Mass College Sports: Top 10 Stories From 2013

By NoontimeSports.com 

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 NoontimeSports.com, 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 Hockey: D3Hockey Midpoint Check-In

By Matt Noonan 

We’ve reached the halfway point of the Division 3 college hockey season.

So, let’s recap the past few weeks and get to know some of the current squads that lead their respective conferences.

ECAC East Men’s: The Cadets of Norwich continue to lead in the standings, according to points (13); however, Babson’s 9-2-0 overall mark is the best in the ECAC East. The Beavers commenced their current season with eight straight victories before falling to Williams, 3-2.

Nik Tasiopoulos, who is a senior forward for the Beavers, currently leads the Green and White with ten points. He’s registered six goals and four assists, while Michael Phillips ranks second with nine points (four goals, five assists).

Two spots below the Beavers sit UMass Boston, a squad that ended its first half on a five-game winning streak. The Beacons, who’re 7-1-2, managed to outscore their last two opponents, 12-4. Peter MacIntyre leads the Blue and White with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists), while Travis Daniel ranks second in points with 15 (four goals, 11 assists).

ECAC East Women’s: Similar to the men’s conference, Norwich remains the top squad, but keep an eye on Nichols and UMass Boston.

The Bison entered their holiday break 2-6-0 overall and 2-4-0 in the conference. They ended the first half winning two of four contests, which included a 4-3 win over Manhattanville and a 3-0 victory against Plymouth State. Against Manhattanville, Grace Murphy sealed the win with a power play strike. Murphy currently leads the unit in points (6) and goals (4).

As for the Beacons, their first half concluded with back-to-back wins against Colby and Southern Maine. Jenny Currie, Samantha Fallon and Alyssa Sullivan each lit the lamp in UMass Boston’s 3-0 win over Southern Maine, their last contest before break.

ECAC Northeast Men’s: For the second straight year, Nichols remains one of the top squads in the conference. Second year coach Kevin Swallow, a former Maine Blackbear, has guided the Bison to a 7-1-2 overall mark. In the team’s last outing, the Bison topped Franklin Pierce, 9-1. Dylan Woodring picked up his first win between the pipes as he turned away 19 of 20 shots.

Salve Regina remains the top squad in the conference, while Johnson and Wales owns the best overall mark of 9-3-0.

MASCAC Men’s: Framingham State football’s team may have provided some motivation for their men’s ice hockey team, which currently resides atop the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-3-1 overall mark. They concluded the first half of their schedule with three straight victories. In their last outing, which was against Assumption, Melvin Nichols and Ryan McDonald each netted a goal, while Alessio Muggli picked up his first win in net.

Salem State and Westfield State remain one point behind Framingham State in the standings. Both units have won four of six conference tilts. And similar to the Rams, the Vikings concluded the first half of their schedule with three consecutive wins.

NESCAC Men’s: Amherst and Williams entered their winter breaks as the top two squads in their conference. Craig Kitto leads the Ephs with 10 points (five goals, five assists), while George Hunkele is second on the team with 6 points (three goals, three assists). Williams hasn’t lost a game this season, as they’ve won five contests and tied two. Both of their ties, which were against Colby and Hamilton, were identical scores: 1-1.

NESCAC Women’s: Amherst entered their break as the second best team in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. They’ve recorded seven points, three conference wins and one non-conferee victory. The Lord Jeffs commenced their season with three straight wins, including a weekend sweep over Hamilton before earning ties with Plattsburgh State and Wesleyan.

When the Purple and White return to action, they’ll face Holy Cross and Cortland State before returning to conference play against Colby.

Mass. College Hoops: Holy Cross’ Alex Smith Named Patriot League Player Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Holy Cross sports information department, here’s today’s release about Alex Smith, a member of the women’s basketball team that earned her third Patriot League Player of the Week award of her career:

WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross women’s basketball senior captain Alex Smith (Delran, N.J.) has been named Patriot League Anaconda Sports Player of the Week for competition from Dec. 16-22. This marks the third time in her career that she has claimed Player of the Week honors, as she also won the award on Dec. 12, 2011 and Feb 4, 2013.

Smith had a stellar week offensively for the Crusaders, as she helped lead the team to a 1-1 overall record. For the week, she averaged 21.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 2.5 assists per contest. She shot 48.3 percent from the field (14 of 29) and canned nine of her 19 shots from behind the arc (47.4 percent). Smith began the week with her best offensive performance in a Crusader uniform versus Quinnipiac, with a career-best 31 points to go along with six rebounds and five steals. She started the contest going five of five from downtown and set the Patriot League career three-pointers made mark during the game against the Bobcats. Smith also set the Holy Cross record for most points in a half, as she had 27 in the first stanza versus Quinnipiac. The 31 points scored were also the most by a Patriot League player this season. Against ACC-rival Boston College, Smith tallied 11 points and hit a trio of three-pointers.

This season, Smith is averaging 16.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. She also is shooting 46.1 percent from the field and has a 43.1 percent clip from behind the arc. Smith leads the Patriot League in steals and three-pointers made (3.4) per game, as well as assist/turnover ratio (3.8). She ranks third in the conference in assists per game and fifth in scoring. Over her career, Smith has totaled 1,353 career points, which ranks 13th in Holy Cross history. She also has accumulated 448 assists, 385 rebounds and 179 steals during her four years at Holy Cross. Smith now has 291 career three-pointers and is 27 away from entering the top 25 in the NCAA Division I record book.

Holy Cross (7-2) will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 29, when it will travel to Ames, Iowa for the first game of the Cyclone Classic versus #14/11 Iowa State at 4:30 p.m. (ET).

Mass. College Hockey: Four BU Terriers Named to Canadian Olympic Hockey Team

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Boston University sports information department, here’s today’s release about four women’s ice hockey players that’ll be suiting up for Team Canada in the upcoming Winter Olympics:

CALGARY, Alta. – Marie-Philip Poulin and former Boston University women’s ice hockey standouts Jenn Wakefield, Catherine Ward and Tara Watchorn were all named to the Canadian national women’s hockey team that will compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Hockey Canada announced Monday.

Poulin, who finished her junior season with the Terriers in March, will skate in the Olympics for the second time. She scored both goals in Canada’s 2-0 win over the United States in the 2010 gold-medal game and was named Most Outstanding Player at the 2013 World Championship. As a co-captain in 2012-13, she set a BU single-season record for assists with 36 and finished the year with 55 points (19g, 36a). In three seasons and 79 games played at BU, Poulin has tallied 54 goals and 73 assists for 127 career points.

Ward will also be an Olympian for the second time, having been teammates with Poulin in 2010. She was the program’s first All-American after the 2010-11 season, her only one with the Terriers. That year, all four BU Olympians helped the Terriers reach their first-ever NCAA title game. Ward’s 27 assists was a program record until it was broken the next year.

Wakefield and Watchorn will both be making their first Olympic appearances when they take the ice in Sochi. Despite only playing two seasons with the Terriers, Wakefield is second in program history with 61 goals and became the first skater in Hockey East history to tally 100 career goals. She finished her four-year NCAA career with 206 points (120g, 86a).

Watchorn scored the overtime-winning goal to give BU its first Hockey East title in 2010 and her 21 goals, 63 assists and 84 points are the most by a Terrier defenseman in program history. She finished her collegiate career as a plus-40 and was a three-time Hockey East All-Star.

Canada will begin its quest for a fourth straight gold medal on Feb. 8 when it faces off against Switzerland. The gold-medal game is scheduled for Feb. 20. Fans can follow the progress of all four BU Olympians on GoTerriers.com.

Mass. College Hoops: Saturday Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com  

Here are Saturday’s scores and highlights.

Men’s Basketball 

Florida State 60, No. 22 UMass 55: The 10-game winning streak came to a screeching halt as the Minutemen converted 1 of 15 shots from beyond the arc, while going 14 of 24 from the charity stripe. Derrick Gordon led UMass with a team-high 12 points, while Chaz Williams and Cady Lalanne netted 10 points, respectively.

Boston University 83, Maryland 77: D.J. Irving registered a game-best 25 points, along with two assists and two steals as the Terriers defeated Maryland on the road.

Holy Cross 74, NJIT 55: Malcolm Miller scored a game-high 18 points, as well as registered nine rebounds, seven blocks, three assists and one steal, which helped the Crusaders cruise to their sixth win of the season.

Harvard 74, Vermont 68: Siyani Chambers poured in 27 points in 39 minutes, while Kyle Casey netted 11 points as the Crimson defeated the Catamounts in Cambridge.

Northeastern 62, Milwaukee 59: The Huskies six-game skid came to an end this evening as Northeastern rallied to earn its third win of the season. Scott Eatherton finished with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Bentley 99, Golden-Beacom 65: Tyler McFarland connected on 8 of 14 shots from the field, including two triples for game-high 18 points as the Falcons soared to their eighth win of the season.

Women’s Basketball

Harvard 60, Hofstra 41: Temi Fagbenle registered a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Erin McDonnell poured in a team-high 17 points as the Crimson defeated Hofstra to earn its eighth win of the season.

Bentley 71, LIU Post 59: Jen Gemma scored a team-high 20 points and recorded 12 caroms in 17 minutes, which helped the Falcons defeat the Pioneers. With the win, Bentley improves to 11-0 and remains the number one-ranked team in the USA TODAY Sports/ WBCA Division II poll.

Assumption 80, Bloomfield 70: Shannon Ray netted a game-high 17 points, as well as recorded five boards, four assists and one steal in the Hounds’ seventh victory of the season.

AIC 76, Chestnut Hill 52: Krista Ferrentino scored 16 points and recorded six boards, one assists and one steal in the Yellow Jackets’ seventh win of the season.