SUNYAC Cancels Winter Sports

SUNYAC Logo (courtesy sunyacsports.com)

By Matt Noonan

Another NCAA D-III conference has announced its plans for the upcoming winter sports season.

Just a short time ago, the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) announced they have canceled the 2020-21 winter season.

The sports impacted by today’s decision are the following: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field.

As noted in this afternoon’s release, which can be seen on the conference’s website, the health and safety of “everyone involved with intercollegiate athletics,” along with each and every campus was why the conference made the difficult decision, according to Erik Bitterbaum, who is the chair of the SUNYAC Presidents.

While this is not the first announcement regarding the upcoming college winter sports season from the NCAA D-III world, it certainly won’t be the last. Earlier this month the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) called off winter sports while the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) has canceled conference play, including championships.

Atlantic Hockey Announces Return To Play

By Matt Noonan

The Atlantic Hockey league is ready to drop the puck for the 2020-21 season.

As announced earlier today, the 11-team conference which includes four teams from New England will return to the ice for its initial weekend of the 2020-21 season on Friday, November 13, and Saturday, November 14. Each team will compete in 24 contests – it is possible some member could skate 28 times this winter – while all 11 squads will be admitted into the Atlantic Hockey Tournament.

The 2021 Atlantic Hockey championship will return to Buffalo’s LECOM HarborCenter, which is the home rink for Canisius College.

“First off, I’m extremely excited to be announcing we have an approved league schedule for the 2020-21 season,” Atlantic Hockey Commissioner Robert DeGregorio said in a statement regarding the league’s return-to-play announcement. “It’s been a long process, and involved quite a bit of discussion, but it’s a testament to all those involved that we have managed to get Atlantic Hockey on the ice in 2020-21.”

To alleviate the spread of the ongoing coronavirus, the league will seperate its teams into an eastern and western pod. Three Massachusetts teams – Bentley UniversityHoly Cross, and American International College (AIC) – will compete in the eastern pod, along with Army and Sacred Heart University. Every team in each pod will play five games against each other, along with a pair of games against Air Force and Long Island University (LIU).

While today’s announcement certainly excited many within the college hockey world, Atlantic Hockey did state in today’s release that they are “still working to finalize return-to-play protocols for the season” and a schedule, including non-conference games, will be announced at a later date.

“We put this schedule together to maximize the student-athlete experience during such uncertain times” said DeGregorio. “We found a way to schedule up to 28 games while maintaining a focus on the health and safety of all parties by reducing travel times and overnight trips as much as we could.”

Prior to the 2019-20 season being cut short due to the ongoing pandemic, the Yellow Jackets of AIC were in first place with a 21-12-1 overall record, including a 21-6-1 conference mark.

NCAA Lacrosse Championships To Return To Gillette Stadium

Gillette Stadium will be the site for four NCAA Championships in 2025 and 2026. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

The NCAA unveiled future sites for future championships over the next few years earlier today, including lacrosse, which is scheduled to return to Gillette Stadium in 2025 and 2026. 

All three men’s championships – D-I, D-II, and D-III – will take place both years at the home of the New England Patriots while the D-I women’s title games will occur each year, as well. 

Gillette Stadium has been the host site for all three men’s lacrosse championships five times, including in 2018 when Yale University captured its first-ever national title by defeating Duke University by a score of 13-11. 

One year earlier – 2017, to be exact! – Maryland defeated Boston College in Foxborough, Massachusetts in the first championship game held in Foxborough, Massachusetts by a score of 16-13. 

Five New Teams Join The AP Top 25 College Football Poll

By NoontimeSports.com 

Five new teams joined this week’s AP Top 25 College Football Poll, including Southern Methodist University, which checked-in 18th this week following an exciting 30-27 victory over Memphis University

Shane Buechele concluded the SMU three-point victory with three touchdown passes and 474 passing yards while Reggie Robinson Jr. hauled in five catches for 243 yards and two scores. Chris Naggar connected on all six kicks, including a game-winning 43-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining. 

SMU will be idle this upcoming weekend but return to the gridiron on Friday, October 16 when they visit Tulane University for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

Virginia Tech also joined this week’s list, checking in 19th overall – the Hokies own a pair of wins against Duke University and North Carolina State – while LouisianaIowa State, and Minnesota rounded out the final three spots, checking-in 23rd, 24th, and 25th, respectively. 

Clemson University remained number one follow by Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Notre Dame. Ohio State, which has yet to play a game this fall, secured the sixth position while garnering a pair of first-place votes, while MiamiNorth CarolinaPenn State, and Oklahoma State rounded out the top ten, checking in seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively. 

Biggest Mover: The Cowboys of Oklahoma State, which have won three straight and will look to continue their momentum later this month when they visit Baylor University.

Oklahoma State moved up seven positions following their 47-7 win over Kansas University.  

Also moving up seven spots, as well, the University of Tennessee (14th) and Brigham Young University (15).

We’ll do some more blogging later this week on the state of college football and more, so stay tuned for those other posts, Noontime Sports fans, and friends! 

D3 Football Returns With Trine Topping Adrian

The Trine University football team returned to the field today for the first NCAA D-III game of 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trine University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

If you’re a fan of NCAA D-III football, then this post is for you as Trine University and Adrian College competed this afternoon with the Thunder scoring a 44-27 victory in Adrian, Michigan

The game marked the official return for D-III football – a majority of the teams remain on the sidelines, but apparently, four teams in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are playing a “round-robin” format this month, according to D3Football.com. 

Trine’s Xaine Kirby highlighted his team’s initial win of the season by rushing for a game-high 141 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns while Alex Price completed 6 of 16 passes for 129 yards and two scores. 

The Thunder led by at least one score after the first and second quarters before Adrian closed the gap late in the third when Jack Wurzer connected with Jimmie Clark for a 25-yard touchdown pass which brought the Bulldogs within one point (28-27). Trine would counter on the ensuing possession with Price connecting with Michael Chandle on a 42-yard pass before Kirby recorded the team’s final score during the final session. 

Adrian’s Jack Wurzer ended the contest with three touchdown passes and 231 passing yards while James Tow led both the Bulldogs defense and all defenders with a game-high 14 total tackles. 

Trine will return to action next Saturday, October 10 when they host Manchester University for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Adrian will be idle next weekend but will visit Manchester for a 6 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, October 17.