Mass College Sports: Top 10 Stories From 2013

By NoontimeSports.com 

In honor of the New Year, which is slowly approaching, we’ve decided to revisit 10 of our favorite stories and moments from the past 12 months.

On behalf of everyone from NoontimeSports.com, we’d like to wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

Moment No. 1: There were some tremendous finishes to the various games we covered this past year, but probably one of the most amazing endings occurred in March when UMass Lowell topped Boston University, 1-0, in the Hockey East Championship. The win propelled the River Hawks to the Frozen Four.

Yet, before UML made the journey to Pittsburgh, we caught up with Derek Arnold, who netted the game-winner against the Terriers.

Moment No. 2: WPI’s men’s basketball team won 22 consecutive contests before falling to Springfield College, a squad they defeated in the NEWMAC Championship. Their run toward a conference title was certainly a special one, which Coach Chris Bartley and the Engineers will always remember.

Moment No. 3: Probably one of the best football games we covered this past year was Bridgewater State vs. Framingham State. The Rams, who defeated the Bears and claimed the inaugural MASCAC crown, needed a late score to earn the win.

* Moment No. 4: After falling to Endicott College during the regular season, Western New England managed to rebound by defeating the Gulls in the CCC Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship, 9-5. Brandon Body picked up his 11th win between the pipes as he deflected 14 of 19 shots.

Moment No. 5: Sticking with lacrosse, Endicott College’s women’s lacrosse team, which defeated Western New England during the CCC Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship, earned their first NCAA tournament win in program history by defeating Springfield College, 4-3.

Moment No. 6: Tufts University’s softball team, which finished its season 46-3 overall, claimed its first NCAA Championship with a 6-5 win over SUNY Cortland. The Jumbos, who were making their fourth appearance in the NCAA Finals, won all four of its contests in the winners bracket.

Staying the NESCAC, another exciting championship occurred a few months prior the Jumbos championship as Amherst College’s men’s basketball team celebrated its second NCAA Championship.

Moment No. 7: Kyle Juszczyk, who played fullback for the Harvard Crimson, was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in during the NFL Draft in April. Two months later, we ran a quick profile on our blog about the rookie fullback, who completed in his first NFL minicamp.

In July, we highlighted the various college players, who suited up for the various local teams that were competing for jobs in the National Football League (NFL).

Moment No. 8: One thing we learned through our various preseason college football coverage was that WPI’s football team, specifically the offensive line, had “SWAG.”

Moment No. 9: After earning an impressive road win against New Haven, we caught up with Robert Talley, Stonehill’s football head coach, who discussed the exciting victory, but also the Skyhawks’ momentum. Stonehill clinched its first winning season since 1996 with an 8-3 overall mark.

A few months after our interview, Talley was featured in Sports Illustrated’s ‘Faces in the Crowd.’

Moment No. 10: We’ll conclude our list with a highlight reel goal, which was scored by Wheaton College’s Luke Finkelstein during the first round of the NCAA Division 3 Men’s Soccer Tournament. Finkelstein’s goal secured a 2-0 win for the Lyons over Plattsburgh State. You can see the goal by fast forwarding to the 0:54 mark, enjoy.

Mass. College Football: Harvard Picked Second In Ivy League Preseason Media Poll

By NoontimeSports.com

Courtesy of the Harvard University sports information department, here’s today’s release about the Crimson football team, which was selected to finish their upcoming season in second place, according to the preseason media poll:

PRINCETON, N.J. – In a vote of Ivy League football media members, Harvard was selected to finish second in the Ancient Eight this season. The media poll was released Tuesday as part of the league’s annual football media day.

Harvard received five of the 17 first-place votes and finished with 121 points, while Penn, who won last year’s conference crown, earned 11 first-place votes and amassed 129 points. Brown also picked up a first-place tally and was chosen third with 88 points.

Dartmouth was fourth with 76 points, followed by Cornell (57 points), Yale (46) and Columbia (22).

Harvard has registered at least seven wins in each of the last 12 seasons, making the Crimson the only team in the history of the Ivy League to post such a string of successful campaigns. In 2007, Harvard became the first Ivy team to put together seven straight seven-win seasons. The Crimson has also reeled off 13 straight wins at home since October 2010.

Entering his 20th season in Cambridge, Tim Murphy, the Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, will look to capture another conference crown in the program’s 140th season of football, despite being significantly younger at most positions than recent Harvard teams.

From last year’s squad, Harvard graduated Colton Chapple, the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year in 2012, as well as tight end Kyle Juszczyk, who was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. The Crimson, which scored an Ivy record 394 points in 2012, will need to replace a good deal of experience on offense, but Harvard does return tight end Cameron Brate, who has garnered several preseason All-America accolades this year.

On defense, Harvard brings back captain and linebacker Joshua Boyd, as well as standouts Nnamdi Obukwelu, Zach Hodges and Jack Dittmer on the defensive line, and defensive backs D.J. Monroe, Norman Hayes and Chris Splinter, among others. The Crimson also returns senior kicker David Mothander, who holds Harvard’s career scoring lead for kickers with 197 points (21 field goals, 134 extra points). Mothander’s 197 points also ranks ninth in Ivy League history.

The Crimson will open the season on the road at San Diego Sept. 21, before hosting Brown under the lights at Harvard Stadium on NBC Sports Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. EST. Harvard will play two other games on NBC Sports: vs. Penn at Harvard Stadium Nov. 16 and at Yale in the 130th playing of The Game Nov. 23.

Harvard finished the 2012 season with an 8-2 overall record and a 5-2 mark in Ivy League play.

2013 Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll

Rank      School (First-Place Votes)           Points

1.              Penn (11)                                          129

2.              Harvard (5)                                       121

3.              Brown (1)                                          88

4.              Dartmouth                                       76

5.              Princeton                                          73

6.              Cornell                                                57

7.              Yale                                                      46

8.              Columbia                                           22

Mass. College Football: Local Colleges Represented In AFC Training Camps

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the 2013 NFL season slowly underway, (training camp!) we’ve decided to provide a list of the various players with local ties that’ll be competing for positions.

In this particular blog post, we profile the AFC, which features a variety of former Boston College Eagles, Harvard Crimson and Massachusetts Minutemen.

AFC East

Vladimir Ducasse (OL/ Massachusetts) New York Jets

Donnie Fletcher (CB/ Boston College) New York Jets

Antonio Garay (DL/Boston College) New York Jets

John Griffin (RB/Massachusetts) New York Jets

Chris Pantale (TE/ Boston College) New York Jets

Ryan Quigley (P/ Boston College) New York Jets

Josh Samuda (Offensive Lineman/Massachusetts) Miami Dolphins

Jason Vega (Defensive Lineman/Northeastern University) New England Patriots

 

AFC North

Desmond Bryant (DT/Harvard) Cleveland Browns

James Ihedigbo (SS/Massachusetts) Baltimore Ravens

Kyle Juszczyk (FB/Harvard) Baltimore Ravens

Jeromy Miles (S/Massachusetts) Cincinnati Bengals

 

AFC South

Jeremy Cain (LS/Massachusetts) Jacksonville Jaguars

Anthony Castonzo (T/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Gosder Cherilus (T/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Emmett Cleary (T/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB/Harvard) Tennessee Titans

Matt Hasselbeck (QB/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Stephane Milhim (G/Massachusetts) Jacksonville Jaguars

 

AFC West

Dan Koppen (C/Boston College) Denver Broncos

Damik Scafe (DE/Boston College) San Diego Chargers

John Wetzel (T/Boston College) Oakland Raiders 

Mass. College Football: Harvard’s Kyle Juszczyk Completes First NFL Mini Camp

By Matt Noonan 

Former Harvard University tight end/H-back Kyle Juszczyk recently completed his first NFL minicamp with the Baltimore Ravens and is projected to be the starting fullback for the defending Super Bowl champions, according to this afternoon’s release by the Crimson sports information department.

Juszczyk, who was selected in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft, has transitioned into a fullback due to the team releasing three-time Pro Bowler Vonte Leach.

The two-time All-American and three-time All Ivy League selection finished his career in Cambridge as the program’s all-time leader among tight ends in receptions (125), receiving yards (1,576) and touchdown receptions (22). He ranked third all-time in touchdowns, sixth all-time in receptions and seventh all-time in touchdown receptions.

Excluding Juszczyk, Harvard will have four alums competing for a job in training camp and they are the following:

Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05, QB (Tennessee Titans)

Desmond Bryant ’09, DT (Cleveland Browns)

Brent Osborne ’11, T (Seattle Seahawks)

Kevin Murphy ’12, T (Minnesota Vikings)

Below is a video the Ravens produced from their YouTube Channel featuring Juszczyk, who shares some fond memories of playing football, along with his favorite game-day tunes.

Mass. College Football: Baltimore Selects Harvard’s Juszczyk In NFL Draft

By NoontimeSports.com

Earlier this afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens selected Harvard’s Kyle Juszczyk in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and courtesy of the athletic department, below is the release about the Crimson fullback/tight end being drafted:

NEW YORK  – Harvard senior tight end Kyle Juszczyk has been selected in the fourth round of the 2013 National Football League Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Juszczyk was the 130th overall selection in this year’s draft.

During his four years in Cambridge, Juszczyk established new career records for tight end in receptions (125, sixth all-time), receiving yards (1,576, seventh all-time) and touchdown receptions (22, third all-time). He was a two-time All-American at tight end and H-Back for the Crimson and a three-time All-Ivy selection. Following his senior season, during which he led the Crimson in receptions (52), receiving yards (706) and receiving touchdowns (eight), he was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he carried the ball four times for nine yards, primarily being used as a H-back.

“Guys like Kyle Juszczyk do not grow on trees,” Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, said. “He will go down as one of the great players in Harvard and Ivy Football history. His rare combination of versatility, toughness, leadership and playmaking ability was one of the major catalysts for the highest scoring offense since the Ivy League was formed in 1956.”

The Medina, Ohio native showcased all of those traits on a single play that will live on in Harvard lore for years to come. After catching a ball over the middle against Bucknell this past, the senior bulldozed the first defender in his path. He then shed two arm tackles and stiff armed another defender before outrunning the rest of the Bison defense for a 59-yard touchdown in the Crimson’s 35-7 win. The play ended up on ESPN’s Sportscenter the following day as the No. 3 play in its top 10 segment.

Juszczyk becomes the fourth player drafted under Murphy. He joins Matt Birk ’98, who recently retired after winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens this past season, Isaiah Kacyvenski ’00 and Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05 as players who have heard their name called at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Overall, he is the 20th Harvard player to get drafted and first since Fitzpatrick was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 draft.

Harvard wrapped up its spring football season Saturday with its annual spring game and will now turn its head to the 2013 season opener at San Diego on Sept. 21.