first eight picks. Here are some notes on the night.

1st pick: Cam Newton/QB from Auburn/Carolina Panthers. The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and NCAA newsmaker was booed when announced as the first pick official pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. For months he’s been projected as the first selection, but I truly did not expect Carolina to choose him. I wanted his ego to be blown like it should be. He only had one year – albeit a great year – at Auburn, but he just seems incredibly cocky.

8th pick: Jake Locker/QB from University of Washington/Tennessee Titans. First words out of my mouth… “NOOOOOOOO!” I wanted the New England Patriots to select him, so he could back up Tom Brady. I cheered for him at Washington and wanted to cheer for him as a member of the Pats. This made me want to stop watching the draft.

10th pick: Blaine Gabbert/QB from Missouri/Jacksonville Jaguars. After seeing him and his suave, slicked back blonde hair, I thought, “Never heard of him. Don’t even know what school he’s from.” I rarely watched Missouri’s football team and the few times that I did, clearly I wasn’t paying attention to Gabbert. And going to the Jacksonville Jaguars? That’s combining two teams that never cross my mind. But he must be good, so I’ll watch him this season, hopefully.

In the top 10 picks there were three quarterbacks for the first time since 1999. The third time overall (1971, 1999 and now 2011).

13th pick: Nick Fairley/DT from Auburn/Detroit Lions. He is a big guy. I remember watching him, especially with Newton during the Alabama game this past November and he was an absolute BEAST.

14th pick: Robert Quinn/DE from North Carolina/St. Louis Rams. Quinn was out the entire 2010-11 season and yet he was still picked 14th overall. But then again, former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was out most of 2009, but he was St. Louis’s first selection in 2010.

16th pick: Ryan Kerrigan/DE from Purdue/Washington Redskins. He looks like Chris Noth from The Good Wife and (Mr. Big) Sex and the City fame. I’m sure all of you football fanatics know just whom I am speaking of, yes?

17th pick: Nate Solder/OT from Colorado/New England Patriots. I was hoping my team would have picked a player I actually knew, but from what I’ve read about Solder, he seems definitely like a solid pick, especially since he only allowed five sacks in three seasons.

22nd pick: Anthony Castonzo/OT from Boston College/Indianapolis Colts. 54 career starts, which is most in Boston College.

23rd pick: Danny Watkins/OG from Baylor/Philadelphia Eagles. The 26-year-old rookie never played football in high school and yet, he’s a first round pick by the Eagles. The 6’3”, 310-pounder played hockey and rugby. Also, he is a firefighter. This guy sounds tough and oh, by the way, some of his firemen buddies were at the draft going nuts when he was selected. How can I not root for him?

The Baltimore Ravens passed their 26th pick for 27 for – I don’t know why.

27th pick: Jimmy Smith/CB from Colorado/Baltimore Ravens. Smith appeared to be at home – he wasn’t in New York City and was shown not wearing a jacket or tie, which is bizarre. This is the NFL Draft, right?

The New England Patriots traded their 28th pick to the New Orleans Saints.

28th pick: Mark Ingram/RB from Alabama/New Orleans Saints. The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner goes to the 2010 Super Bowl Champions down in New Orleans. He had 875 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns after missing the first two games in 2010. Ingram’s father, Mark Ingram Sr., a former player for the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles is currently in jail, although the two reportedly have a decent relationship. An ESPN reporter read a congratulatory email that she received from Mark’s father and in all honesty, it was certainly very touching. People say men don’t cry. There’s no crying in sports, especially in football, but Ingram cried on national television and it was a great, heartfelt moment.

32nd pick: Derek Sharrod/OT from Mississippi State/Green Bay Packers. In the final selection of the first round, the 2011 Super Bowl Champs selected Derek Sharrod. Shouldn’t he have been wearing a cheesehead?

Rounds two and three of the 2011 NFL Draft take place Friday, April 29 at 6 p.m. ET. Rounds 4-7 will be held Saturday, April 30 at 12 p.m. ET.