Category Archives: New England Football

Player Perspective: Taj Gooden (Wesleyan University)

Taj WEB ONE

Taj Gooden keeps the focus on one day at a time with Wesleyan University’s football team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Steve McLaughlin)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Taj Gooden has enjoyed a successful two seasons with the Wesleyan University football program.

The Brooklyn, New York native has posted 65.0 total tackles in back-to-back seasons while tallying career-highs in solo stops (25), total tackles (35.0) and sacks (nine) last fall.

Gooden was named a D3Football.com Preseason All-American last month – he was also selected to the Second Team Defense, too, after being named to last year’s All-East Region team.

The 2018 All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) First Team Defense selection is excited for the season to begin – Gooden and the Cardinals host Colby College tomorrow afternoon with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.

Noontime Sports recently spoke with Gooden about his preparation for the upcoming season, as well as what the Cardinals must do to enjoy a successful season in the NESCAC.

Tell me about last season. What worked for you from perspective? 

Following the game plan, (every) week played a huge role in my success. My coaches do a good job of putting me in the best situations to be successful.

Also being a student of the game, spending extra hours watching film and workout out, especially over the summer allowed me to excel both on and off the field.

How can you build on last season’s success? Did you do different workouts this offseason to prepare yourself for a successful junior season? 

I spent a lot of hours and weeks in the gym this summer training diligently with my father. I also trained with Gary Gooden, a current track and field coach and former professional football player in the National Football League (NFL).

I’m aware that my success last season may garner me more attention from opposing teams but I have to keep playing my game and be relentless (on every play).

Wesleyan finished 5-4 last fall but ended the 2018 season by winning four of its final six contests. How can you translate that success to this season?

Although we graduated a very impactful senior class (last May), we have a lot of experienced guys returning who are hungry and they have a great understanding of what we’re doing. I believe we will be very successful this season, but we must take it week by week and not look past any opponents.

What are some goals you have for both yourself and the team this season?

Winning the defensive player of the year would be great, but my ultimate goal is to help my team get better every day. Whether that’s leading by example on the field or helping a teammate develop their game during practice. As a team, the goal is to go 1-0 every week and win a championship.

Your team opens its season tomorrow against Colby College. What must the team do to secure an opening day win? 

We just have to play our game. We need to stay disciplined and play for one another by doing our part during each play.


Remember to stay connected with our New England Football coverage on Twitter at @Noontime_FB

D3 Football: 10 Games to Watch (Week 2)

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Jake Wood and the Nichols College Bison host Coast Guard Academy on Friday, September 13th. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Week two is ready to begin this afternoon and evening with some intriguing match-ups.

Last week, we didn’t do so well with our picks. In fact, we finished 2-8 – can we bounce back this week? We certainly hope so – we discussed our not-so-great picks on this week’s Noontime Sports Football Friday Podcast (Week Two Preview).

Anywho, let’s dish out some picks and enjoy another weekend of New England Division III Football.


Week Two | Friday, September 13th & Saturday, September 14th

Rankings based off of this week’s New England Division III Top 20 Football Poll

No. 9 Coast Guard Academy at No. 15 Nichols College (Friday, September 13th @ 5 p.m.): Both teams scored opening-day wins, but the Bison offense was very impressive against Dean College. Look for Jake Wood to add to his touchdown total this afternoon (and evening). PREDICTION: Nichols 28, Coast Guard 21 

No. 2 Western New England at Westfield State (Friday, September 13th @ 7 p.m.): The Golden Bears scored an impressive opening day win and should continue that momentum against the nearby Owls. PREDICTION: WNE 30, Westfield State 13 

SUNY Maritime at Mass. Maritime Academy (Friday, September 13th @ 7 p.m.): The Privateers needed a field goal as time expired to defeat Maine Maritime. Will they need a late score to edge the Buccaneers in Buzzards Bay? PREDICTION: Maritime (N.Y.) 21, Mass. Maritime 18

Becker College at Worcester State (Friday, September 13th @ 7 p.m.): First-year halfback Randy Morgan will be the player to watch in this Worcester area meeting. PREDICTION: Becker 28, Worcester State 14 

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Keyshaun Robinson and the Husson University Eagles begin their 2019 season in Dartmouth, Massachusetts against the Corsairs. (PHOTO COURTESY: Monty Rand Photography)

No. 8 Husson University at UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Sept. 14th @ 12 p.m.): Coach Nat Clark and the Eagles will be tasked with slowing down an air attack that produced six touchdowns last week. Husson’s balanced offense should help the Green and Gold score an opening day win for their first-year head coach. PREDICTION: Husson 28, UMass Dartmouth 24 

Bates College at No. 4 Amherst College (Saturday, September 14th @ 1 p.m.): The Bobcats are ready to take the so-called ‘next-step,’ but will need their defense to jumpstart their offense against a tough Mammoths squad. PREDICTION: Amherst 28, Bates 17 

No. 1 Trinity College at No. 18 Tufts University (Saturday, Sept. 14th @ 1:30 p.m.): The Bantams begin their title defense and the start of a four-peat with an opening day win against the Jumbos. PREDICTION: Trinity 27, Tufts 14 

No. 14 Williams College at No. 17 Middlebury College (Saturday, September 14th @ 2 p.m.): Both teams are expected to challenge Trinity for the top spot in the conference this fall. This is not an easy start for the Ephs, who are determined to return to their 2017 form but look for a late field goal to be the difference in this must-watch NESCAC clash. PREDICTION: Williams 17, Middlebury 14 

RPI at No. 6 WPI (Saturday, September 14th at 2:30 p.m.): The Transit Trophy is on the line in this one, so look for both sides to be amped and ready to make an extra play when needed. PREDICTION: RPI 28, WPI 17 

No. 20 Dean College at No. 12 Western Connecticut (Saturday, September 14th @ 6 p.m.): The Colonials needed an extra session to edge William Patterson one week ago, while Dean fell to Nichols in its home-opener. This is an important contest for both teams, but in the end, we think the Colonials have a slight edge. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 28, Dean 14 

D3 Football: Team Of The Week (Sept. 10, 2019)

D3 TEAM OF WEEK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Before we officially turn our attention (and the page) to week two, let’s unveil our first New England Divison III Football Team of the Week, which is powered by our friends from Zelos Athletics.

Our Noontime Sports teams of the week will appear every Tuesday throughout the 2019 season.

As always, make sure to follow our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today! 


Offensive Players of the Week | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Alec Coleman (Western New England): Against Springfield College, Coleman completed 28 of 36 passes for 305 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for 46 yards on 12 carries for one score.

Connor Field (WPI): Field rushed for 117 yards on 13 carries for two touchdowns in his team’s season-opening win over Worcester State.

Stephen Gacioch (UMass Dartmouth): Against Alfred State, Gacioch completed 19 of 28 passes for 338 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for 14 yards, too.

David Hamilton (Plymouth State): Hamilton capped a 10-play, 51-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown with 6:46 remaining in the fourth quarter which helped Plymouth State edge Castleton University. The PSU halfback concluded the contest with 146 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.

Joe Kalosky (Endicott College): Kalosky completed 21 of 28 passes for 374 yards while tossing five touchdowns in his team’s season-opening win against Framingham State.

Joey Mauriello (Salve Regina): Mauriello led the Seahawks’ rushing attack with 140 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown.

Randy Morgan (Becker College): Morgan led the Hawks rushing attack with 133 yards on 29 carries while scoring two touchdowns in his team’s season-opening win over Anna Maria College.

Justin McEwen (Endicott College): McEwen hauled in five receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns against Framingham State.

Michael Pina (Nichols College): Against Dean College, Pina completed 20 of 33 passes for 242 yards while tossing four touchdowns in an opening day win for the Bison.

Manni Romero (Norwich University): Romero led the Cadets’ receiving core with six catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 1:46 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Jake Wood (Nichols College): Wood hauled in six catches for 111 yards and three touchdowns in Nichols’ season-opening win over Dean.


Defensive Players of the Week | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tyshawn Anderson (Anna Maria College): Anderson led the AMCATs’ defense with 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops in his team’s season-opener against Becker College.

Spencer Baron (Maine Maritime Academy): Against SUNY Maritime, Baron tallied 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops, one pass break-up, one fumble recovery, and a half a tackle for a loss for two yards.

Bailey Devine-Scott (Western New England): Against Springfield College, Devine-Scott posted 12 total tackles, including nine solo stops, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and four pass break-ups.

Alijah Ellis (Westfield State): Ellis led all defenders last Saturday with 14 total tackles, including nine solo stops in the Owls’ season-opener against Union College.

Jordan Fletcher (Western Connecticut): In his team’s season-opener against William Patterson, Fletcher led the Colonials defense with 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops and two-and-a-half sacks for a loss of 19 yards.

Matt Messner (Salve Regina): In his team’s season-opener against Norwich University, Messner registered 12 total tackles, including six solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards and one sack for four yards.

Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu led the Rams’ defense with 12 total tackles, including nine assists and one-and-a-half tackles for a loss of four yards.

Steven Silvia (Bridgewater State): Silvia led the Bears’ defense with eight total tackles against Morrisville State, including five solo stops, two tackles for a loss of seven yards and one sack for five yards.

Tony Slaughter (UMass Dartmouth): Slaughter led the Corsairs’ defense against Alfred State with seven total tackles, including four solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 12 yards and one pass break-up.

Adam Zimmerman (MIT): Zimmerman led the Engineers’ defense with 12 total tackles, including a pair of solo stops against Carnegie Mellon.


Special Team Players of the Week | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Nick DiCairano (Endicott College): Against Framingham State last Friday, DiCairano recorded 13 points on seven extra points and two field goals. DiCairano’s longest field goal was a 47-yard boot.

Kieran Lombard (Western New England): Lombard recorded 15 points on seven kicks last Saturday against Springfield College, including four field goals.


As always, make sure to follow our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today! 

D3 Football: Zelos Athletics’ Players of the Week (Monday, Sept. 9th, 2019)

ZELOS WK1 PLAYERS WEEK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

With the first week of the New England Division III Football season in the books, it is time to unveil our initial players of the week, which will once again be powered by Zelos Athletics.


Our Noontime Sports ‘Players of the Week’ post is powered by Zelos Athletics, which uses FusionSport Technology to track an athletes’ performance metrics during speed, agility, and plyometric drills. Zelos Athletics also provides individual and team speed and agility training, combined with strength & conditioning training, too


This season, Noontime Sports will select one player for our three weekly honors: offensive, defensive and special teamer of the week. The ‘Players of the Week’ post will be published every Monday throughout the season.

As usual, stay connected with our Noontime Sports New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB


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Endicott College quarterback Joe Kalosky tossed five touchdown passes in his team’s season-opener against Framingham State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nick Grace)

Offensive Player of the Week: Joe Kalosky (Endicott College | Quarterback | Plymouth, Conn.): In his first game of the 2019 season, the Endicott signal-caller connected on 21 of 28 passes for 374 yards and five touchdowns. The five touchdown passes matched a career-high for Kalosky, who was also tabbed this week’s Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) Offensive Player of the Week.


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Western Connecticut’s Jordan Fletcher helped the Colonials squeak past William Patterson on Saturday in the team’s season-opener. (PHOTO COURTESY: Peggy H. Stewart/Western Connecticut State University)

Defensive Player of the Week: Jordan Fletcher (Western Connecticut | Defensive End | Manchester, Conn.): Against William Patterson this past Saturday, Fletcher led the Colonials defense with 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops and two-and-a-half sacks for a loss of 19 yards. For his effort, Fletcher was also tabbed this week’s Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Defensive Player of the Week.


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Western New England’s Kieran Lombard recorded 15 points in his team’s season-opener against Springfield College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rachael Margossian)

Special Teamer of the Week: Kieran Lombard (Western New England | Kicker | Dover, New Hampshire): Lombard commenced his senior season by converting seven kicks, including four field goals. The 15 points are the most Lombard has recorded in a Golden Bears uniform – he tallied 12 points both last season and the year before. Lombard’s longest field goal on Saturday was a 31-yard boot. For his effort, he was named the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) Special Teams Player of the Week.


Stay connected with our New England Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

New England D3 Football: Week Two Poll (Monday, Sept. 9th, 2019)

NE WK2 TOP 20 POLL

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The first official week of the New England Division III Football season is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our second poll of the 2019 season.

Similar to last week, our poll is comprised of 20 New England teams with Trinity College remaining the top squad in the region followed by Western New EnglandEndicott College, and Amherst College.

Both Endicott and Western New England scored convincing opening day wins – the Gulls soared past Framingham State, while the Golden Bears topped Springfield College.

WPI moved-up after a convincing 51-0 win over Worcester State, while Nichols College also moved – one spot, to be exact – after scoring an impressive opening day win on the road at Dean College.

As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today! 


New England D-III Football Preseason Top 20 Poll | Monday, September 9th, 2019

1. Trinity College 

0-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 1 

2. Western New England 

1-0, 0-0 CCC

Last Week: No. 3 

3. Endicott College 

1-0, 0-0 CCC

Last Week: No. 9 

4. Amherst College 

0-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 5 

5. Springfield College 

0-1, 0-0 NEWMAC

Last Week: No. 2 

6. WPI 

1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC

Last Week: No. 8

7. Framingham State

0-0, 0-1 MASCAC 

Last Week: No. 4 

8. Husson University

0-0, 0-0 CCC

Last Week: No. 10 

9. Coast Guard Academy 

1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC

Last Week: No. 11 

10. MIT

0-0, 0-1 NEWMAC

Last Week: No. 6 

11. Bridgewater State 

0-1, 0-0 MASCAC

Last Week: No. 7

12. Western Connecticut

1-0, 0-0 MASCAC

Last Week: No. 13 

13. Salve Regina 

0-1, 0-0 CCC

Last Week: No. 12

14. Williams College 

0-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 14

15. Nichols College 

1-0, 0-0 CCC

Last Week: No. 16 

16. Norwich University

1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC

Last Week: Not Ranked

17. Middlebury College

0-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 17  

18. Tufts University

0-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 15

19. Plymouth State 

1-0, 0-0 MASCAC

Last Week: No. 19

20. Dean College

0-1, 0-0 ECFC 

Last Week: No. 18

On the Rise: Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, and Westfield State


New England D-III Top 20 Polls: Preseason Poll | Week One Poll  


As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today! 

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