A brand new Massachusetts D-III Lacrosse season began this past weekend with Clark University competing against Salve Regina University in an overtime clash, which saw the Seahawks edge the Cougars, 14-13.
Yet, despite falling to the Seahawks last Saturday, the Cougars still secured a spot in our initial Noontime Sports Massachusetts D-III Men’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll, which is powered byZelos Athletics.
Amherst College, Williams College, and Tufts University secured the top three spots – all three teams will begin their respective campaigns later this month. Amherst was the national runner-up from one year ago, while Williams saw its national postseason run conclude against the Mammoths in the semifinals of the D-III Tournament.
Springfield College and Western New England rounded out the top five, checking in fourth and fifth, respectively, while Endicott College, MIT, and Babson College secured the sixth, seventh, and eighth positions.
Curry College earned the final spot on this week’s poll – the Colonels, who were picked to finish fourth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) will commence their 2020 campaign at the end of the month against Norwich University.
Mass. D-III Lax Top 10 Poll | Monday, February 17th, 2020
1. Amherst College
0-0, 0-0 (NESCAC)
2. Williams College
0-0, 0-0 (NESCAC)
3. Tufts University
0-0, 0-0 (NESCAC)
4. Springfield College
0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
5. Western New England
0-0, 0-0 (CCC)
6. Endicott College
0-0, 0-0 (CCC)
0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
8. Babson College
0-0, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
9. Clark University
0-1, 0-0 (NEWMAC)
10. Curry College
0-0, 0-0 (CCC)
On The Rise: Lasell University, Mass. Maritime Academy, Nichols College, UMass Boston, and Wheaton College
Jacob Maher of Framingham State secured a spot on the first team, while Kyle Johnston of Massachusetts Maritime Academy earned a spot on the second team.
Maher wrapped up his first and final season of college football with the Rams this fall by catching a team-high 56 receptions for 819 yards and eight touchdowns. The senior tight end from Marshfield, Massachusetts averaged 5.1 receptions and 74.5 yards per contest. He caught a season-high three touchdowns in his team’s 39-33 win over UMass Dartmouth in October before hauling in two touchdowns in his team’s regular-season finale against Worcester State.
Johnston, who also appeared on the NEFW D-II/III team, enjoyed his best season with the Buccaneers by recording a career-best 57.0 total tackles, including 37 solo stops and 20 assists in 10 contests. The defensive lineman from Raynham, Massachusetts tallied career-highs in sacks (12.5), tackles for a loss (19.5), and forced fumbles (three) in 10 games this fall and was also named to the All-MASCAC first team.
In four seasons with the Buccaneers, Johnston tallied 164.0 total tackles, including 121 solo stops to go along with 49.5 tackles for a loss and 25.5 sacks. He also recorded eight forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and seven pass breakups, including three last season.
Framingham State quarterback Adam Wojenski will be one of a few players to watch on the Rams this Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State University Athletics)
By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation
It’s time to highlight the second New England D-III football team that will be competing this weekend in the NCAA Division III Tournament. And that squad is the Framingham State University Rams, which enter the postseason on an eight-game winning streak.
The Rams, who captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) this fall with some important late wins over Bridgewater State, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and Western Connecticut, will be making their fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, as well as their second-straight trip as Framingham State competed last season against The College of Brockport.
Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.
Framingham State (8-2) at Wesley College (9-1)
Gametime/Location: Saturday, November 23rd at Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.
Rankings: Wesley is currently the tenth best team in D-III, according to the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll. Framingham State was not ranked nor receiving votes in this week’s poll.
Conference Affiliation: Framingham State competes in the MASCAC, while Wesley is a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).
Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: The Rams’ 2018 season concluded in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament with a 40-27 setback to Brockport. The Golden Eagles secured a 24-0 lead at the break before the Rams trimmed the deficit in the second half by outscoring the hosts, 27-16.
Quarterback Adam Wojenski concluded the contest 28 of 58 for 450 yards and two touchdowns – he did have three interceptions – while Brockport’s Joe Germinerio completed 19 of 40 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns.
Wesley did not compete in the NCAA Tournament last season but did advance to the second round in 2017 following a 45-27 win over RPI. The Wolverines’ run toward a national championship concluded with a 49-28 setback to Brockport.
Inside the Numbers with Framingham State: The Rams have produced 346 points this season while allowing 176 … The 346 points are the most any MASCAC team produced this fall. They also led the conference in points per game (34.6), touchdowns (51), rushing yards (1,728), rushing yards per game (172.8), few yards allowed per game (274,8), interceptions (14), and fewest rushing yards allowed per contest (90.5) … Framingham State will be making its fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament – they have never won a postseason contest. Saturday’s meeting with Wesley will be the team’s second in the postseason as the two squads met in 2015 with the Wolverines winning by a score of 42-22.
Inside the Numbers with Wesley College: Wesley is currently second in the NJAC with 337 points – Salisbury University is first with 417 points. The Wolverines are averaging 33.7 points per game … Wesley is second in the NJAC in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 157 points (15.7 points per game) … Wesley is second in the conference in total offense – they are averaging 441.7 yards per game … The Wolverines are first in total defense in the NJAC, yielding an average of 249.7 yards per game … Wesley boasts the second-best rushing offense in the NJAC behind Salisbury and is first in the conference in passing offense .. Saturday’s postseason contest will be coach Chip Knapp‘s first as the team’s head coach since taking over for coach Mike Drass last season.
Framingham State Players to Watch:
Andrew Fennelly (O-Line): Named the MASCAC Football Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Devaun Ford (RB): Named the MASCAC Offensive Rookie of the Year. Ford rushed for 1,003 yards and nine touchdowns in 10 games. He is averaging 100.3 yards per contest.
Joshua Onujiogu (DE): Named the MASCAC Defensive Player of the Year. He has recorded 44.0 total tackles and eight sacks in nine contests this season.
Adam Wojenski (QB): The senior signal-caller has completed 184 of 303 passes for 2,455 yards and 27 touchdowns (eight interceptions). He has also rushed for 429 yards on 88 carries and four touchdowns.
Jacob Maher (TE): The Worcester State transfer leads the Rams in receptions (54), receptions per game (5.4), receiving yards (792) and touchdowns (eight).
Cully Curran (DB): Leads the defense with 67.0 total tackles … has recorded 39 solo tackles, including seven-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 22 yards, one fumble recovery, one interception, and five pass break-ups.
Anthony Behonick (LB): Second on the team in total tackles (49.0) … the junior linebacker has recorded 37 solo stops, including eight-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 16 yards, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three interceptions, and one pass break-up.
Marcellus Pack (RB): The senior tailback has rushed for 595 yards on 102 carries and seven touchdowns.
Ruhann Peele (WR): The senior wide-out leads the team in receptions (81), receptions per game (8.1), receiving yards (1,141), and receiving touchdowns (12).
Corterris Simpson (WR): Second on the team in receptions (45), receptions per game (4.5), receiving yards (522), and touchdowns (five).
Nick Bruhn (PK/P): Has recorded 63 points on nine field goals and 36 extra points. His longest field goal was a 31-yard kick.
Dante Daniel (LB): The third-year linebacker leads the defense in total tackles (83.0) … Daniel has recorded 43 solo tackles, including eight-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 23 yards, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, one interception, and seven pass break-ups.
Shymere Vessels (DE): Vessels has recorded 57.0 total tackles, including 26 solo stops, 10 tackles for a loss of 29 yards and one sack for a loss of six yards.
No. 3 Endicott College at No. 14 Nichols College (12 p.m.): This is an enticing match-up – I could make the case for both teams winning this contest, but in the end, I am expecting the Gulls to cap their regular-season slate with a victory in Dudley. PREDICTION: Endicott 35, Nichols 24
Curry College at Salve Regina (12 p.m.): The Seahawks lost a heartbreaker last week against the Eagles of Husson, but should be motivated to cap their campaign with a win to provide the Seahawks with some momentum heading into the 2020 season. PREDICTION: Salve Regina 30, Curry 20
No. 11 Bridgewater State at No. 18 Mass. Maritime Academy (12 p.m.): The Buccaneers scored an exciting win last week against UMass Dartmouth and should be able to use that momentum to beat the Bears in the 41st Annual Cranberry Bowl. PREDICTION: Mass. Maritime 31, Bridgewater State 20
No. 4 Framingham State at Worcester State (12 p.m.): The Rams are headed back to the postseason, but will look to wrap-up their conference slate with a win against the Lancers. PREDICTION: Framingham State 28, Worcester State 10
Merchant Marine at No. 17 Coast Guard Academy (12 p.m.): This is the final game for coach Bill George, who announced his retirement earlier this week. Look for the Bears to deliver their longtime sideline boss a win, along with the Secretaries Cup. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 22, USMMA 21
No. 2 WPI at No. 16 Norwich University (12 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Engineers of Worcester. WPI can clinch its conference crown with a win over the Cadets and MIT loss to Springfield. PREDICTION: WPI 30, Norwich 17
No. 7 MIT at No. 6 Springfield College (12p.m.): This is a hard match-up to predict – I keep going back and forth – but I am going to take the Pride in this one to beat the Engineers of Cambridge. Springfield needs to beat MIT and have WPI lose to Norwich to secure the conference crown. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, MIT 20
No. 12 UMass Dartmouth at Westfield State (12 p.m.): Look for the Corsairs to bounce back from last week’s setback to the Buccaneers with an end of season win against the Owls. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 27, Westfield State 13
Becker College at University of New England (12 p.m.): The Nor’easters will be motivated to end their season with a victory after falling to Endicott last weekend. PREDICTION: UNE 28, Becker 10
No. 19 Husson University at No. 1 Western New England (1 p.m.): The Golden Bears are playoff-bound, but can gain some additional momentum heading into the postseason with a season-ending win over the Eagles. PREDICTION: WNE 34, Husson 24
If anyone has an answer, please let me know, but in the meantime let’s get ready for another important week of New England D-III Football with our weekly edition of ’10 Games to Watch.’
Last Week: I went 5-5, which is OK, but not great, so my current record heading into the second to last week of the regular season is 60-30. Let’s see if I can at least pick six, seven or eight games correctly this weekend!
As usual, make sure to stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB.
No. 1 Western New England at Becker College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Golden Bears can clinch the CCC title on Saturday with a win on the road. And after watching last week’s win against Endicott College, I think the Golden Bears will certainly be able to score an important win against the Hawks. PREDICTION: WNE 35, Becker 10
Castleton University at No. 20 Dean College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Bulldogs need just one more win to secure the ECFC crown outright. PREDICTION: Dean 28, Castleton 10
No. 7 Bridgewater State at No. 5 Framingham State (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): Both teams enter this important clash riding impressive winning streaks, but in the end, the Rams should be able to make a few more plays on both offense and defense to secure a VERY important conference win. PREDICTION: Framingham State 24, Bridgewater State 17
No. 19 Mass. Maritime Academy at No. 9 UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Corsairs looked impressive last week against Western Connecticut and should be able to throw and run the ball against the Buccaneers defense. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 26, Mass. Maritime Academy 14
No. 14 Amherst College at No. 10 Williams College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): Williams enters Saturday’s must-see rivalry clash with an edge – they should be able to bounce back from last week’s setback to Wesleyan University by scoring an exciting season-ending win against the Mammoths. PREDICTION: Williams 25, Amherst 13
No. 13 Wesleyan University at No. 12 Trinity College (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Cardinals are still in contention to share the NESCAC crown, so this is a must-win against their rival. PREDICTION: Wesleyan 24, Trinity 20
No. 16 Coast Guard Academy at No. 2 WPI (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Engineers need to win both this week and next week, but face a stiff test against a solid Bears defense. WPI should be able to squeak out a win, but don’t expect it to be an easy victory. PREDICTION: WPI 23, Coast Guard 16
No. 15 Norwich University at No. 8 MIT (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): The Engineers have some serious momentum following an epic double-overtime win against WPI last week. Look for that momentum to help MIT score an exciting ‘Senior Day’ victory. PREDICTION: MIT 27, Norwich 21
No. 6 Springfield College at Maine Maritime Academy (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12 p.m.): With just two games remaining, Springfield knows this is a must-win. They have looked pretty impressive in their last few contests and should continue to their recent success on the road Saturday. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Maine Maritime 7
No. 4 Middlebury College at Tufts University (Saturday, Nov. 9th at 12:30 p.m.): At 8-0, these Panthers need just one more win to finish their nine-game slate undefeated. Tufts will provide the Panthers with some challenges, but in the end, I expect Middlebury to win. PREDICTION: Middlebury 20, Tufts 14