A pair of New England D-III Football teams appeared on today’s NCAA East Regional Rankings, which were unveiled for the first time this season.
Western New England, which leads the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), checked-in fifth on the ten-team list, while WPI, which is currently in a three-way tie for first place in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), secured the ninth position.
Salisbury University was the top team – the Sea Gulls boast a 7-0 record heading into the tenth week of the 2019 season, while Wesley College and Delaware Valley checked-in second and third, respectively. Union College, which currently sits atop the Liberty League (LL) with an 8-0 record and 5-0 conference mark, secured the fourth position.
Ithaca College, the College at Brockport, and SUNY Cortland checked-in sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively, while WPI and Wilkes University rounded out the poll.
Western New England, which has won all five conference games this fall, including a 42-31 win last weekend against Endicott College, can clinch its conference crown this Saturday, November 9th with a win over Becker College.
WPI, which saw its seven-game winning streak snapped last Saturday against MIT, will look to rebound on Saturday when they host Coast Guard Academy.
Three rounds of the 2019 NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse tournament are in the books, which means its time to turn our attention to the quarterfinals.
This year, three of the eight teams competing in the quarterfinals happen to hail from Massachusetts and compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
Amherst College, which defeated last year’s national champion Wesleyan University, will face Tufts University, while Williams College secured a date with RIT. Both games, along with the two other quarterfinals – Salisbury University versus Denison University and York College (Pa.) versus Cabrini University – will be played Wednesday, May 15th.
The four quarterfinal winners will advance to next Sunday’s (May 19th) semifinals followed by the championship game one week later (Sunday, May 26th) at 4 p.m. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Let’s learn more about the three Massachusetts teams that will be competing this week in the quarterfinals.
Amherst College (16-3, 8-2 NESCAC)
The Mammoths advanced to their first quarterfinals in three seasons with back-to-back postseason wins over Wesleyan (16-13) and Elizabethtown College (21-9).
Amherst will enter Wednesday’s meeting with the Jumbos with a 16-3 overall mark, including a 5-1 record on the road. Their lone road loss of the 2019 season came against Williams in April.
Evan Wolf leads the Mammoths with 107 points on 69 goals and 38 assists, while Colin Minicus ranks first on the team with 44 assists.
Juan Gonzalez leads the unit in face-off wins (171), while Dylan Finazzo is second on the team with 83 victories at midfield.
Rod Castro has recorded the most caused-turnovers this spring, tallying 36 in 17 contests.
Gib Versfeld secured his third win between the pipes on Saturday against Wesleyan – he will enter Wednesday’s contest with a 3-2 mark between the pipes, along with a 56.4 save percentage.
Through 19 games this spring, Amherst has averaged 18.37 goals per game.
Tufts University (19-1, 9-1 NESCAC)
The Jumbos secured a date with the Mammoths on Wednesday by cruising past New England College (24-7) and Stevenson University (19-4).
Tufts will enter Wednesday’s clash with the Mammoths riding a nine-game winning streak, which includes a pair of NESCAC Tournament overtime wins against Middlebury College (14-13) and Williams (17-16).
As a team, Tufts has netted 356 goals, including 74 markers in the month of May.
Tufts is averaging 18.5 goals per game in May, which is roughly one more than their season average of 17.80 goals through 20 games.
Danny Murphy has enjoyed a successful final season with the Powder Blue and White, tallying 88 points on 47 goals and 41 assists, while Max Waldbaum has contributed 78 points on 67 goals and 11 assists.
Kyle Helfrich has scooped an impressive 148 ground balls this spring while winning 248 of 441 face-offs.
Mason Pollack and Joe Theuer have combined for 19 wins between the pipes and 260 saves, which is an average of 13.68 saves per game between the two goalies.
Tufts edged Amherst, 15-14, earlier this season, which helped the Jumbos go onto secure the top spot in the NESCAC Tournament a few weeks later.
Saturday’s win over the Cardinals was the team’s 17th victory of the 2019 season, which is the most games any Ephs squad has won in a single-season.
Williams defeated Keene State (21-10) last Wednesday in a second-round meeting before scoring a 17-12 win over St. John Fisher three days later.
Williams will visit RIT this Wednesday – the Tigers needed its defense down the stretch to defeat Union College, 10-9, in their third-round meeting. With their one-goal win against the Dutchmen on Saturday, RIT has now beaten Union three times this season, including once during the Liberty League (LL) playoffs.
RIT and Williams have met just once on the lacrosse field with the Tigers scoring a 15-10 win over the Ephs on March 28, 2014. The game was played at Johns Hopkins University.
Williams is currently 2-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games – their first win in program history came against Keene State last Wednesday.
Williams’ first appearance in the NCAA Tournament occurred in 2008 when they lost to Ithaca College, 17-10.
Jake Haase leads the Ephs with 93 points on 62 assists and 31 goals, while Cory Lund ranks first on the team with 63 goals.
Alex Kitt has won 248 of 422 face-offs while scooping a team-high 132 ground balls.
Harry Gahagan has won 17 of 20 games between the pipes this spring. He currently boasts a 10.07 goals allowed average, along with a 53.4 save percentage.
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.
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Anthony Wyler’s game-winning goal in overtime on Tuesday helped the Coast Guard Academy men’s lacrosse team top Wesleyan University in an exciting non-conference clash. (Photo Credit: Paul Duddy)
By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
It was an exciting finish last night in New London, Connecticut as the Coast Guard Academy men’s lacrosse team stunned the second-ranked Wesleyan University Cardinals in overtime by a score of 10-9.
The win was the Bears’ third-straight of the 2018 season. Prior to defeating the Cardinals, CGA topped Eastern Connecticut (15-7) and Norwich University (17-1).
“The guys are pumped,” Coast Guard Academy coach Ray Le Forte said one day after his team’s exciting win. “(And) so is the campus, too.”
Coast Guard led Wesleyan, 9-8, with 5:24 remaining in the final session, but the Cardinals evened the score (9-9) and forced an extra session, thanks to a man-up goal from Christian Barker.
The Bears would counter 32 seconds into the extra session with Anthony Wyler, who rifled a shot from the top of the zone to secure an exciting and impressive one-goal victory.
Wyler concluded the contest with three goals and one assist, while Riley McNulty chipped in four goals and one assist. The game-winning goal was set-up by Matty Johnson, who concluded last night’s contest with one goal and one assist.
Tuesday’s win is certainly impressive one for a fourth-year program that has grown tremendously since its initial collegiate season in 2015.
Coast Guard Academy is coming off a 10-6 win season from a year ago, which saw the Bears win a program-best four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) games.
The Bears will look to continue its early season momentum on Saturday, March 10 when they face Goucher Collegeat 1 p.m. A few days later, the Bears will take on Ithaca College on Tuesday, March 13th at 1 p.m. with the contest taking place in Virginia Beach.
The Bears will begin conference play later this month when they host Clark University on Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m.
And one team the Bears will see later this season is Emerson College, which is also off to an impressive 3-0 start.
The Lions began their 2018 campaign with an impressive and hard-fought 13-12 win over Mount Ida College in double-overtime before defeating Lyndon State (7-4) and Albertus Magnus (10-9).
Emerson was initially scheduled to compete against Nichols College tomorrow (Thursday, March 8th), but due to this week’s nor-easter, the game has been postponed.
The Lions will return to action next Tuesday (Mar. 13th) when they host Thomas College at 6 p.m.
“We’re definitely starting to get there,” said Emerson coach Matt Colombini. “We have a lot of young talent and the returners that have been through it for a year now and know what we’re really expecting (of this program) and what being a college lacrosse player is, and they have turned the corner with that stuff.”
Colombini seems quite content about his team’s early season success, but knows his squad must keep the focus on playing a complete 60 minutes.
“I am excited to see in a couple weeks as we keep (working toward our goal of playing a complete game) where we end up and what our final product really looks like,” he said.
So far, Emerson has received some solid contributions from Jared Brush (13 goals, three assists) and Cameron Radenberg (two goals, nine assists). Additionally, a pair of first-years, Joe Meyers and Stevie Powers, have also contributed on the offensive end – the duo has combined for 12 points on seven goals and five assists, while Bailey Kennedy has also performed quite well between the pipes with 24 saves.
Following the team’s contest against Thomas, Emerson will face some challenging non-conference foes in Dean College, Wentworth and UMass-Dartmouth. All three games – and yes, four, counting Thomas – will be good tests for the Lions, who hope to keep their early season momentum going later this spring.
“I think this year we have made the schedule much more challenging to get ready for NEWMAC games,” said Colombini. “The teams we have played (thus far) have been pretty good, but they have all been close, grind-it-out type of games, so at least we are finding a way to win right now, which is good.”
The team’s initial win over Mount Ida was certainly impressive – perhaps it could be a game these Lions will look back on as motivation for more success later this season.
The second day of the NCAA Division III basketball tournament saw some exciting outcomes, including a third quarter rally in Amherst, Massachusetts, which helped the Mammoths top St. Joseph’s (Maine). With the win, Amherst College will advance to the third round of the women’s tournament where they will face Montclair State, which defeated Gettysburg College earlier this evening by a score of 70-45.
Kelsi McNamara (St. Joseph’s) led all scorers with 30 points, while Amherst received a boost from Hannah Fox, who concluded the contest with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Bowdoin College and Tufts University will also join Amherst in the third round as both teams earned second round wind this evening. The Polar Bears topped FDU-Florham, 79-57, in Maine, while the Jumbos rolled past Ithaca College, 61-39, in Medford, Massachusetts.
Kate Kerrigan (Bowdoin) was a big part of tonight’s win for the Polar Bears as she concluded the contest with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Melissa Baptista (Tufts) tallied a game-high 19 points – she also chipped in six rebounds, four blocks and two assists.
Bowdoin will face Scranton in the third round, while Tufts will take on Messiah.
On the men’s side: Springfield College extended its season to next Friday with an impressive 96-88 win over Cabrini. Jake Ross stuffed the stat sheet for the Pride with 31 points (game-high), nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. Andy McNulty chipped in 19 points, while Cam Earle added 17 points.
The Pride will face Hamilton College, which defeated York College (Pa.) this evening, thanks to Kena Gilmour, who tallied 20 points in the win. The Continentals trailed the Spartans, 40-39, at the break, but rallied to edge York by a score of 69-66. Andrew Groll clinched the win with a late freebie with seven seconds remaining.
Middlebury College also punched its ticket to the third round with a convincing 83-58 victory over Eastern Connecticut State. Jack Daly almost recorded a second-straight triple-double as he concluded the game with 12 rebounds, 11 points and seven assists.
The Panthers will tip-off against MIT, which earned a hard-fought 62-54 win over Johns Hopkins.
Ramapo concluded Williams College‘s season with a 66-62 win in Williamstown, Massachusetts, while Swarthmore outlasted Wesleyan University by a score of 97-75, in Connecticut.
NCAA D3 Tournament: Third Round Schedule
Men’s Basketball: Middlebury vs. Johns Hopkins/MIT