Category Archives: New England Small College Athletic Conference

Catching Up With John Carroll (Nichols College Men’s Lacrosse)

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John Carroll was named the new men’s lacrosse coach at Nichols College earlier this summer. (PHOTO COURTESY: David B. Newman)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

John Carroll had always wanted to coach lacrosse, even as a student-athlete at the University at Albany. And that was exactly what he did after graduating in 2012. 

Carroll honed his coaching skills as an assistant with three collegiate lacrosse programs, including Trinity College where he helped the Bantams reach the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament this past spring. 

“I always wanted to pursue college coaching even while I was attending school and playing at Albany,” said Carrol, who concluded his time with the Great Danes by recording 378 saves between the pipes. 

“I  remember interviewing coach Bill Ralph, who was one of our assistant coaches for my first-year seminar class to (learn more about) the college coaching profession. I certainly got a lot of crazy looks and confused faces when I said, ‘I wanted to coach full time for a living,’ but I think it’s worked out pretty well.”

Indeed, Carroll has enjoyed a great deal of success on the sidelines and will look to continue applying what he has learned as the new men’s lacrosse coach at Nichols College.

Carroll, who becomes the 14th coach in program history, inherits a unit that has won 10 games or more since 2017 and has also competed twice in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament, including this past spring. 

Carroll is excited about his first head coaching role and has visions of leading the Bison to their first-ever league title in program history.

“As a first-time head coach, (I am excited to have) the opportunity to take over a program that has had a lot of success recently,” said Carroll when discussing his excitement for coaching the Bison. 

“I believe Nichols men’s lacrosse can be a top team in the CCC and that is my ultimate goal for the long term vision of the program.” 

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Carroll to discuss his outlook for the upcoming season, but also how his previous roles have shaped him into the coach he has become today.

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John Carroll helped the Trinity College men’s lacrosse team reach the NESCAC Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: David B. Newman)

You have gained a great deal of experience as a coach, both in Division I and III. How will that experience help you with the Bison this upcoming school year?

I have always tried to approach things the same way regardless of being in Division I or Division III. Working for so many different people at different institutions have really helped me absorb and learn new concepts and drills that I can use to run our practices at Nichols. I think all of those experiences will also help me to set a new bar for the guys on the team, and it will set a precedent of what we are expecting as Nichols men’s lacrosse players, both this year and moving forward on and off the field. Coach (Eric) Gobiel has done an outstanding job of (laying the foundation for success) with this program, so my job now is to come in and take the program to the next level, (so we can) compete for and ultimately win the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship. 

What excites you about coaching in the Commonwealth Coast Conference?

The league is very competitive with teams like Western New England, and Endicott College at the forefront. I had the chance to coach against Roger Williams and Curry 0- both are very talented teams – and they gave us some trouble while I was at Trinity. I think the CCC can become one of the more competitive leagues in Division III.

The opportunity to play for a conference championship and an automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament is the ultimate factor, but I see a lot of really good teams in the league and I look forward to learning about all of them, while competing against them, as well. Coach John Klepacki (Western New England) and coach Eric Hagarty (Endicott)  have reached out to me and have been very welcoming. I also know Coach Charlie Burch at the University of New England from working with him in the past at Blue Chip 225 camp.

I think it’s a top-notch league and I’m excited to compete in it.

What are some goals and objectives you hope to accomplish before the team’s initial game next spring?

The number one goal this semester is to (be successful in the classroom). If we can do well in the classroom then that is one less stress for our team when we convene on the practice. 

I also would like to have our base offense, defense, rides, clears, extra-man opportunity, and man-down packages all installed before our first scrimmage in October.

An individual goal for myself is to learn one thing about each player on the team that doesn’t relate to lacrosse. It will be important for me to get to know the guys and build relationships and trust with them (before our first game next spring).

After speaking with most of the team over the phone they have all expressed to me that they are a close-knit group, and I want to gain their trust while getting to know them so we can continue to build upon the culture that has been established (already) by coach Gobeil.

Finally, you were a goalie, both in college and high school. Did you always play goalie growing up? 

I started by playing midfield in second grade and I thought I was pretty good at it. My Dad actually began playing goalie in a local men’s league during that time and bought all of the equipment, including a goalie stick. This led to my older brother (Jimmy) playing goalie first and borrowing my Dad’s gear. After seeing them both playing goalie I said to myself, ‘Hey, I can do that too!’

Once I jumped in net there was no looking back. I would split halves between goalie and midfield for most of my time with Smithtown Youth Lacrosse. I started playing goalie full-time in seventh grade for my middle school team and was told at some point during my high school career to switch to close defense or long-stick middie. I used that as motivation to improve my goalie game, even though a lot of people were trying to compliment me by saying I could play both long pole and goalie.

Playing goalie for a Division I lacrosse program was always my dream and I was lucky enough to live it out at the University of Albany.

Now, coaching is my dream and I couldn’t be happier to get started at Nichols. 


Stay connected with our New England lacrosse coverage by following @NoontimeLax on Twitter! 

Football Friday Podcast: Breaking Down The Way Too Early Top 20 D3 Football Poll

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Days after the release of our Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 PollMatt Noonan and James Baker (In The (D3FB) Huddlecaught-up to discuss the rankings, as well as what teams should move-up or down.

Topics for today’s Football Friday Podcast include the following:

  • Could Dean College be a team to watch (or beat) in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)? (4:00)
  • Can WPI contend for a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown? (10:35)
  • Why we include the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in our weekly polls (12:58)
  • Keep an eye on Bridgewater State in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). (21:00)
  • Will Framingham State continue its previous success? (29:00)
  • Breaking down the top five teams, including Trinity CollegeWestern New England, and Springfield College.

Make sure to stay connected with our New England Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Sure, it may not be September or October, but football is on our minds – yes, football, especially in late June when we should be watching baseball or enjoying some downtime at the beach.

But with football on our minds, we thought why not unveil a WAY TOO EARLY New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll to get you excited for the upcoming season.

This fall, we will be expanding our weekly poll to 20 teams instead of the usual 10, which will allow us to provide more coverage (and publicity) to teams in all six New England states. And we are excited to add 10 more teams to our weekly poll – hopefully, this excites you, too.

So, enjoy the unofficial start to our New England football coverage – we will have more blogs and tweets to come between now and the first weekend of the 2019 season, so get excited, everyone!


The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll 

1. Trinity College 

8-1, 8-1 NESCAC

2. Western New England 

8-3, 5-1 CCC

3. MIT 

9-2, 6-1 NEWMAC

4. Husson University 

8-3, 6-0 ECFC 

5. Springfield College 

8-3, 5-2 NEWMAC

6. Salve Regina University 

7-4, 5-1 CCC

7. Framingham State 

8-3, 7-1 MASCAC

8. Amherst College 

8-1, 8-1 NESCAC

9. Coast Guard Academy  

7-3, 5-2 NEWMAC

10. Endicott College 

7-4, 5-1 CCC

11. Bridgewater State 

8-3, 6-2 MASCAC

12. Williams College 

5-4, 5-4 NESCAC

13. Tufts University

7-2, 7-2 NESCAC

14.  WPI 

6-4, 4-3 NEWMAC

15. Western Connecticut 

8-2, 6-2 MASCAC

16. Plymouth State 

6-4, 5-3 MASCAC

17. Nichols College 

5-5, 3-3 CCC

18. UMass Dartmouth 5-5, 4-4 MASCAC

 19. Westfield State  

5-5, 4-4 MASCAC

20. Dean College

5-5, 4-2 ECFC

On The Rise: Anna Maria College, Colby College, Curry College, UMass Dartmouth, and Westfield State.  

New England College Notebook: WNE Starts Women’s Ice Hockey, Nichols Names Linton Men’s Basketball Coach

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Just hours before the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues squared-off in the seventh game of the 2019 Stanley Cup FinalsWestern New England announced some exciting news that they would be adding women’s ice hockey, the school’s 20th varsity sport, during the 2020-21 school year.

The exciting news of the school adding women’s ice hockey was shared by Matt LaBranche, Western New England’s Director of Athletics, Recreational Sport & Physical Education, who looking forward to seeing the team compete in 2020.

“Interest at the high school and youth levels has never been higher, and we are proud to be providing a new opportunity for those young women to pursue their passion in a highly competitive collegiate program,” said LaBranche in Wednesday’s press release about the women’s ice hockey team.

LaBranche also announced the hiring of Katie Zimmerman, who becomes the first head coach in the program’s history. Zimmerman previously served as an assistant at nearby Amherst College and has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.

Zimmerman also played Division III hockey for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

According to Wednesday’s release, Western New England will join 66 other colleges that sponsor women’s ice hockey at the Division III level.

Nichols College announced on Thursday that Brandon Linton has been named the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton replaces Scott Faucher, who guided the Bison to 28-3 record this past winter, including an appearance in the NCAA Division III sectional finals (elite eight).

Faucher was recently named the new men’s basketball coach at Assumption College.

Linton arrives in Dudley after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he “was responsible for the development of scouting reports on opponents and managing the scout team,” along with additional duties, as well.

“Nichols College is a special institution that offers a world-class experience for our student-athletes both on and off of the court,” said Linton in Thursday’s release. “I cannot wait to begin the process of getting to know our current players and continuing to build on the foundation they have created.”

Linton is no stranger to Division III basketball as he played for Clarkson University in the Liberty League (LL) and spent time as an assistant under coach Tim Gilbride at Bowdoin College.

Finally, congratulations to former Babson College men’s ice hockey assistant coach Chris Zimmerman, who recently celebrated a Stanley Cup championship on Wednesday evening with the St. Louis Blues.

Zimmerman, who President and CEO of Business Operations for the Blues, played hockey at the University of Vermont in the Hockey East before pursuing his MBA at Babson.


Stay connected with our Noontime Sports coverage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

D3 Lacrosse: 2019 All-Noontime New England D3 Women’s Lacrosse Team

ALL NOONTIME WLAX 2019

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax 

With another season of New England Division III women’s lacrosse in the books – the 2019 season concluded this past weekend with Middlebury College defeating Salisbury University in the championship game in Ashland, Virginia – it is time to unveil our All-Noontime Sports team, including our player, rookie, and coach of the year.


All-Noontime End of Season Awards 

Coach of the Year: Kate Livesay | Middlebury College: Livesay guided the Panthers to their second national championship since leading Middlebury to a title in 2016 when the Blue and White defeated Trinity College, 9-5. Middlebury concluded the 2019 campaign with the nation’s longest winning streak of 22 games, which matched the 2016 team’s mark for most wins in a single-season. Additionally, Livesay’s unit netted 330 goals, including 30 this past weekend in their semifinal and final match-ups, which is the most any Middlebury team has recorded in a single-season. Middlebury also captured its tenth New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) tournament crown, too.

Player of the Year: Abby Manning | Wesleyan University: Manning concluded her junior season by establishing a single-season mark in points (84) and goals (69) while tying Caitlin Wood with 16 free position goals. The 84 points and 69 goals were career-highs for the Wilmington, Delaware native – she also recorded a career-best 15 assists, too. Manning also recorded a career-high 79 draw controls, while scooping 16 ground balls. Manning and the Cardinals advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals for the first time in program history, thanks to impressive postseason wins over Gettysburg CollegeMary Washington, and Washington and Lee.

Co-Rookie of the Year: Jane Earley | Middlebury College: Earley capped an impressive first season with the Panthers by netting four goals in her team’s 14-9 win over Salisbury in the 2019 NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse championship. One day earlier, she tallied three points on two goals and one assist in a 16-8 win over Wesleyan in the semifinals. Earley finished the season with 68 points on 51 goals and 17 assists while earning a spot on the NCAA Division III all-tournament team. Prior to helping Middlebury capture its seventh national championship in program history, she recorded a season-best seven points on four assists and three goals in a 13-9 win over Hamilton College.

Co-Rookie of the Year: Colette Smith | Tufts University: The first-year attack enjoyed an impressive debut with the Jumbos, tallying 63 points on 48 goals and 15 assists. Tabbed the NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Smith recorded seven points in a pair of contests this spring, while posting six points in a trio of games. Smith helped the Jumbos reach the NCAA Division III semifinals for the first time in program history, thanks to national postseason victories over Plymouth State UniversityTCNJ, and York College (Pa.). Smith ranked second on the team in points and goals, and third in assists.


All-Noontime First Team

Claire Dunbar Amherst College Lutherville, Md. 
Katie Miller  Bowdoin College  Rye, N.Y.
Eliza Denious  Bowdoin College  Wilton, Conn. 
Emma McDonagh Middlebury College  Reading, Mass. 
Jane Earley  Middlebury College North Falmouth, Mass. 
Emily Barnard  Middlebury College Wayland, Mass. 
Dakota Adamec Tufts University Katonah, N.Y.
Colette Smith Tufts University Moorestown, N.J.
Abby Manning Wesleyan University Wilmington, Del.
Allegra Grant Wesleyan University Winnetka, Ill. 

All-Noontime Second Team

Maia Noise Amherst College Lexington, Mass. 
Kelly Siebert Amherst College Syosset, N.Y.
Lexi Lenaghan  Babson College  Hanover, Mass. 
Eva Then MIT Yarmouth, Maine
Addy Mitchell Middlebury College  Medfield, Mass. 
Erin Nicholas Middlebury College  Scarsdale, N.Y.
Julia Keith  Middlebury College  North Andover, Mass.
Hedy Veith Tufts University  Alexandria, Va.
Emily Games Tufts University  Wayne, Pa.
Abigail Horst Wesleyan University  Pomfret, Conn.

All-Noontime Third Team 

Sabrina Solow Amherst College Madison, N.J.
Georgia Salvatore Babson College Westwood, Mass. 
Kara Finnerty Bowdoin College Hopkinton, Mass.
Caroline Maxwell Bowdoin College Boxborough, Mass.
Jamie Navoni  Connecticut College Natick, Mass. 
Jennifer Lacroix  Endicott College  Wrentham, Mass.
Cecilia McCormick MIT Islip, N.Y
Annie Sullivan  Tufts University  Barrington, R.I.
Brooke Paradis  Wentworth Inst. of Tech.  Pelham, N.H.
Caroline Sgaglione Wesleyan University  Glen Head, N.Y.

 

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