Tag: Ithaca College

RIT Looks To Continue Its Early-Season Momentum Against Stevens

RIT’s Quinn Commandant registered seven points last Saturday against York College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rich Barnes)

By Matt Noonan

It’s been a few months — well, close to a year since RIT men’s lacrosse celebrated its first-ever national championship (the Tigers outlasted Salisbury University in double-overtime last May).

And as expected, the winning ways have continued for the Tigers, who have not lost a game since falling to Williams College in the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2019.

RIT’s momentum has continued over the last few weeks with impressive non-conference wins recently against Nazareth College (25-9) and York College (16-9).  

The win over the Spartans — the program’s third-straight since win against the Green and White — was highlighted by a seven-point (three goals and four assists) effort from Quinn Commandant, a senior attack from Rockwood, Ontario, that has tallied 10 points in two contests. Commandant also recorded one caused turnover and a pair of ground balls in his team’s third win of the season while Luke Pilcher led all scorers with five goals.

Drew Hutchison, a senior goaltender from Otonabee, Ontario, turned aside a season-best 16 shots to pick up his third win between the pipes.    

RIT’s win against York was impressive. The Spartans entered the non-conference meeting with some early-season momentum from back-to-back wins against Arcadia University and Washington and Lee. But now, the Tigers will look to continue its early-season momentum against Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday, March 9.

The face-off between RIT and Stevens is scheduled for 5 pm. eastern.

RIT and Stevens have only met once with the Tigers beating the Ducks in the NCAA quarterfinals in 2018. A win on Wednesday would provide the Tigers with not just their second win against the Ducks in program history, but their 22nd consecutive victory dating back to a 17-4 win against Ohio Wesleyan University on February 15, 2020.

Following a visit to Stevens, RIT will cap the week with a trip to Collegeville, Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 12 to compete against Ursinus College.  

RIT is one of five Liberty League (LL) squads to win three games thus far — as of early this afternoon, the Tigers are one of four squads to boast a perfect record.

RPI has also enjoyed a successful start to its 2022 campaign with the Engineers winning five-straight contests. RPI will host MIT this Saturday.

Union College has won three games and will look to score their fourth-straight win against a New England foe tomorrow when they visit Williams. The Dutchmen recently beat Springfield College by a score of 14-7.

Ithaca College and William Smith are two of three Liberty League women’s squads to begin their season with back-to-back wins. The same could be said for Clarkson Universitythe Golden Knights recently edged SUNY Cortland this past weekend by a score of 11-10, thanks to Sydney Roderick (two goals and three assists) and Julia Lavarnway (three goals and one assist).

Last Saturday’s win marked the first time the Golden Knights were victorious against the Red Dragons, a team that had won the last four meetings.

Clarkson will attempt to win its third-straight contest on Thursday when they visit SUNY Canton.

Checking In On The D3 Football Coaching Carousel

Dan Swanstrom will be returning to the University of Pennsylvania after spending five seasons as the head coach at Ithaca College. (PHOTO COURTESY: University of Pennsylvania Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The football coaching carousel never stops, especially in NCAA Division III.

As noted, both this morning and over the last few days by D3Football.com, three schools, including Ithaca College, will be looking for a new head coach to lead their respective program onto the gridiron this fall.

Dan Swanstrom, who guided the Bombers to 32 wins and 11 losses in five seasons, is returning to the University of Pennsylvania as the Quakers’ new offensive coordinator. His final day at Ithaca College is next Monday, January 31.

Penn head coach Ray Priore announced Swanstrom’s hiring on Monday and is excited to welcome back his former quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator that helped the Quakers share a pair of Ivy League crowns in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s great to have Dan rejoin the Penn Football Family after leading Ithaca to great success over the last years,” Priore said in a statement on Monday. “He returns with a tremendous work ethic, an incredible amount of football knowledge, and a passion for the game.”  

Swanstrom inherits a Penn offense that ranked last in the Ivy League in touchdowns (24) and points (191).

In his final season at Ithaca, the Bombers won eight of 10 contests, including five of six Liberty League (LL) matchups. Ithaca concluded its campaign with a heartbreaking defeat to SUNY Cortland in the 62nd meeting between the two schools last November.

According to D3Football.com, this year’s Cortaca Jug Game between Ithaca and SUNY Cortland will be played at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, November 12.

“I can’t put into words how special my time at Ithaca has been,” said Swanstrom, via D3Football.com. “I would like to thank the players, coaches, and fans for the cherished experiences and the meaningful relationships.”

Swanstrom isn’t the only one making a transition from Division III to Division I as it was announced yesterday that Chris Wilkerson, who guided the University of Chicago for the last nine seasons, has been named the new head coach at Eastern Illinois University.

Wilkerson, who is an Eastern Illinois alum, guided the Maroons to an 8-2 record last fall, including a 7-2 mark in the Midwest Conference. UChicago’s offense shattered numerous single-season records while halfback Nicholas D’Ambrose placed second in the nation with a school record of 1,714 rushing yards.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the head football coach at UChicago for the past nine seasons,” said Wilkerson, via athletics.uchicago.edu. “I want to thank all the players and coaches for their commitment and passion for Maroon football.”

North Central will also have a new head coach — the school’s athletic director Jim Miller recently announced Brad Spencer will be taking over for Jeff Thorne, who recently accepted the offensive coordinator role with Western Michigan.

Thorne will reunite with Western Michigan coach Tim Lester as the two coached together at North Central under Jeff’s father John Thorne.

As the head coach of North Central, Jeff Thorne guided the Cardinals to the school’s first-ever championship in 2019. They fell short of winning their second title last month against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  

Other coaching changes/notes:

Inside The Matchup: Springfield College @ SUNY Cortland

Aiden Lewin and the Springfield College defense will be tasked with slowing down an impressive SUNY Cortland offense. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Springfield College and SUNY Cortland first met on the gridiron in 1946 with the Red Dragons securing a hard-fought 14-12 victory over the Pride.

Since then, the two teams have met 32 times with both squads winning 16 contests and tying once.

On Saturday, the two squads will meet again in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Tournament.

Let’s learn more about this particular matchup like we have earlier this week with a few other local squads.


Game Time & Location: Saturday’s clash between Springfield and Cortland will take place in New York at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Team Schedules: Springfield | Cortland

Team Statistics: Springfield | Cortland


Springfield’s journey to the postseason: After ending its initial month of play with just one win, the Pride rebounded with six straight wins, including three consecutive hard-fought wins during the final three weeks against Catholic University, MIT, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Their end-of-season win over the Cardinals allowed the Pride to secure their second New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown since capturing it in 2017.

Cortland’s journey to the postseason: After beginning their season with an opening day win over Wittenberg University, the Red Dragons ripped off nine straight wins, including six Empire 8 victories that saw just two teams – Brockport and SUNY Morrisville – score at least one touchdown against a Red Dragons squad that is yielding an average of 8.4 points per game this season.

Springfield’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Pride competed in the opening round of the 2017 postseason but saw their 10-game winning streak snapped to a Husson University squad that had captured its second-straight Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown one week earlier against Mount Ida College.

Cortland’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Red Dragons last appeared in the postseason in 2015 where they won an opening round contest against Salisbury University by a score of 45-21. Linfield University defeated Cortland in the second round before losing to St. Thomas in the semifinals.

Springfield’s NCAA Tournament history: The Pride are making their seventh trip to the postseason with their first appearance coming in 1998 when Springfield lost to Buffalo State in the opening round by a score of 38-35. Two years later, Springfield returned to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the East Regional Finals where they lost to Widener University.

Cortland’s NCAA Tournament history Saturday will mark the 10th time in program history that the Red Dragons have competed in the national postseason. Cortland first appeared in the postseason in 1988. They beat Hofstra University in the opening round at home before falling to Ithaca College in the quarterfinals.

Players to Watch on Springfield: Tim Callahan (FB), Isaiah Cashwell-Doe (RB), Christian Hutra (K | NEWMAC Special Teamer of the Year), Kyle Niehr (DB), Ronald Beard (DB), DJ Brown (LB), Aiden Lewin (LB), David Wells (QB), and Patrick Tuohy (P)

Players to Watch on Cortland: Brees Segala (QB | Empire 8 Offensive Player of the Year), Jaden Alfanostjohn (RB), Derek Cruz (WR), JJ Laap (WR), Nick Lardaro (DL | Empire 8 Rookie of the Year), Devin Smith (DL), Dylan Dubuque (LB | Empire 8 Defensive Player of the Year), Joshua Cordero (DB), Christian Legagneur (DB), Stone Murray (DB), Patrick Luby (K), and Liam Casey (P)

Inside The Matchup: RPI @ Endicott College

Joe Deptula and the RPI defense will be tasked with slowing down an Endicott College football team that is averaging 28.7 points per game. (PHOTO COURTESY: Perry Laskaris/RPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

We’re another day closer to the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament — 32 small college football teams will be competing for spots in the second round on Saturday, including Endicott College and RPI.

Endicott and RPI will meet for the first time in the postseason — additionally, Saturday’s first round matchup will mark the first time the Gulls and Engineers meet since RPI edged Endicott, 6-3, on September 11, 2010.

Let’s learn more about this particular matchup that features two teams that captured their respective conference crown.


Game Time & Location: Saturday’s matchup between the Gulls and Engineers will take place in Beverly, Massachusetts at Hempstead Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Team Schedules: Endicott College | RPI

Team Statistics: Endicott College | RPI


RPI’s journey to the postseason: It’s been an exciting few weeks for these Engineers, who bounced back from a 10-9 setback to Hobart College with hard-fought wins over Ithaca College, St. Lawrence University, and Union College. Their come-from-behind win over Union last Saturday, which was highlighted by a game-winning field goal from Trevor Bisson, not only provided the squad with the Dutchman Shoes Trophy, but also the opportunity to represent the Liberty League (LL) in the national tournament.

Endicott’s journey to the postseason: After capping its last two seasons with appearances in the New England Bowl, the Gulls returned to the postseason by winning eight of 10 contests, including five of six Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) matchups. Endicott rebounded from a late October setback to Salve Regina University with a pair of end-of-season wins over the University of New England and Nichols College to secure its third trip in program history to the NCAA Tournament.

RPI’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Engineers last appeared in the postseason in 2018 when they win a pair of games against Husson University and Brockport. Their quest for a national title would conclude on the first day of December when they lost to Johns Hopkins University by a score of 37-14.

Endicott’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: Endicott’s last appearance in the national postseason occurred in 2013 — the Gulls won the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Championship against Salve Regina, but los their first postseason contest to Rowan University by a score of 24-0.

RPI’s NCAA Tournament history: The Engineers will be making their seventh appearance in the national postseason in program history with their first trip occurring in 1999. Saturday will mark the third time coach Ralph Isernia has guided RPI to the postseason.

Endicott’s NCAA Tournament history: Endicott is making its third appearance in the national postseason with their first two trips occurring in 2010 and 2013. This particular trip is Paul McGonagle’s first with the Gulls – he last was in the postseason in 2017 as an associate coach with Assumption College.

Players to Watch on RPI:  George Marinopoulos (QB), Vinnie McDonald (WR), Peter Lombardi (WR/ATH), Josh Cohen (DL), Joe Deptula (LB), C.J. Lyons (DB), Zac Montrief (P), Conor Ahern (DL), Francis Perry (DB), and Sterling Walker-Sutton (Return Specialist).

Players to Watch on Endicott: Mike Ingraffia (QB), John Kenney (RB), Shane Aylward (WR | CCC Offensive Rookie of the Year), Colin Meropoulos (DL | CCC Defensive Rookie of the Week), Sam Opont (DL), Tim Russell (LB | CCC Defensive Player of the Week), Tyler Davis (DB) and Ryan Smith (K).

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Sept. 20, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Three weeks of the New England NCAA Division III football season are in the books.

This past weekend featured a slew of upsets, along with some impressive wins by a few teams that are slowly emerging from the pack as potential frontrunners. But luckily, we still have more football left to be played. 

In case you missed it, make sure to check out last week’s poll — click here! — but let’s dish out (below!) this week’s poll. 

Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll (Week No. 4 | September 20, 2021)

  1. Western New England (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): Despite suffering their first setback of the 2021 season, the Golden Bears remain in the top spot, but the Blue and Yellow face a real challenge this week against Salisbury University.

  2. Salve Regina University (3-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 8): After rolling past Norwich University in the opening week, these Seahawks have found ways to win games against both MIT and Montclair State – can they keep this momentum going this week against Rowan University?

  3. Williams College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): The Ephs made a statement in the opening week of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) season with a BIG win over the defending champions. Look for their momentum to continue this week in Somerville against Tufts University.

  4. Trinity College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 7): Like the Ephs, the Bantams made a statement in their season-opener by defeating the Jumbos of Tufts by a score of 42-28.

  5. Endicott College (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 2): After scoring two dramatic wins at home, the Gulls suffered their first setback of the 2021 season on the road, losing to Catholic University by a score of 32-29. Endicott’s defense caused problems for the Catholic offense – can these Gulls bounce back on Saturday against Norwich University?

  6. Wesleyan University (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 6): The Cardinals remained in the sixth position for the fourth-straight week, but did take care of business in Maine last Saturday against Colby College.

  7. Middlebury College (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC | LW: No. 5): The Panthers dropped two spots following an opening day loss to the Ephs. Middlebury hosts Bates College on Saturday – the Bobcats provided some challenges to Amherst College in their season-opener, so we’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on this matchup.

  8. MIT (1-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 9): Despite being idle, the Engineers were able to move up one spot. This week, they travel to Dean College – will the extra rest pay off against a Bulldogs squad that has dropped two-straight?

  9. Western Connecticut (2-1, 1-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 13): The Colonials returned to the win column last Friday by defeating Westfield State in their initial conference clash. Coach Joe Loth’s squad will look to make it back-to-back wins this Friday when they visit Bridgewater State in an important week four meeting. 

  10. UMass Dartmouth (2-1, 0-1 MASCAC | LW: No. 3): The Corsairs initial conference clash against Framingham State did not go their way. UMass Dartmouth was penalized 10 for 112 yards and only produced 299 yards of total offense. Saturday’s clash with Worcester State is not a “must-win,” but a chance for the Corsairs to regain their early-season momentum.

  11. Coast Guard Academy (2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 17): The Bears were hands down one of the biggest movers after scoring an impressive win over Nichols College on their home turf. An interesting test awaits them this weekend against Anna Maria College.

  12. Springfield College (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 11): The Pride may have dropped their second game to a top team in NCAA Division III — that would be Union College — but Springfield certainly provided challenges for the Dutchmen, which means one should certainly not overlook this squad on Saturday against Husson University.

  13. WPI (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) | LW: No. 10): After scoring a come-from-behind win over Worcester State earlier this month, the Engineers of Worcester have struggled recently against Endicott College and RPI. The Engineers of New York — that would be RPI, to be exact — captured the Transit Trophy Game this past weekend by defeating WPI by a score of 24-10. Saturday’s game against Montclair State is somewhat of a must-win.

  14. Husson University (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 14): The Eagles picked-up their second-straight win last Friday by rolling past Dean College by a score of 42-14. Can their early season momentum continue this week against a Springfield College team that is eager to register its second win?

  15. University of New England (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 16): The Nor’easters enter their bye week with two wins, along with some momentum — they got a bit lucky this past weekend against Alfred State, which almost tied the game with a late field goal. They open conference play one week from Saturday against Nichols College.

  16. Bridgewater State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC | LW: NR): The Bears returned to the poll after a hard-fought win over Plymouth State this past weeked — the victory was the team’s first in conference play after dropping a pair of non-conference meetings to Ithaca College and UNE. A big test is on the horizon this Friday against Western Connecticut.

  17. Framingham State (1-2, 1-0 MASCAC | LW: NR): Tom Kelley’s Rams surprised all of us on Saturday with a BIG UPSET against UMass Dartmouth. Let’s see if this win can translate to more success, beginning this weekend against Westfield State.

  18. Tufts University (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC | LW: No. 15): The Jumbos lost their season-opener, but did prove they will be a team that will provide challenges in all three phases: offense, defense, and special teams.

  19. Nichols College (2-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 12): After rallying to beat Anna Maria last weekend, the Bison took a step backwards, falling to Coast Guard Academy on the road. Nichols hosts TCNJ in its final non-conference clash — will they be able to tame the Lions after struggling to contain the Bears?

  20. Amherst College (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC | LW: NR): Chad Peterson and the Mammoths commenced their season with an opening day win, which was a bit closer than many, including us, expected.

ON THE RISE: Anna Maria College (1-1, 0-0 ECFC), Colby College (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC), Curry College (2-1, 0-0 CCC), Dean College (1-2, 0-0 ECFC), and Massachusetts Maritime Academy (1-1, 0-0 MASCAC)