New England D-III Hoops Notebook: Brandeis, Emmanuel Score Impressive Mid-Week Victories

MidWeekD3NotebookHoops

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

For the first time since 2005, the Emmanuel College women’s basketball team scored a win over the top team in Division III as the Saints beat Amherst College last night by a score of 60-55.

The Saints, who beat Bowdoin College 14 years ago when they were the top team in D-III, were led by Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda, who recorded a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds. The Cambridge, Massachusetts native connected on 10 of 20 shots from the field, while sinking five of eight freebies.

Emmanuel led Amherst, 23-19, at the break – they would outscore the Mammoths, 26-19, in the final session to secure their fourth win of the season.

The setback snapped an early three-game winning streak for the Mammoths, which scored early-season wins against Babson CollegeIthaca College, and New Jersey City. Amherst is scheduled to face Eastern Connecticut on Saturday before heading to Las Vegas, Nevada three weeks later to compete in the D3Hoops.com Classic.

Emmanuel, which has won four of seven contests thus far, visits MIT on Saturday before hosting Rhode Island College next Monday, December 9th. The win over the Mammoths should provide the Blue and Gold with some momentum heading into their next two contests before heading to Nevada, as well, to compete in two days of the D3Hoops Classic at the end of the month.

Keep your eyes on Ramirez-Tejeda over the next few weeks – the senior guard is averaging 20.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Additionally, she is averaging 2.9 assists per game and sinking 64.4 percent of her free throws.

Brandeis University scored an exciting 99-88 overtime win last night against Babson, thanks to a pair of impressive performances by Hannah Nicholson (19 points and 16 rebounds) and Camila Casanueva (19 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists).

The Judges outscored the Beavers, 25-14, in the extra session – Brandeis utilized an 8-2 run to begin the overtime period, which provided them enough momentum to secure their fifth win of the season.

Brandeis has enjoyed a successful start to its 2019-20 campaign – they won their Tip-Off Tournament early last month with wins against Framingham State and Nichols College while scoring non-conference wins over Roger Williams and Salem State. The Judges’ lone setback came against Tufts University late last month – the Jumbos outscored Brandeis, 41-29, in the second half to secure an 81-77 win.

The Judges will visit Clark University and Johnson & Wales later this week before hosting Becker College next Monday.

Since falling to New England College last month, the WPI men’s basketball team has looked unstoppable as they have now won seven consecutive contests, including a 72-62 win on Tuesday against Tufts.

WPI’s Garrett Stephenson stuffed the stat sheet against the Jumbos with a game-high 21 points to go along with six rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Colin McNamara contributed 13 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Reid Walker added 10 points, three rebounds, and one assist.

The Engineers will attempt to stretch their winning streak to eight games on Saturday when they visit Albertus Magnus for a 5 p.m. tip-off.

WPI has scored some impressive regional victories thus far against Tufts, Salem StateFitchburg State, Eastern Connecticut, and Brandeis. After their visit to the Falcons, WPI will be off for the holidays before visiting Framingham State on Saturday, January 4th for its final non-conference clash.

As of this morning, the Engineers are the only New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) team that has won eight games thus far. Babson has won all six of its contests, while Springfield College has won five-straight.

Speaking of the Beavers, they host Amherst this evening with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. Babson has been a team to watch thus far, but Wednesday’s meeting with the Mammoths will certainly be a good test for the Green and White.

Following their non-conference clash with the Mammoths, Babson will compete in the New England Big 4 Challenge this weekend – their first game is against Salem State on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Big 4 Challenge is always a fun tournament to watch – the two day, the four-game tournament features Babson, Tufts, Brandeis, and Salem State.

Player Perspective: Ricky Goodson (Amherst College)

Colby College at Amherst College
Ricky Goodson was a player to watch last week when Amherst College topped Bowdoin College for its fourth win of the season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Geoff Botle, Clarus Studios Inc.)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Ricky Goodson has been a player to watch this fall on the Amherst College football team.

Last week, Goodson turned in his best outing of the 2019 season against Bowdoin College when the third-year defensive back posted five total tackles, including four solo stops and one tackle for a loss of 12 yards. Additionally, he forced one fumble, which resulted in a touchdown and registered his first interception of the season.

His effort against the Polar Bears certainly helped the Mammoths bounce back after a heartbreaking defeating to Middlebury College in double-overtime but also earn him the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Goodson has tallied a career-high 25.0 total tackles in five games this season, including a career-high 20 solo stops. Two of his tackles have been for a loss of 14 yards.

Noontime Sports caught-up with Goodson to discuss his outing against the Polar Bears, but also what he and the defense must do this week against Hamilton College.

How important was it for your team to return to the win column last week against Bowdoin College after falling to Middlebury College in double-overtime? 

Another mark in the win column is always important for our team, especially with things being so competitive in the NESCAC. Our coaches and teammates were focused on having a strong week of practice and we were able to do just that, which is what led to our victory last Saturday.

You enjoyed one of your best games of the season thus far last Saturday against Bowdoin. How did you prepare yourself to have a successful day on the gridiron? 

Our coach often stresses that preparation starts on Monday during our first walk through and develops during the week through practice and film. I value this approach and continue it through our team’s weekly process.

Many players on the team including myself had multiple midterm assignments last week which interfered with my weekly flow of preparation for the game. I managed to complete my school work and was able to regain focus (last Saturday).

You have a talented defense that has limited opponents to 16 points or less in four games this season. How do the players around you make you a better player? 

The players on our defense give me all the juice I need on game day. I see how they prepare during the week and pregame, and trust that they will fulfill their responsibilities. There is nothing more comforting to a secondary than knowing that your front seven are going to get their jobs done.

Colby College at Amherst College
Through five games this season, Ricky Goodson has posted a career-best 25.0 total tackles. (PHOTO COURTESY: Geoff Botle, Clarus Studios Inc.)

What is something most fans don’t know about the Amherst College defense? 

We are close to one another, both on and off the field. Our defense will often spend free time together which I believe builds a stronger bond that correlates to gameday.

Your team travels to Hamilton College this upcoming weekend. What must you and the defense do to help the squad win a second-straight contest?  

Our defense just needs to play freely. I believe that this defense knows their responsibilities and if we can let go and play fast, we will do what is needed to put our offense in the best position to win the game.

Lastly, with this week’s game being a road contest, what do you enjoy most about playing away from campus? Do you get an additional adrenaline boost running onto an opponent’s field? 

Away games are always a different atmosphere between traveling, staying in hotels and adjusting to a new pregame. But honestly, I love the process of it all.

Game days on the road are always run on a tight schedule which helps me mentally and physically prepare for the game.

Tufts Looks To Continue Its Momentum Against Amherst On Saturday

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Ryan McDonald and the Tufts University football team will look to continue their winning ways on Saturday against Amherst College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tufts University Athletics)

By Brian Willwerth | @BriWillwerth 

With three games left in the season, the Tufts University football team sits at 5-1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), one game behind undefeated Amherst College.

As the Jumbos prepare for Saturday’s big game against the Mammoths, we caught up with Tufts football coach Jay Civetti to discuss the Powder Blue and White’s current success this fall on the gridiron, which recently included a hard-fought 28-21 win over Williams College last Saturday in Somerville.

With their seven-point victory last week over Williams, Tufts has now posted four straight winning seasons for the first time since 1988-1991.

“Anytime you beat Williams, that’s a big deal, and I’m certainly proud of the effort last week,” said Civetti.  “There’s a lot of great accomplishments that came from that win.

“We’ve got a lot of ahead of us, and this weekend we have as good of a challenge as we’ve had all year.”

One of the players who’s stepped up defensively against the Ephs was junior linebacker Greg Holt. The senior linebacker had a game-high 13 tackles in the victory over the Ephs, which earned him the Gold Helmet award and NESCAC defensive player of the week honors.

“Greg’s just a tremendous competitor,” said Civetti. “He’s a very smart player. He’s got a great knack for the ball, and he just plays the game incredibly hard.”

“I think all the hard work he puts in during the week shows on Saturday.”

On offense, quarterback Ryan McDonald is having a solid senior season, throwing ten touchdown passes, while adding an additional six scores on the ground.

“The one thing about Ryan’s game is he’s a runner first before he’s a thrower,” said Civetti. “(He’s) managing the game in different ways, but at the same time, when he has to make moves…he’s doing everything he can to do that.”

McDonald and Holt will certainly be counted on this Saturday when the Jumbos visit the Mammoths of Amherst with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.


Stay connected with our New England Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

D3 Football: Early Preseason Noontime Top 10 Poll

Noontime Early Preseason Poll

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Happy Monday, New England D3 Football fans and friends!

We are a few weeks away from unveiling our first Noontime Sports New England Top 10 Football Poll for the upcoming season, so get excited! Additionally, we are about to kick-off our preseason coverage, too.

So, in honor of a brand new season of coverage, it is time to unveil our first-ever ‘Early Preseason Poll,’ highlighting our early 10 teams to watch heading into camp in a few weeks, along with what teams are ‘on the rise.’


Noontime Sports New England Top 10 Football Poll | Early Preseason Poll
Monday, July 30th, 2018

1. Springfield College 

2017 Record: 10-1 (NEWMAC)

2. Framingham State 

2017 Record: 10-1 (MASCAC)

3. Trinity College 

2017 Record: 8-1 (NESCAC)

4. Western New England 

2017 Record: 8-3 (CCC)

5. Husson University

2017 Record: 10-2 (ECFC)

6.  WPI 

2017 Record: 9-2 (NEWMAC)

7. Plymouth State 

2017 Record: 9-2 (MASCAC)

8. Amherst College 

2017 Record: 7-2 (NESCAC)

9. Curry College 

2017 Record: 8-3 (CCC)

10. MIT   

2017 Record: 7-3 (NEWMAC)

ON THE RISE: Middlebury College (2017 Record: 7-2 NESCAC) & Williams College (2017 Record: 6-3 NESCAC)


For more Noontime Sports Football coverage, make sure to FOLLOW @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

Football Notebook: What Are The Best New England D3 Football Rivalries?

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By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11

What are some of the best New England D3 Football rivalries?

That is a tough one, eh?

You know the list includes a fair number of contests, including Amherst-Williams to Framingham State-Bridgewater State to Endicott-WNE.

But are there others? Of course!

Here are some of my favorite New England D3 Football rivalries (below!) – let me know what you think of my list by sending either a tweet to @MattNoonan11 or an email to MattNoonan@NoontimeSports.com.


Amherst vs. Williams: This has to be atop the list, right? This is one of the games to circle, no matter each team’s record. Last season, we saw the Ephs score an exciting win in overtime, thanks to an 11-yard burst by quarterback Bobby Maimaron. Amherst forced the extra session midway through the fourth quarter by scoring a pair of touchdowns in a span of 25 seconds. Both teams enjoyed successful 2017 campaigns, which means this year’s game in Amherst will be one to follow.

Framingham State vs. Endicott: This game has always been my welcome back to college football contest. Sure, they’re two different teams that are headed in different directions at the moment, but you know this is a game both players circle when schedules are released. Framingham State has dominated the series most recently, but this year could be different with Paul McGonagle pacing the Endicott sidelines.

Framingham State vs. Bridgewater State: This is has always been a go-to game in the MASCAC. A lot of the players on both rosters played either with or against each other in high school. So there is some bragging rights on the line. Bridgewater State needed some late heroics in 2016 to beat Framingham State – the win provided the Bears with the conference crown, along with an automatic invite into the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Jaquan Harris clinched the victory for the Rams with a late fourth quarter interception. Framingham State escaped Bridgewater with a six-point (19-13) win.

MIT-WPI: This has become a classic NEWMAC matchup – crazy to think it is a young rivalry, but it keeps getting better every season. Last fall, WPI managed to recover a crucial onside kick with with 20 seconds remaining to secure a 24-21 win over MIT. In 2016, Blaine Bursey kicked a 19-yard game-winning field goal in overtime to send WPI past the Engineers of MIT, 37-34. Bursey was also the difference in 2015 when the two teams met in Worcester as he booted a 26-yard field goal midway through the fourth to provide WPI with a 31-28 win.

Springfield-Western New England: Who will win this year’s Pynchon SAW? Springfield captured it last season, downing Western New England, 35-21. Perhaps this year’s game will be different – it is scheduled for Friday evening of Labor Day Weekend. Both programs are expected to be in the hunt for their respective conference crowns, so this is a great way to begin a new campaign with a solid win against a talented opponent.

Trinity vs. Wesleyan: It’s the battle of Connecticut! These two teams will once again be in the mix for a NESCAC crown this fall, so you know how important this game is, especially since it is the final contest for both squads. Trinity scored a convincing 28-3 victory last fall, so you have to wonder how the Cardinals of Wesleyan will respond this November.


Other Rivalries to Watch in New England D3 Football 

  • Salve Regina-Western New England: This game has often decided the conference championship.
  • Husson-Western New England: The Eagles of Husson proved they are a team to keep an eye on in New England last year with an impressive win over Springfield. These two teams met last year with WNE winning the game by a touchdown (21-14)
  • Becker-Nichols: If you’re looking for another ‘battle of Worcester’ then look no further than Becker-Nichols.
  • Bates-Bowdoin, Bates-Colby & Bowdoin-Colby (CBB Trophy): Bates captured last season’s CBB (Colby, Bates & Bowdoin) trophy with victories over Bowdoin and Colby. Can they do it against this fall?
  • Castleton-Norwich: It’s the battle for the Sap Bucket! Castleton won it last season, so can Norwich win it this year?
  • Coast Guard-Merchant Marine: This game was on ESPN last year and will continue to be a game to circle with both teams playing in the NEWMAC.
  • Fitchburg State-Worcester State: Looking for another Worcester rivalry? Then look no further than Falcons-Lancers.

Stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB