Tag: Alfred State

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Sept. 20, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Three weeks of the New England NCAA Division III football season are in the books.

This past weekend featured a slew of upsets, along with some impressive wins by a few teams that are slowly emerging from the pack as potential frontrunners. But luckily, we still have more football left to be played. 

In case you missed it, make sure to check out last week’s poll — click here! — but let’s dish out (below!) this week’s poll. 

Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll (Week No. 4 | September 20, 2021)

  1. Western New England (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): Despite suffering their first setback of the 2021 season, the Golden Bears remain in the top spot, but the Blue and Yellow face a real challenge this week against Salisbury University.

  2. Salve Regina University (3-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 8): After rolling past Norwich University in the opening week, these Seahawks have found ways to win games against both MIT and Montclair State – can they keep this momentum going this week against Rowan University?

  3. Williams College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): The Ephs made a statement in the opening week of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season with a BIG win over the defending champions. Look for their momentum to continue this week in Somerville against Tufts University.

  4. Trinity College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 7): Like the Ephs, the Bantams made a statement in their season-opener by defeating the Jumbos of Tufts by a score of 42-28.

  5. Endicott College (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 2): After scoring two dramatic wins at home, the Gulls suffered their first setback of the 2021 season on the road, losing to Catholic University by a score of 32-29. Endicott’s defense caused problems for the Catholic offense – can these Gulls bounce back on Saturday against Norwich University?

  6. Wesleyan University (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 6): The Cardinals remained in the sixth position for the fourth-straight week, but did take care of business in Maine last Saturday against Colby College.

  7. Middlebury College (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC | LW: No. 5): The Panthers dropped two spots following an opening day loss to the Ephs. Middlebury hosts Bates College on Saturday – the Bobcats provided some challenges to Amherst College in their season-opener, so we’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on this matchup.

  8. MIT (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 9): Despite being idle, the Engineers were able to move up one spot. This week, they travel to Dean College – will the extra rest pay off against a Bulldogs squad that has dropped two-straight?

  9. Western Connecticut (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 13): The Colonials returned to the win column last Friday by defeating Westfield State in their initial conference clash. Coach Joe Loth’s squad will look to make it back-to-back wins this Friday when they visit Bridgewater State in an important week four meeting. 

  10. UMass Dartmouth (2-1, 0-1 MASCAC | LW: No. 3): The Corsairs initial conference clash against Framingham State did not go their way. UMass Dartmouth was penalized 10 for 112 yards and only produced 299 yards of total offense. Saturday’s clash with Worcester State is not a “must-win,” but a chance for the Corsairs to regain their early-season momentum.

  11. Coast Guard Academy (2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 17): The Bears were hands down one of the biggest movers after scoring an impressive win over Nichols College on their home turf. An interesting test awaits them this weekend against Anna Maria College.

  12. Springfield College (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 11): The Pride may have dropped their second game to a top team in NCAA Division III — that would be Union College — but Springfield certainly provided challenges for the Dutchmen, which means one should certainly not overlook this squad on Saturday against Husson University.

  13. WPI (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) | LW: No. 10): After scoring a come-from-behind win over Worcester State earlier this month, the Engineers of Worcester have struggled recently against Endicott College and RPI. The Engineers of New York — that would be RPI, to be exact — captured the Transit Trophy Game this past weekend by defeating WPI by a score of 24-10. Saturday’s game against Montclair State is somewhat of a must-win.

  14. Husson University (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 14): The Eagles picked-up their second-straight win last Friday by rolling past Dean College by a score of 42-14. Can their early season momentum continue this week against a Springfield College team that is eager to register its second win?

  15. University of New England (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 16): The Nor’easters enter their bye week with two wins, along with some momentum — they got a bit lucky this past weekend against Alfred State, which almost tied the game with a late field goal. They open conference play one week from Saturday against Nichols College.

  16. Bridgewater State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC | LW: NR): The Bears returned to the poll after a hard-fought win over Plymouth State this past weeked — the victory was the team’s first in conference play after dropping a pair of non-conference meetings to Ithaca College and UNE. A big test is on the horizon this Friday against Western Connecticut.

  17. Framingham State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC | LW: NR): Tom Kelley’s Rams surprised all of us on Saturday with a BIG UPSET against UMass Dartmouth. Let’s see if this win can translate to more success, beginning this weekend against Westfield State.

  18. Tufts University (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC | LW: No. 15): The Jumbos lost their season-opener, but did prove they will be a team that will provide challenges in all three phases: offense, defense, and special teams.

  19. Nichols College (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 12): After rallying to beat Anna Maria last weekend, the Bison took a step backwards, falling to Coast Guard Academy on the road. Nichols hosts TCNJ in its final non-conference clash — will they be able to tame the Lions after struggling to contain the Bears?

  20. Amherst College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: NR): Chad Peterson and the Mammoths commenced their season with an opening day win, which was a bit closer than many, including us, expected.

ON THE RISE: Anna Maria College (1-1, 0-0 ECFC), Colby College (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC), Curry College (2-1, 0-0 CCC), Dean College (1-2, 0-0 ECFC), and Massachusetts Maritime Academy (1-1, 0-0 MASCAC)

Noontime’s 10 Games to Watch (Week Three)

Middlebury College’s Will Jernigan will quarterback the Panthers this fall, including this weekend against Williams College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Will Costello)

By NoontimeSports.com

We’re posting a bit earlier than usual — maybe we will start producing (and sharing) our 10 Games to Watch every Thursday throughout the New England NCAA Division III football season? 

Either way, we’re excited for another busy weekend — this Saturday, ten new teams will join the fun as the 2021 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season kicks off in various parts of our region. 

Last week, we finished 8-2 to bump our overall record to 18-2 thus far — not bad, eh? Let’s see if we can continue this momentum, both tomorrow (Friday, September 17) and Saturday, September, 18. 

Enjoy the games, everyone, and make sure to circle back throughout the weekend for roundups and insight!


FEATURED GAME: Middlebury College (0-0) at Williams College (0-0): This might be the game of the weekend and we’ll be keeping you updated from our Noontime Sports studios — well, more our Noontime Sports desk, to be exact — but this game features the two teams that are expected to contend for the NESCAC crown. Look for a late scoring drive by the Panthers to secure a hard-fought three-point victory. PREDICTION: Middlebury 17, Williams 14 


Dean College (1-1) at Husson University (1-1) (Friday, September 17, 2021 at 6 p.m.): The Eagles enter the weekend as a team to watch, but the same could be said for the Bulldogs, who provided some challenges last weekend when visiting UMass Dartmouth. Look for a big game from quarterback David Curry and wide receiver Errol Breaux. PREDICTION: Dean 27, Husson 17 

Westfield State (0-2) at Western Connecticut (1-1) (Friday, September 17 at 7 p.m.): Both teams enter conference play looking to bounce back after a week two setback. Look for a big game on Friday from quarterback Joshua Bagwell, who recorded 331 yards of total offense last week against Albright College. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 35, Westfield State 13 

Endicott College (2-0) at Catholic University (1-1) (Saturday, September 18 at 12 p.m.): The Gulls have recorded back-to-back second half comebacks to score a pair of wins — will that trend continue in Washington, D.C.? The Cardinals are looking to bounce back after a 62-10 setback to Randolph-Macon. PREDICTION: Endicott 28, Catholic 20 

UMass Dartmouth (2-0) at Framingham State (0-2) (Saturday, September 18 at 12 p.m.): The Corsairs have scored two hard fought wins over Dean and Husson, and can take a BIG step forward in the conference race with a win over the Rams. For Framingham State to secure a much-needed win, they must find a way to slow down UMass Dartmouth quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos, who recorded six touchdowns (five passing, one on the ground) last Saturday against Dean. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 35, Framingham State 14

University of New England (1-1) at Alfred State (0-2) (Saturday, September 18 at 12 p.m.): The Nor’easters moved up our Top 20 Poll on Monday after rallying to beat Bridgewater State last Saturday. Look for the Blue and White’s early season momentum to continue on Saturday against the Pioneers. PREDICTION: UNE 24, Alfred State 14 

Amherst College (0-0) at Bates College (0-0) (Saturday, September 18 at 1 p.m.): Bates quarterback Brendan Costa is back for his final season with the Bobcats, who capped their 2019 season with back-to-back wins over Bowdoin College and Hamilton College. Bates enters the 2021 season with high hopes and optimism, along with a great deal of depth that should help them in their season-opener against the Mammoths. PREDICTION: Bates 21, Amherst 17 

Tufts University (0-0) at Trinity College (0-0) (Saturday, September 18 at 1:30 p.m.): Tufts wide receiver OJ Armstrong will be one of a few Jumbos to watch in this contest — this meeting between Tufts and Trinity is certainly an important one as both squads are expected to be in the mix for the conference crown. Keep your eyes on Trinity linebacker Brian Casagrande, who was named to our New England D-III Football Preseason Team. PREDICTION: Tufts 23, Trinity 21 

Salve Regina (2-0) at Montclair State (0-2) (Saturday, September 18 at 2 p.m.): The Red Hawks are looking for their initial win of the 2021 season — they almost beat RPI in their season-opener, but saw their two-touchdown lead disappear during the final session. They limited Delaware Valley to just 26 points last week, but will certainly have their hands full at stopping Joey Mauriello and the Seahawks offense, which found a way to score a hard fought win last Saturday against MIT. PREDICTION: Salve Regina 25, Montclair State 22

RPI (2-0) at WPI (1-1) (Saturday, September 18 at 2:30 p.m.): The RPI Engineers have been a fun team to watch this fall, winning a pair of dramatic victories against Montclair State and Stevenson University. Will their momentum continue against the Engineers of Worcester, who are looking to bounce back after losing to Endicott? The winner of this game will walk away with the Transit Trophy. PREDICTION: RPI 21, WPI 17  

Noontime Football Postgame: UNE Rallies To Beat Bridgewater State, 23-20 (OT)

The University of New England football team rallied to beat Bridgewater State on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Andrew Turco/Bridgewater State Athletics)

By Brian Willwerth


BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Here are five takeaways from the University of New England’s 23-20 overtime victory over Bridgewater State on Saturday afternoon.

  • The Nor’easters came back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force an extra session, and eventually win the game. 

    I talked to coach Mike Lichten and quarterback Matthew Harkins after the game, and they said one of the keys to victory was sticking to the game plan, even when playing from behind in the second half. And It worked.

    UNE dominated the second half, and finally scored the game’s final two touchdowns, including the tying score with six remaining in the fourth quarter.
  • UNE’s defense was exceptional in the second half, and was key part of their victory of the season. 

    After allowing 20 points and 359 yards of offense in the first half, the Nor’easters pitched a shutout and held the Bears to just 52 yards of total offense the rest of the way.
  • Special teams were critical in this one. 

    OK, I’m sure every coach in the country can tell you something about that, but there were five missed kicks in this game, including two that ‘doinked’ off an upright. The only ball that went through the uprights was the field goal in overtime by Abe Ruelas Villasenor.  He’s a freshman offensive lineman in addition to a kicker, and the Nor’easters’ blocking the Bears’ kick on the ensuing possesion resulted in a wild celebration, with UNE players rushing the field.
  • Despite the setback, I was impressed by the Bears’ quarterback James Cahoon, who completed 18 of 31 pases for 308 yards and two touchdowns. And it was also a big game for wide receiver Kyle Torres, who finished with 184 yards and one score.
  • Finally, one other player that was fun to watch — and yes, quite impressive — was halfback Adam Couch, who rushed for a season-high 101 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown. The Winchendon, Massachusetts native reached the end zone once last weekend against Ithaca College, but did not tally 100 yards on the ground. Instead, he finished his team’s season-opener against the Bombers with 68 yards.

Next up: Both teams return to the field next Saturday, September 18 with Bridgewater State hosting Plymouth State at 3 p.m. and UNE traveling to Alfred State for a 12 p.m. kickoff.

Noontime’s D-III Football Region One Conference Predictions

Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak and the Golden Bears will once again be a team to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of NCAA Division III football is set to kick off tomorrow before a few New England squads compete for the first time since 2019 on Friday and Saturday.

Before we officially begin a brand new season of college football — yes, we know some FBS and FCS teams began their respective campaigns last weekend during Week 0 — let’s dish our conference predictions and teams to watch for Region One.

Best of luck to all teams competing, both this weekend and over the next few days/weeks, and if you’re craving more New England (and NCAA D-III) football coverage, then make sure to check out our first Top 20 poll of the season and our preseason team.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)

Predicted conference winner: Western New England: Quarterback Alec Coleman has graduated, but these Golden Bears return a great deal of talent on both sides of the ball that should position the Blue and Gold to win their fourth-straight CCC title.

Teams in the mix: Endicott College, Husson University, Nichols College, and Salve Regina: All four squads will certainly provide challenges for the Golden Bears as the season progresses, but one should not overlook the Eagles of Husson, who return some key pieces from their 2019 squad that will keep the Green and Gold in the mix for the top spot. 

Keep your eyes on the University of New England: The Nor’easters are trending in the right direction — the Blue and White could enter their initial week of conference play with two or three non-conference victories.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

Predicted conference winner: Dean College: The Bulldogs enter 2021 with a target on their back after winning their first conference crown in 2019.  

Teams in the mix: Anna Maria College, Alfred State, and SUNY-Maritime: The Privateers have posted five wins or more since 2015, so don’t be surprised to see them challenge the Bulldogs for the top spot this fall. Also, keep your eyes on the AMCATs of Anna Maria, which enter the 2021 season with high hopes. 

Keep your eyes on: Keystone College: The Giants enter the 2021 season as an unknown, but will certainly be a program to watch throughout the fall. 

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) 

Predicted conference winner: UMass Dartmouth: Quarterback Stephen Gacioch is back for his final season with the Corsairs, along with some key pieces of the 2019 defense, which will help UMass Dartmouth contend for the conference crown.

Teams in the mix: Bridgewater State, Framingham State, and Western Connecticut: There are some questions about who will be under center for all three of these teams, both this weekend and throughout the season, but despite some key graduation losses from 2019 (and yes, 2020), all three units will be in the mix for the conference crown this fall.

Keep your eyes on: Fitchburg State: The Falcons begin a new chapter in their program history with Scott Sperone, who will coach his first game on Saturday against Dean. Also, don’t overlook Plymouth State, which was picked to finish fifth in the preseason conference poll.

Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC)

Predicted conference winner: Delaware Valley: The Aggies are our favorites heading into the 2021 season — yes, they will be challenged by Stevenson and Wilkes — maybe Lycoming College? — but at the end of the day, Duke Greco‘s squad will win the conference and advance to the postseason.

Teams in the Mix: Stevenson University and Wilkes University: Both teams were in the mix in 2019 and will once again challenge the Aggies for the top spot in the MAC.

Keep your eyes on Misericordia University: John Davis begins his first season with the Cougars on Saturday — expect the first-year coach to duplicate his success with the Blue and Gold from his previous stop with The Apprentice School.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC):  

Predicted conference winner: Williams College: The Ephs finished with seven wins in 2019 — Williams ended its season with a victory over rival Amherst College and should return a slew of talent on both sides of the ball that should make them one of the top teams in the conference.

Teams in the mix: Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University: While the Cardinals. and Panthers are certainly expected to contend for the top spot in the conference, the same could be said for the Bantams and Jumbos, who look to bounce back from a five and four win season, respectively.

Keep your eyes on: Colby College: These Mules will certainly surprise a few NESCAC fans this fall — fans of the Mules and NESCAC football will be able to see them compete in 17 days against Wesleyan.

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

Predicted conference winner: Merchant Marine: We saw the Mariners compete last fall — they beat Coast Guard Academy, thanks to an impressive outing by quarterback Ian Blankenship, who is back for his final season. Joshua King and Matt Strong were recently elected captains, and will lead a squad that garnered three first-place votes in the preseason poll.

Teams in the mix: MIT, Springfield College, and WPI: All three Massachusetts squads will look a bit different than they appeared two years ago, but are certainly equipped to challenge the Mariners for the top spot in the conference.

Keep your eyes on: Norwich University: Mark Murnyack‘s squad may have been picked to finish sixth in the conference, but don’t be surprised if these Cadets score a few exciting and dramatic wins this fall.

The Early Outlook: Eastern Collegiate Football Conference

Anna Maria Football
Dan Mulrooney and the Anna Maria College football team will be one of a few teams to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley/Anna Maria College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of college football is quickly approaching — are you ready for some football?

As we inch closer to the upcoming season, we’ll be producing some early-season outlooks for a slew of Northeast conferences. And today, we’ll begin our early-season outlook with some thoughts (and ideas) on what fans of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) should expect this fall.

ECFC Teams:

  • Alfred State
  • Anna Maria
  • Castleton
  • Dean
  • Gallaudet
  • Keystone
  • SUNY-Maritime

2019 Conference Refresh: With a 4-1 conference mark, the Dean Bulldogs secured their initial league crown, despite ending the regular season with a 38-20 setback to Castleton on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Weeks later, the Bulldogs competed in their final contest of season — they were one of four New England teams selected to compete in the New England Bowl against Endicott College.

SUNY-Maritime represented the conference in the NCAA Division III Tournament but saw their championship hopes dashed in the opening round of the national postseason to Salisbury University.

Anna Maria enjoyed one of its best seasons under coach Dan Mulrooney by posting two wins after averaging one win during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, while Alfred State produced a three-win season, which is the most recorded by any team in the Pioneers’ program history.

Despite producing just two wins, Gallaudet recorded back-to-back wins in mid-October against Castleton and Alfred State — they scored a season-high 62 points against Alfred State.

Finally, Castleton ended its 2019 campaign on a high note by scoring back-to-back wins against Anna Maria and Dean. The Spartans recorded just two wins during the 2019 season but certainly made things difficult for both conference and non-conference foes.

ECFC Soundbite (Dan Mulrooney of Anna Maria College on the Noontime Sports Podcast):

A 2021 Storyline to Follow: Keystone College reintroduced its football program in January 2018 — the Giants played a limited schedule during the 2019-20 school year but will play their first game as a member of the ECFC on Saturday, September 4 when they visit Wilkes University for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

The Giants produced three wins during their first season in 2019 — they scored their initial win on September 23, 2019, against Morrisville State College, which was the program’s first victory since last competing in 1948.

Keystone will enter the upcoming season with 52 first-year players on their roster — sure, there are some unknowns about the Blue and Orange, but they will certainly be a team we’ll be watching this fall, especially when they begin conference play at home on Saturday, October 2 against Anna Maria.

Our Early-Season Favorite(s): It’s a toss-up — we could see Anna Maria or Castleton secure the conference crown, but also believe Dean and SUNY-Maritime will be able to contend for the league title. As Mulrooney told us during a recent podcast sit down, the AMCATs return some impressive talent on both sides of the ball that should help them return to the title game for the first time since November 9, 2013.