Tag: Lacrosse

10 D-III Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2023

Jane Earley has won two national championships with Middlebury College. (PHOTO Courtesy: Will Costello)

By Matt Noonan

It’s been a few days – OK, a little over a week since the NCAA Division III college lacrosse season concluded, but before we officially say farewell to the 2022 season, I thought I would share a ten teams – five men and five women’s squads – that I believe could contend for a national championship next May.

Men’s D-III Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2023

Bowdoin College: The Polar Bears were a team to watch this spring — hey, I thought they were the team that was going to win the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown last month. Despite ending their season in the quarterfinals against RIT, Bowdoin is certainly a squad to keep an eye on next spring. Coach Bill Mason will welcome back some key members of this year’s team, including Will Byrne (68 goals, 33 assists), Patrick Fitzgerald (53 goals, 16 assists), and Ethan Barnard (342 face-off wins) that will certainly help Bowdoin contend for both a conference and national title.

RIT: Coach Jake Coon and the 2022 Tigers joined an elite group of teams that captured back-to-back titles in NCAA D-III lacrosse history, but could they really contend for a third consecutive crown next spring? I believe they can, despite losing some talented upperclassmen, but if the Tigers are able to win their third-straight title, they would become the first team since Salisbury University to capture three-straight championships (Salisbury won three consecutive NCAA titles in 2003, 2004, and 2005).

Tufts University: The Jumbos’ run toward a national championship was quite exciting with the Powder Blue and Brown scoring two impressive postseason wins against St. John Fisher College and Salisbury. Tufts’ season concluded in the semifinals with a 26-15 setback to RIT. Like Bowdoin, Tufts will return some key pieces from its 19-win squad next spring that will certainly be players to watch, including Jack Boyden and Tommy Swank.

Union College: The Dutchmen’s run toward its first-ever national championship was exciting — can I say entertaining, as well? Union should be in the mix again next spring, despite graduating some key members of its 2022 squad. Dan Donahue will return between the pipes next season after an impressive second year with the squad that saw the Weston, Massachusetts native record a career-best 240 stops and 17 wins.

York College: Despite ending its season in the national semifinals, the Spartans run toward a championship was highlighted by two postseason victories over Christopher Newport and Southern Virginia. They will lose some key veterans that were either graduate students or seniors this spring, but will welcome back Ben Mayer, a first-year attack from Palm Harbor, Florida that led the Green and White with 90 points on 58 goals and 32 assists.

Others to watch: Albion College, Amherst College, Christopher Newport, Denison University, Dickinson College, Gettysburg College, RPI, Salisbury University, St. John Fisher, Wesleyan University, and Western New England

Women’s D-III Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2023

Middlebury College: After being idle for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Panthers continued their previous momentum from 2019 and their first three matchups in 2020 by winning 22 of 23 contests this spring, including the national title game. Jane Earley guided Middlebury to its second title in three years, as well as its eighth in program history. Earley, who established new single-season records for goals (80) and points (99), will be one of many players to watch next year.

Salisbury University: Despite ending their 2022 campaign without some hardware, the Sea Gulls were once again a team to watch after finishing the 2021 season as national champions. Coach Jim Nestor will welcome back some key pieces from its 2021 and 2022 squads, including Erin Scannell, who led Salisbury with 55 goals, which should help Salisbury be in the mix for its fifth crown in program history.

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ): After scoring two impressive postseason wins over Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland last month, the Lions’ momentum vanished in the national semifinals with an 18-7 setback to Tufts. The loss, however, could help the Lions understand what they must do to contend for the program’s 14th national championship. TCNJ has not won a national championship since 2006.

Tufts University: For the second-straight season, coach Courtney Shute‘s Jumbos fell short of winning the program’s initial title. But perhaps this year’s defeat to Middlebury will be the inspiration to win the crown in 2023? Like every team, the Jumbos will graduate some key pieces from this year’s squad, including goalie Molly Laliberty and midfielder Anna Clarke.

Washington and Lee: The Generals ended their season by matching their program record for wins with 19. Washington and Lee saw its bid toward a national title conclude in the quarterfinals against Gettysburg College, but the loss will certainly fuel the Blue and White next season, which returns some impressive talent that has guided the unit to 33 wins in its last 37 contests.

Others to watch: Capital University, Colby College, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg College, Ithaca College, Kenyon College, Pomona-Pitzer, Rhodes College, Roanoke College, SUNY Cortland, SUNY SUNY Geneseo, University of Chicago, Wesleyan University, and William Smith

Centre Looks To Capture Its Second-Straight SAA Title

Will Hubbs and the Centre College men’s lacrosse team are two wins away from capturing their second-straight SAA title. (PHOTO COURTESY: Teresa Poplin)

By Matt Noonan

Another busy and exciting weekend of NCAA Division III lacrosse has officially arrived with the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) set to crown a men’s lacrosse champion.  

The six-team tournament, which began last Saturday with a pair of quarterfinal matchups will resume later today with two semifinal contests with the winners advancing to Sunday’s championship in Danville, Kentucky.

Top-seed Centre College, which won all its league matchups this season, is two wins away from capturing its second-straight league title.

The Colonels will welcome Rhodes College to campus this evening with a face-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Centre beat Rhodes earlier this month by a score of 11-4. Will Hubbs highlighted the win with four goals – he also scooped one ground ball – while Ridr Knowlton located the back of the net twice. In addition to the Colonels’ offensive output, Centre’s defense limited Rhodes to just one goal in two periods while pitching a shutout in the opening frame.

Since beating the Lynx, the Colonels have won two more games, beating Hendrix College (13-10) and Sewanee (16-9).

Centre has not competed in nearly two weeks, but perhaps the extra rest could help the Black and Gold, which captured its first SAA Tournament title since 2014 last spring when they beat Rhodes.

“It’s good in a sense that we get a little time to rest, recharge, and get healthy,” Centre coach Grant Zimmerman said, via CentreColonels.com.  

Rhodes has won two of its last four contests, including its SAA quarterfinal tilt with Berry College last weekend. The Lynx topped the Vikings, 19-10, and enter tonight’s semifinal matchup riding a two-game winning streak.

Coach Dave Zazzaro’s Lynx have won just four games this season but have faced some challenging competition that could help the Red and White attempt to claim its first postseason crown since 2018.

The other SAA semifinal pits Sewanee visiting Birmingham-Southern College with a face-off scheduled for 4 p.m. (ET).

Birmingham-Southern enters today’s semifinal match riding a four-game winning streak, which included an end-of-season victory over Rhodes.

Reid Harrison secured the two-goal (14-12) win over the Lynx by netting his second tally with 22 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, which halted a three-goal run by Rhodes.

Like Centre, Birmingham-Southern has not competed since April 14, so it will be interesting to see if the squad’s momentum remains with the Panthers, which saw its bid toward an SAA crown conclude last April in the conference semifinals.

The Tigers of Sewanee have won six games this spring and defeated Hendrix in its opening-round matchup last weekend. Luke Valentine led Sewanee with four goals and one assist to go with three ground balls and one caused turnover. Davis Gillenwater notched a hat trick and Phelps Thomas stuffed the stat sheet with five points on three assists, two goals, and one ground ball.

All three student-athletes will be players to watch today in an important matchup with the Panthers.

Middlebury Women’s Lacrosse Secures The Top Spot In This Year’s NESCAC Tournament

Jane Earley and the Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team clinched the top spot in this year’s NESCAC Tournament with a 15-5 victory over Williams College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Colin Bourque)

By Matt Noonan

The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team has not lost a game in three years.

On Wednesday, the Panthers concluded its regular season slate by winning its 15th straight contest this season with a 15-5 victory over Williams College.

The 10-goal win is Middlebury’s 40th consecutive victory dating back to a 16-1 victory over Springfield College on March 8, 2019.

Middlebury secured the top spot in this year’s New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament, which begins this Saturday, April 30 with four quarterfinal matchups. The Panthers will welcome Amherst College to campus with the opening draw set for 12 p.m.  

Amherst lost to Middlebury last weekend by a score of 15-7 before ending its regular-season slate last night with an 11-9 setback to Trinity College.

Colby College secured the second seed with a 13-2 overall record, including a 9-1 mark against NESCAC opponents, and will host seventh-seed Bowdoin College on Saturday. Tufts University, which is the third seed, will host Trinity while the fourth seed Wesleyan University will entertain Hamilton College.

All three matchups are scheduled to commence at 12 p.m.  

Middlebury has appeared in 20 consecutive NESCAC Tournaments, winning 10 titles in 12 championship appearances.  They have won two of the last three NESCAC titles with Tufts claiming the league crown last year en route to an appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship against Salisbury University (the Sea Gulls edged the Jumbos, 14-13).

Following the conclusion of Saturday’s quarterfinals, the four winning teams will advance to the highest remaining seed, which will host both the semifinals (Saturday, May 7) and championship (Sunday, May 8). The winner of this year’s NESCAC Championship will secure the league’s automatic bid for the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament, which is scheduled to begin Saturday, May 14.

Highlights: Malden Catholic Boy’s Lacrosse Scores An Opening Day Win

By NoontimeSports.com

We made the trek to Malden, Massachusetts on Thursday, March 31 — yes, the final Thursday of March — to cover Malden Catholic‘s season-opener against St. Mary’s High School (Lynn, Mass.).

The Lancers of Malden Catholic broke open a 4-4 tie in the final session by outscoring the Spartans, 8-1, en route to their first win of the season.

Malden Catholic will entertain Boston College High School next Tuesday, April 5 with a face-off scheduled for 4 p.m.

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D3 Lax Weekend Watch: Springfield Hosts MIT; Bowdoin Travels To Wesleyan

Zac Schuette and the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team seek its third-straight win on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Another busy weekend of NCAA Division III lacrosse has arrived – let’s celebrate!

Following an exciting overtime win on Wednesday, one team fans of small college lacrosse should keep their eyes on this weekend is Springfield College. The Pride edged Amherst College in overtime, thanks to an eight-point effort from Zac Schuette, who netted the clincher in the extra session.  

Schuette and the Pride will compete in their second conference game tomorrow when they welcome MIT to Springfield for a 3:30 p.m. face-off.

Springfield captured its initial New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup last weekend by topping Wheaton College, 9-7. Schuette concluded his team’s meeting with the Lyons with six points on four goals and two assists while Springfield outscored the visitors, 6-1, in the second quarter to secure the lead for good.

Schuette has enjoyed a successful senior season, leading the Maroon and White in goals (25), assists (13), and points (38). Riley Burgmyer ranks second on the team in goals (14) and points (22).

Springfield has won its last two matchups with MIT with both games needing overtime to decide a winner. The two schools have not met on a lacrosse field in three years.

Wheaton College will look to score its first conference win when they host Emerson College at 1 p.m.

The Lions of Emerson has been an exciting story this spring as the Purple and Gold have won nine of 10 contests, including their last five matchups. Emerson has limited its last three foes to five goals or less – they held Regis College to just two goals on Wednesday in a 21-2 victory.

Birk Swan has been a player to watch on Emerson this spring. The sophomore attack has recorded career-highs in goals (25), assists (32), and points (57) to go with 21 ground balls. Swan currently leads the NEWMAC in points.

The Bowdoin College men’s lacrosse team will visit Wesleyan University tomorrow – this is a big game for both teams that enter the final weekend of March with a great deal of momentum. Bowdoin has won all six of its matchups this spring and recently beat Western New England on Wednesday by a score of 23-16.

Last weekend, the Polar Bears scored an impressive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) win against Williams College. Donal Mullane registered five goals and one groundball in his team’s third conference win.

Wesleyan has won five of six contests thus far – the Cardinals bounced back from a one-goal setback to Colby College (10-9) last weekend with a 23-6 victory on Wednesday against Coast Guard Academy.

As a team, Wesleyan leads the NESCAC in goals (126) while Bowdoin ranks second with 105 tallies. Tufts University is second with 112 markers. 

The Cardinals, however, are second in the league when it comes to goals allowed (45), thanks to Colin Hanley, who has yielded 36 goals in six contests.

For Bowdoin to be successful, they will need to find a way to slip the ball past Hanley, who has surrendered roughly seven goals per game.

Connecticut College has only played four games this season, but two of their contests have ended with dramatic wins in overtime.

The Camels edged Hamilton College last Saturday, thanks to a five-point effort from Jared Rainville. JJ Ford and Jack Tenzer both recorded hat tricks in the win.

Tomorrow, the Camels will visit Williams College, a team they have not beaten since 2013.

Like Connecticut College, the Ephs enter tomorrow’s conference clash with some momentum following a pair of wins against Colby College and RPI. Williams began the season by winning one of three contests.

Finally, keep your eyes on Salem State University as the Vikings have enjoyed a successful 2022 campaign thus far that has included five wins and two losses. The Blue and Orange topped Thomas College on Tuesday, thanks to a game-high five goals from Sam Cioffi.

Salem State hosts Eastern Connecticut State University tomorrow at 12 p.m.