Endicott College’s Lexi Klein netted the program’s initial goal of the season this afternoon in the Gulls’ 2-0 victory. (Photo Credit: Endicott College Athletics/ecgulls.com)
By Matt Noonan
The Endicott College women’s ice hockey team commenced its 2015-16 season with a 2-0 victory over Plymouth State University on Friday afternoon at the Puck Drop Classic, hosted by Nichols College. The win – the Gulls’ initial victory in program history – was secured by goals by freshmen Lexi Klein and Ellie Carter. Both goals were unassisted markers.
Klein provided the Gulls with the team’s first-ever lead of the season, scoring at 11:11 in the opening frame. Carter capped the team’s offensive output at 10:56 in the second period, firing a shot past Plymouth State senior goaltender Alyssa Altschuler.
Endicott concluded the game with 27 shots compared to Plymouth State’s 17 attempts. Freshman Teneal Perry finished seven-for-seven on face-offs, while Meredith Vlachos won seven of eight face-offs.
Regis College tabbed Randy Fraser as the program’s new head coach this month. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)
Randy Fraser has spent his entire life coaching and playing lacrosse, but after a short stint with the Junior U.S.A. National Box Lacrosse team this summer, he felt it was time to return to the collegiate level as a head coach.
“(Being the head coach of the Junior U.S.A. National Box Lacrosse team) really rose my level of confidence and my ability to be the top-guy and leader to steer the ship,” said Fraser.
“I really think we did a good job with the team this past summer, we got great feedback from the players and parents, which was very positive and so that really drove me to pursue a head coaching position (at the collegiate level).”
Fraser accepted the head coaching position – his first collegiate head coaching job – with the Regis College men’s lacrosse team, a member of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) earlier this month. Fraser becomes the program’s third head coach and will look to continue the team’s success from the past two seasons, which featured a pair of postseason appearances in the conference and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournaments.
No stranger to collegiate lacrosse, Fraser played for Springfield College before accepting assistant positions with American International College (AIC), Nichols College and Dean College. He has also coached high school lacrosse at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Massachusetts, while competing at the professional level in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) with the Boston Blazers, New York Saints and Buffalo Bandits. In 2003, he captained Team U.S.A. to a Bronze Medal at the World Games in Canada, finishing the tournament with 10 assists and one goal.
“I was looking for a certain balance (in a head coaching position) and the Division III, small college level really fit that balance of what I was looking for,” said Fraser.
“My aspirations (for this role) is to coach a winning program and strong program, and I feel like we have that here at Regis.”
The Amherst College women’s ice hockey team highlights our Week One ‘Top-5’ Women’s Hockey poll as the NCAA Division III 2015-16 season commences this week.
The Jeffs concluded their season in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) semis, falling to Trinity College (Conn.), which advanced to the NCAA Tournament following their conference championship victory against Middlebury College.
PROGRAM NOTE: As noted in our men’s ice hockey top-5 poll (week one) earlier today, we encourage all fans to send us their top-5 picks every Monday on Twitter: @NoontimeSports
1. Amherst College: The Jeffs concluded their 2014-15 season by finishing second in the NESCAC with 17 overall wins, including 13 conference victories. Trinity managed to outlast the Jeffs down the stretch, defeating them in two of three meetings, while the initial contest concluded in a one-goal tie. Amherst will rely on sophomore Brenna Sullivan this winter after she posted 11 goals and six assists in 23 games. Classmate Alex Toupal will also be a key player on offense after she finished her first-season with eight goals and 10 assists. Amherst returns a trio of goaltender, including sophomore Sabrina Dobbins, who ranked first in the NESCAC in goals allowed (14) and goals against average (1.33). Amherst kicks-off its 2015-16 campaign on Friday, November 20 when they travel to Connecticut College for a 7:00 p.m. start.
2. Williams College: The Ephs posted just one victory in the month of February, defeating Connecticut College, 1-0, on the road, while dropping a quartet of games down the stretch, including a pair to Middlebury. Williams will certainly be on the rebound this season, kicking-off their campaign on Friday, November 20 when they host Hamilton College at 7:00 p.m. Juniors Hanna Beattie and Sara Lehman will be counted on to guide the Ephs’ offense after the pair paced the squad with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Additionally, junior Emily Krueger returns after scoring five goals and setting-up six markers. Sophomore Christina Cleroux should be spotted between the pipes after competing in 16 games last winter.
3. Holy Cross: It was an exciting season for the Crusaders, which captured their fifth ECAC Open Title with a 4-1 victory over Franklin Pierce at the end of February. It was the program’s first championship since claiming the crown at the conclusion of the 2011 season. This season, the Crusaders will be without Mary Klimasewiski and Nicole Giannino – two graduating losses – but do return sophomore Kara Violette, who paced Holy Cross with 31 points on 14 goals and 17 assists. Expect sophomore Siobhan Burke to be the team’s top goaltender, however, keep an eye on freshman Alex Barnes. Holy Cross begins its season on Friday, October 30 with a 7:05 p.m. contest against Sacred Heart.
4. UMass Boston: First-year head coach Lindsay Berman will look to lead the Beacons to a pair of weekend victories against William-Smith, beginning with a 7:30 p.m. matchup on Friday, October 30. Berman is no stranger to UMass Boston women’s ice hockey, joining the program as an assistant prior to the start of the 2011-12 season, so her experience will certainly help, especially with strengthening a defense that returns a trio of players from last winter’s squad. Senior Samantha Fallon should be the leader of the offense following her 14 point (eight goals, six assists) effort last season. Additionally, keep an eye on sophomore Jane Morrisette to light the lamp on offense after tallying five goals and nine assists in her first season with the program. UMass Boston has a trio of goaltenders, so expect all three to record minutes between the pipes this season.
5. Endicott College: Andy McPhee and the Gulls commence their initial season of varsity hockey on Friday, October 30 when they take on Plymouth State University in the Puck Drop Classic. Endicott will host its first-ever varsity game the following Saturday, November 7 against Johnson & Wales (R.I.) at 4:00 p.m. The Gulls schedule features some impressive contests against Trinity, Becker College and Salem State University – both programs are first-year varsity teams – and UMass Boston at the annual Codfish Bowl on January 2 and 3.
For the first-time in NoontimeSports.com history, we will be producing a weekly top-5 team poll that will highlight NCAA Division III hockey (men and women) in the state of Massachusetts.
With the 2015-16 season set to commence this week, we kick-off our weekly and first-ever poll with Amherst College, topping our Men’s Hockey ‘Top-5’ for Week One. Babson College, Williams College, Nichols College and UMass Boston rounded out the five-team poll with second, third, fourth and fifth placements, respectively, while Curry College and Endicott College each earned votes.
PROGRAM NOTE: As stated above, we will be posting our ‘Top-5’ poll every Tuesday throughout the season, however, we encourage you to engage with our weekly projections by tweeting your weekly picks to @NoontimeSports.
Week One (Oct. 27 – Nov. 2):
1. Amherst College: The Jeffs came within one game of the NCAA Division III National Championship last season, but should be one of the top teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), along with defending national champion Trinity College (Conn.). The Jeffs ranked second in the conference in defense and third in scoring offense last season. Sophomore David White returns after an impressive freshman year, which concluded with 20 goals and 15 assists. Amherst will commence its 2015-16 season on Friday, November 20 when they Hamilton College for a 7:00 p.m. face-off.
2. Babson College: The Beavers have turned the page from their overtime setback to Norwich University last season in the conference tournament championship. Babson returns senior goaltender Jamie Murray, who enjoyed a few days of N.H.L. experience in July at the Tampa Bay Lightning Development Camp, so expect that few-day period of summer hockey to be on display all season. Additionally, Babson returns senior Mike Vollmin (four goals, 19 assists) and junior Bill Seligman (15 goals, nine assists). Babson begins its season on Friday, October 30 against Hobart at home at 7:00 p.m.
3. Williams College: A one-goal setback in the conference championship to rival Amherst concluded Williams’ season last March. Seven months later, the Ephs will look to rebound, beginning their season on Saturday, November 21 against Bowdoin College in Williamstown at 7:00 p.m. Sophomore David Italiano returns after finishing second on the team with 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists).
4. Nichols College: Picked to capture the ECAC East crown, the Bison will kick-off their season on Friday, October 30 by traveling to Vermont to face Norwich for 7:00 p.m. face-off. First-year head coach Parker Burgess inherits an impressive unit, which features senior goaltender Alex Larson, who finished last season first in the nation in save percentage (.952). Additionally, the Bison’s offense will be fueled by seniors TylerBeasley, Frank Butler and Paul Prescott.
5. UMass Boston: Following one of their most successful seasons in program history, the Beacons return to the ice with questions on offense, especially with graduation losses of Stephen Buco (16 goals, 32 assists) and Mike Kuhn (12 goals, 20 assists). Sophomore Colin Larkin finished fourth on the team in points (10 goals, 17 assists) and will be counted on to guide the offense, while senior Billy Faust and Zach Andrews split time between the pipes. UMass Boston begins play on Friday, October 30 when they host Curry College at 7:00 p.m.
Receiving Votes: Curry College and Endicott College
The Bulldogs earned the top spot in an extremely close vote – it is the first time Yale was pegged to finish atop the Ancient Eight since the preseason media poll began 31 years ago.
Yale garnered five first-place votes, earning 117 points, while Columbia University (six first-place votes) and Princeton University (six first-place votes) were picked to finish second and third, respectively.
Harvard University collected 96 points, which was good enough for fourth place, while Brown University was picked fifth, Dartmouth College sixth, University of Pennsylvania seventh and Cornell University eighth.
Last season, the Bulldogs were picked to finish second, but wound up sharing the Ivy League title with Harvard, which defeated Yale in a one-game playoff by two points (53-51). The Crimson then went onto compete in the NCAA Tournament, but fell in the second round to University of North Carolina.
Yale begins its season on Friday, November 13 when they take on Fairfield University in the Connecticut Six Classic with tipoff scheduled for 3:00 p.m. The Bulldogs will face Harvard twice this coming season with the initial meeting scheduled to occur on Saturday, February 13 in Cambridge at 7:00 p.m.