Tag: Hope Shue

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.

Colby Heads Into April With A Great Deal Of Momentum

The Colby College women’s lacrosse team scored an impressive overtime win last Saturday against Salisbury University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Cole Burkhart/Colby College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

In case you missed it, the Colby College women’s lacrosse team scored a big win this past weekend against Salisbury University.

The win against the Sea Gulls, which came in overtime, should certainly provide the Royal Blue and White with a great deal of momentum heading into the final few weeks of the regular season.

In addition to snapping Salisbury’s 29-game winning streak, Colby scored a dramatic 10-9 victory last Thursday against Hamilton College. Eliza Dean netted the game-winner at the buzzer after Annie Eddy tied the game at 9 with 18 seconds remaining in the final session.  

Eddy was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Week after recording eight points on six goals and two assists in a 2-0 week for the Mules. The Cheshire, Connecticut native currently leads Colby in goals (22) and points (26) through seven contests.

Colby concludes the month of March with a five-game winning streak, which includes victories over Plymouth State, the University of New England, and Wesleyan University.

The Mules’ March momentum will certainly be tested over the next few weeks, including this weekend when they host Connecticut College on Saturday before visiting Endicott College on Sunday. Connecticut College has yet to win a conference game this spring while the Gulls are seeking their fifth non-conference win (Endicott has lost to three NESCAC teams this month).

While Colby is certainly a team to watch going forward, the same could be said for Middlebury College, which secured the top spot in this week’s Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Top 25 Poll today.

The Panthers have won seven contests this spring, including four NESCAC meetings. Additionally, Middlebury boasts a 32-game winning streak, which dates back to its initial victory in 2019 against Springfield College.

Middlebury hosts Plymouth State tomorrow before capping the week with a visit to Tufts University on Saturday. Tufts, which has won two of three league meetings, represented the NESCAC in the national championship last spring against Salisbury, which edged the Jumbos by a score of 14-13.

As a team, Middlebury ranks third in the NESCAC in goals scored with 108. They rank third in caused turnovers (81). Jane Earley and Hope Shue are two of the top goal scorers in the conference with the duo combining for 40 goals. Wesleyan’s Olivia Lai and Bowdoin College’s Sophia Sudano are tied for first in goals scored with 28.

Amherst, Middlebury Look To Continue Their Recent Momentum

PJ Clementi and the Amherst College men’s lacrosse team scored two impressive wins last week at the Mustang Classic. (PHOTO COURTESY: Clarus Studios)

By Matt Noonan

Following a pair of impressive wins this past weekend, Amherst College heads into tonight’s non-conference meeting with Springfield College with a great deal of momentum.

The Mammoths bounced back from an 18-14 setback to Tufts University earlier this month with a pair of wins against Bates College (22-10) and Gettysburg College (18-14) last Friday and Saturday.

PJ Clementi highlighted his team’s win over the Bullets by netting a career-high six goals on nine shots to go with three ground balls. The senior attack from Huntington, New York is currently second on the team in goals (14).

Nicholas Kopp was also a player to watch against Gettysburg as he won 27 of 36 face-offs while scooping a game-high 14 ground balls.

Coach Sean Woods said Kopp’s impressive showing against Gettysburg is a result of he and his coaching staff challenging the first-year face-off specialist “over the last couple of weeks.”

“Nick just did a great job keeping his nose over the ball,” Woods said following his team’s second matchup from last weekend’s Mustang Classic, which was held at Stevenson University.   

The 27 face-off wins are the most Koop has recorded in four games this spring – he currently ranks second in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in face-off wins. Bowdoin College’s Ethan Barnard leads the conference with 107 victories at midfield.  

Following tonight’s meeting with Springfield, Amherst will head to Rochester, New York on Saturday to compete against St. John Fisher.

Amherst is just one of many NESCAC teams to watch, both this week and weekend – the same could be said for the Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team, which scored its 30th consecutive victory yesterday against York College. The impressive winning streak dates back to Middlebury’s second game of its 2019 season.

The Panthers, who defeated the Spartans by a score of 11-5, outscored the hosts in the second half, 7-2, thanks to Hope Shue (four goals, one assist) and Kelcey Dion (two goals). Five players concluded the non-league meeting with one goal. Middlebury’s defense held York scoreless in the third quarter.

While the Middlebury attack – and yes, its midfield – did its job, the same could be said for goalie Annie Enrietto, who secured her fifth win between the pipes with six saves on 14 shots.

Through five contests this spring, Enrietto has recorded 29 saves on 94 shots. She recorded a season-high of 12 saves in her squad’s season-opener against Bowdoin earlier this month.

Tomorrow, Middlebury will compete against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in a game that will pit two of the top 10 teams in the country.

Revisiting The Opening Weekend of NESCAC Lacrosse

Erin Nicholas and the Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team scored an opening day win against Bowdoin College this past weekend. (PHOTO COURTESY: Colin Bourque)

By NoontimeSports.com

The winning streak continues for Middlebury College women’s lacrosse.

Middlebury, which captured the 2019 NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse championship, extended its current winning streak to 26 games with a 19-12 victory this past weekend against Bowdoin College.

Erin Nicholas stuffed the stat sheet with six goals, eight draw controls, and two ground balls to go with a caused turnovers in her team’s first win in two years.

Jane Earley recorded five goals, three draw controls, and two ground balls against the Polar Bears while Grace Getman and Hope Shue combined for five goals and two helpers.

Middlebury raced out to a 5-1 lead after one quarter with the four-goal advantage ballooning to an 11-6 lead at the break. The Panthers outscored the visiting Polar Bears, 8-6, over the final two sessions to clinch their second-straight opening day win dating back to a 16-12 victory against Bowdoin on February 29, 2020.

The opening day win for the Panthers should provide the Blue and White with some momentum heading into a pair of games this week against Connecticut College on Saturday, March 12, and Babson College on Sunday, March 13.

Middlebury wasn’t the only New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) squad to score an opening day win this past weekend as Colby College, Hamilton College, Trinity College, and Wesleyan University each cracked the win column.

Tufts University, which dropped its season-opener to Colby (9-4), bounced back with a 13-9 victory yesterday against Williams College.

Connecticut College opened its season with a non-conference win against the United States Merchant Marine Academy and will be in action on Wednesday, March 9 when they visit Smith College.

Amherst College men’s lacrosse scored its first win in two years this past weekend with an 11-9 victory over Hamilton.

Brock Gonzalez and PJ Clementi highlighted the win by combining for eight goals and two assists.

The Mammoths overcame a one-goal (5-4) deficit at the break by outscoring the Continentals, 7-4, over the final two quarters to secure their first win since March 10, 2020.

Saturday’s win over Hamilton was coach Sean Woods’ initial victory with the Purple and White — Woods had previously coached the Colorado College men’s lacrosse team.

Bowdoin, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Williams each scored opening day wins while Connecticut College outlasted Endicott College, 11-10 in overtime.

The Camels will play their first league game on Saturday when they visit Middlebury for a 1 p.m. face-off.