Mass. College Sports: Recapping The 2015 College Sports Season

Allyson Fournier capped her four-years in Medford by guiding the Tufts softball team to three national championships. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)

Allyson Fournier capped her four-years in Medford by guiding the Tufts softball team to three national championships. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

2015 was a special year for college athletics in the Bay State.

And before we press fast-forward to 2016, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest stories and headlines from this past year.

* The Tufts University men’s lacrosse team captured its third NCAA title, including the program’s second consecutive crown with a 19-11 victory against Lynchburg.

* Allyson Fournier navigated the Tufts softball team to its third consecutive title as the four-time All-American pitcher helped the Jumbos defeat Texas-Tyler, 7-4.

Tufts concluded the 2015 season with a 51-0 record, while becoming the first Division III softball team to win three consecutive national championships.

* The Boston University men’s ice hockey team captured the Beanpot and Hockey East – the program’s eighth conference title – while earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Terriers advanced to the ‘Frozen Four’ championship, but fell to Providence College on Causeway Street in Boston.

* Amherst College saw its men’s soccer program capture its initial NCAA title earlier this month with a 2-1victory against Loras. Bryce Ciambella netted the game-winning goal in the 55th minute to lift the Jeffs to victory.

* The Williams College women’s soccer team won its first-ever championship, thanks to a first half marker by Kristina Alvarado, which helped the Ephs defeat Washington (Mo.), 1-0.

* On the gridiron, the Assumption College football team captured the Northeast-10 Conference championship, defeating New Haven, 17-14. Cody Lynn connected with Alex Shain on a one-yard touchdown strike midway through the fourth quarter, which helped the Hounds rally from a five-point deficit.

The Hounds then went onto capture a first-round NCAA Division II tournament game, defeating Bowie State by a score of 51-29. Marc Monks accounted for four touchdowns during his team’s 11th win of the season.

* The Tufts football team finished its eight-game slate with a 6-2 record, winning six games for the first time since 2001. The Jumbos capped their campaign with a 31-28 victory against Middlebury College.

* Amherst College concluded its 2015 football season with an 8-0 ledger, along with the program’s sixth New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown. The Jeffs won the championship last season and shared the crown with Middlebury College and Wesleyan University in 2013.

* The Babson College men’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals for the first-time in program history after rallying past Trinity College (Conn.) in the regional final. Joey Flannery sent the game to overtime with a layup late in the second stanza before Matthew Droney punched the Green and White’s ticket to the semifinals with a trifecta with 54 seconds remaining in overtime.

Babson ended its 2014-15 campaign with 29 victories, along with their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship since 2004.

* The MIT women’s lacrosse team captured the program’s first-ever NEWMAC crown, defeating Wellesley College and Springfield College. The Engineers season concluded with the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory against Regis College (Mass.).

MIT’s Emily Young finished her first season with the Cardinal and Gray by tallying 86 points on 75 goals and 11 assists.

* The Williams women’s tennis team capped its 2015 season with a 5-4 victory against Emory in the national championship. Linda Shin secured the title with a second-set victory.

Williams has now defeated Emory for the title four times (2002, 2010, 2013 and 2015) and lead Division III in women’s tennis titles with nine crowns.

* The Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team won the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II tournament game by beating Adelphi in the quarterfinals. The victory avenged a conference tournament setback to the Panthers.

* Stonehill College signal-caller Matt Foltz made headlines during the fourth week of the season by engineering a trio of touchdown drives during the final 62 seconds as the Skyhawks rallied to beat LIU Post, 40-37. Foltz capped the rally with a last-second heave to Corey White in the end zone.

REPORT: Boston College’s Don Brown Named University of Michigan Defensive Coordinator

Boston College's defensive coordinator Don Brown will be the next defensive coordinator for the University of Michigan football team. (Photo Credit: The AP)

Boston College’s defensive coordinator Don Brown will be the next defensive coordinator for the University of Michigan football team. (Photo Credit: The AP)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Initially reported by Sports Illustrated, various reports have confirmed over the past few hours that Boston College’s Don Brown has been named the University of Michigan football team’s defensive coordinator.

Brown leaves Chestnut Hill after three seasons with the Eagles as the defensive coordinator. This past fall, Boston College finished first nationally in total defense this past season, allowing 254 yards per game, while ranking fourth in scoring defense, yielding an average of 15.3 points per game.

D.J. Durkin, who was the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator this past fall, left the Ann Arbor campus to become the University of Maryland’s head coach.

Mass. College Hoops: WACBA Honor Roll (Week Five)

By NoontimeSports.com 

WORCESTER, Mass. – With five weeks of college basketball officially in the books, it is now time to unveil this week’s Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) honor roll, including our players and rookies of the week.

Men’s Player of the Week: Paul Brooks (Jr.), Worcester State (Arlington, Mass.): Brooks averaged 19 points and 14 rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Lancers. Brooks was just one rebound shy of a double-double in the loss to UNH in cross-divisional play, scoring 10 points and recording nine rebounds. In the 96-93 win over Western Connecticut, Brooks marked a career-high 28 points and had a stunning-19 rebounds on the evening for his third double-double of the season. Brooks also had a game-high four blocks in the Western Connecticut matchup. Overall, Brooks shots 63 percent from the field for the week.

Men’s Rookie of the Week: Karl Charles (Fr.), Holy Cross (Piscataway, N.J.): Scored a team-high 12 points against second-ranked Kansas, while posting a career-high four steals. He added 13 points, three assists and two steals in the victory over Hartford.

Women’s Player of the Week: Priscilla Dunphy (Jr.), WPI (Barrington, R.I.):Dunphy paced all scorers with 11 points as the Engineers continued their best start in program history win a road triumph at Fitchburg State.  The junior connected on 5-of-10 of her shots from the floor and added four rebounds, a steal and a block while anchoring a defensive effort that yielded just six Falcon field goals on the night.

Women’s Rookie of the Week: Kaitlyn Berkel (Fr.), Worcester State (Waterford, Conn.): Berkel led the Lancers in the 63-51 loss to Springfield Friday evening. She recorded a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds (two offensively). Berkel went 50 percent from the field.

Honor Roll:

Robert Champion (Jr.), Holy Cross (Charlotte, N.C.): Scored a career-high 22 points in the victory over Hartford, to go along with four rebounds and three steals. Also had seven points and two rebounds in only 11 minutes against second-ranked Kansas. He made 56.3 percent of his field goals and 55.6 percent of his three-pointers on the week

Declan Soukup (Jr.), Assumption (Melbourne, Australia):
In the team’s lone game of the week, Soukup posted a career-high 26 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists. He finished the game 6-for-9 from the field, 4-for-5 from three and a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line.

Leonny Burgos (Jr.) Fitchburg State (Lawrence, Mass.): Averaged 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contests in a 1-1 week for the Falcons. Posted 22 points, three boards, and two assists in a 91-85 win over Albertus Magnus on Monday evening before adding 17 points, four caroms, three assists and a steal in a 77-70 setback to Fisher College on Wednesday.

Ian Converse (Jr.), WPI (Woodstock, Conn.): Converse was one of five players in double figures as he came off the bench to toss in 16 points in nationally-ranked WPI’s 84-69 road win at MCLA. The junior grabbed 15 rebounds on his way to recording his second double-double of the season and equaled the most boards in a game since the first contest of the 2007-08 season.

Alex Santos (Fr.), Worcester State (Lawrence, Mass.): Santos averaged 18.5 points in a 1-1 week for the Lancers. Santos scored a team-high 18 points in the 100-66 loss to UNH. He then scored 19 points in the 96-93 victory over Western Connecticut on Thursday evening. Overall, Santos shot 38.2 percent from the field, and 81.8 percent (9-11) from the free-throw line.

Cedar Rapids Titans Sign Mount Ida’s Jawad Yatim

 Mount Ida College football alum Jawad Yatim signed a contract to play with the Cedar Rapids Titans on Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Mount Ida College Athletics)

Mount Ida College football alum Jawad Yatim signed a contract to play with the Cedar Rapids Titans on Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Mount Ida College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

After competing for the Mount Ida College football team for two seasons, Jawad Yatim extended his playing career to the Indoor Football League (IFL), inking a deal with the Cedar Rapids Titans on Tuesday, December 8.

Yatim, who hails from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, appeared in 20 games for the Mustangs, tossing 27 touchdowns, while rushing for nine scores.

Prior to Mount Ida, he competed for Dean College’s football team where he recorded eight touchdowns passes, 82 completions and 1,065 passing yards.

“Having Jawad in camp will provide great competition,” Titans co-owner and general manager Chris Kokalis said in a statement. “He’s an athletic quarterback and quick learner so I think he’ll pick up the indoor game well.”

Cedar Rapids is a member of the 11-team league, competing in the United Conference with the Sioux Falls Storm, Green Bay Blizzards, Iowa Barnstormers and Bemidji Axemen. The Titans compiled a 9-5 record last season, but lost to the Storm in the United Conference Championship Game.

The Titans’ season kicks-off on Saturday, February 20 as Cedar Rapids hosts the Minnesota Havok at 7:05 p.m.

For information on the Indoor Football League – HOP HERE

For information on the Cedar Rapids Titans – HOP HERE

For the Mount Ida College Athletics Press Release – HOP HERE

Mass. College Hoops: WACBA Honor Roll (Week Four)

By NoontimeSports.com 

WORCESTER, Mass. – With another week of college basketball in the books, it is time to unveil this week’s Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Honor Roll, including our Players and Rookies of the Week, too.

Men’s Player of the Week: Clyde Niba (Sr.), WPI (Atlanta, GA): Niba continued the strong start to his senior season by averaging 20.7 points and six rebounds in a 2-1 week for the nationally-ranked Engineers.  He poured in 30 points and grabbed six boards as WPI defeated Tufts 85-70 on Tuesday.  The forward then registered nine points in a 59-50 victory over Thursday before tallying a team-best 23 points Saturday in a 57-56 last second loss to Fitchburg State.  Niba connected on 52.6% of this shots from the field, including 53.3% of his 3-point attempts.

Jaleel Bell (Jr.), Fitchburg State (Dorchester, Mass.): Averaged 20.5 points per contest and 5.5 rebounds per game in two games for the Falcons. Posted nine points, seven caroms, two assists, two steals and a pair of blocks in a 76-75 setback to Wheaton College on Thursday before adding a season-best 32 points, four boards and three steals in a 57-56 win over #13 WPI on Saturday.

Women’s Player of the Week: Deja Taitt (Jr.), Anna Maria (Cambia Heights, N.Y.): Taitt averaged 15.0 points per game on the week, shooting 35.7 percent from the floor including a 50 percent effort (4-for-8) from three-point range. She scored a team-high 20 points in the team’s loss to Wesleyan on Friday and scored 15 points in the team’s 72-48 win against Fitchburg State. Additionally, Taitt averaged 4.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in the week.

Women’s Rookie of the Week: Adrianna Dowdy (Fr.), Becker College (East Haven, Conn.): Dowdy was named the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Rookie of the Week. Dowdy led the Hawks with 14 points per game this past week. After scoring nine points in a loss to Wheelock on Tuesday, Dowdy led the Hawks with a season best 23 points in a loss to Southern Vermont on Thursday. She finished the week with ten points in a loss to Newbury on Saturday. Dowdy averaged 9.6 board per game this past week too.

Honor Roll:

Infiniti Thomas-Waheed (Soph.), Holy Cross (Newton, Mass.): Thomas-Waheed played well last week, helping the Crusaders post a 1-1 record, as she averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. In the victory over Vermont on Wednesday, she totaled 16 points, six rebounds, three steals, two blocks and a pair of assists. She also went a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line, including an 8-of-8 clip in the fourth quarter. Against Pittsburgh, Thomas-Waheed posted 13 points, four rebounds and a career-high four steals. She also hit a pair of big free throws to put Holy Cross up by four points with 5:41 left in the fourth quarter, before Pitt ended the game on a 13-3 run.

Tre Owens (Sr.), Assumption (Rota, Spain): In a pair of games, Owens averaged 15 points, 3.5 rebounds and two blocks per game while shooting 59.1 percent from the field (13-for-22). After a 16-point effort at Southern New Hampshire, Owens posted 14 points and five rebounds at home vs. Franklin Pierce.

Kelly Carey (Jr.), Assumption (Long Beach, N.Y.): In a 1-1 week, Carey averaged 12.5 points, three rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 41.7 from three. Highlighting her week was a 17-point effort as the No. 16 Hounds rallied for a home win over Franklin Pierce.

David Jean-Louis (Jr.), Anna Maria (Miramar, Fla.): Jean-Louis had an impressive week for Anna Maria, averaging 14 points per game on a 56.3 percent shooting effort (18-32). He netted a career-best 15 points in the AMCATS’ 84-73 win against Norwich, hitting seven-of-12 from the floor (58.3 percent), before following that up with a 13-point effort against Rivier and a 14-point game against St. Joseph’s. The junior guard also added six assists on the week.

Samuel Durodola (Soph.), Becker College (Rosedale, N.Y.): Durodola averaged a double-double this past week with 19.7 points per game and 11 boards per game. Durodola also had three blocks and a pair of steals. The Hawks went 2-1 this week with wins over Clark and Newbury.

Michaela McTomney (Soph.), Fitchburg State (Bellingham, Mass.): Averaged eight points per contest and 15.7 rebounds per game in three contests for the Falcons. Notched a double-double of 12 points and 22 boards as well as one steal and one block in a 73-48 setback to Anna Maria on Tuesday before adding four points, nine caroms, on steal, one assist and a pair of blocks in a 66-30 loss to Suffolk on Thursday. McTomney concluding the week, totaling eight points, 16 rebounds, four blocks, two assists and a steal in a 45-41 setback to Lasell.

Kaitlyn Berkel (Fr.), Worcester State (Waterford, Conn.): Berkel scored seven points and registered eight rebounds (two offensive) in the 65-50 loss to UMass Dartmouth. Berkel went 50 percent from the field, while recording two assists, two steals, and a game-high three blocks.

Paul Brooks (Jr.), Worcester State (Arlington, Mass.): Brooks averaged 13.3 points and 9.7 rebounds in a 2-1 week for the Lancers. Brooks marked 12 points and six rebounds in the 108-69 loss to UMass Dartmouth, and scored nine points and had five rebounds in the 82-60 win over Rivier in the opening round of the Hockenbury Classic on Saturday. In the Hockenbury Classic championship game, Brooks recorded a double-double, adding in 19 points and a stunning 18 rebounds (nine offensive) to help pull the Lancers to a 71-50 victory over Norwich University to claim Worcester State the Hockenbury Classic Champions. Brooks was named to the All-tournament team.

Ama Biney (Soph.), WPI (Worcester, Mass.): Biney helped the Engineers stay perfect in NEWMAC play this season by averaging 14.5 points and totaling eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals as WPI won a pair of conference contests last week.   The sophomore began the week by notching 14 points, swiping five steals and doling out three assists in a 47-34 victory over visiting Wellesley.  Biney then tossed in 14 more points and handed out four assists as the Crimson and Gray went on the road and defeated MIT 56-53 in a battle of conference unbeaten teams.