By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax
The 2019 NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse season concluded this past weekend with Middlebury College capturing its seventh national title in program history with a 14-9 win over Salisbury University.
Sunday’s win over the Sea Gulls capped an impressive 2019 campaign for the Panthers, who finished with an impressive 22-1 record for the second time in four seasons.
In addition to winning 22-straight contests after falling to Bates College in their opener, the Panthers established a new program record for goals in a single-season with 330. They netted 30 goals this past weekend, including 16 against Wesleyan University in their semifinal match-up with the Cardinals.
Tufts University ended the season in the second position, while Wesleyan checked-in third overall. Both teams advanced to their first-ever national semifinals following impressive Regional Final victories against Gettysburg College and York College.
Amherst College checked-in fourth overall, while Bowdoin College secured the fifth position.
New England D3 Women’s Lacrosse Top 10 (Final Poll) | Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
1. Middlebury College
22-1, 9-1 NESCAC
2. Tufts University
19-3, 9-1 NESCAC
3. Wesleyan University
17-4, 8-2 NESCAC
4. Amherst College
14-6, 6-4 NESCAC
5. Bowdoin College
10-8, 5-5 NESCAC
6. Colby College
9-7, 5-5 NESCAC
7. Trinity College
9-7, 4-6 NESCAC
8. Bates College
8-8, 4-6 NESCAC
9. Endicott College
14-6, 8-0 CCC
10. Springfield College
13-7, 6-2 NEWMAC
On The Rise: Babson College, Framingham State, Johnson & Wales, MIT, New England College, Plymouth State, Roger Williams, and Westfield State.
Stay connected with our New England Lacrosse coverage on Twitter by following @NoontimeLax.
Keep your eyes on Tufts University: The Jumbos recorded their second shutout of the season on Sunday with an 18-0 win over Plymouth State to bump their overall mark to 17-2.
Tufts has become one of my teams to watch in this spring, especially after an impressive regular season, which saw the Powder Blue and White lose just once before falling to Middlebury College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship.
The Jumbos have what it takes to advance to championship weekend, but face a tough task this Saturday against a talented TCNJ squad, which outlasted Colby College on Sunday in its second-round match-up.
TCNJ lost to Tufts earlier this season but rebounded with some important New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) wins, including a conference championship victory against Rowan University.
The Lions advanced to the semifinals last season but fell to Middlebury Colleg after beating Bowdoin College, Franklin & Marshall, and William Smith in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
If the Jumbos are going to beat the Lions and advance to the sectional finals, they will need a big performance from Emily Games (67 points on 52 goals and 15 assists) and Colette Smith (54 points on 40 goals and 14 assists).
Smith netted the clincher late in the second half in Tufts’ initial meeting with TCNJ, which helped the Jumbos squeak out an exciting 8-7 victory.
If Tufts defeats the Lions on Saturday, they will then need to duplicate their performance against the winner of St. John Fisher versus York College (Pa.).
Middlebury to meet Bowdoin in Third Round: After falling to Bates College in its season-opener, the Panthers of Middlebury have ripped off 18-straight wins, including a 22-3 second-round win over Johnson & Wales.
Middlebury will attempt to stretch its winning streak to 19 when they host Bowdoin College on Saturday.
Similar to Middlebury, the Polar Bear secured a first-round bye and defeated William Smith, 13-5, thanks to six points (five goals and one assist) from Fiona Bundy and five points (four goals and one assist) by Katie Miller.
Bowdoin’s Erin Morrissey and Aaliyah Biondo combined for seven saves on 12 shots in the team’s 10th win over the Herons.
Earlier this season, the Panthers outlasted the Polar Bears, 21-18, so don’t expect Middlebury to run away from Bowdoin on Saturday.
Middlebury outscored Bowdoin, 12-8, in the opening session of their lone match-up in March, while the Polar Bears outscored the Panthers in the second half, 10-9. Bowdoin led Middlebury, 8-3, in the first half, but surrendered a nine-goal run that provided the visitors with a four-goal lead at the break.
Jane Earley helped Middlebury beat Bowdoin by netting a team-high five goals, so she will certainly be needed again in this match-up, especially if the Panthers would like to advance to Sunday’s sectional final.
The winner of Bowdoin-Middlebury will advance to semifinals – I think they both can defeat Illinois Wesleyan or Franklin & Marshall.
Which New England team will advance to the national semifinals?
I still believe Tufts has a chance to compete for a national crown over Memorial Day Weekend, but they must get past TCNJ, which will certainly be a tough test for the Powder Blue and White.
Bowdoin or Middlebury certainly have what it takes to advance to the semifinals, too – I would say Middlebury first, Bowdoin second – but I wouldn’t overlook Wesleyan University, as well.
Wesleyan, however, faces a really challenging path to the semifinals as they would need to beat Washington & Lee on Saturday followed by most likely Gettysburg College, which is scheduled to face Denison University in the third round.
Similar to Tufts, I have enjoyed following Wesleyan this spring, so if they somehow find a way to the semifinals, then I think they can make it to the championship round.
Amherst College may have an easier path to the semifinals, but they will need to play their best lacrosse against Catholic University on Saturday in order to secure a sectional final meeting with either Colorado College or Salisbury University.
The NCAA Tournament is set to begin this week so this will be our second to last poll of the 2019 New England D3 women’s lacrosse season. We will post our final poll after championship weekend (Memorial Day Weekend) on Tuesday, May 28th.
Additionally, we will also post our end of the year All-Noontime Sports New England D3 Teams during the final week of May, as well.
But in the meantime, here is our newest Top 10 New England D3 Women’s Lacrosse Poll heading into the first week of the NCAA Tournament – best of luck to all teams competing this weekend!
New England D3 Women’s Lacrosse Top 10 | Monday, May 6th, 2019
Middlebury College (17-1, 9-1 NESCAC)
Tufts University (16-2, 9-1 NESCAC)
Wesleyan University (14-3, 8-2 NESCAC)
Amherst College (12-5, 6-4 NESCAC)
Bowdoin College (9-7, 5-5 NESCAC)
Colby College (9-6, 5-5 NESCAC)
Trinity College (9-7, 4-6 NESCAC)
Endicott College (14-5, 8-0 CCC)
Springfield College (13-6, 6-2 NEWMAC)
Babson College (13-6, 8-0 NEWMAC)
On The Rise: Bates College, Johnson & Wales, New England College, Plymouth State, ad Westfield State.
Stay connected with our Noontime Sports’ Lacrosse coverage by following @NoontimeLax on Twitter.
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax
Happy Monday, everyone. And welcome to a BUSY conference tournament week, which will feature some amazing games (and moments), along with some automatic qualifiers (and at-large bids, as well) for the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament.
While conference tournament play has begun for some, it’s never too last to dish out some predictions for who will win their respective tournament.
Below are the teams Matt Noonan believes will win their respective conference crown.
Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men’s Tournament: Western New England. The Golden Bear marched through their conference tournament schedule without a single loss and will have no problem topping Curry College on Tuesday and then Endicott College in the final round.
Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women’s Tournament: Endicott College. The Gulls will repeat as conference champions this week behind solid efforts from Jackie Healy and Jennifer Lacroix.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men’s Tournament: Lasell College. The Lasers breezed by Rivier University earlier this spring and should do the same in the semifinals before beating the winner of Johnson & Wales-Norwich University.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women’s Tournament: Johnson & Wales. There is no way the Wildcats lose this week. Simmons College will provide some early challenges in its semifinal meeting, but in the end, they will find a way past the Sharks before topping Regis College in the championship round.
Little East Conference (LEC) Men’s Tournament: Keene State. The Owls struggled from the get-go but will secure their conference crown on Saturday with either a win over Plymouth State or Western Connecticut.
Little East Conference (LEC) Women’s Tournament: Plymouth State. The Panthers are a safe prediction to win the LEC title, but they will need to get past Southern Maine to secure the automatic bid. Additionally, I would not overlook Castleton University in the LEC Tournament, as well.
Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Women’s Tournament: Framingham State. The Rams finished the regular season with a 7-0 mark in conference play to secure the top spot in this year’s MASCAC Tournament. They will surely find a way past Massachusetts Maritime Academy or Worcester State in the semifinals to secure a spot in the championship round.
New England Collegiate Conference (NECC)/ North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men’s Championship Prediction: New England College. The Pilgrims can move up and down the field at ease and should find a way past SUNY Canton in the 2019 NECC/NAC Finals.
New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women’s Tournament: Becker College. The Hawks secured the top seed and should have no problem winning the NECC title. Expect the championship game to be between Becker and New England College.
New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men’s Tournament: Tufts University. Since falling to Wesleyan University, the Jumbos have scored some impressive wins over Amherst College, Bates College, and Middlebury College. Their semifinal tilt with the Panthers won’t be easy – Middlebury knocked-off last year’s national champion Cardinals and will certainly provide challenges for the Jumbos. But in the end, I see the Powder Blue and White competing for a championship against Williams College, which I think will find a way to beat Amherst in the other semifinal matchup. Williams topped Amherst earlier this spring by a score of 13-11.
New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women’s Tournament: Tufts University. Yes, I am picking the Jumbos to beat Middlebury College in the championship. Their semifinal match-up against Wesleyan won’t be easy, but Tufts will find a way to outlast the Cardinals before taking down Middlebury, which should beat Amherst in its semifinal matchup.
New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men’s Tournament: Coast Guard Academy. The Bears will advance to the NCAA Tournament but will face some stiff competition along the way to snatching its conference crown. The winner of Babson College-Clark University will provide the Blue and Orange with challenges, as well as whoever wins between MIT and Springfield. But in the end, the Bears will prevail by at least one or two goals.
New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women’s Tournament: Babson College. The Beavers are the top seed and favorite – they will most likely face MIT, which I think should outlast Springfield in its semifinal tilt.
North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women’s Championship Prediction: SUNY Canton. SUNY Canton had its way with Husson University on Sunday in the conference tournament semifinals and will have no problem topping UMaine-Farmington in Saturday’s championship.
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax
Wednesday was a special evening for two Massachusetts Maritime Academy lacrosse players, including sophomore Anna Deely, who became the Buccaneers’ all-time leader in draw controls.
Deely, who has recorded 177 draw control wins in 28 contests, concluded last night’s 14-7 setback to Bridgewater State with seven draws, two ground balls and one caused turnover.
“It felt good to break the record,” said Deely, when asked about becoming the program’s all-time leader in draw controls earlier today.
Establishing a new mark for draw controls is certainly an impressive feat for the second-year player that never attempted to win draws when she competed for Barnstable High School.
“I never really took the draws until I came to Massachusetts Maritime,” she said, “(but) I think I have a better understanding of the game since playing midfield.”
Listed as an attacker and defensive winger, Deely has been spotted at various ends of the field this spring, helping the Buccaneers to a 7-6 overall mark with three games remaining. Deely has certainly been a player to watch on the Buccaneers through 13 contests – she currently ranks second on the team in points (37), but first in caused turnovers (27).
From a quick glance at the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) statistical leaders, Deely ranks first among all student-athletes in draw controls.
Her impressive play, both this season and last spring, is a testament to her teammates, says Deely, who credits every member of the Buccaneers for her “improvements.”
Said Deely, “It’s a hardworking team and we all put in so much effort, (so) it’s rewarding when you get to see records being broken.”
As for coach Marc Palombo, a Massachusetts Maritime Academy alum and former lacrosse player, he seemed very happy for Deely with establishing a new program record that should certainly grow over the next two years.
Said Palombo, “Anna has been a great addition to our program. What she has accomplished in two years on and off the field makes us very optimistic of what is to come in her junior and senior seasons. She is a great teammate, a tough player and someone who always wants the ball.
“Becoming the program’s all-time leader in draw controls is a wonderful achievement and I know that she will continue to break and set records as a Buccaneer.”
In addition to celebrating Deely’s impressive milestone last night, the Massachusetts Maritime men’s lacrosse team honored Benjamin Avakian for recording his 100th point last night in a 17-2 win over Albertus Magnus.
Avakian concluded the game with six points on four goals and two assists with his first marker being his 100th career point with the Buccaneers.
Similar to Deely, Avakian has been a player to watch this spring on the Buccaneers – he has tallied a career-high 48 points on 40 goals (also a career-high) and eight assists.