WPI’s McClune Reflects On First Golden Helmet Award

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – On Wednesday afternoon, WPI’s Mitch McClune was awarded this week’s Golden Helmet Award at the weekly New England Football Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston luncheon.

McClune, who had never won this prestigious award, was speechless when introduced to coaches and media members at Harvard University.

However, once the weekly gathering adjourned, the graduate student had no problem piecing together sentences about the award, as well as the season, too.

“This is all new to me,” admitted the Pembroke native.

Against St. Lawrence University last Saturday, McClune tallied four interceptions (a school record) against the Saints in his team’s first Liberty League victory.

“Things kind of worked out,” McClune stated. “They kept throwing the ball my way.

“It was pretty much the first time all year I’ve been challenged at corner and had the ball actually thrown at me, so that was kind of good to see it, but bad for them because the [opposing quarterback] kept throwing it at me.”

McClune recorded his first interception late in the second quarter, which resulted in touchdown three plays later.

Once the second half commenced, McClune became Saints quarterback Danny Metzgar’s favorite target, as the Natick native sailed three of his passes in the graduate student’s direction.

“We were pretty much sitting in Cover 2 [defense] a lot,” McClune said of his team’s defensive formation.

“The last play of the game was kind of just a fluke thing. [Metzger] just threw it up, I got lucky, but I’ll take it either way.”

Prior to his career day, McClune admitted the last time he came close to four picks was during a youth football game where he accumulated two interceptions. At Boston College High School, he admitted it was roughly one pick per game.

“It didn’t really set in until after the game that I had four,” explained McClune.

“[My teammates] were talking to me and I said if he throws it again, I’m going to pick it off, and I really wasn’t thinking about how many I had, but he threw it up on the last play and I figured I’d come down with it.”

Excluding the four interceptions and junior John Antonopoulos’s four touchdowns (three through the air, one on the ground) the victory provided an end to the Engineers’ six-game losing streak, as well as marked their first win in the conference, too.

WPI has two games remaining, and while they won’t be making the trek to a conference championship or tournament, McClune hopes their second win of the season will translate into successful outcomes against Rochester and Springfield College.

“We’ve been in a lot of tough close games this year where one or two plays go a different way we’d come out on top,” said McClune.

“[Being] able to get that win and put a great game together all around on offense and defense feels good, so hopefully we can carry that over to the last two weeks and get on kind of a roll to finish it out. It would be great.”

McClune is the second player this season from the Liberty League to earn this honor. Earlier this year, Springfield College’s Jonathan Marrero was named the Div. II/III recipient after registering seven touchdowns in two quarters.

Mass. College Sports – Conference Tournament Links/Schedules

By NoontimeSports.com 

On Wednesday, a majority of the Massachusetts collegiate field hockey, soccer and volleyball teams will begin their quest toward a conference crown.

Below you’ll find links and schedules to the various tournaments. Also, don’t forget to report scores via email (NoontimeSports.com) or Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog).

Atlantic-10 Conference — Field Hockey and Women’s Soccer

* Atlantic Coast Conference — Field Hockey

* Commonwealth Coast Conference — Field Hockey, Soccer and Volleyball

* Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer — Emerson College at Albertus Magnus (semi-finals, 2PM kickoff on Weds. Oct. 31)

* Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women’s Soccer — Emmanuel College at Lasell College (semi-finals, 2PM kickoff on Thurs. Nov. 1)

* Great Northeast Athletic Conference Volleyball — Emmanuel at Simmons (Oct. 31/7PM), Lasell at Rivier (Oct. 31/7PM), Mount Ida College at Emerson (Oct. 31/7PM) — All matches are quarterfinal matches

Little East Conference Field Hockey — Westfield State at Plymouth State (Oct. 31, 2PM)/ Salem State at Keene State (Oct. 31, 6PM)/So. Maine at Bridgewater State (Nov. 1, 6PM)/West Conn. at UMass Dartmouth (Nov. 1, 7PM)

* Little East Conference Men’s Soccer — UMass Dartmouth at Keene State (Nov. 1, 6PM)

* Little East Conference Women’s Soccer — UMass Dartmouth at Keene State (Oct. 1, 6PM)

* Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference — Soccer and Volleyball

* New England Small College Athletic Conference — Field Hockey

* New England Small College Athletic Conference — Men’s Soccer

* New England Small College Athletic Conference — Women’s Soccer

New England Small College Athletic Conference — Volleyball

* New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference — Field Hockey, Soccer and Volleyball

Northeast-10 Conference — Men’s Soccer

* Northeast-10 Conference — Women’s Soccer

Mass. College Football: Week 9 Honor Roll

Mr. 4,000! On Saturday, Framingham State’s Melikke Van Alstyne eclipsed the 4,000 rushing yard mark! (Photo Credit: Matt Nooann for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The ninth week of the college football season is in the books. And now it’s time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Weekly Honor Roll.

Treavor Scales (Harvard) – The senior tailback returns to the list following an impressive outing against Dartmouth where he rushed for 89 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns.

Joshua Boyd (Harvard) – Against the Big Green, the senior from Hyde Park recorded seven tackles (five solo), one sack and a tackle for a loss.

Nick Clancy (Boston College) – In one of the more exhilarating contests of the season, the senior linebacker finished his team’s contest against Maryland with nine tackles (four solo), a tackle for a loss and three pass breakups.

Mike Fess (Holy Cross) – Despite his team’s heartbreaking defeat to Fordham, the junior wide receiver hauled in eight catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

Jeff Hill (Bentley University) – Against Merrimack College, the Mansfield native caught eight passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s sixth victory of the season. All eight of the receptions resulted in a touchdown or first down, and five of the receptions came on third-down plays. Hill was named this week’s Northeast-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Markell Rice (American International College) – This week’s NE-10 Defensive Player/Special Teams Player of the Week recorded a game-high 12 tackles (six solo), along with two interceptions and a pass breakup in his team’s 37-34 win against Saint Anselm.

Sonny Dillinger (Assumption College) – On Senior Day, the senior safety recorded 10 tackles (six solo), a half tackle for a loss, one pass breakup, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his team’s win against Pace University.

Danny Guadagnoli (Bentley University) – The junior quarterback from Framingham tallied four touchdowns and accumulated 417 yards of total offense. Guadagnoli completed 19-of-34 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for a team-high 76 yards on 10 carries and two scores.

Mitch McClune (WPI) – Against St. Lawrence, the Pembroke native set a school record with four interceptions in his team’s first Liberty League win of the season. McClune was named this week’s Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week.

John Antonopoulos (WPI) – The junior from Cambridge, who was mentioned on this week’s Liberty League Honor Roll, accounted for four touchdowns (three through the air, one on the ground) and recorded a career-best 347 yards in WPI’s 36-17 victory against St. Lawrence.

Kayln Smithson (Mount Ida College) – In his team’s epic win against Becker College, the sophomore linebacker accounted for five tackles (four solo), one sack, one tackle for a loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception and one pass breakup.

Darren Hartwell (Williams College) – Against Hamilton College, the senior wide receiver from North Reading registered 297 all-purpose yards (138 yards on three kick returns, 73 yards on four punt returns). He electrified the crowd from the start with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, which provided the Ephs with all the momentum. He also caught six passes for 86 yards and one touchdown (38-yard score). Hartwell’s touchdown reception marked his 19th of his career, a new school record.

Mike Murphy (Endicott College) – In his team’s 50-45 win against Western New England College, the senior receiver from Chelmsford hauled in 11 catches for 139 yards and a single game school record five touchdowns. Murphy was named this week’s New England Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Corey Spencer (Worcester State) – The former Arlington Catholic gunslinger completed 38-of-47 passes for a school record 421 yards and three touchdowns.

Melikke Van Alstyne (Framingham State) – The junior tailback from Salem eclipsed the 4,000 rushing yard mark with 126 yards and one score in his team’s victory against Coast Guard.

Dan Dowling (Westfield State) – The senior linebacker/punter, who was this week’s NEFC Defensive Player of the Week, tallied a game-high 15 tackles (14 solo) and forced fumble in his team’s loss to Massachusetts Maritime.

WPI’s McClune Earns Liberty League Defensive Performer Of The Week Honor

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our friends from WPI’s athletic department — here is today’s press release pertaining toward graduate student Mitch McClune, who was selected as this week’s Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week.

Against St. Lawrence on Saturday, the Pembroke native set a school record with four interceptions in his team’s first conference win of the season.

For more information on the Engineers football team — HOP HERE.

Troy, NY —  WPI graduate student Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) has been selected Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week for games played on Saturday, October 27th.  McClune, along with Hobart running back Steven Webb (Dundee, NY) headline the weekly award winners announced by the conference on Monday.

McClune set a school record with four interceptions in WPI’s 36-17 victory over St. Lawrence on Saturday afternoon. The graduate student’s pick right before halftime thwarted a St. Lawrence scoring drive and set up an Engineer touchdown which gave the Crimson and Gray a 22-3 lead at the intermission. McClune added to his standout day with five tackles, including 1.5 for loss, and returned four kickoffs for 98 yards with a long of 41.

McClune becomes the third WPI player this season to receive top billing in the conference’s weekly awards.  Back after the opening weekend, Zach Grasis (East Brookfield, MA) was tabbed Offensive Performer of the Week honors while placekicker Mitch Lewis (Farmington, CT) took home Special Teams Performer of the Week.  McClune is WPI’s first Defensive Performer of the Week award winner since John Perron (Worcester, MA) earned the destination back in September of last season.

In addition to McClune’s award, quarterback John Antonopoulos was named to the Liberty League honor roll.  The junior accounted for four touchdowns and passed for a career-best 347 yards to life the Engineers to its first Liberty League victory of the season in a 36-17 win over St. Lawrence. Antonopoulos completed 26-of 47 passes for the 347 yards and three touchdowns while adding a two-yard rushing score.

WPI football is 2-6 on the season and plays its final road game of 2012 this Saturday afternoon at Rochester.

Northeastern’s Mountain Named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our friends from Northeastern University’s athletic department — here is today’s press release pertaining toward senior goaltender Bryan Mountain, who was named this week’s Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week.

Against New Hampshire this past weekend, Mountain recorded his first career shutout between the pipes on Saturday at Matthews Arena.

For more information on the Northeastern hockey team — HOP HERE.

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – Senior goaltender Bryan Mountain (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) was honored as the Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week after a 62-of-63 (.984) collective save performance against No. 12 New Hampshire this past weekend, including his first-career shutout on Saturday (44 saves) at Matthews Arena.

The Bryn Mawr, Pa., native was called into action on Friday night against UNH at the Whittemore Center for 32:42 minutes of relief duty. Mountain’s performance was the first time the fourth-year netminder stood between the pipes since keeping Maine off the board for 13 minutes on Feb. 25, 2012.

Mountain stopped his first 18 shots and earned his first start on Saturday against the Wildcats. It was Mountain’s first start for Northeastern since Jan. 10, 2010 (Massachusetts).

Mountain’s 44-save shutout was the most save by a Northeastern goaltender since senior Chris Rawlings turned aside 47 shots against Providence on Feb. 18, 2012.

With Mountain’s feat, Northeastern has now shutout New Hampshire in back-to-back contests at Matthews Arena. The last blanking occurred on Oct. 14, 2011 (4-0). New Hampshire did not allow a goal either, yielding the first scoreless draw between the two teams in 163 meetings.

So far this season, Mountain’s goals against average stands at a scant 0.61 with a .984 save percentage. For his career, Mountain is 1-3-1 with a 2.33 goals against average and a .916 save percentage in 334:27 minutes of action.

Mountain’s award marks the third decoration from Hockey East this season. On Oct. 15, 2012, freshman forward Kevin Roy was tabbed the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week after exploding onto the college hockey scene in his first week of play. The Huskies also won Hockey East Team of the Week status after its first 2-0 start since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season.

Mountain joins Athletic Republic Co-Player of the Week Parker Milner (Boston College) and Mike Collins (Merrimack), Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week Jon Gillies (Providence) and the other Co-Defensive Player of the Week Casey DeSmith (New Hampshire) as this week’s award winners. Boston College was tapped as the Hockey East Team of the Week.

In other news, Northeastern remained the No. 15 team in the country in USCHO.com’s fifth national poll of the season released on Monday, Oct. 29.

This Friday, Northeastern and Merrimack meet up at Matthews Arena for a 7 p.m. puck drop on Nov. 2. The 15th-ranked Huskies will then travel to North Andover, Mass., to close out the two-game series at Lawler Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m.