Tag: Merchant Marine

Noontime’s New England D3 Football Conference Predictions

The early expectation is that Trinity College will begin the 2022 season as the de-facto favorite to win the NESCAC. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

We’re less than 30 days from the start of a brand-new New England NCAA Division III Football season.

Are you excited?

I am, which is why I am ready to share my early predictions for which team will win their respective conference this fall.

Like most of our early season content, these picks are educated guesses. It’s possible these picks will be right while some could be wrong.

Anywho, allow me to share my early predictions for all five New England D-III football conferences.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC): From top to bottom, this might be the most competitive conference in the region.

As of early August – and yes, a few weeks back – I was pretty sure Endicott College would be the favorite to win its second-straight title this fall. But from doing some additional research, I will change my mind and go with another team: Salve Regina University.

To me, the Seahawks might be the best team on paper in this conference heading into the upcoming season. They will return some key members of last year’s offense that averaged 199.2 rushing yards per game.

But while Salve Regina might be the squad receiving some early-season praise for its key returners, do not overlook Endicott, along with Husson University, Western New England, and the University of New England. All four squads, along with Curry College and Nichols College will provide the Seahawks with plenty of challenges this season.  

Noontime’s CCC Champion Prediction: Salve Regina University

Noontime’s Surprise CCC Team of 2022: University of New England

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): A new chapter of Anna Maria College football will begin this fall with first-year coach Steve Croce.

Croce, who was on the staff last year, will be tasked with continuing the squad’s momentum, which saw the AMCATs win their first-ever conference crown, as well as appear in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Like Salve Regina, Anna Maria will return some key members of last year’s squad on both offense and defense, including quarterback Alex Cohen, who concluded the 2021 season with 23 touchdown passes.

While Anna Maria appears to be the team to beat in the ECFC, don’t overlook Alfred State College, a squad that appeared in its first-ever postseason contest last November. Additionally, the Pioneers set a new program record for wins with six victories. For the Blue and Yellow to continue its success this fall, they will need to do it without quarterback Aaron Jenkins, who will be competing for Adrian College this season.

One team to keep an eye on this fall is Keystone College, a squad that concluded its inaugural season winless but could pose problems for both its non-conference and conference foes.

Noontime’s ECFC Champion Prediction: Anna Maria College

Noontime’s Surprise ECFC Team of 2022: Keystone College

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State has been the team to beat over the last decade or so and should be the squad with a target on its back heading into training camp this month.

But don’t rule out the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth, which concluded the 2021 season with a league-best nine wins (that’s nine wins in 11 contests).

UMass Dartmouth earned some much-needed momentum heading into the postseason by capturing its first-ever New England Bowl Game last November – the Corsairs rolled past Alfred State, 42-16, thanks to a six-touchdown effort (four passing and two rushing scores) by Dante Aviles-Santos.

Aviles-Santos returns this fall hoping to lead the Corsairs to their first-ever conference crown. UMass Dartmouth has never won a MASCAC title and appears to be the team to beat on paper.

While UMass Dartmouth might be equipped to challenge the Rams for the top spot in the conference, don’t overlook Bridgewater State, which finished its 2021 campaign with six wins and a Cranberry Bowl victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Plymouth State, which ended its previous season with a 5-5 overall record, will also be in the mix for the conference crown.

Noontime’s MASCAC Champion Prediction: Framingham State  

Noontime’s Surprise MASCAC Team of 2022: Plymouth State  

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): The Bantams of Trinity College won eight games last season. They also lost one contest to Williams College, which captured the NESCAC crown with a perfect 9-0 record.

The loss to the Ephs should fuel a conference championship run for the Bantams this fall – Trinity, like other New England squads, will welcome back some key members of its 2021 squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, and wide receiver DeVante Reid. Linebacker Brian Casagrande, who led the Bantams’ defense with 46.0 total tackles, is also expected to return.

While Trinity will be the squad to watch in the NESCAC heading into their initial contest, the same could be said for others such as Amherst College, Colby College, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University.

Williams College could also pose threats to Trinity’s title run with the Ephs representing the region on last month’s D3Football Preseason Poll. Williams is one of many teams receiving votes.

Noontime’s NESCAC Champion Prediction: Trinity College  

Noontime’s Surprise CCC Team of 2022: Tufts University  

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): After starting their season with one win and three losses, Springfield College responded with a six-game winning streak that helped the Pride capture its second NEWMAC crown, as well as advance to the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The early expectation is that Springfield will be the de-facto favorite to win the NEWMAC this fall, but don’t overlook Merchant Marine, which finished its 2021 season with a 9-1 overall record.

The Mariners won their final two contests against Coast Guard Academy and Western New England – the win over the Golden Bears provided Merchant Marine with its second New England Bowl victory since beating Endicott in 2018. Additionally, the team’s final win was an ideal sendoff for longtime head coach Mike Toop, who guided the Silver and Blue to 70 wins in 17 seasons.

Toop announced he would be retiring last November.

Merchant Marine should be able to compete for the top spot with Springfield – sure, both teams will need to fill some graduation holes, but the same could be said for every team in college football.

A few other teams to watch in the NEWMAC include Catholic University, MIT, and WPI.

Noontime’s NEWMAC Champion Prediction: Springfield College  

Noontime’s Surprise NEWMAC Team of 2022: WPI

Noontime’s D3 Football Roundup: Ingraffia, Aylward Lead Endicott Past Husson

Shane Aylward caught the go-ahead/game-winning touchdown on Saturday in Endicott College’s 24-17 win over Husson University. (PHOTO: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

Mike Ingraffia completed 18 of 27 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns – his second touchdown to Shane Aylward proved to be the difference as Endicott College topped Husson University, 24-17, to improve to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) play.  

With the win, the Gulls remain in the top spot in the league for the second-straight week while Husson concludes a four-game winning streak, which began last month with a 10-7 victory over Plymouth State.

Endicott led Husson, 14-10, at the break, thanks to a five-yard touchdown run by Tyler Bridge and a 27-yard strike from Mike Ingraffia to Geoffrey Ingrando before extending its lead midway through the third quarter with a 33-yard field goal by Ryan Smith.

Husson would tie the game on the ensuing possession with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Nic Visser to Tyler Halls, but Endicott would respond late in the session with Ingraffia capping a 14-play, 87-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Aylward.



Endicott will visit Salve Regina University next week – the Seahawks picked-up its sixth win of the season by downing Nichols College by a score of 35-20.

Joey Mauriello rushed for 203 yards and 30 carries and three touchdowns against the Bison while quarterback Jack Maguire completed 17 of 29 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Logan Sawyer led the Bison with 294 passing yards and one touchdown pass to Cameron Bowden.

Salve Regina led Nichols, 14-6, at the break before pushing ahead for good by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter.

Western New England bounced back from last week’s setback to Endicott by beating Curry College, 23-10. Wide receiver Steven Fedorchak concluded the contest with seven grabs for 103 yards and one touchdown.

The Golden Bears will be at home next weekend – they will welcome Nichols to Springfield, Massachusetts for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

One week after scoring an impressive 60-0 victory over Coast Guard Academy, the Springfield College Pride scored another big win as they defeated Norwich University, 56-7, in Vermont.

Isaiah Cashwell-Doe rushed for a game-high 144 yards on five carries and two touchdowns while Patrick Ladas added 59 yards on five carries and one rushing score.

Springfield concluded the game with 576 yards of total offense while its defense registered five tackles for a loss of 25 yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and two interceptions.

The Pride remain one of three teams with perfect records against New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foes – Merchant Marine improved to 3-0 in league play with a 56-34 win over MIT while Catholic University topped Coast Guard Academy, 30-7.

Aaron-Moses Williams completed 30 of 45 passes for 381 yards and four touchdowns – his final touchdown pass to Ke’Vaughn Davis (13 catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns) proved to be the difference as the Worcester State Lancers rallied to beat Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 28-24.

Worcester State will visit Plymouth State next weekend – the Panthers scored their second straight win by defeating Fitchburg State this afternoon by a score of 36-0. Tyler Kayo and Manny Sanchez combined for three rushing touchdowns against the Falcons.

One week after almost beating Wesleyan University, Bowdoin College snapped a 14-game losing streak to Amherst College by defeating the Mammoths in Maine by a score of 21-14.

Quarterback Andrew Boel tossed three touchdowns in the win while Andre Eden rushed for 105 yards on 31 carries.

Amherst is now 1-2 against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams from Maine.

Trinity College and Williams College remained perfect through five weeks of NESCAC play as the Bantams rolled past Bates College, 45-7, while the Ephs topped Hamilton College, 35-7.

Noontime Football: 10 Games to Watch (Week One)

Sam Opont and the Endicott College Gulls begin their 2021 season at home against St. Lawrence University. (PHOTO COURTESY: David Le ’10 | Endicott College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to the opening week of the New England (and Northeast) college football season — yes, we know some teams have already competed on Wednesday and Thursday, but we’ll highlight (and pick) ten games to watch today and tomorrow (and maybe Sunday?). 

Anywho, we’re excited for a busy slate of games and hope you are, as well — let’s dish out and share some picks! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!


FEATURED GAME: St. Lawrence Univ. at Endicott College (Saturday, September 4 @ 12 p.m.): We’ll be in Beverly tomorrow to see the Gulls and Saints square-off in what should be an exciting week one tilt — make sure to check out our preview of the game, which was posted earlier today. We think Endicott will find a way to squeak out an exciting win with a last-minute touchdown drive. Prediction: Endicott 28, St. Lawrence 27


Westfield State at Nichols College (Friday, September 3 @ 6 p.m.): The Bison are a team to watch this fall, both in Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) and New England, and should be able to pick up an opening night win against an Owls squad that might surprise some this fall. Prediction: Nichols 30, Westfield State 13 

Salve Regina at Norwich University (Friday, September 3 @ 6 p.m.): Both teams are expected to be in the mix for their respective conference crown, but look for the Seahawks to lean on its running game — well, hand the ball off to Joey Mauriello a few times to squeak out an important road win. Prediction: Salve Regina 24, Norwich 20

Worcester State at WPI (Friday, September 3 @ 7 p.m.): When we last saw the Engineers of Worcester, they produced a 10 win season, which is the most wins they have tallied since winning nine games in 2017. This squad is a mix of first-years and veterans but look for Lou Duh (defensive line) and Phillip Durgin (fullback) to lead WPI to an opening night win. Prediction: WPI 24, Worcester State 10    

Merchant Marine at FDU-Florham (Friday, September 3 @ 7 p.m.): The Mariners won their only game of 2020 — they beat their rival Coast Guard Academy last November — and returned some key pieces from that squad, including quarterback Ian Blankenship, who will be a player to watch this fall. Prediction: USMMA 28, FDU-Florham 14  

Brockport at Framingham State (Saturday, Sept. 4 @ 12 p.m.): The Golden Eagles are 2-0 all-time against the Rams — they enter the 2021 season as one of the best teams in NCAA Division III and will certainly provide some challenges for Tom Kelley’s unit. Prediction: Brockport 35, Framingham State 14

Fitchburg State at Dean College (Saturday, September 4 @ 12 p.m.): Scott Sperone has waited quite some time to coach his first game since being named the new head coach at Fitchburg State in 2020. So Saturday’s contest with the Bulldogs will be a special day for the second-year coach, who is keeping the focus on building a culture with the Falcons. Dean is the favorite in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) and may have the edge being at home. PREDICTION: Dean 29, Fitchburg State 26

Springfield College at Western New England (Saturday, September 4 @ 1 p.m.): Bragging rights for the City of Springfield are on the lines when these two local rivals square off on Saturday. The Golden Bears return some key pieces from its 2019 squad, including wide receivers Steven Fedorchak and Adam Razza while Bailey Devine-Scott and Erich Keutmann are back to oversee a defensive unit that limited the Pride to 17 points in their previous meeting. Prediction: WNE 30, Springfield 16

Bridgewater State at Ithaca College (Saturday, September 4 @ 1 p.m.): The Bears are one of four teams — maybe five? — that we expect will be in the mix for the conference crown. And the same could be said for the Bombers of Ithaca, who compete in the Liberty League (LL). Both squads welcome some new members to their offense, defense, and special teams, which makes this contest a toss-up. Prediction: Ithaca 29, Bridgewater State 24

UMass Dartmouth at Husson (Saturday, September 4 @ 1 p.m.): On paper, this has the making for a really intriguing non-conference clash that should result in a back and forth affair. We believe the Corsairs have the edge in this one, but don’t be surprised if the Eagles score an exciting opening day victory. Prediction: UMass Dartmouth 30, Husson 28

Noontime’s D-III Football Region One Conference Predictions

Western New England’s Steven Fedorchak and the Golden Bears will once again be a team to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of NCAA Division III football is set to kick off tomorrow before a few New England squads compete for the first time since 2019 on Friday and Saturday.

Before we officially begin a brand new season of college football — yes, we know some FBS and FCS teams began their respective campaigns last weekend during Week 0 — let’s dish our conference predictions and teams to watch for Region One.

Best of luck to all teams competing, both this weekend and over the next few days/weeks, and if you’re craving more New England (and NCAA D-III) football coverage, then make sure to check out our first Top 20 poll of the season and our preseason team.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)

Predicted conference winner: Western New England: Quarterback Alec Coleman has graduated, but these Golden Bears return a great deal of talent on both sides of the ball that should position the Blue and Gold to win their fourth-straight CCC title.

Teams in the mix: Endicott College, Husson University, Nichols College, and Salve Regina: All four squads will certainly provide challenges for the Golden Bears as the season progresses, but one should not overlook the Eagles of Husson, who return some key pieces from their 2019 squad that will keep the Green and Gold in the mix for the top spot. 

Keep your eyes on the University of New England: The Nor’easters are trending in the right direction — the Blue and White could enter their initial week of conference play with two or three non-conference victories.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

Predicted conference winner: Dean College: The Bulldogs enter 2021 with a target on their back after winning their first conference crown in 2019.  

Teams in the mix: Anna Maria College, Alfred State, and SUNY-Maritime: The Privateers have posted five wins or more since 2015, so don’t be surprised to see them challenge the Bulldogs for the top spot this fall. Also, keep your eyes on the AMCATs of Anna Maria, which enter the 2021 season with high hopes. 

Keep your eyes on: Keystone College: The Giants enter the 2021 season as an unknown, but will certainly be a program to watch throughout the fall. 

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) 

Predicted conference winner: UMass Dartmouth: Quarterback Stephen Gacioch is back for his final season with the Corsairs, along with some key pieces of the 2019 defense, which will help UMass Dartmouth contend for the conference crown.

Teams in the mix: Bridgewater State, Framingham State, and Western Connecticut: There are some questions about who will be under center for all three of these teams, both this weekend and throughout the season, but despite some key graduation losses from 2019 (and yes, 2020), all three units will be in the mix for the conference crown this fall.

Keep your eyes on: Fitchburg State: The Falcons begin a new chapter in their program history with Scott Sperone, who will coach his first game on Saturday against Dean. Also, don’t overlook Plymouth State, which was picked to finish fifth in the preseason conference poll.

Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC)

Predicted conference winner: Delaware Valley: The Aggies are our favorites heading into the 2021 season — yes, they will be challenged by Stevenson and Wilkes — maybe Lycoming College? — but at the end of the day, Duke Greco‘s squad will win the conference and advance to the postseason.

Teams in the Mix: Stevenson University and Wilkes University: Both teams were in the mix in 2019 and will once again challenge the Aggies for the top spot in the MAC.

Keep your eyes on Misericordia University: John Davis begins his first season with the Cougars on Saturday — expect the first-year coach to duplicate his success with the Blue and Gold from his previous stop with The Apprentice School.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC):  

Predicted conference winner: Williams College: The Ephs finished with seven wins in 2019 — Williams ended its season with a victory over rival Amherst College and should return a slew of talent on both sides of the ball that should make them one of the top teams in the conference.

Teams in the mix: Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University: While the Cardinals. and Panthers are certainly expected to contend for the top spot in the conference, the same could be said for the Bantams and Jumbos, who look to bounce back from a five and four win season, respectively.

Keep your eyes on: Colby College: These Mules will certainly surprise a few NESCAC fans this fall — fans of the Mules and NESCAC football will be able to see them compete in 17 days against Wesleyan.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC):  

Predicted conference winner: Merchant Marine: We saw the Mariners compete last fall — they beat Coast Guard Academy, thanks to an impressive outing by quarterback Ian Blankenship, who is back for his final season. Joshua King and Matt Strong were recently elected captains, and will lead a squad that garnered three first-place votes in the preseason poll.

Teams in the mix: MIT, Springfield College, and WPI: All three Massachusetts squads will look a bit different than they appeared two years ago, but are certainly equipped to challenge the Mariners for the top spot in the conference.

Keep your eyes on: Norwich University: Mark Murnyack‘s squad may have been picked to finish sixth in the conference, but don’t be surprised if these Cadets score a few exciting and dramatic wins this fall.

Noontime’s Coast Guard-USMMA Prediction

Jake Behne (left) and Hudson Dunaway (right) pose with the Secretaries’ Cup in November 2018. (PHOTO COURTESY: Coast Guard Academy Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

The final NCAA D-III football game of 2020 will take place tomorrow between Coast Guard Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) with the winner claiming the Secretaries’ Cup.

Last season, the Mariners topped the Bears, 56-41, thanks to quarterback Krystian Abbott, who finished the game with 298 yards of total offense.

Coast Guard captured the 2018 meeting by a score of 26-12 to secure the Secretaries’ Cup for the first time since 2014.

Tomorrow’s matchup – the 49th meeting between these two academies – will be streamed on ESPN3 with kickoff scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

Below is our pregame preview, as well as our prediction – let us know if you agree or disagree by sending a tweet to @NoontimeSports. Enjoy the game, everyone!


Noontime’s Coast Guard-USMMA Preview: It’s been nearly a year since the Bears and Mariners tangled on the gridiron, but it seems as if both teams are eager and ready to play some football.

Coast Guard enters the contest with a great deal of experience on both sides of the ball. Quarterback John Barbera, who has appeared in five contests, including three last season, will start his first game for the Bears – expect the Glen Mills, Pennsylvania native to target Justin Moffatt, who led the NEWMAC last season with 66 receptions while posting a career-best in receiving yards (872) to go with five touchdowns.

Linebacker Eugene Bizer will be tasked with leading a Coast Guard defense that will need to slow down a Mariners squad that averaged 41.1 points per game last fall. Merchant Marine’s offense is very run-heavy and it is expected that the Mariners will lean heavily on halfback Matt Restifo, who finished last season with career-bests in rushing yards (389), yards per game (43.2), and touchdowns.

Eric Davidson and Colton Ray will be two players to watch on the Mariners defense tomorrow – this particular unit limited opposing foes to 112.7 rushing yards per game last season.

Noontime’s Prediction: This has the potential for a back-and-forth affair, but I think this contest will come down to whichever defense can slow down the opposing attack. I don’t anticipate a high-scoring affair like we witnessed last season, but instead both teams scoring at least three, maybe four touchdowns. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 30, USMMA 26