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.

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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