New England Sends Four Teams to NCAA D3 Football Tournament

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Framingham State’s Joshua Smiley and the Rams are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Four New England D3 football teams secured spots in the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament, which officially begins Saturday, November 17th with 16 opening round contests.

32 teams were selected to compete in this year’s tournament, including a trio of local teams (Framingham StateHusson University and Western New England) which captured their respective conference crown.

MIT, which also earned a spot in this year’s tournament, secured an at-large bid following an exciting 22-7 win yesterday over Springfield College to secure the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown (the NEWMAC title was the Engineers’ first in program history).

All four teams will hit the road this week with Framingham State visiting Brockport, Husson traveling to RPI, MIT heading to Johns Hopkins and Frostburg State entertaining Western New England. All four match-ups will commence at 12 p.m. eastern.

Both Husson and WNE advanced to the tournament last year, while Framingham State is making its first appearance in three seasons (the Rams last competed in the national postseason in 2015). MIT is making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history after making an impressive debut four years ago with an opening round win against Husson.

We’ll have more on all four match-ups later this week, but as always, stay connected with @Noontime_FB on Twitter for news, notes and more from the New England football world! 

D3 Football: MIT Checks-In Seventh In Latest NCAA East Region Rankings

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Tyler Ray and the MIT Engineers checked-in seventh overall on the latest NCAA East Regional Rankings. (PHOTO COURTESY

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11 

After scoring an important bounce-back win last week over Norwich University, the MIT Engineers secured a spot on the latest NCAA Division III East Regional Rankings, which were posted earlier today.

The Engineers, who were the lone New England squad to appear on the list, checked-in seventh overall, while Brockport secured the top spot for the second-straight week followed by Frostburg State and RPI at second and third, respectively.

Delaware Valley and Ithaca College rounded out the top five by checking-in fourth and fifth, respectively.

MIT enters the final week with an overall record of 8-1 record and needs to beat Springfield College this Saturday (Nov. 10th) for a chance to compete in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament, which will kick-off next weekend.

Ashton Robinson powered the Engineers to their eighth win of the season last Saturday over Norwich by rushing for 87 yards on 12 carries and one score, while Sam Cantrell and Ben Wolz each tallied seven total tackles, respectively, Wolz also finished the game with two tackles for a loss of six yards and one sack for a five yard loss, while Tyler Ray registered six total tackles, along with a trio of pass break-ups.

Kickoff for Saturday’s must-see meeting between the Pride and Engineers is scheduled for 12 p.m. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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

D3 Football: Western Conn., WNE Appear On First NCAA D3 Football Reg. Ranking

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_FB 

A pair of New England D3 Football teams earned spots on the initial NCAA Regional Rankings (East), which were released earlier today.

Western Connecticut checked-in seventh overall on the 10 team list while Western New England secured the 10th position.

Brockport was the top team in the East Region followed by Frostburg State and RPI.

The Colonials enter the 10th week of the season with an impressive 8-0 record and will attempt to earn their ninth win against Framingham State, which enters the important conference tilt with a 6-2 mark.

Western Connecticut fell to Framingham State last year on the road, but enter Saturday’s marquee clash with some serious momentum, thanks to the play of senior halfback Kyle McKinnon, who leads the Blue and Orange with 507 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Additionally, senior quarterback David James has helped the offense by tossing 15 touchdowns, while adding an additional two scores on the ground.

Western New England has gained some serious momentum since its opening day, thanks to quarterback Alec Coleman, who has recorded 16 touchdowns in his team’s last three outings, including nine scores on the ground. Coleman’s ability to lead the Golden Bears down the field should continue on Saturday when the Blue and Gold visit Endicott College in a very important conference clash.

A win for the Golden Bears against the Gulls would most likely secure them the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament. However, an Endicott win would make for a very interesting final week of the 2018 season.,


Stay connected with our New England D3 Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

Football Notebook: Early Thoughts On What Games To Watch In Week One In D3

NS Football Notebook LogoBy Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

A few days ago, some of the major sports outlets announced a few marquee college football games they will be broadcasting during weeks one, two and three.

Awful Announcing did a solid breakdown of who has the best and worst games – make sure to check it out!

So, that had me thinking the following question: what games will I be eyeballing come week one of the D3 football season?

Well, here are a few ideas – again, mind you this is a June post, so you can certainly expect more in-depth thought as we inch closer to the start of the 2018 season.


*  Season two of Football Friday the Podcast officially began last week with myself and James Baker discussing some offseason D3 football topics. 

Want more D3 football offseason interviews and analysis? Then check-out the In The (D3fB) Huddle offseason show, featuring Baker and Frank Rossi


Week One Games To Watch 

UNE at Coast Guard Academy (Aug. 30th): UNE will play its first-ever NCAA Division III football game on the road against a Bears squad that will look to be in the mix for a NEWMAC crown this fall.

Frostburg State at Stevenson (Aug. 30th): The Bobcats will attempt to win at least 10 games (or more!) again this season – if they accomplish that feat it would be three-straight seasons of winning 10 games or more. They registered 33 points last year in their opener against Stevenson.

Western New England at Springfield (Aug. 31st): Always a must-see game in the Springfield area. Plus, this year’s rivalry game marks a new era for the Golden Bears, who will be led by first-year coach (and alum) Jason Lebeau.

Delaware Valley at Wesley (Aug. 31st): Two of the best teams in the East Region will meet on a Friday evening to kick-off the season. Make sure to add this game to your calendar now!

Endicott at Framingham State (Sept. 1st): This has always been my ‘welcome back to football’ game every season. I will be on the PA mic for this game and will be keeping an eye on two storylines: Can the Rams get off to a strong start and what does the new era of Gulls football look like under first-year coach Paul McGonagle?

Hobart at Brockport (Sept. 1st): The Golden Eagles will once again be a team to watch this fall – can they make a return trip to the national semifinals? They kick-off their 2018 campaign against a Hobart squad that will be led by an alum named Kevin DeWall.

Plymouth State at Castleton (Sept. 1st): The Panthers captured the MASCAC crown, thanks to a dramatic win over Framingham State. They will look to commence a new campaign with by winning its season-opener for the third-straight year against Castleton.

SUNY Cortland at Fitchburg State (Sept. 1st): The Red Dragons will play back-to-back MASCAC games to start the season – do they begin their 2018 season with a win over the Falcons?

Husson at Union (Sept. 1st): The Eagles made believers out of all of us last season with an impressive win over Springfield in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Their postseason run concluded the following weekend against DelVal, however, they did score 15 points against them. The post-John Smith era will begin in New York – I will be keeping an eye on this game.

McDaniel at Catholic (Sept. 1st): The Cardinals will look to commence its new season with its second win over McDaniel in three years. Last year, Catholic fell to McDaniel, 30-10, but the Cardinals managed to overcome the early setback with back-to-back wins over Randolph-Macon and Utica.

Rochester at Case Western (Sept. 1st): The Yellow Jackets begin a new era as first-year coach Chad Martinovich takes over a Yellow Jackets squad that will look to be in the mix for a Liberty League (LL) crown this fall.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports Football by following us at @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

Lax Notebook: MLL Announces New Commissioner, College News & Notes

NS lacrosse Notebook

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Lacrosse season has officially begun – well, technically it started in December with the National Lacrosse League (NLL) – but below are some news and notes from the Lax World, which you should know about or may want to know now that one of my favorite sports is back in action!

Let’s begin with some exciting news from Major League Lacrosse (MLL), which announced earlier this week that Alexander P. “Sandy” Brown has been named the second commissioner. Brown replaces Dave Gross, who was the league’s initial commissioner.

Marissa Ingemi has a great piece about the new MLL commissioner from US Lacrosse Magazine about his plans to increase the league’s brand through Digital Media, while collaborating with other leagues.

Keep an eye on Massachusetts’ Jake Horwath this season, who will look to guide the Bobcats of Frostburg State to a Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) crown. The Bobcats will certainly be a team to watch in Division III this season – great read from Ed Lee of the Baltimore Sun. Lee also had a great preview on the St. Mary’s (Md.) Seahawks, who will also look to contend for a CAC title, too.

The Boston College women’s lacrosse team was picked to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Preseason Coaches Poll – North Carolina was picked to place first followed by Syracuse University. A pair of New England student-athletes – Dempsey Arsenault (New Hampton, N.H.) and Elizabeth Miller (New Canaan, Conn.) – were named to the Preseason All-ACC Team.

The Holy Cross men’s lacrosse team will look to continue its success from a year ago – the Crusaders won its first-ever Patriot League tournament game last spring – when they begin its 2018 campaign on Saturday, February 10 against Providence College.

Yale University was tabbed the favorite in the Ivy League, while Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania rounded out the top three spots.

Per US Lacrosse Magazine, the Division III women’s lacrosse game will be sped-up this season, thanks to some new rules, which will make the game faster.

Syracuse women’s lacrosse will open its season against the University of Connecticut – get excited, Big East fans!


In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)! 

Earlier this month, Hendrix University captured its season-opener against Southwestern (Texas), thanks to a pair of goals and one ground ball from Lexington, Massachusetts native Garrett Brown.

The Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) unveiled its preseason coaches poll, which found Merrimack College atop the men’s poll and Adelphi atop the women’s poll.

Taylor Bastien was tabbed the new head coach of the Bentley University women’s lacrosse team last Friday. Bastien was recently the coach of the Simmons College women’s lacrosse team, but competed for the Falcons as a student-athlete at Bentley.