Tag: Little East Conference

Noontime’s D3 Men’s Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2022

By NoontimeSports.com

Yesterday, we unveiled a few NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse teams to keep an eye on this upcoming season.

Now, let’s switch gears to the men’s side, however, let’s highlight some teams that are starting to take that “next step” in their journey to competing with RIT, Salisbury University, and Tufts University for the national crown.  

All three teams (listed above) will once again be in the mix of the 2022 national championship — the same being be said for Christopher Newport, York College, Cabrini University, and the University of Lynchburg — but there is a slew of other programs that could certainly surprise some small college lacrosse fans in 2022.


Babson College: The Beavers’ 2021 season concluded in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament – the Green and White entered their postseason match with Tufts riding a five-game winning streak, which included a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship.

Babson averaged 15.17 goals per game and should once again be the favorite in the NEWMAC — sure, they will be challenged by Clark University, Coast Guard Academy, and Springfield College, but coach Rocky Batty will welcome back some key members of the 2021 squad next spring, including goalie Mac Mowat and Ryan Donovan, who led the squad in assists (eight) and points (18).


Centre College: The Colonels enjoyed perhaps their best season in program history, capturing both the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) regular season and tournament crown while winning the program’s initial national postseason win with a 12-11 victory over Denison University.

Can Centre continue its success in 2022? That is the question, but perhaps they can, especially with some key members of its 2021 squad returning, including goalie Wills McCutcheon and Will Hubbs. Both student-athletes received end-of-year honors from the SAA while coach Grant Zimmerman was tabbed the SAA’s Coach of the Year.


Colorado College: Coach Sean Woods and the Tigers came close to advancing to the NCAA Division III semifinals this past May but lost to RIT in the quarterfinals.

Despite the setback, CC was a team to watch (and yes, follow) in 2021 as they ended their season with 13 victories, which is tied for the fourth-most in a single season. The Tigers earned its eighth trip in program history to the national tournament and scored a pair of wins against Centre (19-6) and Transylvania University (20-12). 

This season, Woods won’t be pacing the sidelines as he accepted the head coaching role at Amherst College, but CC will be in good hands with Mike Horowitz, who played lacrosse at Muhlenberg College, but recently spent time as an assistant with Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Anders Erickson returns for his senior season — the Lone Tree, Colorado native led the team last spring with 86 points on 42 goals and 44 assists to go with 105 shots and 23 ground balls. Winston Chodnicki is also back and will be spotted at midfield taking faceoffs.


Denison University: A new era of Big Red lacrosse will begin next spring with Eric Koch being named the new head coach – the former Washington & Lee assistant head coach replaces Mike Caravana, who this past May that he would be stepping down and departing a program he oversaw for 28 seasons.  

Denison captured its 19th North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) crown with a 12-10 win over Kenyon College but saw their run toward a national title conclude in the opening round with a 12-11 setback to Centre.

The Big Red produced eight wins in 10 games this past spring but will once again be in the mix for not just an NCAC crown, but also a deep playoff run.

Camden Bowdy returns for his team’s 2022 campaign and will certainly be a player to watch after leading the team with 23 assists. He established a new single-game record in April by tallying 12 assists in his team’s 29-2 win over Wabash College.


Hope College: The Flying Dutchmen captured their second Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) this past spring to go with their first-ever NCAA Tournament win (Hope defeated Benedictine University in the opening round).

Hope has become a team to watch in the Midwest as they have won at least 10 games or more in four of their last five seasons.

Jack Radzville will be the player to watch in 2022 after producing a career-best 104 points on 56 goals and 48 assists to go with 39 ground balls and seven caused turnovers.


Illinois Wesleyan: Last season, the Spartans did what no team in program history has done: advance to the NCAA quarterfinals.

Illinois Wesleyan saw it’s impressive 2021 campaign conclude with a 30-5 setback to Salisbury, but their momentum should continue next spring, especially with some key members of their 15-win squad returning, including Rick Smith, who led the unit with 74 points on 49 goals and 25 assists.

Connor Kiichle returns, as well — the Vancouver, Washington native placed second on the team in points with 66 while Blake Muschewske is back after finishing second on the team with 21 caused turnovers (Jesse Prettner also recorded 21 caused turnovers last season but has graduated).

Illinois Wesleyan concluded its previous campaign one win shy of matching their program record for wins in a single season with 16 (the Green and White won 16 games in three consecutive seasons: 2017, 2018, and 2019).


UMass Boston: The 2021 season was one to remember for the Beacons, which not only captured their first-ever Little East Conference (LEC) crown but also made their debut in the NCAA Tournament.

Gavin Admirand recently became the program’s first student-athlete to secure preseason All-American honors from Lacrosse Magazine — the Mansfield, Massachusetts native led UMass Boston last spring with 54 goals and 68 points while placing second on the team with 23 assists.

Admirand will be one of a few Beacons to watch in 2022, but the biggest question facing UMass Boston heading into a new season is can they repeat as conference champions?

Other teams to watch: Endicott College, Wesleyan University, Western New England, Transylvania University, Union College, Babson College, Coast Guard Academy, SUNY Cortland, John Carroll, Gettysburg College, and St. John Fisher

Noontime’s New England Small College Basketball Stories of 2021

Marcus Azor and the UMass Dartmouth men’s basketball team celebrated a Little East Conference (LEC) championship in March. ((PHOTO COURTESY: Kyle Prudhomme)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s hard to pinpoint some of the best storylines of 2021 when it comes to New England small college basketball, but there have been a few, including two conference championship celebrations in March.

The biggest storyline has been the return to the court — like so many schools, teams, and student-athletes that did not compete this past winter due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been an exciting few weeks for so many that can finally play and practice again.

Here are a few storylines from the current year worth revisiting — yes, there are quite a few, but these are a few that we will certainly remember next year and beyond.

UMass Dartmouth wins the Little East Conference (LEC) crown: After losing to Eastern Connecticut in overtime in late February, the Corsairs rebounded with three straight wins, including a pair of conference tournament victories over Keene State College (108-68) and Rhode Island College (93-89).

UMass Dartmouth’s impressive victory over the Owls helped the Blue and Gold clinch their first conference crown since 2009.

Marcus Azor was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player — the Brockton, Massachusetts native averaged 21.0 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in two postseason contests.

Babson College competes against Harvard University: For the first time since 1996, the Beavers competed against the Crimson in an exhibition contest.

Harvard used a late rally in the second half to defeat Babson, 74-64 — the Green and White led the Crimson, 37-34, at the break.

Babson’s Spencer Cline led all players with 17 points on 6 of 17 shooting, including five of nine from beyond the arc, while Nate Amado recorded a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Harvard leads the all-time series, 6-1, with Babson’s last win coming in 1991.

Jim Calhoun departs the University of Saint Joseph: Following his team’s third contest of the 2021-22 season, coach Jim Calhoun announced his retirement from the University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) men’s basketball program.

“It’s just the right time,” he said in a statement last month regarding his departure.

The former Division I bench boss with the University of Connecticut guided the Blue Jays to a 47-17 record in three-plus seasons, which included a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship last year to go with a trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Calhoun was the program’s first-ever coach — he was succeeded by Glen Miller, who guided the Blue Jays to an exciting 75-62 win over Tufts University two days after the announcement.

Other stories from 2021:

Noontime’s New England D3 Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll (Nov. 1, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

The first of November means one thing: college basketball is back!

Indeed, a brand new season of New England NCAA Division III college basketball is set to tip-off this week — are you ready to cheer on your favorite team?

Like we have in the past, Noontime Sports will be producing a weekly New England D-III Top 10 Poll with some help from local media, coaches, and athletic communications offices every Monday throughout the 2021-22 season.

So, without further ado, allow us to share our first New England D-III Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll, which finds Tufts University in the top spot followed by St. Joseph’s (Conn.) and Brandeis University.

Noontime’s New England D-III Men’s Basketball Top 10 | Monday, November 1, 2021

  1. Tufts University: The Jumbos concluded their 2019-20 season with 23 wins and six losses — they also advanced to the third round of the 2020 NCAA Division III Tournament. They will tip-off their 2021-22 campaign against UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday, November 16 at 7 p.m.

  2. St. Joseph’s (Conn.): The Blue Jays won two of four contests last winter after posting a program-best 26 wins one year earlier. St. Joseph’s will open their season on Saturday, November 6 against Maine-Augusta.

  3. Brandeis University: When we last saw the Judges compete, they finished with 17 victories, including nine conference wins. They will tip-off their season next Thursday, November 11 against Rivier University.

  4. WPI: Picked to win the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), the Engineers will begin their season at home on Friday, November 5 against Worcester State.

  5. Colby College: The Mules won four games last season — they also produced a 24-4 campaign during the 2019-20 season. They will open their season against New England College on Friday, November 12.

  6. Babson College: The Beavers will host the Babson Invitational this weekend — they will compete against UMass Boston on Saturday, November 6 and Suffolk University on Sunday, November 7.

  7. Albertus Magnus: Coach Mitch Oliver and the Falcons will tip-off their season on Tuesday, November 16 against Rutgers-Camden before welcoming Keene State to New Haven, Connecticut on Tuesday, November 23 at 7 p.m.

  8. Amherst College: A new era of Amherst College basketball will begin Sunday, November 14 when first-year coach Marlon Sears leads the Mammoths into their first game at Rosemont College.

  9. Middlebury College: The Panthers will certainly be a team to watch (again) this winter — the Blue and White will open their season in Boston, Massachusetts with a non-conference tilt with Wentworth Institute of Technology on Sunday, November 14.

  10. UMass Dartmouth: After winning the Little East Conference (LEC) crown in March, the Corsairs were picked to win the league again this winter.

Others receiving votes: Emerson College, Endicott College, Keene State, MIT, Nichols College, Springfield College, Western Connecticut, and Williams College

Player Perspective: Marcus Azor (UMass Dartmouth)

Marcus Azor and the UMass Dartmouth men’s basketball team recently captured the 2021 Little East Conference (LEC) Championship. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kyle Prudhomme)

By NoontimeSports.com

Marcus Azor says he continues to replay his team’s Little East Conference (LEC) tournament championship win in his head.

“It has been replaying since the final buzzer went off,” said Azor, a junior guard from Brockton, Massachusetts, who led the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men’s basketball team to a 108-68 win on Thursday, March 4 against Keene State.

Azor, who finished his team’s final contest with 13 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, was named the LEC’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the Corsairs to an 8-2 record this winter. The junior guard averaged 21.0 points, eight rebounds, and five assists per game in back-to-back conference tournament games this month, and is already looking ahead to next season with hopes his team will continue its recent momentum once the 2021-22 season tips-off.

“I have no doubt in my mind that my teammates and I will be motivated next year to continue this momentum,” said Azor.

Noontime Sports recently spoke with Marcus Azor to discuss his team’s first conference tournament title since 2009, as well as how the UMass Dartmouth men’s basketball team was able to improve from one game to the next.


Tell me about winning the LEC Championship earlier this month. Are you still replaying the game in your head? 

Yes, I am.

We were so close last season to winning the conference crown, but came up short (against Western Connecticut), so that loss provided us with extra motivation. Most of the 2019-20 team returned this winter, so we were confident that we could achieve our goal of winning the conference crown.

Cutting down the net is truly a moment I will never forget.

In addition to helping your team win the LEC title, you were also tabbed the Most Outstanding Player. What does this particular honor mean to you? 

I owe this honor to my teammates and coaches for challenging me every while giving me the confidence to play my game. Everyone played a huge role in the tournament, so the award could have gone to any member of the team.

All in all, this is truly a special honor to me.

Marcus Azor averaged 21.0 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in a pair of LEC Tournament games this month. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kyle Prudhomme)

You and the team had a successful shortened season, winning eight of 10 contests. How did you and the team improve from one game to the next? 

It always starts off with practice, we make each other work extremely hard, but also ask everyone to put forth their best effort in every drill so we can be more prepared for our next game. And after games conclude, we go over our mistakes through a film review with an emphasis on improving them in our next practice, so we will be better prepared for our next game.

What did you and the team learn from your two setbacks this winter against Eastern Connecticut and Keene State? How did those loses fuel an eventual title run?

Those losses were disappointing because we were leading throughout each contest. We learned that we shouldn’t get comfortable with any sort of lead and continue to be aggressive – we needed to attack when necessary, and I felt that we exhibited that approach in our championship game against Keene State.

With the season officially over, what will you be doing over the next few weeks and months to prepare for next season? And do you imagine you will enter next year’s campaign with additional motivation to continue your squad’s recent success as a senior? 

I’ll be resting the bumps and bruises from the season before returning to the gym to prepare for next season.

Everyone is determined to win the conference title again and make a lengthy run through in the 2022 NCAA D-III Tournament.

Noontime’s Small College Basketball Team of the Week (Feb. 1, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Another week of small college basketball in the northeast is in the books, which means it is time to share this week’s Noontime Sports Team of the Week for Monday, February 1, 2021.

Similar to last week, our team is made-up of NCAA D-III student-athletes from the northeast, including one student the Liberty League (LL) in New York.

As noted last week, our teams will highlight student-athletes from our region that have either returned to the court or been playing for the past few weeks. Submissions for each team can be sent to our general email: NoontimeSports@gmail.com.


In case you missed it, here is our first Noontime Sports Small College Basketball Team of the Week from Monday, January 25, 2021.


Noontime’s Men’s Basketball Team of the Week (Feb. 1, 2021)

Shion Darby (Rhode Island College): Darby secured his initial Little East Conference (LEC) co-player of the week honor with Cory Muckle on Monday after leading the Anchormen to a 79-75 win over Eastern Connecticut this past weekend. The second-year guard tallied 23 points with eight assists, three rebounds, two blocks, and two steals in 39 of 40 minutes.

Dante Law (Rhode Island College): Law secured his second-straight LEC Rookie of the Week honor after scoring a game-high 26 points last Saturday in his team’s four-point win over Eastern Connecticut. The first-year guard from Taunton, Massachusetts connected on 10 of 15 field goals while tallying six boards and two steals.

Cory Muckle (Eastern Conn.): In his team’s lone contest of the week against Rhode Island College, Muckle led the Warriors with a double-double of 22 points and 16 rebounds to go with one steal. Muckle was tabbed a co-player of the week with RIC’s Shion Darby.

Jason Phelps (Clarkson): Phelps averaged 22 points, five assists, four rebounds, and one steal in a 1-1 week for the Golden Knights. Against Villa Maria last Wednesday, the senior from Tully, New York netted 26 points to go with two boards, five assists, and two steals before posting 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one block on Saturday against Bryant & Stratton.

Tyreice Woods (Eastern Conn.): Against Rhode Island College this past weekend, Woods produced 13 points on five of nine shooting to go with four assists, three rebounds, and one block.

Noontime’s Women’s Basketball Team of the Week (Feb. 1, 2021)

Jalen Cook (Plymouth State): Cook led the Panthers this past Saturday against Rhode Island College by scoring a game-high 25 points on 9 of 16 shooting to go with four rebounds. She connected on both free throw attempts and finished the game five of seven from beyond the arc.

Sophia Guerrier (Rhode Island College): Named this week’s Little East Conference (LEC) Player of the Week, Guerrier averaged 13 points, 9.5 rebounds and four assists in back-to-back games against Plymouth State and UMass Dartmouth. Against UMass Dartmouth, Guerrier posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds along with three assists and one steal before tallying 14 points, nine caroms, two steals, and two blocks against Plymouth State.

Jordan Moretti (UMass Dartmouth): The Johnston, Rhode Island native came close to tallying a triple-double last Wednesday when the Corsairs hosted Rhode Island College in their first contest of the 2020-21 school year. Moretti stuffed the stat sheet with 10 rebounds, nine points, and five steals in 40 minutes. She connected on three of four freebies.

Kelly Walsh (Babson College): In a pair of games this past weekend against Fisher College, Walsh averaged 15.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. In her team’s initial game of the 2020-21 school year, Walsh scored a game-high 20 points on seven of nine shooting to go with seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals before stuffing the stat sheet on Sunday with 11 points, four assists, and three rebounds.

Brooke Young (Rhode Island College): In a pair of games last week, Young averaged 12.5 points and three rebounds as the Anchorwomen scored back-to-back wins against Plymouth State and UMass Dartmouth. Against the Corsairs last Wednesday, Young tallied 13 points on 5 of 15 shooting to go with five rebounds, three assists, and one steal before posting 13 points, two steals, one carom, and one assist on Saturday against the Panthers.