By Matt Noonan
The first day of April usually marks the beginning (or return) to conference play in NCAA Division III lacrosse.
One particular conference to keep an eye on this weekend is the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), which features a men’s tournament championship rematch between Babson and Springfield in Babson Park. Face-off is scheduled for 12 p.m.
In addition to Babson-Springfield, Clark will host Wheaton, Massachusetts Maritime Academy will travel to Emerson, while U.S. Coast Guard Academy entertains MIT.
Clark has been an exciting story this season as the Cougars have raced out to a 7-1 record. And despite falling to Wesleyan one week ago, the Cougars have earned some impressive wins against UMass Dartmouth, Plymouth State and Skidmore.
The Cougars made history on March 16th when they became the initial team in program history to start a campaign with five straight wins. Clark defeated Salve Regina that evening by a score of 18-6.
Junior Nick Johnson has enjoyed a successful third season with the Scarlett and White, netting 16 goals, while dishing out a team-high 18 assists for 34 points. Sophomore Will Mandracchia is tied with Johnson for points, but leads the unit with 21 goals – the second most goals recorded by a NEWMAC player.
Keep an eye on Clark-Wheaton tomorrow – this game will be played under the lights with face-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Lyons enter their initial conference tilt at 4-4 overall, but earned an impressive come-from-behind win last weekend against UMass Dartmouth. Sophomore Scott Whear registered his initial hat trick of the season in the three-point victory over the Corsairs.
MIT and Springfield will square off in a women’s conference championship rematch with the Pride hosting the contest tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.
Senior Kira Schott shattered the MIT women’s lacrosse program’s record for points in a career by finishing her team’s last outing with four goals and two helpers. In three and a half seasons with the Cardinal and Gray, Schott has registered 217 points on 168 goals and 49 assists. She is currently third in the conference with 31 points this season.
Springfield concluded the month of March with a 12-6 win over Wellesley. The Pride are 2-1 at home this season and averaging close to 12 goals per contest.
Sophomore Shelby Corsano leads the unit with 29 points on 22 goals and seven helpers, while senior Bianca Raniolo is second with 27 points on 16 helpers and 11 markers.
In addition to MIT-Springfield, Babson visits Mount Holyoke, Emerson heads to Smith and U.S. Coast Guard Academy takes on Wheaton in Norton, Massachusetts.