Tag: Franklin & Marshall

Noontime’s D-III Lacrosse Championship Predictions

Middlebury College’s Emma White and the Panthers defense has been a unit to watch this postseason. (PHOTO COURTESY: Will Costello)

By Matt Noonan

The time has come to crown not one, but two NCAA Division III lacrosse champions.

This weekend, six teams – four women’s and two men’s – will contend for the ultimate prize of a national championship.

But before the games commence, it is time to share my picks – well, more my thoughts, to exact, as to who I think will win this year’s titles.

Let’s begin with the four teams competing for the women’s national championship in Salem, Virginia.

NCAA D-III Women’s Semifinals & Championship Predictions

Middlebury College over Gettysburg College: It’s too bad this matchup had to occur in the semifinals – it would have been great to see both teams square off on Sunday in the championship.  

This weekend will be the last time Carol Cantele and Barb Jordan will pace the Gettysburg sidelines – the Bullets enter the last weekend of the season with a 13-game winning streak.

Cantele credits the opponents her team faced two months ago to prepare her squad for a challenging postseason run, which began with an extra session win over Roanoke College in the second round.

Jordan Basso is the player to watch on Gettysburg – the sophomore attack from Rye, New York leads the Orange and Blue in goals (65) and points (101).

Middlebury was idle last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but their championship momentum from 2019 has remained with the Navy Blue and White, which is seeking its eighth title in program history, as well as its third crown since 2016.

The Panthers’ defense has been a unit to watch this postseason. They have limited its three postseason foes to six goals or less, and have received a major boost from goalie Annie Enrietto, who has turned aside 21 shots in her team’s last three contests. She denied 11 shots on Sunday during her team’s second meeting of the season with Colby College.  

Jennifer LaRocca and the TCNJ women’s lacrosse team scored back-to-back wins last weekend over Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jimmy Alagna/TCNJ Athletics)

Tufts University over The College of New Jersey (TCNJ): TCNJ’s path to championship weekend wasn’t an easy one.

The Lions had to beat three teams, including Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland in back-to-back games last weekend, which is not an easy task. But perhaps their wins over the Red Dragons and Sea Gulls will provide TCNJ with enough momentum to beat Tufts, a squad that has ended the Lions’ last two postseason trips.

Like TCNJ, Tufts enters its semifinal matchup with a great deal of momentum, which began after the team’s last setback to Amherst College in April. After losing to the Mammoths in overtime, the Jumbos have been on a roll, winning their second-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament crown while scoring three impressive postseason wins.

Perhaps the Jumbos’ most impressive win of the postseason came on Sunday evening as Tufts converted seven of 12 free position goals against Franklin & Marshall to clinch its third trip to the semifinals since 2019.

Last season, the Jumbos came close to winning their first-ever national title but saw their hopes dashed by an extra Salisbury tally by Delaney Hill. Tufts would respond, netting three-straight goals in less than two minutes, but its final marker by Caroline Walter concluded the Jumbos’ comeback.

The loss to Salisbury, along with an extra session defeat to Amherst might be enough motivation for Tufts to find a way to beat TCNJ for the fourth time in the last three years.

Middlebury over Tufts in the 2022 NCAA D-III Title Game: Get ready for an all-NESCAC championship.

Middlebury and Tufts almost met in the title round three years ago when both teams appeared in the national semifinals. But Tufts saw its season conclude against Salisbury, which would then fall to Middlebury in the championship.

So, let’s try this again.

Middlebury beat Tufts earlier this spring by seven goals, thanks to a four-point (three goals, one assist) effort from Jane Earley, along with a hat trick by Susan Rowley.

Tufts would win the next meeting by one goal when the two teams met in the NESCAC Championship earlier this month. The Jumbos’ defense highlighted the win, especially at the very end as the unit denied a pair of free-position attempts by Hope Shue.

The Jumbos’ 9-8 win over the Panthers snapped Middlebury’s 42-game winning streak, which began with a 16-1 victory over Springfield College on March 8, 2019.

Since falling to Tufts, Middlebury has looked impressive. They tallied 22 goals in back-to-back games against SUNY Geneseo and the University of Chicago, before relying on its defense to slow down a Colby squad that had produced 33 goals in back-to-back postseason contests.  

While Tufts’ run to the national semifinals has been exciting – and yes, impressive, too – it just seems like their luck or momentum will disappear in the third meeting with Middlebury, which seems determined to conclude its current campaign with some hardware.


NCAA D-III Men’s Championship Predictions

Ryan Puglisi and the Union College defense shined last Sunday against York College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Clara Lodice)

Union College over Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT): Who doesn’t like an underdog story?

Union may not be the favorite, but it seems as if many within the D-III world are pulling for the Dutchmen to win their initial national championship.

The Dutchmen have enjoyed an impressive season, winning 18 of 20 contests with perhaps their most exciting wins occurring last weekend over Gettysburg College and York College. Both wins were exciting but also proved this year’s Dutchmen can win a championship.

For Union to complete its storybook season with a title, they will need to find a way to slow down an RIT squad that has produced 20 goals or more in four postseason contests this spring.

The Tigers won their first-ever championship last year by outlasting Salisbury in double-overtime.

RIT has beaten Union in its last 20 meetings, including an NCAA Tournament clash in 2019. The Tigers won both meetings last spring, including an 11-9 victory in the Liberty League (LL) semifinals.  

Marley Angus highlighted RIT’s one-goal win over Union last month as the senior midfielder concluded the game with four goals, two assists, and two ground balls. Keaton McCann led Union with five goals on eight shots.

McCann has been a player to watch on Union this postseason. The senior attack from Briarcliff, New York has recorded three goals or more in four contests while netting the game-winner last Saturday against Gettysburg.   


NCAA D-III Championship Weekend Schedule

WLAX D-III Semifinal: Middlebury vs Gettysburg on Saturday, May 28 at 12 p.m.

WLAX D-III Semifinal: Tufts vs. TCNJ on Saturday, May 28 at 3:00 p.m.

MLAX D-III Championship: RIT vs. Union on Sunday, May 29 at 1 p.m.

WLAX D-III Championship: Middlebury/Gettysburg vs. TCNJ/Tufts on Sunday, May 29 at 3:30 p.m.

All three women’s games will occur in Salem, Virginia while the men’s championship will take place in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Rhodes Women’s Lacrosse Seeks Its Seventh-Straight SAA Title

Baylee Barker and the Rhodes College women’s lacrosse team will attempt to win its seventh-straight SAA crown on Sunday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rhodes College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Since their inaugural season in 2014, the Rhodes College women’s lacrosse team has been a squad to watch in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA).

Rhodes has captured six-straight league crowns and recently clinched its fifth-straight undefeated conference season when they defeated Berry College earlier this month by a score of 24-3.

The 21-goal victory over the Vikings was followed by an impressive 26-3 win this past weekend against Birmingham-Southern College, which provided Rhodes with a spot in Sunday’s SAA Finals.

Rhodes will meet Sewanee in this year’s SAA Championship with the winner advancing to next month’s NCAA Division III Tournament.

Sunday will mark the second time the Lynx and Tigers square off in the SAA Championship as Rhodes defeated Sewanee in 2015 to claim its initial title in program history. The three-goal (13-10) victory would be followed by Rhodes’ first-ever national postseason win against Meredith College.  

Franklin & Marshall defeated the Lynx in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Rhodes enters its seventh-straight conference championship riding a six-game winning streak, which began last month with a 19-8 victory over Transylvania University. Prior to their win over the Pioneers, Rhodes scored some impressive non-league wins against Colorado College (11-10 OT) and Illinois Wesleyan University (18-5). Additionally, Rhodes survived a shootout last month with Rowan University (17-15).

Emily Bruner is one of many players to watch on the Lynx – the junior attack from Gaithersburg, Maryland leads the team in points (103) and assists (90). Baylee Barker leads the squad in goals (62) while Payton Bennett has chipped in 51 goals and 21 assists.  

Bruner’s 103 points are the most recorded by any SAA student-athletes while Barker and Bennett are in the Top 10 goals scored.

Sewanee’s Hattie Fogarty is also in the SAA Top 10 in goals and points and will certainly be a player to watch on Sunday after leading her squad to a 14-9 victory over Centre College in the SAA semifinals.

Fogarty concluded her team’s contest with the Colonels by tallying five goals on 11 shots to go with a season-high six ground balls.

Fogarty and the Tigers rank second in the SAA in goals scored with 287 but will face a challenging test on Sunday against the league’s best defense, which has yielded 124 goals in 16 contests (that is an average of 7.75 goals per game). Rhodes’ defense held Sewanee to a season-low six goals in last month’s meeting with the Tigers being shut out in two frames (second and third quarters).  

In addition to Rhodes’ impressive attack and midfield, fans should certainly keep their eye on the squad’s goalies: Emma Bradley and Olivia Wood. The duo combined for nine saves in this previous meeting with Sewanee, and lead all SAA goalies in goals-against average.

Sunday’s championship, which will take place at Mason Field in Memphis, Tennessee, is scheduled to commence at 1 p.m. eastern.

D3 Lax Notebook: Make It 22-Straight Wins for Salisbury University

Salisbury University women’s lacrosse has now won 22-straight contests, dating back to their first win of the 2021 season last February. (PHOTO COURTESY: Joey Gardner, FotoJoe Photography)

By Matt Noonan

Another busy Saturday of NCAA Division III lacrosse is in the books.

Salisbury University women’s lacrosse cruised to its 22nd straight win against Catholic University, thanks to Erin Scannell, who registered her second hat trick of the season to go with one ground ball. Meredith Price also recorded three goals against the Cardinals while Mary Claire Hisle registered eight saves on 12 shots.

As a team, Salisbury scooped 23 ground balls and completed 22 of 28 clear attempts while tallying 30 shots, including 21 shots on goal.

Grace Hill highlighted Catholic’s effort with two points on one goal and one assist.

Salisbury, which has not lost a game in two years, will look to continue its early-season momentum on Saturday, February 26 when they welcome Washington and Lee to Sea Gull Stadium for a 12 p.m. opening draw.

Speaking of Washington and Lee, the Generals commenced their 2022 campaign with an exciting one-goal win over Franklin & Marshall.

Allie Schwab scored the game-winner with 11.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to clinch the Generals’ first win against the Diplomats since February 23, 2019.

Hanna Bishop concluded the contest with a team-high four points on three goals and one assist while Katherine Faria added two goals and one helper.

Faria provided the Generals with an early lead, which they did not relinquish, despite the Diplomats pulling within one goal seven times. Washington and Lee finished the game with 31 shots, including 21 on net compared to Franklin & Marshall, which tallied 25 shots.

Franklin & Marshall’s Marissa McGarrey led all players with four goals on eight shots to go with three draw controls. All four of McGarrey’s tallies came on free-position attempts.

Coach Peter Toner earned his initial win with Gettysburg College men’s lacrosse on Saturday as the Bullets defeated Eastern University, 16-4.

Gettysburg, which has beaten Eastern nine times, was led by Kieran Ward (three goals, one assist, and five ground balls) and George Raymond (one goal and four assists).

Saturday’s win marked the first time Toner guided a Division III squad to a regular-season victory since 2008 when Wheaton College beat Babson College, 11-7.  

Other highlights from the third busy Saturday of the 2022 college lacrosse season:

Noontime’s D3 Lacrosse Games to Watch (Feb. 17-18)

Kate Olsen and the Catholic University women’s lacrosse team will begin their 2022 campaign on Saturday against Salisbury University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Will Stumme)

By NoontimeSports.com

Another busy weekend of lacrosse has arrived — are you ready?

We are, especially with more teams competing for the first (or second) time this season.

Every Friday, we will be highlighting a few games to watch in NCAA Division III, beginning with a possible postseason preview between Catholic University and Salisbury University.


FEATURED GAME: Salisbury University at Catholic University: Saturday, February 19 at 1 p.m. (Women’s Lacrosse): The Sea Gulls head to Washington D.C. with hopes of extending their 21-game winning streak, which dates to their initial win of the 2021 season.

Last weekend, Salisbury began its title defense with a 15-5 win over Stevenson University, thanks to Erin Scannell and Delaney Hill, who combined for six goals and one assist. Mary Claire Hisle concluded the contest with seven saves and was named the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division III Defensive Player of the Week.

Catholic will compete for the first time since since their second-round postseason matchup last May with St. John Fisher, which saw an impressive 10-game winning streak snapped.

Prior to an early exit in the national playoffs, the Cardinals captured their seventh-straight Landmark Conference crown before beating Becker College in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Kate Olsen returns for her junior season after leading the Cardinals with 33 goals to go with nine assists, 10 ground balls, and seven caused turnovers. She will be joined on the offensive end by Caroline Beckett (attack) and Clare Richards (midfield).


Whittier College at Rhodes College: Friday, February 18 at 8 p.m. (Men’s Lacrosse): After dropping a pair of non-conference games last weekend, the Lynx will look to score their first win of the 2022 season against a Poets squad that is returning to the field for the first time in two years. Drew Downes (four goals) and Jonathon Hazlehurst (two goals and two assists) will be two players to watch on Rhodes this evening.

Washington and Lee at Franklin & Marshall: Saturday, February 19 at 12 p.m. (Women’s Lacrosse): A pair of Top 10 teams will square off in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Saturday in what could be a potential postseason preview. Allie Schwab returns for her junior season with the Generals after leading the Blue and White in points (69) last season while placing third in goals (35). Mary Pat McKenna, who was the Centennial Conference (CC) Defensive Player of the Year last season, will be one of many players to watch on the Diplomats this spring.  

Eastern University at Gettysburg College: Saturday, February 19 at 1 p.m. (Men’s Lacrosse): A new chapter of Gettysburg lacrosse begins this weekend with coach Peter Toner leading the Bullets into their initial contest of the 2022 season against an Eagles squad that has lost its last eight meetings with the Blue and Orange. Toner, who spent the last 11 seasons with Penn State, played lacrosse at Springfield College and coached two seasons at Wheaton College (Mass.).  

Babson College at Roger Williams University: Saturday, February 19 at 1 p.m. (Men’s Lacrosse): The Beavers were picked to win the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and will certainly be a team to watch this spring. Babson beat Roger Williams in its season-opener two years ago by a score of 13-1, thanks to Owen Allen, who tallied six points on four goals and two assists.

The University of Redlands at George Fox: Saturday, February 19 at 8 p.m. (Women’s Lacrosse): Picked to win the Northwest Conference (NWC), the Bruins will look to commence their season with their first-ever win against a Bulldogs squad that has defeated the Navy Blue and White twice. George Fox returns 11 of 12 starters from last year’s squad, including Carleigh DeLapp, who led the squad in goals (58) while placing third in points (61).  

Noontime’s Teams To Watch in NCAA D-III Region 2

Michael Hnatkowsky and the Muhlenberg College football team will be a team to watch this fall in NCAA Division III Region 2. (PHOTO COURTESY: Muhlenberg College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Our early preseason college football coverage continues by highlighting 10 teams we will be watching this fall in the NCAA Division III’s second region.

Yesterday — Tuesday, July 20, to be exact — we highlighted the first region, which included teams in our backyard here in New England, along with a few squads in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.

Alright, without further ado, let’s share our list (below) with teams from Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Brockport: Since 2016, Jason Mangone and the Golden Eagles have tallied seven wins or more — they posted a 13-1 record in 2017 and advanced to the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division III postseason after edging Western New England, 33-28. Brockport did graduate some key pieces from its 2019 squad, including linebacker Alex West, but should certainly be a team to watch in the Empire 8 Athletic Conference.

Cortland: It’s hard to rule out the Red Dragons on a yearly basis, which have averaged 7.2 wins since 2015. They produced an eight-win season in 2019 but ended with a setback in the New York Bowl to Hobart. The two teams are not scheduled to compete in the regular season, but could perhaps see each other later this year in the postseason.

Franklin & Marshall: The Diplomats have produced seven wins or more since 2016, as well as finished atop the Centennial Conference (CC) in 2017 with a 10-1 overall record. They will look to continue their momentum two years after posting a 7-4 mark in 2019, which was capped by a bowl victory against Misericordia University.

Hobart: After posting a 5-4 record in 2018, the Statesmen bounced back with a nine-win season in 2019, which was capped with a New York Bowl victory. One should expect the Purple and Orange to continue their momentum from two years ago when they commence their 2021 campaign at Alfred University on Friday, September 3 at 7 p.m.

Ithaca College: The Bombers have produced a trio of eight-win seasons in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and will look to continue that momentum this fall when they commence their 2021 campaign against Bridgewater State on Saturday, September 4 at 1 p.m. 2019 was a special season for the Blue and White as they not only won the 60th Cortaca Jug Game against Cortland at MetLife Stadium, but saw Will Gladney become the program’s all-time leading receiver in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.

Johns Hopkins: The Blue Jays capped their 2019 campaign with a 51-28 Centennial-MAC Bowl game victory over Stevenson University — quarterback David Tammaro highlighted the win by completing 22 of 33 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a career-high 101 yards on 11 carries and concluded his career as the program’s record holder in total offense (11,369 yards), touchdown passes (85), 200-yard passing games (34), and 300-yard passing games (13). He also recorded three 400-yard passing games, too — crazy, right? — but this season, fans of the Blue Jays will see someone different under center, but expect the program’s recent success to continue.

Muhlenberg College: Quarterback Michael Hnatkowsky will be spotted under center this fall — the Philadelphia Pennsylvania native, who was named the Centennial Conference (CC) offensive player in the year in 2019, will look to continue his previous success after an impressive third season with the Mules that saw him record career-bests in completions (270), touchdown passes (46), passing yards (3,640), and efficiency (175.81).

Salisbury University: The Sea Gulls competed twice this year, beating Christopher Newport and Wesley College in back-to-back contests in March to gain some momentum heading into their 2021 season-opener at Albright College on Friday, September 3 at 6 p.m. Quarterback Jack Lanham accounted for three touchdowns in both spring games, including a pair of rushing scores, and will once again be a player to watch this fall after being named the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) co-offensive player of the year with Ruhann Peele of Wesley.

Susquehanna University: The River Hawks concluded their 2019 campaign by capturing their third consecutive Centennial-MAC Bowl with a 88-24 win over Wilkes University. Susquehanna was one of two teams in the Centennial Conference to post 10 wins or more in 2019, and will once again be in the hunt for a league title as quarterback Michael Ruisch returns after finishing third in the conference in passing yards per game (215.9). Halfback Da’Avian Ellington is also back this season — the New Jersey native led all CC rushers with 112.3 yards per game in 2019.

Union College: 2019 was a very successful season for Jeff Behrman‘s Dutchmen — the sixth-year head coach guided the Maroon and White to an 11-1 season, which included a 33-0 shutout against RPI in their regular-season finale. Despite not playing last season, Union will once again be a team to watch this fall in the Liberty League (LL) as quarterback William Bellamy returns for his final season — he will be joined by a slew of other key pieces from the 2019 squad, including halfbacks Ike Irabor, who played locally at Xaverian Brothers High School, and Joseph Ferreira, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut native that rushed for a career-high nine touchdowns in 2019.