Noontime Sports 2016 Year In Review

ns-year-in-review

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

Ah, the final day of 2016 has arrived.

And just like past years, it’s time to revisit some of our favorite stories from the past 12 months.

Yet, unlike past years, this year’s ‘year in review’ is made-up of a variety of stories from ‘Catching Up’ to features on the Amherst College and Endicott College football programs to Wheaton women’s basketball providing Coach Melissa Hodgdon with her 200th win as a head coach.

I also made sure to highlight a few podcasts from the past few months – yes, Noontime Sports the Podcast returned this summer and I am super excited to host the 16th episode, which will be posted later next week.

So, sit back, relax, and re-read or listen to some of our biggest posts from 2016, and have a wonderful and safe Happy New Year!

See you in 2017!

Brandeis’ Mike Coven Announces Retirement After 44 Seasons With The Judges

Brandeis men's soccer coach Mike Coven announced his retirement on Friday, December 9th following 44 years on the sidelines with the Judges. (PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Mark Vieira)

Brandeis men’s soccer coach Mike Coven announced his retirement on Friday, December 9th following 44 years on the sidelines with the Judges. (PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Mark Vieira)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

It was announced yesterday that Brandeis University men’s soccer coach Mike Coven would be retiring from the sidelines, effectively Saturday, December 31, 2016.

Coven, who coached the Judges for 44 seasons, concludes his career ranked sixth all-time in Division III men’s soccer coaching with 526 wins.

His 526 victories rank him 10th among all NCAA soccer coaches regardless of division, according to the athletic department’s release.

Over the past 44 seasons, Coven guided the Judges to 14 NCAA Tournaments, including a quartet of final four appearances and one national championship in 1976. Additionally, Coven led Brandeis to four Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships (1994, 2006, 2010 and 2011), while earning a trio of University Athletic Association (UAA) Coach of the Year Awards.

“Brandeis has been a special place for me,” Coven said in the athletic department’s release. “The support I’ve seen over the years – from the administrators, from alumni and from the student-body – has made this place into a real soccer school. I will miss it tremendously.”

This past season, Coven navigated the Judges to a 13-6-4 overall record, along with the program’s fourth appearance in the final four – their first since 1984. Brandeis edged last year’s champion, Amherst, in the round of 16 (won in PK’s) before defeating Rutgers-Newark the following day (4-2) en route to the national semifinals.

Brandeis’ run toward the program’s second national crown came up short against Calvin last Friday, December 2 as the Knights defeated the Judges, 1-0.

“We had fans out there: alumni, the student body, the vice president of the University, all sorts of administrators, and we had tremendous support,” Coven said following his team’s one-goal deficit in the national semifinals. “Vocal, and great. And it’s not just this year. I’ve been very fortunate to work at a school … where soccer has been a main priority.”

Noontime Sports D3 Men’s Basketball Preseason Team

basketball-preseasonBy NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

The NCAA Division III Basketball season officially tips-off next Tuesday, November 15th and in honor of a brand new season, we’re dishing out our Noontime Sports D3 Men’s Basketball Preseason Team.

Congratulations to the student-athletes that landed on our inaugural team and best of luck this season!

Forwards/Centers

Jordan Cooper (Brandeis)

Jason Ganley (Wentworth)

Marcus Faison (Salem State)

David George (Amherst)

Hugh Lindo (East Conn.)

Isaiah Nelsen (Babson)

Ed Ogundeko (Trinity)

Tom Palleschi (Tufts)

Nick Portelance (UMass Dartmouth)

Jack Simonds (Bowdoin)

 

Guards

Daniel Aronowitz (Williams)

Jaleel Bell (Fitchburg State)

Jayde Dawson (Amherst)

Sean Doncaster (WPI)

Joey Flannery (Babson)

Bradley Jomard (MIT)

Johnny McCarthy (Amherst)

Matt Ozzella (Keene State)

Matt St. Amour (Middlebury)

Kamahl Walker (Endicott)

New England D3 Soccer: Williams Earns Top Spot In NSCAA Women’s Preseason Poll

Williams College Ephs

By NoontimeSports.com 

A trio of Massachusetts Division III women’s soccer teams earned spots on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll yesterday, including Williams College, which earned the top spot following a 1-0 national championship victory last fall against Washington University in St. Louis.

The Ephs captured their sixth New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship with a 2-0 win over Bowdoin College en route to claiming the program’s first-ever women’s soccer title last December. As noted in last year’s championship release, the Ephs’ title was the first national championship won by a member of the NESCAC.

Williams begin its title defense on Wednesday, September 7 when they travel to Hamilton College for a 4:30 p.m. kick-off.

Brandies University and Amherst College checked in 13th and 19th, respectively. Both teams met in the NCAA Tournament last fall with the Judges prevailing in penalty kicks. Michaela Friedman netted the game-winning goal during the shootout, which sent the Judges to the Round of 16.

The Judges’ initial game of the 2016 season is slated for Thursday, September 1 when they host MIT at 7:00 p.m. The Purple and White begin their campaign on Tuesday, September 6 when they entertain Mount Holyoke at 7:00 p.m.

New England D3 Soccer: Amherst Earns Top Spot In NSCAA Men’s Preseason Poll

Amherst Logo

By NoontimeSports.com 

Another season of Division III soccer is right around the corner. And on Tuesday, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) released its national preseason poll for all three divisions, which included the top 25 teams from each division.

Amherst College earned the top spot in the men’s Division III poll – the Purple and White captured the national championship last fall with a 2-1 win over Loras.

Eight spots below Amherst is Brandies University, which enters this season as the ninth best team in the country. Brandeis will kick-off its 2016 slate at home next month when they host John Carroll and sixth-ranked Haverford at the Brandeis Invitational on Friday, September 2 and Saturday, September 3.

MIT and Tufts also earned preseason rankings, checking in 13th and 16th, respectively, while Bowdoin College and Gordon College each begins their respective campaigns receiving votes.

The 2016 Division III soccer season officially begins Thursday, September 1st.

D3 New England Notebook: NESCAC Tournament Starts Saturday, Brandeis Baseball Sweeps First Series

Luke Westman and the Colby men's basketball team travels to Trinity for a first round NESCAC Tournament matchup on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Colby College)

Luke Westman and the Colby men’s basketball team travels to Trinity for a first round NESCAC Tournament matchup on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Colby College)

By Matt Noonan

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) basketball tournaments commence this Saturday, February 20 with eight games – four men’s and four women’s contests – with the winners advancing to next weekend’s semifinals.

Trinity and Amherst earned the first and second spots, respectively, on the men’s side, while Tufts and Amherst secured the top two positions on the women’s side.

Trinity men’s basketball – the top seed for the second straight season – faces a Colby squad that ranks first in the conference in field goal percentage. Luke Westman leads all scorers in field goal percentage, while placing ninth in assists.

As a team, Colby is third in the league in points per game, while Trinity is sixth. Trinity’s Ed Ogundeko is the top rebounder in the conference, averaging 10.7 caroms per contest.

Trinity finished its conference slate winning nine of 10 league games, while registering an 18-6 overall record. Colby won four conference tilts and recorded a 16-8 overall ledger.

Last season, Trinity edged Colby, 66-63, in the opening round before going onto capture the conference title. Sam Wilson – a current senior on the Colby men’s basketball team – led all scorers with 24 points.

NESCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament Schedule: Trinity-Colby is just one of four games to follow on the men’s side, but below is the entire Saturday quarterfinal lineup:

* Wesleyan at Middlebury, 2 p.m.

* Colby at Trinity, 3 p.m.

* Bowdoin at Amherst, 4 p.m.

* Williams at Tufts, 4 p.m.

Connecticut College hosts first-ever NESCAC Tournament game: As noted in the conference release, tomorrow marks the first-time the Camels will be hosting a NESCAC Tournament contest in program history. The Camels will entertain Colby with tip-off scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

Connecticut earned the fourth seed thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker against the Mules as they defeated Colby earlier this month, 69-63.

A win for the Camels would send the program to its first-ever semifinal tilt.

Top seed Tufts will entertain Middlebury at 2:00 p.m., Amherst will welcome Bates for a 2:00 p.m. tip-off, while Williams visits Bowdoin for a 3:00 p.m. start.

Emmanuel, Salve Regina kick-off 2016 D3Lax Season in New England: The Division III lacrosse season returns to New England tomorrow as the Saints of Emmanuel College begin its Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) title defense when they visit Salve Regina – the Seahawks were picked to finish fourth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) preseason poll.

Emmanuel was picked to capture their conference crown again, but their road to a GNAC title won’t be easy. The Saints will have to contend with Johnson & Wales, Mount Ida, Lasell and Rivier – four teams that will certainly challenge Brendan McWilliams’ squad.

Face-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in Newport, Rhode Island. This is the first-ever meeting between the Seahawks and Saints.

Brandeis Baseball completes a three-game sweep: An 8-2 win on Friday afternoon secured a three-game sweep of St. Joe’s (Brooklyn) as the Brandeis baseball team commenced its season with three straight victories.

According to the school’s release, the Judges improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2008. This was also the third consecutive win for Derek Carlson, who is in his first season with Brandeis.

Greg Heineman finished Friday’s contest 3-for-4 with a double. He drove in four of the team’s eight runs with a pair of RBI, while crossing the plate twice.

Brandeis returns to the diamond on Sunday, March 6 when they take on Case in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Tournament. Brandeis will host its initial home contest of the season on Tuesday, March 15 when they entertain Bridgewater State with first pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

 

Mass. College Soccer: NCAA Div. III Tournament Pairings & Schedule

By NoontimeSports.com 

The NCAA Division III men and women’s soccer tournament kicks-off this week as teams from around the country will contend for the national championship.

This afternoon, the men and women’s brackets were released and below is the first round pairings and schedules for the Massachusetts teams.

Men’s Soccer

Amherst College – The Jeffs earned a first round bye, but will compete on Sunday, November 15 at 1:30 p.m. against the winner of Morrisville State-Cabrini.

Brandeis vs. Thomas (Sat., Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. at Brandeis) – Brandeis will host a four-team pod and the winner of this match will compete against Rensselaer and Stevens Institute of Technology on Sunday, November 15.

UMass Boston vs. Scranton (Sat., Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Lawrence Univ.) – Winner will play against St. Lawrence or Sage on Sunday, Nov. 15.

MIT-Bridgewater St. (Sat., Nov. 14 at MIT) – Winner of Engineers-Bears will compete against Plattsburgh State or Bowdoin College on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Babson at Franklin & Marshall (Sat., Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. at Franklin & Marshall) – Winner will play Gordon-Canegie Mellon on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Gordon College vs. Carnegie Mellon (Sat. Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Franklin & Marshall) – Winner will play Babson-Franklin & Marshall.

Tufts vs. Salisbury (Sat., Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Montclair State) – The defending national champion Jumbos will take on Salisbury in the opening round with the winner facing Montclair State-Daniel Webster on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Women’s Soccer

Springfield College vs. Montclair State (Sat., Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m. at Messiah College) – The Pride will look to continue their momentum against Montclair State in the opening round of the tournament. The winner of this match takes on Messiah-Staten Island on Sunday, November 15.

Lasell College at Rowan (Sat., Nov. 14 at 5:00 p.m. at Rowan) – Winner will compete against Babson-Lynchburg in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 15.   

Babson College vs. Lynchburg (Sat., Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Rowan) – Winner will compete against Lasell-Rowan in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Lesley University at Stevens (Sat., Nov. 14 at 5:00 p.m. at Stevens) – The Lynx captured their conference crown and will take on the 14th ranked women’s soccer team in the country with an opportunity to extend its season to the second round against the winner of Bowdoin-Johns Hopkins.

Williams College vs. Westfield State (Sat., Nov. 14 at 11:00 a.m. at Williams) – The Ephs will host a first and second round pod this weekend, beginning with a late morning match against the Owls. A win against the MASCAC champions would send Williams to a second round match on Sunday, Nov. 15 against the winner of St. Lawrence-TCNJ.

Amherst College vs. Colby-Sawyer (Sat., Nov. 14 at 11:00 a.m. at Amherst) – Winner will face Brandeis-West Conn. in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 15.  

Brandeis University vs. Western Conn. State University (Sat., Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m. at Amherst) – Winner will face Amherst or Colby-Sawyer on Sunday, Nov. 15 in the second round.