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Mass. College Sports: Recapping The 2015 College Sports Season

Allyson Fournier capped her four-years in Medford by guiding the Tufts softball team to three national championships. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)

Allyson Fournier capped her four-years in Medford by guiding the Tufts softball team to three national championships. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

2015 was a special year for college athletics in the Bay State.

And before we press fast-forward to 2016, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest stories and headlines from this past year.

* The Tufts University men’s lacrosse team captured its third NCAA title, including the program’s second consecutive crown with a 19-11 victory against Lynchburg.

* Allyson Fournier navigated the Tufts softball team to its third consecutive title as the four-time All-American pitcher helped the Jumbos defeat Texas-Tyler, 7-4.

Tufts concluded the 2015 season with a 51-0 record, while becoming the first Division III softball team to win three consecutive national championships.

* The Boston University men’s ice hockey team captured the Beanpot and Hockey East – the program’s eighth conference title – while earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Terriers advanced to the ‘Frozen Four’ championship, but fell to Providence College on Causeway Street in Boston.

* Amherst College saw its men’s soccer program capture its initial NCAA title earlier this month with a 2-1victory against Loras. Bryce Ciambella netted the game-winning goal in the 55th minute to lift the Jeffs to victory.

* The Williams College women’s soccer team won its first-ever championship, thanks to a first half marker by Kristina Alvarado, which helped the Ephs defeat Washington (Mo.), 1-0.

* On the gridiron, the Assumption College football team captured the Northeast-10 Conference championship, defeating New Haven, 17-14. Cody Lynn connected with Alex Shain on a one-yard touchdown strike midway through the fourth quarter, which helped the Hounds rally from a five-point deficit.

The Hounds then went onto capture a first-round NCAA Division II tournament game, defeating Bowie State by a score of 51-29. Marc Monks accounted for four touchdowns during his team’s 11th win of the season.

* The Tufts football team finished its eight-game slate with a 6-2 record, winning six games for the first time since 2001. The Jumbos capped their campaign with a 31-28 victory against Middlebury College.

* Amherst College concluded its 2015 football season with an 8-0 ledger, along with the program’s sixth New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown. The Jeffs won the championship last season and shared the crown with Middlebury College and Wesleyan University in 2013.

* The Babson College men’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals for the first-time in program history after rallying past Trinity College (Conn.) in the regional final. Joey Flannery sent the game to overtime with a layup late in the second stanza before Matthew Droney punched the Green and White’s ticket to the semifinals with a trifecta with 54 seconds remaining in overtime.

Babson ended its 2014-15 campaign with 29 victories, along with their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship since 2004.

* The MIT women’s lacrosse team captured the program’s first-ever NEWMAC crown, defeating Wellesley College and Springfield College. The Engineers season concluded with the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory against Regis College (Mass.).

MIT’s Emily Young finished her first season with the Cardinal and Gray by tallying 86 points on 75 goals and 11 assists.

* The Williams women’s tennis team capped its 2015 season with a 5-4 victory against Emory in the national championship. Linda Shin secured the title with a second-set victory.

Williams has now defeated Emory for the title four times (2002, 2010, 2013 and 2015) and lead Division III in women’s tennis titles with nine crowns.

* The Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team won the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II tournament game by beating Adelphi in the quarterfinals. The victory avenged a conference tournament setback to the Panthers.

* Stonehill College signal-caller Matt Foltz made headlines during the fourth week of the season by engineering a trio of touchdown drives during the final 62 seconds as the Skyhawks rallied to beat LIU Post, 40-37. Foltz capped the rally with a last-second heave to Corey White in the end zone.

Friday Feature: Stonehill College’s Matt Foltz Shines In The Fourth Quarter

Sophomore Matt Foltz guided Stonehill College to an improbable come-from-behind victory last weekend against LIU Post. (Photo Credit: Stonehill College Athletics)

Sophomore Matt Foltz guided Stonehill College to an improbable come-from-behind victory last weekend against LIU Post. (Photo Credit: Stonehill College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Matt Foltz was speechless when asked to describe his heroic performance from one week ago.

The Stonehill College sophomore signal-caller couldn’t recall a past experience of engineering a trio of scoring plays in 62 seconds to guide a squad to an improbable victory.

“I have never experienced anything like it,” Foltz said on Wednesday after receiving the Golden Helmet Award at the New England Football Writers Luncheon at Harvard University. “I was just trying to do my job and afterward you can’t believe it happened.”

Stonehill entered the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s game trailing LIU Post, 30-13, but trimmed the deficit with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Foltz to senior wide-out Corey White, which brought the visitors with 10 points. The Pioneers responded with an eight-play, 97-yard drive to push ahead, 37-20, with 2:13 remaining.

Robert Talley – the head coach of the Skyhawks – considered pulling his signal-caller with the game potentially out of reach, but decided to keep Foltz in the game.

With Foltz under center, the Skyhawks engineered a quick scoring drive that resulted in a 13-yard touchdown strike to freshman tight end Kaleb Lutton that brought Stonehill within 10 points (37-27) with 1:02 remaining.

Stonehill’s defense kept momentum on their side, forcing LIU Post to go three-and-out before the offense – again led by Foltz – engineered a four-play, 43-yard scoring drive that concluded with an 11-yard touchdown reception by sophomore Dave Harrison with just six seconds left.

The Skyhawks – now trailing 37-34 – continued their rally on the ensuing kickoff by recovering an onside kick at the LIU Post 41 yard line. And with just one second left remaining, Foltz again located the end zone with a 41-yard jump ball to White, who hauled in the game-winning reception on the left side.

“I saw (Corey) in the end zone and I know he is one of the most physical and gifted guys on the team. He is big and strong and athletic, so if there is one guy you want to throw a jump ball to it is probably Corey,” Foltz said of his final toss of the afternoon.

“I saw him in the end zone and there were a couple other guys around him, and at that point I was just throwing up a prayer, hoping he would come down with it.”

The win was Stonehill’s fourth consecutive of the season, but it was also their second fourth quarterback comeback in a span of three weeks. Against Merrimack College, Foltz led a pair of scoring drives in the fourth quarter to help the Skyhawks overcome a 20-10 deficit. The final result: Stonehill 24, Merrimack 20

Said Foltz of his fourth quarter success, “Everyone on our team never quits on each other and I think the team chemistry this year is great. I also think it is the preparation we all put in. When it comes to crunch time and high pressure situations (we) reveal who we really are and as a whole team it shows we put in the time and we put in the effort.”

Mass. College Football: Week Eight Teams Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the eighth week of the college football season in the books, it is now time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Teams of the Week.

Division 1 – Harvard University: The Crimson’s current winning streak extended to five games on Saturday as Harvard defeated Lafayette to improve to 5-0 for the second straight season.

Cameron Brate and Paul Stanton Jr. each scored touchdowns to start the game, which provided the hosts with the lead for good.

Quarterback Michael Pruneau, who started for the second straight week, finished the contest with three touchdowns and 263 yards through the air.

Defensively, Joshua Boyd finished with seven total stops, two solo tackles and one sack, while D.J. Monroe matched his teammate with seven total stops, along with one interception and one pass break-up.

Harvard returns to Ancient Eight play this weekend when they host the Tigers of Princeton for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Division 2 – Stonehill College: For the second week in a row, the Skyhawks earned this particular honor following another dramatic comeback, this time against New Haven.

Stonehill overcame a 12-point deficit entering the fourth quarter with two touchdown passes from Logan Meyer, who finished the game with three touchdowns and 288 passing yards. Meyer’s second touchdown, which was hauled in by Gordon McLeod, brought the visitors within five, while his third and final strike to the end zone, a seven-yard toss to Corey White, sealed the victory.

Brian Harrington led the Skyhawks defense with 17 total tackles, eight solo stops and a forced fumble, while Sterry Codrington finished with 10 total stops, seven solo tackles, one sack for a loss of 12 yards and a pass break-up.

Stonehill is now 5-2 overall and 5-1 in the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10). They’re currently in a three-way tie for first place with American International College and New Haven.

The Skyhawks will be at home this weekend against LIU Post. 

Division 3 – Mount Ida College: After a 1-3 start, the Mustangs have turned the corner with back-to-back wins.

This past weekend, they improved to 2-1 in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) with a 56-34 victory against Anna Maria. Mount Ida is now tied for second in the conference with Norwich, a team they’ll face in Newton in two weeks.

Against the AMCATs, EJ Isom rushed for two scores on nine carries for 108 yards, while Jordan Hyman hauled in both touchdown passes from Jawad Yatim. Hyman finished the contest with eight catches for 154 yards.

Defensively, Jovan Wilkins led the Green and White with 10 total stops, along with one interceptions, while Kalyn Smithson registered eight total stops, five solo tackles, three tackles for a loss of 11 yards, one sack for a loss of five yards and one pass break-up.

Mount Ida will attempt to pickup their third conference win of the season on Saturday when they travel to Becker College to face the Hawks at 1 p.m.  

Mass. College Football: Afternoon News & Notes

By Matt Noonan 

There were some interesting outcomes this afternoon and below are a few news and notes from the day.

* Harvard’s perfect record remained intact as the Crimson defeated Lafayette, 35-16, at Harvard Stadium. Paul Stanton Jr. rushed for two scores and 113 yards on 21 carries, while Ricky Zorn hauled in four catches for a game-high 103 receiving yards.

* After earning an exciting first win a week ago, UMass struggled to continue its momentum as Buffalo defeated the Minutemen, 32-3.

* Stonehill rallied for one of its biggest wins in program history as the Skyhawks defeated New Haven, 29-26. Quarterback Logan Meyer capped a 12-point rally with a touchdown pass to Corey White with 27 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Stonehill is now tied for first place in the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) with American International College and New Haven.

* As we highlighted in our last post, AIC’s Kevin Arduino accounted for five touchdowns this afternoon — four on the ground, one through the air, which helped the Yellow Jackets defeat Bentley.The junior signal caller ran for 129 yards on 13 carries and threw for 222 yards.

As noted in the press release, this was AIC’s first win on Bentley’s home turf since 1999.

* Merrimack’s Joe Clancy tossed six touchdowns and completed 38-of-56 passes for 441 yards in the Warriors’ 51-9 victory against St. A’s. Through seven games, Clancy has recorded 34 touchdowns and completed 268-of-410 passes for 2,950 yards.

* Mount Ida is on a two-game winning streak and is currently tied for second in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC). Jordan Hyman led the Mustangs’ receiving core with eight grabs for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Jovan Wilkins matched a game-high 10 total stops.

Despite the loss, Anna Maria’s Robert Small rushed for 136 yards and three scores.

Mass. College Football: Stonehill 30, Bentley 3

By Brian Willwerth 

EASTON, MA – Stonehill College is sending a message that it is a force to be reckoned with in the Northeast-10.

Thanks to a stellar defensive effort, the Skyhawks dominated Bentley University on Saturday night, 30-3. They forced four turnovers (two fumble recoveries and two interceptions) and sacked the Falcons quarterbacks six times. They also stopped Bentley four times on 4th down.

“They moved the ball a little bit, they got in the red zone and we didn’t budge,” said Stonehill head coach Rob Talley, whose team improved to 3-0 in the conference. “Our kids just did a really good job.”

Stonehill struck first in this one, and would never trail. The Skyhawks went 70 yards in 11 plays, with quarterback Logan Meyer hitting Corey White over the middle for a 20-yard touchdown pass. The missed PAT made the score 6-0.

The Falcons had their best chance to score later in the quarter.  After recovering a fumble on a punt return, Bentley quarterback Danny Guadagnoli found Chris Walsh, who appeared to be going into the end zone.  But Walsh fumbled at the 1-yard line, and the Skyhawks recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

The home team broke the game open in the second quarter. Jamal Johnson’s 19-yard run made it 13-0. The Skyhawks made it 20-0 when Meyer found Nate Robitaille open down the left sideline for a 35-yard scoring pass.  Robitaille had 8 catches for 116 yards.  They made it 23-0 just before halftime on Stephen Grzywacz’s 25-yard field goal.

In the fourth quarter, Johnson found the end zone for the second time, this time from three yards out.  He finished with 31 carries for 151 yards.

“I really feel like this is a special team,” said Johnson.  “We’re playing with so much momentum (and) so much more confidence.”

Meyer completed just over half of his passes (17-of-32) for 256 yards. Guadagnoli was 20-of-31 for 217 yards, and was the recipient of five of Stonehill’s six sacks.

Bentley came into this game having won 21 of the previous 27 meetings with Stonehill. But Saturday night was a different story.

“To me, it doesn’t matter what the score is…or what you’re doing…you’re playing Bentley….our kids are hungry,” said Talley.

Both teams are home next Saturday. Stonehill hosts American International, while Bentley takes on Saint Anselm.

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