Lacrosse season has officially returned to Massachusetts – sure, we’re a few days away from some teams beginning their respective campaigns, while other squads have competed once, twice or three teams.
So, with a brand new season of lacrosse upon us, Noontime Sports is excited to unveil our first Massachusetts D-III Women’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll, which is powered byZelos Athletics.
Tufts University, which plays its first game later this month at Colby College, secured the top spot followed by Amherst College second and Springfield College third. Both Tufts and Amherst will be teams to watch in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this spring while the Pride of Springfield were picked to capture the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).
Endicott College and Babson College rounded out the top five while MIT, Western New England, and Williams College each secured the sixth, seventh, and eighth positions.
Wheaton College checked-in ninth overall while Framingham State secured the final spot in our ten team poll.
Mass. D-III Lax Top 10 Poll | Monday, February 17th, 2020
1. Tufts University
0-0, 0-0 (NESCAC)
2. Amherst College
0-0, 0-0 (NESCAC)
3. Springfield College
0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
4. Endicott College
0-0, 0-0 (CCC)
5. Babson College
0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
7. Western New England
0-0, 0-0 (CCC)
8. Williams College
0-0, 0-0 (NESCAC)
9. Wheaton College
0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
10. Framingham State
0-0, 0-0 (CCC)
On The Rise: Curry College, Regis College, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Westfield State
With 2019 slowly winding down and a new year – and yes, decade, too – upon us, it is time to look back at some of our favorite posts we produced over the past 12 months.
The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll. I think we were VERY excited for another year of New England D-III football coverage back in June. This season, we introduced our first-ever Top 20 Poll – yes, we had some people dispute and question our rankings, but we certainly got people excited with some early preseason coverage.
The Football Friday Podcasttook off – and we even appeared on iTunes and Spotify, too. Talking New England football was fun this summer and fall. And the best part was the show appeared on iTunes and Spotify, so we were able to let our fans take our show with them and listen to in the car on the way to games. Big props to James Baker for his help and expertise – he is a great co-host for the show!
D3 Players to Watch in Massachusetts and Connecticut. We introduced a new piece of content ahead of the D-III lacrosse season with players to watch posts. And two states that did very well – no surprise, of course – was Massachusetts and Connecticut. We also did ‘Players to Watch‘ in Texas, too.
We produced some high school sports content, including a story about Somerville High School returning to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) postseason for the first time since 2013.
John Carroll was named the new men’s lacrosse coach at Nichols College earlier this summer. (PHOTO COURTESY: David B. Newman)
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
John Carroll had always wanted to coach lacrosse, even as a student-athlete at the University at Albany. And that was exactly what he did after graduating in 2012.
Carroll honed his coaching skills as an assistant with three collegiate lacrosse programs, including Trinity College where he helped the Bantams reach the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament this past spring.
“I always wanted to pursue college coaching even while I was attending school and playing at Albany,” said Carrol, who concluded his time with the Great Danes by recording 378 saves between the pipes.
“I remember interviewing coach Bill Ralph, who was one of our assistant coaches for my first-year seminar class to (learn more about) the college coaching profession. I certainly got a lot of crazy looks and confused faces when I said, ‘I wanted to coach full time for a living,’ but I think it’s worked out pretty well.”
Carroll, who becomes the 14th coach in program history, inherits a unit that has won 10 games or more since 2017 and has also competed twice in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament, including this past spring.
Carroll is excited about his first head coaching role and has visions of leading the Bison to their first-ever league title in program history.
“As a first-time head coach, (I am excited to have) the opportunity to take over a program that has had a lot of success recently,” said Carroll when discussing his excitement for coaching the Bison.
“I believe Nichols men’s lacrosse can be a top team in the CCC and that is my ultimate goal for the long term vision of the program.”
Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Carroll to discuss his outlook for the upcoming season, but also how his previous roles have shaped him into the coach he has become today.
John Carroll helped the Trinity College men’s lacrosse team reach the NESCAC Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: David B. Newman)
You have gained a great deal of experience as a coach, both in Division I and III. How will that experience help you with the Bison this upcoming school year?
I have always tried to approach things the same way regardless of being in Division I or Division III. Working for so many different people at different institutions have really helped me absorb and learn new concepts and drills that I can use to run our practices at Nichols. I think all of those experiences will also help me to set a new bar for the guys on the team, and it will set a precedent of what we are expecting as Nichols men’s lacrosse players, both this year and moving forward on and off the field. Coach (Eric) Gobiel has done an outstanding job of (laying the foundation for success) with this program, so my job now is to come in and take the program to the next level, (so we can) compete for and ultimately win the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship.
What excites you about coaching in the Commonwealth Coast Conference?
The league is very competitive with teams like Western New England, and Endicott College at the forefront. I had the chance to coach against Roger Williams and Curry 0- both are very talented teams – and they gave us some trouble while I was at Trinity. I think the CCC can become one of the more competitive leagues in Division III.
The opportunity to play for a conference championship and an automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament is the ultimate factor, but I see a lot of really good teams in the league and I look forward to learning about all of them, while competing against them, as well. Coach John Klepacki (Western New England) and coach Eric Hagarty (Endicott) have reached out to me and have been very welcoming. I also know Coach Charlie Burch at the University of New England from working with him in the past at Blue Chip 225 camp.
I think it’s a top-notch league and I’m excited to compete in it.
What are some goals and objectives you hope to accomplish before the team’s initial game next spring?
The number one goal this semester is to (be successful in the classroom). If we can do well in the classroom then that is one less stress for our team when we convene on the practice.
I also would like to have our base offense, defense, rides, clears, extra-man opportunity, and man-down packages all installed before our first scrimmage in October.
An individual goal for myself is to learn one thing about each player on the team that doesn’t relate to lacrosse. It will be important for me to get to know the guys and build relationships and trust with them (before our first game next spring).
After speaking with most of the team over the phone they have all expressed to me that they are a close-knit group, and I want to gain their trust while getting to know them so we can continue to build upon the culture that has been established (already) by coach Gobeil.
Finally, you were a goalie, both in college and high school. Did you always play goalie growing up?
I started by playing midfield in second grade and I thought I was pretty good at it. My Dad actually began playing goalie in a local men’s league during that time and bought all of the equipment, including a goalie stick. This led to my older brother (Jimmy) playing goalie first and borrowing my Dad’s gear. After seeing them both playing goalie I said to myself, ‘Hey, I can do that too!’
Once I jumped in net there was no looking back. I would split halves between goalie and midfield for most of my time with Smithtown Youth Lacrosse. I started playing goalie full-time in seventh grade for my middle school team and was told at some point during my high school career to switch to close defense or long-stick middie. I used that as motivation to improve my goalie game, even though a lot of people were trying to compliment me by saying I could play both long pole and goalie.
Playing goalie for a Division I lacrosse program was always my dream and I was lucky enough to live it out at the University of Albany.
Now, coaching is my dream and I couldn’t be happier to get started at Nichols.
Stay connected with our New England lacrosse coverage by following @NoontimeLax on Twitter!
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax
Due to Mother Nature, all five Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) state lacrosse championship games will occur tomorrow, Friday, June 21st.
Babson College will be the site for three games, including the MIAA D3 boy’s lacrosse state final between Dover-Sherborn and Grafton at 3 p.m.
Following D-S and Grafton, Longmeadow and Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) will square-off in the D1 girl’s lacrosse state finals at 5 p.m. followed by the D2 state championship between Cohasset and Manchester-Essex at 7 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Stadium, the new home of the Boston Cannons, will host a pair of boy’s state championship games, beginning with the D2 state finals between Medfield and Winchester at 1 p.m. The D1 final between Lincoln-Sudbury and Hingham will take place at 4 p.m.
Here are our predictions for all five contests – remember to stay connected tomorrow for updates from all five games on Twitter by following @NoontimeLax.
MIAA D1 Boy’s Lacrosse: Lincoln-Sudbury over Hingham. The Warrior scored some impressive wins over the past few weeks, including a 10-6 victory in the MIAA D1 North finals against St. John’s Prep. Earlier this season, the Warriors beat the Harbormen in the Coaches Cup Finals and should once again find a way past Hingham in the state championship.
MIAA D2 Boy’s Lacrosse: Winchester over Medfield. The Sachems averaged 15.33 goals per game in a trio of MIAA D2 North postseason contests – they netted 17 in their quarterfinal win over Wakefield – and recently scored a very impressive 10-3 win over St. John’s (Shrewsbury) in the D2 state semifinals. Medfield was also a team to watch in the D2 East/Central bracket, scoring wins over Concord-Carlisle, Walpole, and Westwood before flexing their muscles against Sandwich with a 21-5 win in the state semifinals. This has the making of an exciting contest that could come down to the final possession.
MIAA D3 Boy’s Lacrosse: Dover-Sherborn over Grafton. The Raiders and Indians will square-off in the title game for the second time since 2016 and third since 2015. D-S has won both match-ups against the Indians and will certainly rely on Pierce Gregory to lead the Raiders to hopefully their final victory of the 2019 season. Henry Kenney will also be a player to watch on D-S, as well, but the Raiders must find a way to slow down Grafton’s Matt Gilliatt, who located the back of the net six times in his team’s state semifinal victory against Dracut.
MIAA D1 Girl’s Lacrosse: Notre Dame Academy over Longmeadow. Postseason wins over Needham and Westwood, along with a recent state semifinal victory against Walpole has provided the Cougars with the momentum they will need to slow down the Lancers, who are seeking their first state title since 2015 (beat Westwood, 10-9, in double-overtime). NDA last captured the D1 state championship in 2013 when they beat Longmeadow, 13-10, and will need a solid effort from their senior class, including Madison Ahern and Kelsey Kenney.
MIAA D2 Girl’s Lacrosse: Cohasset over Manchester-Essex. Cohasset’s Jane Hansen will attempt to cap her high school career with a state championship before she attempts to lead Northwestern University to a national championship next spring. Hansen and the Skippers have gained some valuable experience this spring by competing against some of the state’s top teams, including Longmeadow, Notre Dame Academy, and Wellesley. That experience should help the Skippers against a talented Hornets squad, which has scored some exciting postseason wins, including a 7-6 win over Newburyport in the D2 North finals and an 11-10 win earlier this week over Bromfield in the state semifinals.