Tag: John Carroll University

D3 Lacrosse: What We Learned In The Month of March

The month of March has been a busy one for a slew of NCAA D-III teams, including the Centenary College men’s lacrosse team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Centenary College of Louisiana Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The final day of March has arrived – can you believe it?

I can’t, but what I can say is it has been a busy few weeks in the NCAA D-III lacrosse world – hopefully, you have stopped by to read our various player perspective interviews, along with our weekly notebooks this month! – but before we usher in a brand new month, along with the second half of the season, I thought we could revisit some of the storylines (and yes, headlines, too) from the past few weeks.

Salisbury University Women’s Lacrosse is off to a fast start

Let’s begin with Salisbury University, specifically the women’s team, which recently scored its eighth-straight win, as well as its third conference victory. The Sea Gulls are averaging 15 goals per game – so far, they have deposited 124 shots – and appeared to be in mid-season form earlier this month when they beat The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), 14-8.

Seniors Alexis Strobel (12 goals and 37 assists), Lydia McNulty (21 goals and three assists), and Julie Talbert (11 goals and two assists) have highlighted the Sea Gulls’ impressive attack, which has also received a boost from sophomore Erin Scannell, who has recorded career-highs in goals (26) and points (27).

With five games remaining, the Sea Gulls appear to be the team to beat in the Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) – one game to watch next month is Salisbury’s regular-season finale against St. Mary’s College, which has won three of four contests thus far. The Seahawks’ lone setback occurred earlier this month against Salisbury (14-10 setback).

John Carroll University boasts two NCAA D-III Goal Scorers

Skyler Blake and Colleen Grombala of John Carroll University are currently leading all NCAA D-III lacrosse players in goals – yes, I know this can change with games set to commence later today and this evening.

Blake, who is a graduate student, has been a player to watch through eight contests – the Dublin, Ohio native recently established a new single-game record for goals in a game with 10 against Marietta College on Wednesday, March 17. As of this afternoon, Blake and the Blue Streaks have won five of six contests this spring – they will return to the field this Saturday, April 3 when they host Heidelberg University, a team they beat earlier this season by a score of 32-1.

Grombala is also a graduate student – the Beverly Hills, Michigan native has picked up where she left off in 2019 by tallying 48 goals and 13 assists through nine contests this season. She registered a season-best nine points on nine goals earlier this month in a conference clash with Capital University before recently stuffing the stat sheet against Ohio Northern with four goals, one assist, seven ground balls, and six draw controls.

The JCU women’s lacrosse team, which has won nine-straight contests this spring, will host Heidelberg this evening with opening draw set for 7 p.m.

Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse scores an exciting first win

Earlier this month, I had the chance to converse with CJ Seling, who is the head coach of the Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team – we chatted a few days after the Gents scored their first win of the 2021 season.

The Gents recently restarted their lacrosse program and defeated the University of Dallas earlier this month – the win is certainly a step in the right direction for the Maroon and White, which is currently the only NCAA squad in Louisiana.

As of this afternoon, Centenary boasts a 1-8 record but I’ll be rooting for them in their next two contests against Southwestern University and Dallas.

Averett University men’s lacrosse has shown improvements in its fourth season

Speaking of younger (or newer programs), the Averett University men’s lacrosse team, which is in its fourth season as a varsity squad, has captured four of eight contests this spring, including a 13-7 victory earlier this month against Brevard College.

The four wins are the most for the Cougars, who are scheduled to compete this Saturday, April 3 against William Peace University. This will be the first of two meetings between the two schools this season.

As of this afternoon, first-year Liam Taylor leads the Navy Blue and Yellow with 24 points on 18 goals and six assists.

Keep your eyes on Christopher Newport men’s lacrosse next month

The Captains have been a great story this spring – as of this afternoon, the Blue and White have won six of seven contests, including a 10-9 overtime win against the University of Lynchburg.

The one-goal win over the Hornets was the first for Christopher Newport in four attempts (Lynchburg would even the season series six days later with a 12-5 win).

Despite a recent loss to Lynchburg, Christopher Newport has looked quite impressive this month – they are scheduled to face some challenging foes in Colorado College, Salisbury University, and Washington and Lee University over the next few weeks.

The Captains and Sea Gulls will square-off this Saturday, April 3 in Maryland with a face-off set for 4 p.m. I would highly recommend streaming the game.


NCAA D-III Lacrosse Blogs from March 2021


Additional news, notes, and links:

  • The Washington and Lee women’s lacrosse team has won six-straight contests and will commence the second half of their schedule tomorrow when they visit Shenandoah University. After visiting the Hornets, the Generals will play four more contests before competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament.

    One week ago, Landon Shelley recorded her 100th career assist in her team’s 17-2 victory over Randolph-Macon.

  • The George Fox University women’s lacrosse team will enter the second half of their schedule with a 7-0 record – the Bruins recently scored back-to-back wins last weekend against Willamette University. Andrea Garcia-Milla highlighted her team’s seventh win with six assists to go with five ground balls and one caused turnover.

  • The first weekend of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action is set to commence this Saturday, April 3 with three contests. Trinity College men’s lacrosse will visit Connecticut College at 11 a.m. followed by Bates College women’s lacrosse visiting Colby College. Connecticut College women’s lacrosse will entertain Tufts University at 3 p.m.

  • SUNY Cortland men’s lacrosse will enter the month of April with a 2-1 record – they recently defeated Clarkson University, 11-9, thanks to four goals and one assist from Zak Jones.


    Staying within the conference, the SUNY New Paltz men’s lacrosse team played its first-ever conference game earlier this week against SUNY Plattsburgh. The Hawks, who are in their second season as a varsity squad, did not compete in a single SUNYAC contest last spring due to the season being cut short due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

  • The Worcester State University women’s lacrosse team scored its first-ever win against Bridgewater State University last Friday (10-7) before capping the weekend with a second-straight win over the Bears in overtime.

  • Dickinson College men’s lacrosse scored perhaps the most exciting win of March last Saturday when they outlasted Muhlenberg College, 11-10, in four-overtimes.

Player Perspective: Kat Walton (Capital University)

Capital University’s Kat Walton recently became the all-time points leader when she recorded eight points on six goals and two assists in the Crusaders’ win last week against Ohio Northern. (PHOTO COURTESY: Capital University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Kat Walton knew she was closing in on Kara Hines‘ all-time points record (248 points) with the Capital University women’s lacrosse team, but she may have not know that it would only take her six games this spring to establish a new record after registering six goals and two assists last Wednesday in her team’s 21-9 win over Ohio Northern.

“I knew (before) our season started that I was close (to Kara’s all-time points record) and there was a chance I could break it,” said Walton.

Walton not only broke the record, but recently established a new mark of 262 points after tallying 11 goals and five assists in her team’s last two outings.

Stacey Florence, who is the head coach of the Crusaders, announced at halftime last Wednesday that Walton had broken the record – she also presented the Pickerington, Ohio native with a game ball.

Said Walton, “I absolutely would not have this record without my teammates.”

In addition to becoming the all-time leader in points, Walton also became the second student-athlete in the program’s eight-year history to reach 200 goals last Saturday when she completed her hat trick in the second half of her team’s 22-10 win over Baldwin Wallace.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Kat Walton to discuss the Crusaders’ current campaign, but also what it means to be the all-time leader in points.

Tell us about last Wednesday’s record-setting performance against Ohio Northern. How were you able to produce a season-high eight points on six goals and two assists?

As a team, we were really fired up coming off of a loss (to John Carroll University). We knew what we needed to do – we needed to execute and play our game, and we wanted to make a statement. We knew that driving to goal was going to be our biggest threat that night and it just worked out that I had a hot hand.

Looking back on the past four years with the Capital women’s lacrosse team, did you think it was possible that you would break Kara Hines’ all-time points record?

I truthfully did not know if it was possible as I was and still am surrounded by so many talented players.

I played with Kara for two seasons – my first season was cut short due to an injury after six games, but I was able to see how talented she was, but also that she set the bar high.

From your perspective, how has the season gone thus far? Did you anticipate your team would win six of seven contests to start the season?

We are having a great season. As a team, we are all just happy and thankful that we are playing again after losing last year (to the Covid-19 pandemic). Every game we go into we want to win of course, but also have fun because that is when we play our best lacrosse.

We are about to enter the second half of our season, so I am expecting to see a lot more wins coming from our team.

What must you and the team continue to do to improve week-by-week and game-by-game?

We need to learn something new about ourselves as individuals, but also as a team. I think each week we must continue to improve our chemistry. We are learning more and more about what we like to do on the field, but also how we can set each other up for success on offense and defense.

Finally, being that this is your final season, what would it mean to end your time with Capital by capturing the program’s first-ever Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Tournament title?

To win our first Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) tournament title would mean everything to our team. Every single year our goal is to win the conference tournament and sadly, we have fallen short, but I truly believe this team has the heart to do it.

I came back for my final year to play with my best friends and to win the conference tournament championship, and I am positive this is an attainable goal.

D3 Lacrosse Notebook: Centenary Looks To Build Off Its First Varsity Win

The Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team celebrated their first varsity win on Sunday against the University of Dallas. (PHOTO COURTESY: Centenary Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

CJ Seling was beaming just two days after the Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team scored its first varsity win over the University of Dallas. And he had a good reason to smile.

The Gents’ three-goal (7-4) victory over the Crusaders was the culmination of both commitment and hard work by a group of student-athletes that Seling welcomed to a school, which recently relaunched the men’s lacrosse program as a club team in 2019 before competing at the varsity level one year later. And despite playing just six contests last spring before the current Covid-19 pandemic sidelined the squad, Seling began to notice his unit improve from week-to-week – he considered this some serious growth for a young squad that is currently made up of two seniors, eight sophomores, and eight freshmen.

That growth, which Seling highlighted in a phone interview on Tuesday, was on display Sunday against a Dallas squad that was limited to four goals on 13 shots. The Centenary offense produced a season-best 56 shots while Mark Temple and Jacob Miller combined for four goals and three assists.

Said Seling, “To keep a team to four goals was huge for us … (it shows) the growth (from the past two seasons), but also the potential we have for moving this program forward.”

Indeed, Seling’s squad has potential for more success – perhaps Sunday’s win could be viewed as a turning point for the state’s only NCAA Division III program that recently returned to the practice field with smiles from ear to ear. Seling and his team know there is still a lot of work to be done, but winning that first game in program history is exciting.

“No win is ever easy as you still have to go out and execute,” Seling explained, “but our guys did that and we’re proud of them.”

The Gents will attempt to continue their recent momentum tomorrow, March 12 when they visit Huntingdon College with face-off scheduled for 8 p.m. eastern, 7 p.m. central time.


News and Notes from the NCAA D-III Lacrosse World

  • The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) announced plans to return to the field this spring, which means it is possible that we could see some lacrosse games played, beginning next month. However, for lacrosse games to occur, at least six schools must commit to a shortened season that would run from mid-April to mid-May.

  • It’s been roughly a year since the Alfred University men’s and women’s lacrosse teams competed, but the plan as of this afternoon is for both teams to return to the field this week.

    Both teams are scheduled to entertain Elmira College over the next two days – the men’s team will face-off against the Soaring Eagles at 4 p.m. this afternoon while the women’s team will play on Saturday, March 13 at 3 p.m.

    Following the conclusion of the 2021 season, both Elmira teams will be transition from varsity to club status for the 2021-22 school year.

  • The USA South men’s lacrosse preseason coaches polls were announced earlier today – Pfeiffer University is expected to win the East Division while Piedmont College is the favorite in the West Division. Greensboro College and LaGrange College each secured one first-place vote.

    Staying in the USA South, Meredith College, which won the conference tournament crown in 2019, was picked to win the women’s East Division while Averett University, which placed second in the preseason coaches poll, secured one first-place vote. Both Pfeiffer and Piedmont secured a two-way tie with two-first-place votes in the West Division.

  • The Capital University women’s lacrosse team recently scored their fourth-straight win on Wednesday with a 21-2 victory against Heidelberg University. Brianna Rampi highlighted the win with six goals while Brooke Delara recorded a season-best eight points on seven assist and one goal.

    Capital will attempt to capture its fifth-straight contest on Saturday when they visit John Carroll University for their fourth Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) meeting of the season.

  • The Centennial Conference (CC) announced its spring schedule today with men’s and women’s lacrosse games set to begin next Saturday, March 20.

  • Finally, a quartet of Eastern Connecticut University men’s lacrosse players earned weekly honors from the Little East Conference (LEC) on Monday, March 8, including Shane Haggerty, who was tabbed the Rookie of the Week after tallying nine points on six goals and three assists in a pair of early-season contests.

A Father-Son Duo Leads The Way At Bridgewater State University

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Ryan Verria has enjoyed reuniting with his father on the gridiron at Bridgewater State University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bridgewater State University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Ryan Verria had a few thoughts on his mind during his initial practice with the Bridgewater State University football team in August of 2018. 

His main focus was impressing the coaching staff, as well as a few friends he knew from growing up three miles away from campus. But he was also thinking about how he would tell his teammates that his father, Joe Verria, was the team’s head coach. 

“In the back of my head (while going through our conditioning test) I was thinking about how to bring up the topic that my dad is the coach,” said Verria, who was recently elected one of the team’s captains last month for the upcoming season.  

“You don’t always see (a father-son duo) at the collegiate level,” he added. 

The team would eventually learn both Ryan and Joe were related. In fact, Verria said his teammates embraced the father-son relationship, claiming it was “pretty cool” that Ryan was able to play for his father, who had coached him previously through various youth sports leagues while growing up in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. 

“I (have come) to realize how unique and special this experience is because not many people get to say they played for their dad at the collegiate level,” said Verria, who plays wide receiver for the Bears

Verria didn’t plan to compete for his father initially after graduating from Boston College High School in 2017. Instead, he elected to leave the area to play football at John Carroll University in Ohio where he competed for the Blue Streak’s junior varsity program. Ryan made some impressive plays, according to his father, who recalls watching clips of his son’s games that the JCU coaching staff provided him. 

But watching plays of Ryan on a phone or computer was only temporary as Joe would soon see his son make similar plays in person one year later when he transferred home to compete for the Bridgewater State football team as an incoming sophomore.

“It didn’t dawn on me that he would come back,” said Joe Verria when asked about his son deciding to return home to play football at Bridgewater State. “But when it happened, I thought this is going to be great.”

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Bridgewater State University football coach (and alum) Joe Verria has thoroughly enjoyed coaching his son, Ryan Verria, the past two seasons. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bridgewater State University Athletics)

And so far, it seems the experience for both Joe and Ryan has been great as the father-son duo has celebrated a pair of Cranberry Bowl wins against Massachusetts Maritime Academy, including a dramatic come-from-behind win last season, along with a New England Bowl victory in 2018 against Salve Regina University.

Ryan credits his teammates for helping him grow and improve these past two years, as well as his father, who he is constantly conversing with about strategy both in-person and through text messages. The conversations, both after games and on Sundays also include offensive and defensive breakdowns to new routes the receivers could run during practice to some motivational tactics both Verria’s could use to inspire the team for a successful game day.

But as much as Joe enjoys these dialogues about the x’s and o’s with his son, it is truly the opportunity he has, both currently and in the past, to teach his favorite sport to Ryan while cracking a smile on game days when he makes a play on offense or special teams.

“You know, you’re sitting out there at practice and I am watching the offense execute and (Ryan) is running around and making plays, and you say to yourself, ‘man, I can’t believe he is out there,’ but it is kind of cool,” said Joe Verria.

Joe – just like any parent – is proud of his son’s growth and improvement over the past few years, as well as the leader he has become both on and off the field. He admires Ryan’s leadership – he considers his son someone that leads by his actions, not words, which is certainly one of many reasons why his teammates voted him captain for the upcoming season.

Ryan is honored to be a captain – he knows he is representing a well-respected program that his father competed for from 1976 to 1979. But excluding discussing his current captain duties, which currently pertains to staying in touch with his classmates and teammates this summer, Ryan lights up when chatting about the impact his father – and yes, his mother, too – have made on his life. Both parents have shared some important words of wisdom, along with some important advice that will continue to allow Ryan to thrive both on the playing field and perhaps as a future coach like his father.

“Yeah, coaching is definitely a possibility,” Ryan said with a smile.

But for now, Ryan will focus on being the best receiver he can be while enjoying one final season with his Joe as his head coach.