Noontime Rewind: The Best New England D-III Football Teams of the 2010s

NSRWD3FB2010s

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Sunday, everyone! And welcome back for yet another Noontime Sports rewind post where we reflect on coverage from both the current year and decade (the twenty-tens!).

This particular post will highlight some of the best teams we covered in New England D-III football – let the debate and conversations begin.

As usual, if you have any thoughts (or inputs) please comment below, but again, thanks for stopping by and reading a brand new rewind – let’s go!


The 2010 Williams College Ephs: Williams secured its third outright title with a perfect 8-0 mark which was capped by an end of season win over Amherst College. Additionally, the Purple and Gold captured the Little Three crown while producing their seventh perfect season in program history.

The 2011 Endicott College Gulls: In 2011, the Gulls captured 10 of 11 contests while averaging 40.5 points per game. The offense, led by quarterback Phil Konopka, was impressive, but the same could be said for the Endicott defense, which limited opponents to 16.5 points per contest. Kevin Eagan, who played just one season for the Gulls at defensive line, tallied 104.0 total tackles in 11 contests, including 55 solo stops and 23 tackles for a loss of 87 yards. Endicott finished the season with back-to-back wins, including an ECAC North Atlantic Bowl victory over Mount Ida College.

The 2012 Framingham State Rams: After finishing their 2011 campaign with a 7-4 mark, these Rams flipped the switch following an opening day loss to Endicott College by winning ten-straight contests, including a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Championship against Salve Regina University. Salve Regina was projected to win this particular meeting, but the Seahawks struggled to contain FSU halfback Melikke Van Alstyne, who rushed for 96 yards and two scores. James Muirhead concluded the contest with eight total tackles, including six solo stops, three tackles for a loss of 17 yards and one forced fumble. FSU would advance to the NCAA D-III Tournament but see their bid toward a national title conclude at Cortland State.

The 2013 Endicott College Gulls: Drew FrenetteSpencer Walsh, and Nate Lewis, along with the Endicott defense highlighted an exciting end of season win over Salve Regina to secure the program’s second NEFC crown in four seasons, along with a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament. Endicott recorded its first shutout of the season and finished 2013 with an 8-3 record. The Gulls entered the postseason with a seven-game winning streak after starting its 2013 campaign with a 2-2 record.

The 2014 MIT Engineers: MIT advanced to the postseason for the first time in school history and won an exciting opening round contest against Husson University before falling to Wesley College in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. The Engineers finished 10-1 in 2014 – they scored some exciting wins over Western New EnglandEndicott College, and Coast Guard Academy to secure their initial New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship in program history. MIT averaged 446.8 yards of total offense and 35.5 points per contest.

The 2015 Western New England Golden Bears: Western New England captured 10 of 11 contests in 2015, including a pair of conference victories against Endicott and Salve Regina. The Golden Bears produced 40 points or more in five contests and secured a spot in the NCAA D-III Tournament in late November.

The 2016 Western New England Golden Bears: Despite ending their season with a six-point setback to Alfred in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament, the 2016 Golden Bears were very impressive, winning 11 of 12 contests by an average score of 39.8 to 19.0. WNE averaged 460.1 yards of total offense in 12 contests and limited opposing offenses to just 110.1 yards on the ground per game. They scored impressive wins over Springfield CollegeUnion College, and Endicott College before beating Husson University in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The 2017 Husson University Eagles: Coach Gabby Price led the Eagles to not just an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown in 2017, but also an upset win over Springfield College in the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament. Husson beat a very impressive Springfield team, which entered the postseason on a ten-game winning streak. Halfback John Smith rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 43 carries and two touchdowns while Elvin Suazo and the defense limited the Pride to a season-low 264 yards of total offense.

The 2018 Trinity College Bantams: The Bantams concluded their 2018 campaign not just with a 9-0 win over rival Wesleyan University, but also with their third consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship. Trinity won eight of nine contests and was able to win their ninth conference crown due to a 27-16 win earlier in the season against Amherst College. Trinity averaged 464.3 yards of total offense and 36.0 points per game while limiting opposing defenses to 67.7 rushing yards and 10.0 points.

The 2019 Middlebury College Panthers: Coach Bob Ritter led the Panthers to their first-ever 9-0 season in program history, along with a 2019 NESCAC championship. The team averaged 410.6 yards of total offense, including 227.4 passing yards while limiting opponents to 108.0 rushing yards per game. Middlebury scored some exciting wins this fall, along with some nail-bitters against Amherst College and Colby College. They scored 45 points against Wesleyan University in late October before producing 47 points one week later against Bowdoin College.

D3 Lacrosse: 2018 Women’s Midseason Report

NS D3Lax Midseason Report

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Welcome to April, New England D3 Lax fans! We have officially made it to the mid-way point of the 2018 season – crazy, right?

With just a few weeks remaining before conference tournaments begin, let’s take a spin around the New England landscape and check-in on every conference.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports lacrosse by following us on Twitter: @Noontime_Lax


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC): Endicott College and Roger Williams meet in an important Wednesday afternoon showdown – the winner of this game will most likely be the front-runner for the top seed in the CCC Tournament. Endicott will look to bounce back following a tough loss to Tufts University, while the Hawks will look to extend their winning streak to four games.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Roger Williams. The Hawks boast the best overall record in the CCC and should find a way to not only get past Endicott this afternoon, but also their remaining league foes.


Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC): Despite an early season setback to Colby-Sawyer, the Mount Ida College Mustangs have been on a roll, winning eight-straight. They will face Johnson & Wales in two weeks – that game will most likely decide the regular season winner.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Mount Ida – let’s go Mustang City!


Little East Conference (LEC): Plymouth State should remain the favorite in the LEC, but don’t be shocked if Keene State catches up to them. The Owls are currently riding a four-game winning streak, as of early Wednesday (Apr. 4th) afternoon, and will certainly be read for their showdown with Plymouth State in a few weeks.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): As much as I want to pick Keene State, I think Plymouth State will find a way to win the regular season crown.


Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Westfield State was my initial pick earlier this season, but I certainly wouldn’t overlook Framingham State, which is one of four teams that currently boasts a 1-0 league ledger. The Rams face a tough task this weekend against a talented Bridgewater State squad that is also 1-0 in MASCAC play. A win for Framingham State could certainly be a momentum boost for the Black and Gold, but the Bears should find a way to slow down their rival.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Bridgewater State. The Bears have done quite well outside the conference and should be the team to beat in late April/early May.


New England Collegiate Conference (NECC): At the moment, the race for the regular season crown is wide open, but perhaps this is the year Southern Vermont wins it all? The Mountaineers have appeared in the NECC playoffs the past three seasons and should certainly be a team to watch over the next few weeks.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Southern Vermont. The Mountaineers scored their first win of the season earlier this week over Newbury College and should be able to gain some momentum over the next few weeks, especially with a win over Becker College on Saturday, April 7th.


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Middlebury College is clearly the favorite, but don’t count out the following: Amherst CollegeTrinity College and Tufts University. All three teams certainly has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the Panthers, but this maybe the year the Panthers win the conference and go deep in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Middlebury College. As much as I would like to pick Trinity or Tufts, I think the road to a NESCAC crown will go through Vermont.


New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): Babson College scored an impressive win recently over Springfield College, which could help them claim the regular season crown. The Beavers still need to a few more wins to sew up the top seed – one game to circle will be a conference tilt with Coast Guard Academy next Saturday, April 14th. The Bears have been a great story this season, winning eight of nine contests thus far, as of early Wednesday (Apr. 4th) afternoon.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Babson College. The Beavers’ win over Springfield College last month was exactly what the Green and White needed to set themselves up for a successful final few weeks of the regular season.


North Atlantic Conference (NAC): As of now, it appears New England College is the front-runner, but make sure to keep an eye on Castleton University and Husson University over the next few weeks. This conference maybe run currently by NEC, but come tournament time, anything this possible!

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): New England College. The Pilgrims are averaging close tp 15 goals per game – they currently average 14.90 markers per contest. Their offense could provide challenges for Castleton or Husson, but a match-up in the final against Colby-Sawyer could be an interesting one.

D3 Lacrosse: 2018 Men’s Midseason Report

NS D3Lax Midseason Report

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Welcome to April, New England D3 Lax fans! We have officially made it to the mid-way point of the 2018 season – crazy, right?

With just a few weeks remaining before conference tournaments begin, let’s take a spin around the New England landscape and check-in on every conference.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports lacrosse by following us on Twitter: @Noontime_Lax


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC): It should come as no surprise that Endicott College and Western New England remain the top two teams in the CCC. Both squads will meet on Saturday (Apr. 7th) in a pivotal regular season match-up. The winner will most likely be the top seed in the upcoming postseason tournament.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Western New England. The Golden Bears seem to be the team to beat in the CCC this spring and should take care of business on Saturday against the Gulls. Maybe they get tripped up down the stretch by Roger Williams or Salve Regina, but the Golden Bears are my pick to win the regular season crown and host the 2018 CCC Tournament.


Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC): This is an interesting conference to watch – there really isn’t a favorite. Lasell College captured the GNAC crown last season, but appears to have rebounded from a difficult start. The Lasers boast a 2-0 ledger in league play and can really push ahead for good with a win this weekend over Mount Ida College. The Mustangs are certainly in contention for the regular season crown, as well as Johnson & WalesNorwich University and Rivier University.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Despite a slow start, I still like Lasell College, especially if they can find a way past Mount Ida this weekend.


Little East Conference (LEC): Keene State will remain the favorite in the LEC, but it will be interesting to watch a few teams over the next few weeks, including UMass Dartmouth, which is riding a three-game winning streak. The Corsairs will meet the Owls this weekend in New Hampshire.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): Let’s go with … Keene State! The Owls will secure the top seed. Sure, they may get tripped up once (or twice?) down the stretch, but they will be the team to beat in the LEC postseason.


New England Collegiate Conference (NECC): Dean College appears to be the team to beat in the NECC. They currently boast a 5-3 overall ledger and will begin conference play this Saturday, April 7 when they host Mitchell College at 1 p.m.

All three NECC teams will qualify for the tournament later this month, but as of now, it appears the Bulldogs have the upper hand against Mitchell and Becker College.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): The Dean Bulldogs should most likely be the team that hosts the championship game on Saturday, April 28.


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): As expected, the NESCAC has been a fun conference to follow this season – a majority of their team’s have continued to appear in our weekly Top 10 poll.

My guess, as of now, is Amherst College will find a way to secure the top seed, but I wouldn’t rule out Tufts University or Wesleyan University. All three teams will meet over the next few weeks, which will help determine the regular season champion.

Keep an eye on Bowdoin CollegeConnecticut College and Williams College over the next few weeks, as well.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): I think Amherst College is the team to beat in the NESCAC this season. They remain our top team in the latest Noontime Sports Top 10 Poll and will most likely be the squad that hosts the semifinals and championships next month.


New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Coast Guard Academy has been the team to watch – can they continue their March momentum this month against MIT and Springfield College? Their mid-week match against the Pride in two weeks will most likely determine the top seed in the NEWMAC.

Springfield has enjoyed another successful regular season campaign, as well. They boast a solid 6-3 ledger, which includes some non-conference wins over SUNY CortlandNazareth and Union College.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): I think Coast Guard Academy will find a way to get past Springfield to secure the top seed in the NEWMAC.


North Atlantic Conference (NAC): Once again, New England College appears to be the favorite – I am not sure if Castleton University will catch the Pilgrims, but we shall see.

NEC has rebounded from an 0-4 start with seven-straight wins, including some non-league victories over University of New EnglandMount Ida and Norwich University.

Regular Season Champion (Prediction): The New England College Pilgrims will finish its conference slate undefeated and secure the top spot in the NAC playoffs.

D3 Lacrosse Mid-Week Notebook: CGA Outlasts Wesleyan, Emerson Off To 3-0 Start

CGA Lacrosse

Anthony Wyler’s game-winning goal in overtime on Tuesday helped the Coast Guard Academy men’s lacrosse team top Wesleyan University in an exciting non-conference clash. (Photo Credit: Paul Duddy)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

It was an exciting finish last night in New London, Connecticut as the Coast Guard Academy men’s lacrosse team stunned the second-ranked Wesleyan University Cardinals in overtime by a score of 10-9.

The win was the Bears’ third-straight of the 2018 season. Prior to defeating the Cardinals, CGA topped Eastern Connecticut (15-7) and Norwich University (17-1).

“The guys are pumped,” Coast Guard Academy coach Ray Le Forte said one day after his team’s exciting win. “(And) so is the campus, too.”

Coast Guard led Wesleyan, 9-8, with 5:24 remaining in the final session, but the Cardinals evened the score (9-9) and forced an extra session, thanks to a man-up goal from Christian Barker.

The Bears would counter 32 seconds into the extra session with Anthony Wyler, who rifled a shot from the top of the zone to secure an exciting and impressive one-goal victory.

Wyler concluded the contest with three goals and one assist, while Riley McNulty chipped in four goals and one assist. The game-winning goal was set-up by Matty Johnson, who concluded last night’s contest with one goal and one assist.

Courtesy of Coast Guard Academy Athletics, here is the game-winning goal, which has been a must-see on social media today! 

Tuesday’s win is certainly impressive one for a fourth-year program that has grown tremendously since its initial collegiate season in 2015.

Coast Guard Academy is coming off a 10-6 win season from a year ago, which saw the Bears win a program-best four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) games.

The Bears will look to continue its early season momentum on Saturday, March 10 when they face Goucher College at 1 p.m. A few days later, the Bears will take on Ithaca College on Tuesday, March 13th at 1 p.m. with the contest taking place in Virginia Beach.

The Bears will begin conference play later this month when they host Clark University on Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m.

And one team the Bears will see later this season is Emerson College, which is also off to an impressive 3-0 start.

The Lions began their 2018 campaign with an impressive and hard-fought 13-12 win over Mount Ida College in double-overtime before defeating Lyndon State (7-4) and Albertus Magnus (10-9).

Emerson was initially scheduled to compete against Nichols College tomorrow (Thursday, March 8th), but due to this week’s nor-easter, the game has been postponed.

The Lions will return to action next Tuesday (Mar. 13th) when they host Thomas College at 6 p.m.

“We’re definitely starting to get there,” said Emerson coach Matt Colombini. “We have a lot of young talent and the returners that have been through it for a year now and know what we’re really expecting (of this program) and what being a college lacrosse player is, and they have turned the corner with that stuff.”

Colombini seems quite content about his team’s early season success, but knows his squad must keep the focus on playing a complete 60 minutes.

“I am excited to see in a couple weeks as we keep (working toward our goal of playing a complete game) where we end up and what our final product really looks like,” he said.

So far, Emerson has received some solid contributions from Jared Brush (13 goals, three assists) and Cameron Radenberg (two goals, nine assists). Additionally, a pair of first-years, Joe Meyers and Stevie Powers, have also contributed on the offensive end – the duo has combined for 12 points on seven goals and five assists, while Bailey Kennedy has also performed quite well between the pipes with 24 saves.

Following the team’s contest against Thomas, Emerson will face some challenging non-conference foes in Dean CollegeWentworth and UMass-Dartmouth. All three games – and yes, four, counting Thomas – will be good tests for the Lions, who hope to keep their early season momentum going later this spring.

“I think this year we have made the schedule much more challenging to get ready for NEWMAC games,” said Colombini. “The teams we have played (thus far) have been pretty good, but they have all been close, grind-it-out type of games, so at least we are finding a way to win right now, which is good.”

The team’s initial win over Mount Ida was certainly impressive – perhaps it could be   a game these Lions will look back on as motivation for more success later this season.

Anna Maria’s Rapoza Receives Praise From Bob Ryan On Around The Horn

rapozapoty

On Tuesday, Anna Maria’s Mike Rapoza went a perfect 18-for-18 from the floor, while netting a career-high 42 points against Mount Ida. (PHOTO CREDIT: Anna Maria College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

Following a monstrous performance two nights ago against Mount Ida College, Anna Maria College’s Mike Rapoza received some love from Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan at the conclusion of last night’s (Wednesday, Feb. 14th) Around the Horn on ESPN.

Ryan, who has been covering basketball for nearly five decades, praised Rapoza – not just for converting all 18 of his field goals, but for “posting up, kicking butt and making every shot.”

“Way to go, Mike Rapoza,” he said with a fist pump. “You da’ man!”

Rapoza’s 18-for-18 performance was a Division III record, but also helped the AMCATs secure a spot in the upcoming Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament, which begins next week.

Anna Maria returns to the hardwood on Saturday, February 17 when they host Emmanuel College with tip-off scheduled for 12 p.m.