Mass. College Hockey: Babson Picked First In Noontime Top-5 Men’s D3 Hockey Poll (Week 2)

Babson College Beavers

By NoontimeSports.com 

One full week of NCAA Division III men’s ice hockey is in the books and below is our weekly ‘Noontime Top-5’ Men’s Ice Hockey rankings.

Babson College claimed the top spot in our week two poll after picking up a pair of wins this past weekend, including an opening night win against Hobart, which fell out of the D3Hockey.com rankings this week. Amherst College, which sat idle, drops to second, UMass Boston moves up to third – the biggest mover of the week after earning a fifth-position spot last week – while Williams College and Nichols College falls to fourth and fifth, respectively.

Noontime Top-5, Week 2 Poll 

1.) Babson College (2-0): The Beavers move up one spot this week, claiming the first position after a pair of impressive victories last weekend against Hobart and Curry. Junior Bill Seligman and sophomore Bobby Hall each lit the lamp in the final frame of the Beavers’ opening night contest, which helped the Green and White defeat Hobart, 4-2. The win marked Babson’s ninth win against the Statesmen in program history. One day later, the Beavers received the game-clinching goal from freshman Tommy Munichiello  – his initial collegiate marker – that helped Babson defeat Curry, 3-1. The Beavers are off this weekend, but return to play next Friday, November 13 when they open conference play with a road contest against Skidmore.

2.) Amherst College (0-0): The Jeffs sat idle this week, but open play in two weeks from Friday with a 7:00 p.m. face-off against conference foe Hamilton College.

3.) UMass Boston (1-0): Last Friday evening was an exciting one for UMass Boston fans, as the Beacons escaped with 4-3 victory against Curry. Senior Frankie DeAugustine, who was tabbed the New England Hockey Conference Player of the Week, potted the game-winning goal late in the third to secure the win. Freshman Garrison Sanipass was tabbed the conference’s Rookie of the Week after netting the team’s first goal against the Colonels, which was also his initial college marker. UMass Boston is back in action this weekend as they travel to UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, November 7 for a 4:00 p.m. face-off.

4.) Williams College (0-0): The Ephs remain idle after one week of competition, but commence their 2015-16 season on Saturday, November 21 with a home contest against Bowdoin College at 7:00 p.m.

5.) Nichols College (0-1): Senior Alex Larson turned away 33 of 35 shots in the Bisons’ season-opener against Norwich University, however, it wasn’t enough to lift Nichols to victory as the Cadets skated to a 3-1 win. Senior Paul Prescott netted the lone Nichols goal in the third period, which sliced the deficit from two goals to one goal. Norwich dashed the Bisons’ comeback with a late third period goal to clinch the two-goal victory. Nichols travels to Salve Regina University on Saturday, November 7 for a 2:35 p.m. ECAC Northeast tilt.

Mass. College Hockey: Amherst Men’s Hockey Tops ‘Noontime Top 5’ Week 1

By NoontimeSports.com 

For the first-time in NoontimeSports.com history, we will be producing a weekly top-5 team poll that will highlight NCAA Division III hockey (men and women) in the state of Massachusetts.

With the 2015-16 season set to commence this week, we kick-off our weekly and first-ever poll with Amherst College, topping our Men’s Hockey ‘Top-5’ for Week One. Babson College, Williams College, Nichols College and UMass Boston rounded out the five-team poll with second, third, fourth and fifth placements, respectively, while Curry College and Endicott College each earned votes.

PROGRAM NOTE: As stated above, we will be posting our ‘Top-5’ poll every Tuesday throughout the season, however, we encourage you to engage with our weekly projections by tweeting your weekly picks to @NoontimeSports. 

Amherst Logo

Week One (Oct. 27 – Nov. 2):

1. Amherst College: The Jeffs came within one game of the NCAA Division III National Championship last season, but should be one of the top teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), along with defending national champion Trinity College (Conn.). The Jeffs ranked second in the conference in defense and third in scoring offense last season. Sophomore David White returns after an impressive freshman year, which concluded with 20 goals and 15 assists. Amherst will commence its 2015-16 season on Friday, November 20 when they Hamilton College for a 7:00 p.m. face-off.

2. Babson College: The Beavers have turned the page from their overtime setback to Norwich University last season in the conference tournament championship. Babson returns senior goaltender Jamie Murray, who enjoyed a few days of N.H.L. experience in July at the Tampa Bay Lightning Development Camp, so expect that few-day period of summer hockey to be on display all season. Additionally, Babson returns senior Mike Vollmin (four goals, 19 assists) and junior Bill Seligman (15 goals, nine assists). Babson begins its season on Friday, October 30 against Hobart at home at 7:00 p.m.

3. Williams College: A one-goal setback in the conference championship to rival Amherst concluded Williams’ season last March. Seven months later, the Ephs will look to rebound, beginning their season on Saturday, November 21 against Bowdoin College in Williamstown at 7:00 p.m. Sophomore David Italiano returns after finishing second on the team with 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists).

4. Nichols College: Picked to capture the ECAC East crown, the Bison will kick-off their season on Friday, October 30 by traveling to Vermont to face Norwich for 7:00 p.m. face-off. First-year head coach Parker Burgess inherits an impressive unit, which features senior goaltender Alex Larson, who finished last season first in the nation in save percentage (.952). Additionally, the Bison’s offense will be fueled by seniors Tyler BeasleyFrank Butler and Paul Prescott 

5. UMass Boston: Following one of their most successful seasons in program history, the Beacons return to the ice with questions on offense, especially with graduation losses of Stephen Buco (16 goals, 32 assists) and Mike Kuhn (12 goals, 20 assists). Sophomore Colin Larkin finished fourth on the team in points (10 goals, 17 assists) and will be counted on to guide the offense, while senior Billy Faust and Zach Andrews split time between the pipes. UMass Boston begins play on Friday, October 30 when they host Curry College at 7:00 p.m.

Receiving Votes: Curry College and Endicott College

Mass. College Football: Amherst, Trinity Remain Unbeaten In NESCAC Play

Amherst Logo

By Matt Noonan 

The Amherst College Lord Jeffs and Trinity College (Conn.) Bantams remains unbeaten at the halfway point of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season.

Amherst (4-0) captured its fourth straight contest on Saturday, defeating Colby College, 31-13.

The win marked the Jeffs’ 15th consecutive victory dating back to their 2013 campaign (the victory marked the longest winning streak in program history).

Amherst overcame a scoreless opening frame by posting 17 second quarter points. Amherst, which led by three-scores (17-0) at the break, would tack on additional 14 points in the second half – one touchdown in each quarter – to secure the win.

Senior Jackson McGonagle broke a 73-year-old program recorded with a 78-yard punt return in the third quarter. The initial record – established by Roland Smith in 1942 – was a 74-yard punt return in a contest against rival Williams College.

Trinity (4-0) picked up its fourth win by edging Tufts University (3-1) in overtime on a 25-yard touchdown reception from sophomore Sonny Puzzo to classmate Bryan Vieira.

The Bantams extended the contest into overtime by capping a 13-play, 71 yard drive with a 27-yard field goal by senior Kyle Pulek with six seconds remaining.

Both teams are scheduled to compete in three weeks on Saturday, November 7 when Amherst hosts Trinity in what could be the de-facto NESCAC championship contest at 1:00 p.m. Amherst captured the NESCAC crown last year, finishing their eight-game slate undefeated.

Mass. College Football: Amherst, Framingham State & MIT ‘Receive Votes’ in D3Football.com Preseason Poll

By Matt Noonan 

Amherst College, Framingham State and MIT each appeared in the ‘receiving votes’ category in this week’s D3Football.com preseason poll.

All three teams captured their respective conferences last fall, while MIT won its first-ever NCAA Division III postseason contest against Husson, while Framingham State rallied to defeat RPI in the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl.

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Travis Hayes and the Framingham State Rams will open their 2015 regular season on the road at Endicott College on Saturday, September 5. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

MIT will begin its New England Football Conference (NEFC) title defense on Friday, September 4 when they travel to Worcester for a non-conference clash with WPI with kick-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The Engineers of Cambridge are 6-5-1 all-time against the Engineers of Worcester, however, MIT’s last victory against WPI occurred during their 1900 campaign.

One day after MIT-WPI, Framingham State will begin its Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) title defense with a non-conference visit to Beverly as the Rams will play Endicott College with kick-off scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Last season, the Rams edged the Gulls in Framingham, 20-17.

Amherst, which captured the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title last year, will begin its eight-game slate on Saturday, September 26 when the Lord Jeffs visit Bates College for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off. The Jeffs registered a pair of touchdowns against the Bobcats to claim a 14-6 opening week victory last September in Amherst.

Mass. College Football: 26 Players Earn USA College Football Div. III Preseason All-American Honors

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 26th Annual USA College Football Division III Preseason All-American teams were released today and 26 players were selected to the First, Second and Third Teams.

Below are the 27 players that received preseason honors, along with their school and position.

First Team:

Kemani Jones (Worcester State/RB)

Lucien Cance (Nichols College/ FB)

Keith Rodman (Springfied College /FB)

Kevin Gray (Anna Maria College /OL)

Nick Stanfield (Framingham State/OL)

Marcus Pettigrew (Westfield State/DL)

Luis Feliz (Fitchburg State/LB)

Dean Soucie (Western New England/LB)

Matt Mangano (Framingham State/DB)

Vinny Tavernelli (WPI/P)

Second Team:

Matt Silva (Framingham State/QB)

Chris Bettano (Anna Maria/ RB)

Brian Copeland (MIT/OL)

Joseph Hak (Bridgewater State/OL)

Kyle Regan (Endicott College/PK)

Quentin Jones (Framingham State/DL)

Jaymie Spears (Amherst College/DB)

Sean Murphy (WPI/DB)

Richard Bellizzi (UMass Dartmouth/P)

Third Team:

Ryan Sweeney (Westfield State/FB)

David Digiorgi (Curry College/FB)

Elliot Tobin (MIT/OL)

Joe Hanley (MIT/OL)

Elvis Romero (Bridgewater State/DL)

Derek Tarpey (UMass Dartmouth/LB)

Greg Sheridan (Westfield State/DB)

Mass. College Sports: Recapping An Exciting 2014-15 Year in Div. III

By Matt Noonan 

It has been an extremely exciting 10 months of Division III College sports.

Tufts University highlighted the school year by winning a trio of championships in men’s soccer, men’s lacrosse and softball. The Jumbos’ softball team accomplished a feat that had never occurred in Division III, winning three consecutive World Series crowns (2013, 2014 and 2015). The men’s lacrosse team captured its second straight title (and third since 2010) by defeating Lynchburg, 19-11, while the men’s soccer team earned its first national championship with a 4-2 win over Wheaton College (Ill.).

Babson College also appeared in the headlines following its amazing come-from-behind win against Trinity College in the Sectional Finals. Trailing the Bantams, 41-33, entering the second stanza, the Beavers rallied by outscoring their opponent, 33-25, which extended the content into overtime. In the extra session, Joey Flannery converted three free throws, John Wickey sank a jumper, Matthew Droney scored a three-pointer and Sam Bohmiller hit a pair of free throws to clinch the victory and send Babson to its first-ever semifinal.

For the second year in a row, the Tufts women’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals. Carla Berube was presented the Pat Summitt Trophy as the 2015 United States Marine Corps/ Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in April. Under Berube, the Jumbos won back-to-back New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) titles (2014 and 2015).

MIT made its initial appearance in the NCAA Tournament and won its first-ever postseason contest against Husson College. Trailing the Eagles, 20-17, Tucker Cheyne booted a 38-yard field goal at the end of regulation that evened the score at 20-20. In the extra session, the Engineers secured the victory when Peter Williams hooked up with Seve Esparrago for a 13-yard touchdown strike.

The Amherst College men’s ice hockey team came within one game of the national championship. The Jeffs earned a semifinal matchup with Wisconsin-Stevens Point following a dramatic 4-3 victory over Norwich University. Mike Rowbotham extended the Jeffs’ season with an overtime goal – his ninth of the season (at the time) – that helped Amherst edge the Cadets. Trinity would up winning the national title, defeating Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 5-2.

A 1-0 victory against Johns Hopkins University sent the Williams College women’s soccer team to the finals. The Ephs, however, fell to Lynchburg in penalty kicks following a scoreless tie after two full halves of soccer, along with a pair of overtime periods. Audrey Thomas scored the lone goal in Williams’ win over Johns Hopkins in the semifinal. Prior to their semifinal and final appearances, the Ephs claimed tournament wins over Lasell College, Ithaca College, Roger Williams University and TCNJ.

Noonan: It Should Be An Exciting Final Few Weeks Of D3 Hockey

By Matt Noonan 

A few intriguing questions and thoughts facing a few Division III hockey teams – both men and women – heading into the final few weeks of regular season.

* Let’s begin in the ECAC Northeast Conference where Suffolk University is currently in first place. The Rams, who ended the month of December on a three-game winning streak, have won three contests in January, but have also dropped three non-conference tilts to Stonehill College (4-2), Tufts University (7-4) and New England College (7-0). Yet, the Rams rebounded with back-to-back victories against Franklin Pierce (4-1) and Assumption College (6-5).

Suffolk returns to the ice this weekend for an important conference clash against Johnson and Wales – a team that is currently two spots below the Rams – on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Walter Brown Arena. The Wildcats fell to the Rams earlier this season, 2-1, but have won five of their last six contests.

* In the ECAC East Conference – men’s ice hockey – Norwich University currently sits atop the standings with a perfect record (12-0-0) in league play. Below is UMass Boston (10-2 in conference play) and Babson College (9-2-1). The Beacons and Beavers split their weekend series, but could meet again in their conference tournament’s quarterfinals, semifinals or finals.

UMass Boston has recently won five of their last six contests, including a 4-3 win on Saturday against the Beavers, which featured an overtime goal by Colin Larkin – his first collegiate game-winning strike. The Beacons are on the road this weekend, competing against Skidmore on Friday (7:00 p.m. start) and Castleton State on Saturday (4:00 p.m.).

* In the MASCAC, Westfield State and UMass Dartmouth are currently looking up at Plymouth State, which owns the top spot with a 7-2-1 conference record. The Panthers are coming off a 3-2 win over Worcester State on Sunday, which snapped their two-game skid against Fitchburg State and UMass Dartmouth.

Plymouth State, Westfield State and UMass Dartmouth may appear to be the favorites in the MASCAC, but don’t count out Fitchburg State and Salem State, two teams that have captured eight conference games, respectively.

* Let’s return to the ECAC East Conference – the women’s ice hockey conference – and put the spotlight on Holy Cross, which has won seven of nine conference games, and is 11-5-1 overall. The Crusaders, who commenced their season with four consecutive wins, have won two of their last three matchups, including a 5-0 win over New England College and 5-1 victory against Southern Maine.

Holy Cross recently skated against Amherst College – currently sixth in the latest D3Hockey.com Poll – but lost to the Jeffs, 3-1. The Crusaders, who fired eight shots in the opening period, held the Jeffs to just five shots, but none of those attempts landed in the net. Amherst eventually got on the board, scoring three goals during the final 40 minutes, while allowing the Crusaders to capitalize on the power play (Holy Cross finished the game 1-for-1 with an extra skater).

The game against Amherst proves that the Crusaders will be a tough challenge for their remaining opponents, including Norwich, which travels to Worcester on Saturday, February 21 for a 2:05 p.m. contest.

* Finally, let’s take a look at the NESCAC, starting with the men’s division. For the second straight season, Trinity (Conn.) is on a roll. They’ve won 10 straight contests and currently ranked third in the D3Hockey.com poll. Amherst is ranked 12th, Williams 14th, and Middlebury is receiving votes. If Amherst or Williams wants to advance to the NCAA Tournament, it will most likely entail defeating the Bantams.

Amherst and Trinity face-off on Friday, January 30 – the game will take place in Amherst. A win for the Lord Jeffs would provide them with momentum going forward. As for Williams, they travel to Connecticut College on Friday and Tufts University on Saturday.

In the women’s division, Amherst remains a spot below Middlebury, which has won seven of 10 conference tilts. The Jeffs, who are 6-0-2 in conference play, recently tied the Panthers in back-to-back contests by scores of 2-2 and 1-1. This weekend, the Jeffs will host Connecticut College in back-to-back home contests.