Noontime Top 5 D2 Poll: Assumption Secures Top Spot (WK 3)

Assumption College secured the top spot in our Noontime D2 Top 5 after an impressive first two contests. (Photo Credit: Assumption College Athletics)

Assumption College secured the top spot in our Noontime D2 Top 5 after an impressive first two contests. (Photo Credit: Assumption College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Noontime Sports is happy to unveil our first regular season (Week Three) D2 Top 5 Poll.

Our D2 Poll is a part of our blog’s new coverage plan, which we are slowly unveiling over the next few days and weeks.

So, without further ado, here is this week’s (Week 3) Noontime D2 Top 5 Poll.

  1. Assumption (2-0) – Bob Chesney’s squad is off to an impressive start. Through two games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 52 points per game. Can they keep this momentum going against Southern Connecticut State on Friday evening? We’ll find out.
  1. Bentley (1-1) – The Falcons enjoyed a bounce-back game against Saint A’s, thanks to a pair of touchdown strikes by quarterback CJ Scarpa, who concluded the contest 14 of 20 for 185 yards. Joey Piatnik did his job on defense, tallying five total tackles, including four solo stops and one sack. Bentley will look to keep things going at home Friday against Merrimack.
  1. Merrimack (1-1) – Following a tough opening day loss to Bryant, the Warriors rebounded with a come-from-behind win over American International. Give the game ball to quarterback Nick Davis, who helped the Warriors erase a 13-0 deficit en route to claiming a 16-13 victory.
  1. So. Connecticut (1-1) –Quarterback Robert Nittolo enjoyed his best game under center, tossing a trio of touchdowns, while completing 17 of 25 passes for 287 yards. Additionally, he rushed for a season-high 41 yards, along with one score.
  1. American International College (0-2) – Give credit to the Yellow Jackets’ defense, which was led by Azeem Cooper, who finished this past week’s contest against Merrimack with 11 total tackles, two sacks and one quarterback hurry. The Yellow Jackets are showing signs that they’ll crack the win column sooner than later.

New England D2 Lacrosse: Tim Robbins Named AIC Men’s Lacrosse Coach

Tim Robbins was named the ninth head coach of the AIC men's lacrosse program on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: AIC Athletics)

Tim Robbins was named the ninth head coach of the AIC men’s lacrosse program on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: AIC Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

It was announced on Friday that Tim Robbins would become the ninth men’s lacrosse head coach at American International College after spending the past season as the squad’s interim head coach.

The Yellow Jackets, who compete in an extremely competitive Northeast-10 Conference, capped their 2016 campaign with a ‘Senior Day’ victory over Georgian Court. Jack McIntyre paced the Black and Gold, tallying six points on four goals and two assists, while Lucas Bombardier netted a hat trick.

Bombardier concluded his initial season of collegiate lacrosse by earning a spot on the conference’s All-Rookie team.

“I am extremely elated to be given the honor of leading the Men’s Lacrosse program of American International College,” Robbins said in the athletic department’s release. “I am excited to continue to work with this tremendous group of young men, to recruit, teach, mentor and coach the young men and establish a winning culture as we strive to reach new heights in the Northeast-10 Conference.”

“Tim Robbins has done a tremendous job for us in an interim role over the past year,” Director of Athletics Matt Johnson said in the release. “He has outstanding lacrosse playing and coaching experience and his current players have been very vocal in advocating for his permanent assignment.”

Robbins joined the AIC staff as an assistant coach prior to the 2015 campaign before Johnson announced last November that he would become the program’s interim head coach.

Prior to arriving at AIC, Robbins spent time as either an assistant or head coach for numerous collegiate programs, including College of Saint Rose where he guided the Golden Eagles to a 7-6 overall record during the program’s initial season in 2012. Additionally, Robbins was instrumental in helping Siena College capture their conference crown (MAAC), while advancing to the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2009.

Said Johnson, “We are excited about the future of our men’s lacrosse program.”

Mass. College Football: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Week Three Predictions)

Harvard University senior Scott Hosch will commence the season under center for the Crimson. (Photo Credit: AmericanSportsnet.com)

Harvard University senior Scott Hosch will commence the season under center for the Crimson. (Photo Credit: AmericanSportsnet.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Another weekend of college football has arrived – hooray!

Below are five games to watch/follow (and predictions) – make sure to circle back on on our social media channels this weekend (Facebook and Twitter) for updates, scores and news.

Merrimack at Assumption (Friday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.): Both teams will look to capture their first Northeast-10 Conference victory this evening as the Greyhounds host the Warriors in what promises to be an exciting ‘Friday Night Lights’ contest. Assumption’s Brendan Tobey is second in the conference in passing yards per game (246.5) and has tossed three touchdowns thus far, while Alex Shain is the top rusher in touchdowns (three) and yards per game (126.0). Merrimack’s defense is sixth in the NE-10, but tied for fourth in sacks (four). Brian Carroll has had an impressive season for the Warriors on defense, tallying 20 total tackles, including 17 solo stops, so expect him and his teammates to challenge Tobey and Shain. PREDICTION: Assumption 25, Merrimack 23 

Boston College vs. No. 9 Florida State Univ. (Friday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m.): Following a pair of non-conference clashes, the Eagles host their first conference contest against an impressive Seminoles squad that captured their initial games against Texas State (59-16) and South Florida (34-14). Dalvin Cook is second in the nation in rushing, compiling 422 yards on the ground and five touchdowns. The Eagles defense will need to focus on Cook, while winning the time of possession on offense. PREDICTION: Florida State 34, Boston College 20 

Harvard at Rhode Island (Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.): The Crimson’s title defense begins tomorrow as they travel one state over to face a Rhode Island, which has lost a pair of games this season, including a 47-0 setback to Syracuse. Harvard signal-caller Scott Hosch will start the season under center, looking to guide the Crimson to their fourth consecutive week one victory. PREDICTION: Harvard 30, URI 17 

American International College (AIC) at New Haven (Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.): This should be an interesting match-up with both squads claiming NE-10 victories last weekend. New Haven rallied to defeat Bentley with a late field goal, while AIC quarterback Kwame Jarvis tossed a trio of touchdown passes in the Yellow Jackets’ 44-13 victory over So. Connecticut State. Andre Anderson of New Haven is second in the conference in rushing yards, averaging 110 yards over two games, while locating the end zone twice. Jerrod Shelby has paced the Yellow Jackets’ defense with a team-high 17 total tackles (eight solo stops) and one sack (six yard loss). New Haven captured this contest last year, registering a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to claim a 31-24 victory. PREDICTION: AIC 28, New Haven 25 

UMass vs. Temple (Saturday, Sept. 19 at 3 p.m./Gillette Stadium): The Owls – currently receiving votes in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll – have won back-to-back games, including an opening week victory against Penn State (27-10). Last week, the Owls defense intercepted Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel four times en route to 34-26 victory. This week, Temple travels takes on a UMass squad that lost its opener against Colorado, 48-14, but wide receiver Tajae Sharpe finished the game with 11 catches for 138 yards. The Minutemen will need to limit their mistakes from one week ago to defeat a talented Temple squad. PREDICTION: Temple 31, UMass 26 

Mass. College Football: Camping With American International College (AIC) Football

By Matt Noonan

American International College (AIC) enters the 2015 season projected to be the runner-up in the Northeast-10 Conference, but that prediction isn’t what head coach Art Wilkins is focused on at this time.

AIC Football commences its season on Saturday, September 5 with a non-conference game against Bryant University (Photo Credit: SportsLogos.net)

AIC Football commences its season on Saturday, September 5 with a non-conference game against Bryant University (Photo Credit: SportsLogos.net)

Instead, the legendary head coach, who enters his 21st season with AIC, is focused on preparing the Yellow Jackets for its week one opponent: Bryant University.

“I think Mr. (Bill) Belichick has the right approach (to a new season),” said Wilkins, “one game at a time.”

AIC will travel to Rhode Island this Saturday (Sept. 5) to face a Bulldogs squad that was picked to capture the Northeast Conference. Bryant garnered four first-place votes and is coming off an impressive campaign that included eight victories, which tied a program record for wins.

“(We have) a one game season right now and after (we play Bryant) there will be another one (game season), but it is a one game season,” said Wilkins.

Quarterback Kevin Arduino has graduated after a very impressive four-year career, but is expected to assist the team as an assistant coach.

“You (can) never replace a great player (like Kevin), but we’re doing the second best thing. Since he can’t play anymore, we’re going to let him coach and see if some of the magic dust (helps),” said Wilkins.

The Yellow Jackets have five quarterbacks on its roster, including sophomore Shawn Brathwaite, who completed four passes last season and tossed a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for 31 yards and one score.

Another quarterback to keep an eye on is senior Adam Salvador, who competed in nine games last season, but did not register a single pass. Instead, the senior signal caller rushed for 137 yards on 43 attempts and averaged 15.2 yards per game.

At tailback, expect the Yellow Jackets to rotate five or six players, including junior Marcel DePina, who hails from New Bedford, Massachusetts. DePina registered one touchdown last season on 19 carries, while rushing for 133 yards. He also returned a pair of punts for 34 yards.

“DePina has looked great,” said Wilkins. “I think he is going to be an exceptional player. He is the one we’re counting on right now (at halfback).”

Similar to tailback, the wide receiving core will rely on five or six players to assist the offense. Junior Evan Graham – a Springfield, Massachusetts native – is back after finishing second on the team in receptions (41). Graham, who competed in 11 games, was second on the team in touchdowns (five) and receiving yards (655).

“We think (our receiving core) is the best position on offense right, so we’ll see how it comes together during the first several games,” Wilkins said. “This is an exciting bunch.”

On defense, the Yellow Jackets will count on senior linebacker Demetrius Steed – a Boston native that competed for Bedford High School. Steed ranked third on the team in total tackles (72), but recorded 38 solo stops, four sacks, seven tackles for a loss and a trio of pass-breakups.

“He’s the guy that leads by example and has a high energy level and (can) translate that to his teammates,” said Wilkins. “He is everything you could want.”

AIC also returns seniors Andrew Justice (defensive end), Danny Omoregie (defensive line) and Daquan Holmes (defensive back). Sophomore Rob Hansen returns after leading all freshmen defenders with five total tackles and three solo stops.

Following the Yellow Jackets’ season-opener against the Bulldogs, AIC will commence conference play with a home contest against Southern Connecticut University on Saturday, September 12. The Yellow Jackets will then travel to University of New Haven on Saturday, September 19 before concluding the first month of play with a 1:00 p.m. kick-off against Saint Anselm College at home.

AIC and LIU Post, which competed in the conference’s championship last season, will meet in Springfield on Saturday, October 3 for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off. LIU Post was picked to capture the NE-10 crown for the second consecutive season.

Mass. College Football: 8 Northeast-10 Players Earn USA College Football Div. II Preseason All-American Honors

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 26th Annual USA College Football Division II Preseason All-American teams were released today and eight Northeast-10 Conference players were selected to the First and Second Teams.

Below are the eight players that received preseason honors, along with their school and position.

First Team:

Colin Markus (Stonehill College/ Running Back)

Danny Omoregie (American International College/ Defensive Lineman)

Bakari Blunt (Assumption College/ Defensive Back)

Second Team:

Eric Beckwith (Bentley University/ Offensive Line)

Jere Brown (Merrimack College WR/Second Team)

Jarrod Casey (Assumption College/ Linebacker)

Paul Norris (Bentley University/ Defensive Line)

Devonte Jones (Merrimack College/ Defensive Back)

Mass. College Hoops: AIC Basketball Advance to NE-10 Semifinal

By Matt Noonan 

The Northeast-10 Conference basketball tournaments (men and women’s basketball) is all set for this week as eight teams – four men and four women – punched their ticket to the semifinal.

As announced this evening on Twitter (@TheNortheast10), the men’s basketball semifinal will take place on Wednesday, while the women’s basketball semifinal will occur on Thursday. American International College (@aicathletics) is the only local team that will be competing for the conference crown.

Here are the tweets from the conference about this week’s semifinal pairings:

AIC’s men’s basketball team will travel to Manchester, New Hampshire to take on top-seed Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m., while the women’s team heads to West Haven, Connecticut on Thursday, March 5 for a 7:00 p.m. tip against second-seed University of New Haven.

Mass. College Lax: Assumption’s Smith, Mack Set Records As Assumption Holds On For 15-14 Win Over AIC

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Assumption College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the men’s lacrosse game, which saw two player set records in a 15-14 win over AIC:

Springfield, Mass. (April 5) — In a back-and-forth game on Saturday afternoon, the Assumption College men’s lacrosse team held off American International for a 15-14 road win at Abdow Field on Saturday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference play. Assumption built a 15-12 lead midway thru the fourth quarter before holding on for the one-goal victory.

In the victory, junior attack Garrett Smith (East Syracuse, N.Y./East Syracuse Minoa) became just the fifth player in Assumption history to reach the 100-point plateau for his career. He also became the Assumption College all-time career goals leader as he now has 94 for his career, breaking the previous mark of 91 held by Justin Cecil.

Assumption jumped out to an early 3-1 lead midway thru the first quarter as sophomore Connor Munisteri (Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) had a pair of goals that included a man-up score with 7:49 left in the opening period. The Yellow jackets answered with a 5-0 scoring run however, led by a pair of goals each from both Bobby Spano and Eric Overdahl, to seize the 6-3 edge early in the second. The Hounds put together a 5-1 spurt of its own though to regain the lead at 8-7 on a goal by Munisteri that was assisted on by senior Ian Mack (Avon, Conn./Avon). Mack ended the game with seven assists, setting the Assumption College single-game record for assists as the previous mark of six had stood for nearly two decades.

Overdahl capped the first-half scoring with his third goal of the period as the teams headed into the halftime break tied up at 8-8. Justin Bard gave the Jackets a two-goal lead early in the third quarter and the hosts continued to lead at 12-11 with 4:19 remaining in the period after the 27th goal of the season from Bard.

Smith scored a man-up goal with just 1:10 left in the third that was assisted on by junior Paul Curran (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) as he sparked a 4-0 run that seemingly put the Hounds in control at 15-12 with 8:35 remaining in the game. Overdahl cut the deficit to two with 5:53 remaining, followed by a goal by Nick Amendt to make it a one-goal game with just 2:11 left. The Hounds hung on however to even their record at 5-5 overall with the team’s second straight win.

Junior Will Contento (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) made 11 saves to pick up the victory, while Le Moyne’s Perry Booker had 15 stops in the loss.

Smith led the offense with four goals, along with three from Munisteri, two goals and three assists by Curran and the record-setting seven-assist game by Mack. Overdahl led the Yellow Jackets with five goals, along with four by Bard and three from Spano.

For the game, Assumption held a slight 38-36 edge in overall shots while forcing 17 American International turnovers. The Hounds were also very efficient in man-up offense and man-down defense in a game that featured 17 total penalties. Assumption converted 6-of-10 man-up chances, while holding the Yellow Jackets to just one goal in seven opportunities.

Assumption also held a 19-12 edge in faceoffs won as sophomore Nick Guarino (Avon, Conn./Avon) won 19-of-31 attempts. The Yellow Jackets had the 16-12 advantage in ground balls in the game, including 8-4 in the first half of play.

With the win, Assumption is now 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the Northeast-10, while American International falls to 1-11 overall and 1-8 in league play.

Assumption is back in action on Tuesday, April 8th as the team hosts Adelphi University for a 7 p.m. start. The game is also the Wounded Warrior Project game for the Hounds as the team looks to raise money for this worthy cause.