D3 Football: Week 11 Poll (Tuesday, Nov. 11th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Welcome to the final week of the New England D-III Football regular season!

Western New England remained the top team for a second-straight week, while Framingham State and Middlebury College swapped spots, checking in fourth and fifth, respectively. Both squads captured their respective conference crowns this past weekend.

MIT moved-up one spot following an important win over Norwich University, while Wesleyan University moved-up five spots following an exciting win over 13th ranked Trinity College.

And finally, with their win over 15th-ranked Amherst College this past weekend, Williams College moved-up one spot to secure the ninth position.


New England D-III Football Week 11 Poll| November 11th, 2019

1. Western New England 8-1, 6-0 CCC Last Week: No. 1 
2. WPI  8-1, 5-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Endicott College  7-2, 5-1 CCC Last Week: No. 3
4. Framingham State  7-2, 7-0 MASCAC Last Week: No. 5
5. Middlebury College 9-0, 9-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 4
6. Springfield College 6-3, 5-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 6
7. MIT  6-2, 5-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
8. Wesleyan University 8-1, 8-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 13
9. Williams College 7-2, 7-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 10
10. Western Connecticut  7-2, 5-2 MASCAC Last Week: No. 11
11. Bridgewater State  5-4, 5-2 MASCAC Last Week: No. 7
12. UMass Dartmouth 6-3, 4-3 MASCAC Last Week: No. 9 
13. Trinity College 5-4, 5-4 NESCAC Last Week: No. 12
14. Nichols College 6-3, 4-2 CCC Last Week: No. 17
15. Amherst College 4-5, 4-5 NESCAC Last Week: No. 14
16. Norwich University 5-4, 2-4 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 15
17. Coast Guard Academy 5-4, 2-4 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 16
18. Mass. Maritime Acad. 6-3, 4-3 MASCAC Last Week: No. 19
19. Husson University 4-5, 4-2 CCC Last Week: Not Ranked
20. Plymouth State 6-3, 4-3 MASCAC Last Week: No. 18 

On the Rise: Dean College, Salve Regina University, and Tufts University


New England D-III Top 20 Polls: Preseason Poll | Week One Poll |Week Two Poll| Week Three Poll |Week Four Poll| Week Five Poll|Week Six|Week Seven |Week Eight |Week Nine |Week Ten 


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

 

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch (Nov. 9th, 2019)

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

It’s Friday – why do people call it ‘Fri-yay?’

If anyone has an answer, please let me know, but in the meantime let’s get ready for another important week of New England D-III Football with our weekly edition of ’10 Games to Watch.’

Last Week: I went 5-5, which is OK, but not great, so my current record heading into the second to last week of the regular season is 60-30. Let’s see if I can at least pick six, seven or eight games correctly this weekend! 

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

Also, subscribe to our podcast on iTunes – you will enjoy our hyperlocal sports chatter!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


New England D-III Football | Games to Watch (Week Ten)

Rankings based off this week’s Noontime Top 20 Poll 

No. 1 Western New England at Becker College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Golden Bears can clinch the CCC title on Saturday with a win on the road. And after watching last week’s win against Endicott College, I think the Golden Bears will certainly be able to score an important win against the Hawks. PREDICTION: WNE 35, Becker 10 

Castleton University at No. 20 Dean College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Bulldogs need just one more win to secure the ECFC crown outright. PREDICTION: Dean 28, Castleton 10 

No. 7 Bridgewater State at No. 5 Framingham State (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): Both teams enter this important clash riding impressive winning streaks, but in the end, the Rams should be able to make a few more plays on both offense and defense to secure a VERY important conference win. PREDICTION: Framingham State 24, Bridgewater State 17 

No. 19 Mass. Maritime Academy at No. 9 UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Corsairs looked impressive last week against Western Connecticut and should be able to throw and run the ball against the Buccaneers defense. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 26, Mass. Maritime Academy 14 

No. 14 Amherst College at No. 10 Williams College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): Williams enters Saturday’s must-see rivalry clash with an edge – they should be able to bounce back from last week’s setback to Wesleyan University by scoring an exciting season-ending win against the Mammoths. PREDICTION: Williams 25, Amherst 13 

No. 13 Wesleyan University at No. 12 Trinity College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Cardinals are still in contention to share the NESCAC crown, so this is a must-win against their rival. PREDICTION: Wesleyan 24, Trinity 20 

No. 16 Coast Guard Academy at No. 2 WPI (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Engineers need to win both this week and next week, but face a stiff test against a solid Bears defense. WPI should be able to squeak out a win, but don’t expect it to be an easy victory. PREDICTION: WPI 23, Coast Guard 16 

No. 15 Norwich University at No. 8 MIT (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Engineers have some serious momentum following an epic double-overtime win against WPI last week. Look for that momentum to help MIT score an exciting ‘Senior Day’ victory. PREDICTION: MIT 27, Norwich 21 

No. 6 Springfield College at Maine Maritime Academy (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): With just two games remaining, Springfield knows this is a must-win. They have looked pretty impressive in their last few contests and should continue to their recent success on the road Saturday. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Maine Maritime 7 

No. 4 Middlebury College at Tufts University (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12:30 p.m.): At 8-0, these Panthers need just one more win to finish their nine-game slate undefeated. Tufts will provide the Panthers with some challenges, but in the end, I expect Middlebury to win. PREDICTION: Middlebury 20, Tufts 14 

Player Perspective: Brendan Costa (Bates College)

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Bates College quarterback Brendan Costa was a player to watch last weekend against Bowdoin College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brewster Burns for Bates College)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Brendan Costa credited his coaches, but also his teammates for last weekend’s win over rival Bowdoin College. It was what many would describe as a true team victory.

“Our guys did a great job of executing assignments, especially our big guys up front,” said the third-year signal-caller, who threw for a season-best three touchdowns against the Polar Bears.

“The offensive line really paved the way for our skill guys to make plays and the offense as a whole took a big step forward (last) week.” 

The win over Bowdoin has seemed to energize both Costa and his Bates College teammates heading into their final game of the 2019 season tomorrow (Saturday, November 9th) against Hamilton College. The hope it seems is for these Bobcats is to duplicate their performance against the Continentals, so they can head into the offseason with some much-needed momentum.

Prior to his team’s final contest, Noontime Sports caught-up with Costa to discuss the program’s first victory since 2017, but also what it meant to provide second-year coach Malik Hall with his initial win at Bates.

How important was it to rebound and score your first win of the 2019 season after falling short to Colby one week earlier? 

This was the first game we put together (a full) four quarters. Each phase of football we played at an exceptional level. We couldn’t let the Colby College game (from one week earlier) dictate our performance in the following games so we put it behind us quickly.

I am proud of us as a team to be able to bounce back in the way we did.

What was it like to celebrate Coach Hall’s first win with the program? Did he say anything to you/your teammates after the game concluded? 

 I was really happy for Coach Hall. He was long overdue for his first win as our coach (of the Bates football program). He works his butt off every day so we can be more successful as a program. Everything he does is for the “B.”

During his post-game speech, he just touched on how proud he was of us for putting together a complete game. You could tell he was just as happy for us, as we were for him.

How will this win help the team heading into the final game of the 2019 season against Hamilton College? Do you sense a different buzz in the air, especially at practice this week? 

There has been a different vibe in practice this week. We now know we can do it, so it is our expectation to put together great games from here on out.

Hamilton is a good squad with a lot of great players. This will be a test for our team to get a win on the road and to start stringing wins together heading into 2020. We are up for the challenge.

What would it mean for you (and your teammates) to cap your season with a win? Would it provide momentum (and some additional energy) heading into the 2020 season? 

It would mean a lot to close the year on a high note. There is no time for us to take steps back, we need to keep progressing and what better way to do that than grabbing a win on the road and gaining momentum for next year. We need to start taking big strides as a program so why not start now? I am very excited about our future.

D3 Football: Conference Race Watch (Week Ten)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

We’re just two days away from another busy weekend of New England D-III Football.

Similar to last week, every Thursday for the remainder of the season will be dedicated to highlighting all five New England conference races. We’ll tell you which team(s) is in position to win their respective conference, as well as the squads that still have a chance to win or share their respective league titles.

As usual, you can follow our New England D-III Football coverage, as well as other regional updates (and news) at @Noontime_FB on Twitter.


Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)

Projected Conference Winner: Western New England 

Analysis: With their fifth-straight conference win last Saturday against the Gulls of Endicott College, Western New England has positioned itself to win the conference this Saturday, November 9th with a win over Becker College. The Golden Bears can also claim the conference crown next Saturday with a win over Husson University if they lost to the Hawks this weekend, but this WNE squad seems to have some serious momentum that should help them lock-up the conference crown in Leicester, Massachusetts.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

Projected Conference Winner: Dean College  

Analysis: The Bulldogs enter their final game of the 2019 season as a lock to win their first-ever ECFC title. With their win last week over Alfred State, Dean positioned themselves to share the title with SUNY-Maritime but can win it outright this weekend by beating Castleton University.


Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

Current Leader: Framingham State 

In The Hunt: Bridgewater State 

Analysis: Saturday’s game between the Rams and Bears will most likely decide who will represent the conference in the upcoming NCAA Tournament later this month. Both teams enter this weekend’s marquee match-up with impressive winning streaks as FSU has won six-straight, while BSU has captured its last five contests.

Framingham State’s defense has shined these past few weeks and is expected to continue its impressive play on Saturday against a talented Bears offense, which is led by senior quarterback Stefano D’Emilia.


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Projected Winner: Middlebury College 

In The Hunt: Wesleyan University 

Analysis: The Panthers have been the team to beat (and watch) this season in the NESCAC. They matched the 1972 squad with their eighth-straight win last Saturday by defeating Hamilton College, 14-7. A win on Saturday over Tufts University would cap an exciting season for the Blue and White, but don’t expect the Jumbos to lay down to the top team in the conference.

Wesleyan can secure a share of the conference crown with a Middlebury loss and a win against rival Trinity College.


New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)

Current Leader: MIT

In The Hunt: Springfield College and WPI 

Analysis: With a hard-fought (and important) double-overtime win last Saturday against WPI, MIT is in the driver’s seat with two games remaining. The Engineers need to beat both Norwich University and Springfield to have a chance to win the conference crown for the second-straight season.

Springfield and WPI can also win the conference crown, too, but both teams must win their final two contests. Springfield hosts MIT next week in what could be a de-facto championship game.

New England Basketball Notebook: Harvard Shines In Season-Opener

Men's Basketball between the Harvard Crimson and the Columbia Lions

Bryce Aiken and the Harvard University men’s basketball team are motivated to return to the NCAA Tournament this upcoming season. (PHOTO COURTESY: David Dermer/Harvard Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

For Harvard University, Tuesday’s 84-27 victory over MIT was an ideal way to begin a new season, but also an opportunity to gain some much-needed momentum heading into an important non-conference clash on Friday with Northeastern University.

Multiple Crimson players contributed on both ends of the floor against the Engineers, including first-year forward Chris Ledlum, who recorded his first collegiate double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Christian Juzang netted 12 points, while classmate Chris Lewis stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds, one assist, and one block.

Harvard’s 57-point victory margin matched the 1945-46 team, which established the mark with their win over Northeastern.

While it certainly was an impressive start to their 2019-20 campaign, Harvard, as well as their coach Tommy Amaker, know they have more work to do in order to accomplish their preseason goals. And one of those goals, according to senior guard Bryce Aiken, is to return to the NCAA Tournament, something the Crimson have not done since 2015.

Harvard has come close to returning to the ‘big dance,’ but has fallen short the past three seasons in the Ivy League tournament. Additionally, they saw their run toward a National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title conclude twice within the past two years, including this past March when they lost a heartbreaker in the second round to North Carolina State University.

But despite falling short of accomplishing past preseason goals or winning tournaments and championships, Aiken remains optimistic. He believes this year’s crew can “make history,” and from what fans witnessed the other evening against MIT, perhaps the senior guard believes this year’s squad is truly capable of not just winning an Ivy League conference tournament but challenging other teams from across the country for the ultimate prize, a national championship. 

“The biggest motivation for us as seniors (this year) is leaving with a bang, man,” said senior Bryce Aiken, who elected to return to campus for one more season after initially entering his name for the 2019 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft last April.

“We haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament, so that is the biggest motivating factor for us.”

Added Juzang, “It’s been three years of all of us (for) things you can look at and you can call motivation (from) the Ivy League championship games, the NC State game, and we could point to a bunch of different things, but I think the biggest thing is (we’re) internally driven, not getting pushed around by the expectations and whatnot.”

The expectations, as both the coaches and student-athletes know, is rather high for a team that is scheduled to face some stiff competition this month against Northeastern, University at Buffalo, and Texas A&M. Harvard could also face the University of Maryland this month, too – they would need to beat the Aggies of Texas A&M in the opening round of the Orlando Invitational, which is scheduled to commence on Thanksgiving Day.

Weeks after competing in the Orlando Tournament, Harvard will commence conference play in mid-to-late January against Dartmouth College before ending the month with a visit to the University of Pennsylvania, which opened its 2019-20 season with an 81-80 win over the University of AlabamaPenn lost to Harvard last March in the Ivy League semifinals but was picked second in the conference preseason poll.

Yet, before Harvard worries about Dartmouth, Penn, and other future foes, they will keep their focus on Northeastern, a team that beat the Crimson last November, thanks to a game-high 35 points by Jordan Rolland. Rolland will certainly be a player the Crimson will need to slow down in order to pick-up their second win of the season, but from a quick glance at this year’s roster, Harvard is loaded with talent to slow down their opponents’ top players, and will certainly receive a boost from an impressive and hard-working first-year class.

Amaker praised his freshman class, which was ranked 38th nationally, according to 247Sports.com. All five newcomers logged time on Tuesday against MIT and have seemed to adapt to the college game quite well it seems.

“I have been impressed with our first-years,” said Amaker during the team’s media day last Friday. “This is a tough-minded group. They are physical – you look at who they are (with their) bodies and (what) they are capable of taking in … they have been durable, but they have been very (impressive) with their durability, dependability, and then fitting in.

“Our future is good hands with this first-year class.”

No matter who is on the floor Friday and later this season – Aiken, Ludlum, Juzang, sophomore Noah Kirkwood or seniors Seth Towns and Henry Welsh – Harvard is expected to compete and play some impressive basketball that should translate into more wins and an exciting 2019-20 season.

News and Notes from New England: 

  • Andrew Fleming became the 31st player in the University of Maine men’s basketball program to net 1,000 points as the senior helped the Black Bears defeat Merrimack College, 84-64, on Wednesday evening. Fleming, who was named a preseason America East All-Conference honoree, recorded 37 points and 10 rebounds against the Warriors to go along with five assists and two blocks.
  • Keep your eyes on the Saint Anselm College women’s basketball team this weekend – the Hawks, who were picked to finish atop the Northeast-10 Conference will tip-off Saturday, November 9th against Bloomfield College at 6:30 p.m. After facing the Bears, the Hawks will cap their weekend with a late Sunday afternoon contest against the University of Bridgeport.

    Senior Shannon Ryan will be one of many student-athletes to watch on the Hawks this winter. Ryan recorded a double-double of 29 points and 18 rebounds last weekend against Bishop’s University.

  • WPI, which secured the fourth spot in our New England D-III Men’s Basketball Top 10 Preseason Poll, tips-off its season against ninth-ranked Brandeis University on Friday. Both teams are two squads to watch this winter – the Engineers were picked to capture the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), while Brandeis is expected to continue its success from last year under second-year coach Jean Bain.
  • Finally, make sure to read Bob Whitney‘s first column, Around The Rim – I am very excited to have Bob join our team this winter to produce some additional basketball content. Bob has covered the college and high school game for years and will be a great addition to our Noontime Sports staff.
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