Tag: Keaton McCann

Noontime’s D-III Lacrosse Championship Predictions

Middlebury College’s Emma White and the Panthers defense has been a unit to watch this postseason. (PHOTO COURTESY: Will Costello)

By Matt Noonan

The time has come to crown not one, but two NCAA Division III lacrosse champions.

This weekend, six teams – four women’s and two men’s – will contend for the ultimate prize of a national championship.

But before the games commence, it is time to share my picks – well, more my thoughts, to exact, as to who I think will win this year’s titles.

Let’s begin with the four teams competing for the women’s national championship in Salem, Virginia.

NCAA D-III Women’s Semifinals & Championship Predictions

Middlebury College over Gettysburg College: It’s too bad this matchup had to occur in the semifinals – it would have been great to see both teams square off on Sunday in the championship.  

This weekend will be the last time Carol Cantele and Barb Jordan will pace the Gettysburg sidelines – the Bullets enter the last weekend of the season with a 13-game winning streak.

Cantele credits the opponents her team faced two months ago to prepare her squad for a challenging postseason run, which began with an extra session win over Roanoke College in the second round.

Jordan Basso is the player to watch on Gettysburg – the sophomore attack from Rye, New York leads the Orange and Blue in goals (65) and points (101).

Middlebury was idle last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but their championship momentum from 2019 has remained with the Navy Blue and White, which is seeking its eighth title in program history, as well as its third crown since 2016.

The Panthers’ defense has been a unit to watch this postseason. They have limited its three postseason foes to six goals or less, and have received a major boost from goalie Annie Enrietto, who has turned aside 21 shots in her team’s last three contests. She denied 11 shots on Sunday during her team’s second meeting of the season with Colby College.  

Jennifer LaRocca and the TCNJ women’s lacrosse team scored back-to-back wins last weekend over Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jimmy Alagna/TCNJ Athletics)

Tufts University over The College of New Jersey (TCNJ): TCNJ’s path to championship weekend wasn’t an easy one.

The Lions had to beat three teams, including Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland in back-to-back games last weekend, which is not an easy task. But perhaps their wins over the Red Dragons and Sea Gulls will provide TCNJ with enough momentum to beat Tufts, a squad that has ended the Lions’ last two postseason trips.

Like TCNJ, Tufts enters its semifinal matchup with a great deal of momentum, which began after the team’s last setback to Amherst College in April. After losing to the Mammoths in overtime, the Jumbos have been on a roll, winning their second-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament crown while scoring three impressive postseason wins.

Perhaps the Jumbos’ most impressive win of the postseason came on Sunday evening as Tufts converted seven of 12 free position goals against Franklin & Marshall to clinch its third trip to the semifinals since 2019.

Last season, the Jumbos came close to winning their first-ever national title but saw their hopes dashed by an extra Salisbury tally by Delaney Hill. Tufts would respond, netting three-straight goals in less than two minutes, but its final marker by Caroline Walter concluded the Jumbos’ comeback.

The loss to Salisbury, along with an extra session defeat to Amherst might be enough motivation for Tufts to find a way to beat TCNJ for the fourth time in the last three years.

Middlebury over Tufts in the 2022 NCAA D-III Title Game: Get ready for an all-NESCAC championship.

Middlebury and Tufts almost met in the title round three years ago when both teams appeared in the national semifinals. But Tufts saw its season conclude against Salisbury, which would then fall to Middlebury in the championship.

So, let’s try this again.

Middlebury beat Tufts earlier this spring by seven goals, thanks to a four-point (three goals, one assist) effort from Jane Earley, along with a hat trick by Susan Rowley.

Tufts would win the next meeting by one goal when the two teams met in the NESCAC Championship earlier this month. The Jumbos’ defense highlighted the win, especially at the very end as the unit denied a pair of free-position attempts by Hope Shue.

The Jumbos’ 9-8 win over the Panthers snapped Middlebury’s 42-game winning streak, which began with a 16-1 victory over Springfield College on March 8, 2019.

Since falling to Tufts, Middlebury has looked impressive. They tallied 22 goals in back-to-back games against SUNY Geneseo and the University of Chicago, before relying on its defense to slow down a Colby squad that had produced 33 goals in back-to-back postseason contests.  

While Tufts’ run to the national semifinals has been exciting – and yes, impressive, too – it just seems like their luck or momentum will disappear in the third meeting with Middlebury, which seems determined to conclude its current campaign with some hardware.


NCAA D-III Men’s Championship Predictions

Ryan Puglisi and the Union College defense shined last Sunday against York College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Clara Lodice)

Union College over Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT): Who doesn’t like an underdog story?

Union may not be the favorite, but it seems as if many within the D-III world are pulling for the Dutchmen to win their initial national championship.

The Dutchmen have enjoyed an impressive season, winning 18 of 20 contests with perhaps their most exciting wins occurring last weekend over Gettysburg College and York College. Both wins were exciting but also proved this year’s Dutchmen can win a championship.

For Union to complete its storybook season with a title, they will need to find a way to slow down an RIT squad that has produced 20 goals or more in four postseason contests this spring.

The Tigers won their first-ever championship last year by outlasting Salisbury in double-overtime.

RIT has beaten Union in its last 20 meetings, including an NCAA Tournament clash in 2019. The Tigers won both meetings last spring, including an 11-9 victory in the Liberty League (LL) semifinals.  

Marley Angus highlighted RIT’s one-goal win over Union last month as the senior midfielder concluded the game with four goals, two assists, and two ground balls. Keaton McCann led Union with five goals on eight shots.

McCann has been a player to watch on Union this postseason. The senior attack from Briarcliff, New York has recorded three goals or more in four contests while netting the game-winner last Saturday against Gettysburg.   


NCAA D-III Championship Weekend Schedule

WLAX D-III Semifinal: Middlebury vs Gettysburg on Saturday, May 28 at 12 p.m.

WLAX D-III Semifinal: Tufts vs. TCNJ on Saturday, May 28 at 3:00 p.m.

MLAX D-III Championship: RIT vs. Union on Sunday, May 29 at 1 p.m.

WLAX D-III Championship: Middlebury/Gettysburg vs. TCNJ/Tufts on Sunday, May 29 at 3:30 p.m.

All three women’s games will occur in Salem, Virginia while the men’s championship will take place in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Union College Men’s Lacrosse Excited To Compete For A National Championship

Peter Burns and the Union College men’s lacrosse team will compete for its first-ever national championship on Sunday against RIT. (PHOTO COURTESY: Betsy Matthew/Union Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

“We’re going to the national championship,” said Union College men’s lacrosse coach Derek Witheford.

“It feels good to say.”

Witheford and his Dutchmen should feel excited about competing in this Sunday’s NCAA Division III championship where they will square off against Liberty League (LL) foe Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).  

The two teams met earlier this spring with RIT snapping Union’s 10-game winning streak with a 14-13 victory.

Unlike RIT, Union has never won nor appeared in a national championship, but they will certainly be ready to contend for a title as the Dutchmen will arrive in Hartford, Connecticut with a great deal of momentum following two hard-fought wins last weekend.

Union needed a pair of late tallies to seal a quarterfinal win last Saturday over Gettysburg College. Kieran McGovern tied the game at 13-13 before Keaton McCann buried the game-winner with nine seconds left.

On Sunday, Union jumped out to a 6-1 advantage before relying on its defense to fend off a second-half surge to defeat York College, 11-8. Dan Donahue turned aside 16 shots to secure his 17th win between the pipes.

Said Witheford, “Top to bottom, we played pretty stout defensively. And Dan saved the shots that he should of, and he definitely stole some, as well.”  

Added Donahue, “I can’t say enough about the defense. They allowed me to see good shots from 15, 16-yards (out) and that’s probably the best I have seen them play and I can’t thank them enough.”

Donahue, along with the defense, will be tested on Sunday against an RIT team that has scored 20 goals or more in four postseason contests. The Tigers topped Tufts University, 26-15, in its semifinal after beating Bowdoin College one day earlier in the quarterfinals.   

Since 2005, RIT has beaten Union in 22 of 24 contests with Union’s last win over the Tigers occurring in 2008. The Tigers beat the Dutchmen in the 2019 NCAA Tournament (10-9), as well as last season in the Liberty League semifinals.

RIT is the defending champion – they beat Salisbury University last year in double-overtime and seek their second title in program history.

Brian Davis, a senior midfielder that transferred to Union after being redshirted at the University of Delaware, is excited to compete against the Tigers once more with hopes of Sunday’s meeting ending with a victory for the Dutchmen.

“I got word (shortly after our game with York concluded) that we’re playing RIT, and three of my seasons have been ended by RIT, so (hopefully) it’s a storybook ending,” said Davis.

“We’re super-excited to be there.”

Sunday’s championship between Union and RIT will commence at 1 p.m. Fans can watch the game on NCAA.com.

Noontime’s D3 Lacrosse Games to Watch (Feb. 25-27)

Ryan Puglisi will be a player to watch this spring on Union College’s defense. (PHOTO COURTESY: Clara Iodice)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to another busy weekend of NCAA Division III lacrosse.

We have a slew of games to watch (and follow), beginning with a non-conference clash between Babson College and Union College.

The Babson men’s lacrosse team has won back-to-back contests, including its home-opener against Bates College, thanks to Matt Stucchi, who registered a game-high four goals. Chi Chi Price added two goals and one assist while Mac Mowat finished with 13 saves between the pipes.

Babson’s momentum will be tested against a Union squad that was picked to finish second in the Liberty League.

When we last saw the Dutchmen, they were making their 12th appearance in the Liberty League tournament but saw their bid toward a conference crown fall short to RIT.

But like Babson, Union is certainly a team to watch this spring with some key members from last year’s 5-3 squad returning, including Ryan Puglisi, Keaton McCann, and Kieran McGovern.

Union has won all 12 meetings with Babson, dating back to their initial contest on March 7, 2009, when the Dutchmen topped the Beavers, 14-2. The two teams last met on February 29, 2020, with Union scoring a 15-7 victory over Babson, thanks to Kerry Lyne and Brian Davis, who combined for six goals and three assists.

Babson and Union are scheduled to meet in Schenectady, New York on Sunday, February 27 at 3 p.m.

The Salisbury University women’s lacrosse team will look to cap the opening month with their third-straight win on Saturday when they welcome Washington and Lee to campus for a 12 p.m. opening draw.

The Sea Gulls and Generals have met 16 times with Salisbury winning 11 matchups. However, Washington and Lee have won the last two meetings, including a March 1, 2020, matchup in Maryland.

Erin Scannell enters the non-conference clash as Salisbury’s leading goal scorer with six while Caroline McKenna has captured six draws.

Salisbury’s Mary Claire Hisle has enjoyed a successful start to her senior season with 15 saves. She is yielding roughly four goals per game.

Allie Schwab and Hanna Bishop have been two players to watch on Washington and Lee – the duo has combined for 14 points on 11 goals and three assists, while Eugenie Rovegno has won eight draw controls.

Like Salisbury, Washington and Lee will enter its non-conference meeting with some momentum following exciting wins over Franklin & Marshall (10-9) and Mary Washington (14-7).

Other games to watch this weekend (Feb. 26-27):

Oglethorpe University at Brevard College (MLAX) Friday at 7 p.m.: The Tornadoes will look to bounce back from a two-goal setback to Ferrum College when they welcome the Stormy Petrels to North Carolina.

Oglethorpe has won two of four contests and will look to capture its second win against Brevard since their inaugural meeting last February.

Bates College at University of Chicago (WLAX) Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Maroons return to the field following an impressive 2021 campaign, which saw them advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

The expectation is UChicago should be back in the mix for a national title this spring with some key members of last year’s squad returning, including Ali Sheehy, who tallied 35 goals and eight helpers in 13 contests.

Bates will look to bounce back from a 2-3 season last spring, which included wins against Saint Joseph’s (Maine) and Connecticut College.  

Lasell University at UMass Boston (MLAX) Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Beacons were picked to repeat as Little East Conference (LEC) champions — they recently outlasted Nichols College, 11-10, in overtime, thanks to Darragh Fahey, who netted the game-winner.

Lasell seeks its first win for coach Dieter Treusdell, who joined the program last September. The Lasers dropped their season-opener to MIT by a score of 18-4.

Methodist University at Berry College (MLAX) Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Vikings are off to a 3-0 start, thanks to Tyler Banfield, who leads the Blue and White with 13 points on eight goals and five assists.

Berry has won all three meetings with Methodist, which enters the non-conference meeting with a 1-1 record.

Oswego State at William Smith (WLAX) Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Herons and Lakers will meet for the third time on Saturday with William Smith leading the all-time series, 2-0.

The Herons were picked to finish second in the Liberty League behind Ithaca College but have garnered a slew of preseason attention as a team to watch, both this weekend and throughout the season. Maddie Montgomery, who was named the Liberty League Rookie of the Year last spring, will be a player to watch tomorrow against a Lakers squad that is looking to bounce back from a 4-5 campaign.