D3 Notebook: MIT, Tufts, Williams Looks To Continue Their Postseason Success

By Matt Noonan 

It’s been a busy fall for numerous Massachusetts college teams, especially those that extended their campaigns beyond their regular season slates.

As of today, three local Division III squads remain in the hunt for some NCAA championship hardware and below is an update on where each squads stands.

Football: MIT’s football team – perhaps the story of the 2014 fall collegiate season? – won their first-ever postseason contest (in program history!) last weekend with a 27-20 overtime victory against Husson College (the winner of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference). The Engineers advanced to tomorrow’s second round game against Wesley College, kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. If the Engineers can squeak out a victory against the fourth-ranked Wolverines, they’ll extend their season into December and compete against the winner of Hobart-Johns Hopkins on Saturday, December 6.

Men’s Soccer: The Jumbos of Tufts University punched their ticket to the 2014 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer semifinals with a 1-0 victory against Messiah. Prior to their quarterfinal win, the Powder Blue and White defeated Dickinson, Wheaton (Mass.) and Muhlenberg. The Jumbos have outscored all four of their opponents by a score of 9-0.

Tufts returns to action on Friday, December 5 when they compete against Ohio Wesleyan. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The game will take place at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri. If the Jumbos prevail, they’d face the winner of Oneonta State-Wheaton (Ill.) on Saturday, December 6 at 2:30 p.m. in the finals.

According to NCAA.com, the Jumbos have never appeared or competed in a national championship match.

Women’s Soccer: The second NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) squad to extend their fall season into December is the Williams College women’s soccer team. The Ephs, who’ll face Johns Hopkins on Friday, December 5 at 8:30 p.m., secured a spot in the 2014 NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Tournament semifinals with four consecutive victories. Williams topped Lasell and Ithaca in the first and second rounds before claiming wins against Roger Williams and TCNJ in the third round and quarterfinals. Their last two wins against the Hawks and Lions were decided by one goal.

A win against the Blue Jays would pit Williams against Lynchburg or Illinois Wesleyan – the other two semifinalists. This year’s championship and semifinal matches will occur at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri. The finals – scheduled for Saturday, December 6 – would occur at 6:30 p.m.

According to NCAA.com, the Ephs have never competed in a national championship match. However, Williams did host a finals match in 1999, but the game featured UC San Diego and Macalester.

Mass. College Football: Harvard Captures ‘The Game,’ MIT Wins First Postseason Contest

By Matt Noonan 

A late touchdown pass from Conner Hempel to Andrew Fischer sealed a 31-24 victory for Harvard University against Yale University on Saturday afternoon at Harvard Stadium in the 131st meeting between the Crimson and Bulldogs.

Trailing 7-3 in the third quarter, Harvard responded with three consecutive touchdowns to earn a 24-7 advantage. Paul Stanton Jr.’s one-yard scamper with 10:06 remaining in the session provided the hosts with their second lead of the afternoon.

Yale’s Tyler Varga jumpstarted a fourth quarter rally with a one-yard TD run with 12:35 remaining. Varga located Morgan Roberts roughly four minutes after his rushing score for an eight-yard touchdown pass before Kyle Cazzetta tied the game at 24-24 with a 33-yard field goal.

With less than a minute remaining, Harvard responded for the final time as Fischer hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass with 55 seconds remaining. Fischer led all receivers with eight receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.

Harvard finished their 2014 campaign 10-0 and Ivy League champions.

MIT 27, Husson 20 (OT): The perfect season remains intact as the Engineers’ defense denied a potential game-tying touchdown in overtime to secure their initial postseason victory in program history.

Quarterback Peter Williams completed 20 of 29 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns, while Justin Wallace rushed for 144 yards and one score.

MIT trailed Husson, 14-10, in the third quarter, but Brad Goldsberry pushed the Engineers ahead, 17-14, with a six-yard touchdown reception with 3:54 remaining in the session.

The Eagles jumped ahead, 20-14, on a 14-yard touchdown reception from Joe Seccareccia to Cody Williams with 5:37 remaining. MIT evened the score at 20-20 with a 38-yard field goal by Tucker Cheyne, forcing an extra session.

In overtime, Williams hooked up with Seve Esparrago for a 13-yard touchdown strike, capping an 11-play, 49-yard drive. On the ensuing possession, Husson drove to the MIT nine-yard line, but came up short on a 4th-and-4 when Seccarecia’s pass fell incomplete.

MIT advances to the second round of the NCAA Div. III Tournament and will play Wesley College next Saturday, November 29.

Framingham State 42, RPI 36: Matthew Silva’s one-yard touchdown run in overtime proved to be the difference as the Rams defeated the Engineers in the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl.

Silva finished the afternoon completing 17 of 34 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 16 yards on three carries.

Framingham State’s Kevin Donahue was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player after making a game-saving tackle in overtime that secure the win for the Rams.

Mass. College Hoops: Locals Earn Spots In Men’s NCAA D3 Tournament

By Matt Noonan 

The NCAA released its pairings for the upcoming men’s Division 3 tournament this afternoon, which begins later this week. Eight squads from Massachusetts earned spots in the tournament and will begin their quest toward Salem, Virginia in either the first or second round.

Below is a breakdown of each matchup, along with what teams they’ll be facing in the first or second round.

Amherst, which captured their third-straight NESCAC crown yesterday, earned a first-round bye. They’ll host the winner of Rhode Island College vs. York (N.Y.) on Saturday, March 8. RIC-York will play in Rhode Island on either March 6 or 7.

MIT, which won their third NEWMAC crown in four seasons, will travel to Plattsburgh State for a first-round matchup. If the Engineers are victorious against the Cardinals, they’ll advance to the second round and face the winner of Eastern Connecticut vs. Husson.

Bridgewater State, the winner of the MASCAC Conference, will travel to Cabrini for their first-round contest. A win for the Bears would pit them against the winner of Richard Stockton vs. Bowdoin College.

WPI will travel to SUNY Purchase for their first-round contest. The Engineers will take on Albertus Magnus, which won its third-straight GNAC crown. A win for WPI would advance them to the second round against either Purchase State or Hartwick.

Williamstown, the home of Williams College, will be the site of three local squads competing for a chance to advance to the third round. Williams College will play Mitchell College, the winner of the NECC Conference, while Babson will take on Gordon College, which captured the CCC Conference Crown with a win over Nichols. The winners of both contests will meet on Saturday.

Finally, Springfield College will travel to Randolph-Macon to play Mary Washington. If the Pride wins, they’ll face the winner of Randolph-Macon vs. DeSales.

Mass. College Football: Afternoon Scoreboard

By NoontimeSports.com 

The early afternoon games are in the books and below are the scores.

* Harvard 35, Lafayette 16

* Colgate 28, Holy Cross 24

* Stonehill 29, New Haven 26

* Merrimack 51, St. A’s 9

* AIC 42, Bentley 14

* Mt. Ida 56, Anna Maria 34

* Husson 19, Becker 18

* WNE 33, Union 30

* UMass Dartmouth 34, Worcester State 33

* Bridgewater State 56, Plymouth State 28

* Westfield State 37, Mass. Maritime 27

* Wesleyan 20, Amherst 14

* Williams 49, Tufts 35

Mass. College Football: Late Saturday Afternoon Roundup

By Matt Noonan 

Here are the late afternoon scores and highlights.

No. 3 Clemson 24, Boston College 14: Quarterback Chase Rettig provided the Eagles with a four-point advantage on 69-yard touchdown strike to Alex Amidon in the third before the Tigers responded with two more touchdowns to pull away for good. Rettig completed 13-of-21 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown, while Amidon finished with six grabs for 121 yards and one touchdown.

UMass 17, Miami (Ohio) 10: The Minutemen earned their first victory of the season thanks to a third quarter touchdown pass from A.J. Doyle and a 25-yard field goal by Blake Lucas in the fourth quarter. Doyle tossed two touchdowns and finished 19-of-35 for 249 yards.

Husson 35, Anna Maria 14: Quarterback Gregory McGoldrick tossed two touchdowns and completed 23-of-36 passes for 299 yards, but that wasn’t enough to help the AMCATs rally to victory. Running back Robert Small was held to 17 yards on 14 carries, but did haul in five catches for 98 yards and one touchdown. Small’s teammate, William Ricard, led all receivers with eight grabs for 103 yards and one touchdown.

SUNY Maritime 30, Becker 7: Dejahn Dawkins registered the only touchdown for the Hawks on a 14-yard scamper, which provided Becker with a four-point advantage in the second before the Pioneers retained the lead for good.