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

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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.

D3 Lax: Johnson & Wales Women’s Lacrosse Picked To Capture The GNAC

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By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It was announced on Tuesday (Feb. 13th) that the Johnson & Wales University women’s lacrosse team was projected to capture the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), per the conference’s preseason coaches’ poll.

The Wildcats secured seven of 11 first-place votes while Lasell College, which checked-in second overall, secured a pair of first-place nods. Saint Joseph’s (Maine) also earned a pair of first-place nods, too – the Monks slid into the third position, while Mount Ida College and Emmanuel College rounded out the top five, checking in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Simmons College, Regis College and Norwich University secured the sixth, seventh and eighth positions, respectively, while Rivier and Alberts Magnus checked-in ninth and 10th overall. Saint Joseph (Conn.) secured the final position, checking in 11th overall.

Johnson & Wales captured the GNAC crown last season by defeating Simmons, 19-5, thanks to an impressive nine-point performance (five goals, four assists) from Maria Patane, who was selected to the All-Touyrnament Team. Lydia Knapp was also named to the All-Tournament Team, while also being named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after recording five points on four goals and one assist.

The Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first-time in program history last May, but saw their historic 2017 campaign conclude against Babson College. Johnson & Wales concluded its season with a school record 16-5 mark and will certainly be a team to watch in New England this spring.

Johnson & Wales will commence its 2018 campaign on Saturday, February 24 with a trip to UMass Dartmouth – opening draw is scheduled for 12 p.m.

D3 Lax: Lasell College Men’s Lacrosse Picked To Capture The GNAC

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By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

After capturing its first-ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) crown last spring with a 13-12 win over Mount Ida College, the Lasell College men’s lacrosse team was picked to win its conference again this season, per the league’s preseason poll, which was posted Wednesday, February 14th.

Lasell collected seven of 10 first-place votes, while Johnson & Wales, Norwich University and Mount Ida each earned one first-place nod – all three teams checked-in second, third and fourth, respectively.

Emmanuel College rounded out the top five positions, while Saint Joseph’s (Maine) and Regis College slid into the sixth and seventh spots.

Rivier University, Albertus Magnus and Anna Maria rounded out the final three spots, checking-in eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.

The Lasers captured all eighth of their conference games last season before defeating Mount Ida and Norwich in the conference tournament.

Following their win against Mount Ida, Lasell competed in its first-ever NCAA Tournament game, but fell to Misericordia by a score of 9-7.

Lasell kicks-off its season on Wednesday, February 28 when they travel to Roger Williams for a 4 p.m. face-off.

D3 Football: 10 Games to Watch In Week 11 in New England

10 Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s the final week of the regular season, D3 Football fans, so let’s get it started with our weekly 10 Games to Watch post!

As always, make sure to stay connected with us on social media (Facebook and Twitter), while following our friends from In The (D3fb) Huddle, too (@D3FBHuddle).

Western Connecticut State at Westfield State (Friday, Nov. 10th at 7 p.m.): After coming-up short against the Rams last week, look for quarterback Quinn Fleeting and the Colonials to cap their season with a win on the road. PREDICTION: Western Conn. 27, Westfield State 14

Curry at Salve Regina (Saturday, Nov. 11th at 12 p.m.): A win for the Colonels would match their win total from 2009 (eight), but also provide the Purple and White with some serious momentum heading into the offseason and next season. PREDICTION: Curry 28, Salve Regina 20 

MIT at Springfield (Saturday, Nov. 11th at 12 p.m.): A Pool B bid is on the line for the Pride, while MIT will look to end its season with a seventh win. Look for another solid defensive performance from Springfield in this game. PREDICTION: Springfield 30, MIT 21

Mount Ida at Husson (Saturday, Nov. 11th at 12 p.m.): John Smith and the Eagles are headed back to the postseason, but a game against the Mustangs will be a must-see (or must-follow) – Mount Ida will certainly provide Husson with a good test before the tournament begins next weekend. PREDICTION: Husson 28, Mount Ida 22 

Worcester State at Framingham State (Saturday, Nov. 11th at 12 p.m.): The Lancers’ offense has put up some serious points this season, but will certainly be challenged by a Rams’ defense that managed to slow down Western Connecticut for most of last week’s game. Expect another big day on the ground from Framingham State tailback Quron WrightPREDICTION: Framingham State 35, Worcester State 31 

Merchant Marine at Coast Guard Academy (Saturday, Nov. 11th at 12 p.m.): We spoke with Coach Bill George and Cam Cecchini about this game on this week’s podcast, and both are excited for this must-see rivalry game, which will be seen on ESPN 3. The Bears want to end their season on a high note, but must find a way to slow down the Mariners’ rushing attack, which will once again be led by quarterback Brice MoorePREDICTION: Merchant Marine 34, Coast Guard 27

Amherst at Williams (Saturday, November 11th at 12 p.m.): Amherst enters the contest with a great deal of momentum following wins over Wesleyan, Tufts and Trinity. Can they continue it against Coach Mark Raymond‘s squad, which is searching for its first Amherst-Williams win since 2010? PREDICTION: Amherst 25, Williams 17

Bridgewater State at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Saturday, Nov. 11th at 12 p.m.): Who will capture the Cranberry Bowl this season? The Buccaneers will look to rebound from a 37-14 setback a week ago to UMass Dartmouth, while the Bears will look to cap their season with a win after falling to Worcester State last weekend. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 28, Mass. Maritime 14. 

Middlebury at Tufts (Saturday, Nov. 11th at 12:30 p.m.): The Jumbos are focused on concluding their season with a win and received some solid advice at practice this week from New Hampshire’s own Chip KellyPREDICTION: Tufts 29, Middlebury 24

Colby at Bowdoin (Saturday, Nov. 11th at 12:30 p.m): The Mules and Polar Bears are set to compete for the 129th time – that’s a lot of years my friends! PREDICTION: Colby 34, Bowdoin 23

New England D3 Football Honor Roll (Monday, September 4th)

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Western Connecticut’s Quinn Fleeting tossed five touchdowns in a come-from-behind win for the Colonials last Saturday over Hartwick. (PHOTO CREDIT: Western Connecticut State University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

With the first week of New England D3 Football season in the books, it is time to unveil our first Noontime Sports Honor Roll of the season.

PROGRAM NOTE: Coaches, SID’s and fans are encouraged to submit student-athletes for our weekly honor roll throughout by emailing us at NoontimeSports@gmail.com or sending us a tweet to @NoontimeSports.

Offense

Jevon Brown-Simpson (Fitchburg State): Brown-Simpson concluded his team’s opening contest against Curry College with 75 yards on 21 carries and two scores.

Jesse Brown (Fitchburg State): Brown led all receivers with 145 yards and nine catches, while recording one touchdown in a three-point setback to Curry College.

Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski completed 8 of 15 passes for 177 yards and two scores as the Rams commenced its season with an opening day win over Endicott College.

Quron Wright (Framingham State): Wright paced the Rams’ rushing attack against Endicott College with 169 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown. Wright’s longest run of the day was a 55-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

John Smith (Husson): Smith recorded two of his team’s three touchdowns as Husson opened its season with a 20-7 win over Union College. Smith rushed for two scores on 30 carries for 142 yards.

Zack Edwards (Plymouth State): Edward completed 15 of 23 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers commenced its season with a 31-7 victory over Castleton University.

James Dawson (Salve Regina): Dawson ripped off 116 yards and one score on 32 touches in his team’s season-opening win over Worcester State.

Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Against Western New England, Wilcox rumbled for a game and team-high 148 yards on 30 carries.

Jake Eglintine (Springfield): Eglintine rushed for 121 yards on 19 carries and three scores. His final touchdown in the third quarter helped the Pride secure the lead for good against Western New England.

Austin Calamita (Western Connecticut): Calamita hauled in 10 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns to help the Colonials rally past Hartwick for a dramatic 48-47 win.

Kyle McKinnon (Western Connecticut): McKinnon rushed for a pair of scores, including the game-winning touchdown with 1:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, which helped the Colonials complete their comeback against Hartwick. McKinnon concluded the game with 116 yards on 23 carries.

Quinn Fleeting (Western Connecticut): 
Fleeting completed 32 of 49 passes for 375 yards and five touchdowns as the Colonials rallied to beat Hartwick, 48-47.

Anthony Service (Western New England): Against Springfield College, Service tossed a trio of touchdowns, while concluding the contest with 235 passing yards. Service also rushed for 49 yards on 10 carries.

Noah Brum (Worcester State): Against Salve Regina, Brum completed 30 of 47 passes for 373 yards and four touchdowns. He also accounted for four interceptions in his team’s 35-28 setback.

Jacob Maher (Worcester State): Maher paced all receivers with 136 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a 35-28 setback to Salve Regina.

Dan Orlando (Worcester State): Orlando hauled in a game-high 10 catches for 118 yards and one score in a 35-28 setback to Salve Regina.

Sean McAllen (WPI): McAllen enjoyed an impressive debut, rushing for 246 yards on 15 carries and four scores.

Defense

Michael Hall (Anna Maria): Hall paced the AMCATs defense in their season-opener against WPI by leading the unit with 10 solo stops, including a trio of tackles for a loss.

Michael Bianco (Becker): Against MIT, Bianco recorded 22 total tackles, including 11 solo stops, along with a trio of tackles for a loss. Bianco also registered one sack for a three-yard loss.

Charles McCarthy (Bridgewater State): McCarthy paced the Bears’ defense with 13 total tackles, including five solo stops against Buffalo State.

Bubba Collins (Castleton): Collins concluded his team’s initial game of the season with eight total tackles, including four stops. Two of those eight total tackles were tackles for a loss.

Ryan Robertson (Coast Guard Academy): Robertson paced the Bears’ defense in a season-opening win over Alfred State by tallying 11 total tackles. He also recorded six solo stops, one pass break-up, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Joe Surace (Curry College): Against Fitchburg State, Surace recorded eight total tackles, including six solo stops, along with a pair of sacks.  

William Rivera (Endicott College): Rivera paced the Gulls’ defense in solo stops (five) and total tackles (15) against Framingham State.

Nathan Fleming (Framingham State): Fleming paced the Rams’ defense with seven solo stops and 10 total tackles. Two of those tops were tackles for a loss. Fleming also forced a fumble in his team’s first win of the season against Endicott College.

Jean Gabriel (Husson): Gabriel paced the Eagles’ defense with six solo stops, while assisting on three tackles. Two of his nine total tackles were for a loss for five yards – he also forced a fumble and recorded one pass break-up in a 20-7 win over Union.

Andrew DeNucci (MIT): Against Becker last Friday, DeNucci recorded nine solo stops, including a trio of tackles for a loss and one sack.

Dwayne Hunter-Parker (Mount Ida): In his team’s hard-fought 12-10 win over UMass Dartmouth, Hunter-Parker registered a team-high seven solo stops, including one tackle for a loss and one pass break-up.

Brett McEvoy (Nichols): In his team’s initial game of the season, McEvoy turned in an impressive performance, accounting for 15 total tackles, including 10 assists, while recording one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Brandon O’Neill (Salve Regina): Against Worcester State, O’Neill registered six total tackles, including a quartet of four solo stops as the Seahawks commenced its season with a 35-28 victory over Worcester State. In addition to recording one-and-a-half tackles for a loss, O’Neill also registered one interception, too.

Nick Giorgio (Springfield): Against a potent Western New England offense, Giorgio recorded six total tackles, including four solo stops and sack and a half. He also recorded one tackle for a loss of three yards.

Mike Chirco (Western New England): Chirco was one of two Golden Bears to finish Saturday’s tilt against the Pride with seven solo stops. Chirco recorded a team-high 14 total tackles.

Zach Howard (Westfield State): Howard concluded last Friday’s contest against Nichols College with four solo stops and eight total tackles. He also registered two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards and one sack.

Theo Bryant (Worcester State): Bryant recorded nine total tackles, including six solo stops, along with one tackle for a loss and one interception in a 35-28 setback to Salve Regina.

Dereck Pacheco (WPI): Against Anna Maria, Pacheco recorded six solo stops, including a quartet of tackles for a loss. He also registered a pair of sacks, too.

Connor Russ (UMass Dartmouth): Against Mount Ida, Russ paced the Corsairs’ defense with nine solo stops and 13 total tackles. Three of his  tackles were for a loss – he also registered one sack, too.

Special Teams

Cole Austin (Coast Guard Academy): Austin recorded 10 points in the Bears’ season-opening win over Alfred State. He booted a pair of field goals, while connecting on four extra-points.

Jeff Madden (Plymouth State): Madded connected on all five of his kicks, including a 21-yard field goal to conclude his team’s initial game with seven points.

Danny McDermott (Salve Regina): McDermott booted the ball three times for a total of 84 yards. All three punts landed inside the Worcester State 20.

Pat Tuohy (Worcester State): Tuohy punted the ball five times for a total of 172 yards in his team’s 35-28 setback to Salve Regina. His longest boot was a 56 yard punt. He also recorded one punt that landed inside the Salve Regina 20.

New England D3 Football: Week One Predictions

10 Games To Watch

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Ah, the first official week of the college football season is here, which means it is time to dish out 10 games to watch, as well as 10 predictions, too.

Let me know what you think – did I choose the right team or score? –  by sending me a tweet to @MattNoonan11 or @NoontimeSports.

Happy College Football season, everyone!

Alfred State at Coast Guard (Thursday, August 31st): Quarterback Ethan Goldcamp should have a solid debut under center, which will help the Bears commence its season with a win. Coast Guard 28, Alfred State 10 

Mount Ida at UMass Dartmouth (Friday, September 1st): The Mustangs are one of my teams to watch in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) this season, and I think they will pull this one out by at least a touchdown (maybe six points?). Keep an eye on quarterback Mike Pina, who will certainly be a player to watch this fall. Mount Ida 24, UMass Dartmouth 17 

Anna Maria at WPI (Friday, September 1st): Welcome back, Coach Dan Mulrooney! Mulrooney and the AMCATs will be a fun program to follow this fall – Coach joined me on the initial Football Friday Podcast and will do great things for the Anna Maria Football program – but I am going to take the Engineers in this one. Expect a big game from tailback Sean McAllen and linebacker Sam MalafronteWPI 30, Anna Maria 14 

Westfield State at Nichols (Friday, September 1st): Coming off an impressive season, the Bison of Nichols will look to continue its momentum from a year ago when they host the Owls on Friday evening. My player to watch in this one is Nichols linebacker Brett McEvoy, who is refereed to as the ‘Tom Brady‘ of the defense. Nichols 21, Westfield State 13  

Fitchburg State at Curry (Friday, September 1st): I picked against the Colonels last season in their opener, so I will take them this time. Curry will need some new wide-outs to step-up this season – the squad graduated some key receivers last spring. Curry 21, Fitchburg State 14 

Framingham State at Endicott (Saturday, September 2nd): This is always a must-see, must-attend game in the opening week. One of the match-ups I am interested in watching is Endicott fullback Lavante Wiggins against the Framingham State front seven. Additionally, keep an eye on both quarterbacks, too. Framingham State 28, Endicott 14 

Springfield at Western New England (Saturday, September 2nd): It’s the Battle of Springfield this weekend as the Pride make a short trek to the Golden Bears’ home field. As I said on today’s season-preview podcast with James Baker, I will take the ‘underdog’ in this game: Springfield. Springfield 28, WNE 27 

Union at Husson (Saturday, September 2nd): John Smith‘s senior season should be a fun one to follow. He’s coming off his best year with the Eagles and will certainly be a student-athlete to watch in this contest. Additionally, keep an eye on Coach Gabby Price‘s defense – seven starters are back from last year’s unit. Husson 28, Union 17 

Castleton at Plymouth State (Saturday, September 2nd): The Panthers enjoyed perhaps their best season in years last fall, but can they continue that momentum this season? PSU welcomes back eight starters on offense, while the defense will be looking for a few new student-athletes to step-up – the unit returns just five starters. Castleton will receive a big boost in this contest from wide-out Ryan BarryCastleton 22, Plymouth State 21 

Bridgewater State at Buffalo State (Saturday, September 2nd): The Bears were picked to capture the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), but can they make claim their second-straight league crown without some key members of last year’s defense? This will be a difficult test for the Bears, but certainly one that could help them once they hop into conference play in two weeks. Buffalo State 24, Bridgewater State 14 

Husson Eagles Picked To Capture ECFC

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The Husson Eagles were picked to finish first in the 2017 Preseason Coaches Poll, which the ECFC announced earlier this week. (PHOTO CREDIT: Husson University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier this week – Tuesday, to be exact – the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) unveiled its preseason coaches poll with Husson University claiming the top spot.

The Eagles, who won the league last season, earned six first-place votes, while securing 62 total points. SUNY Maritime and Mount Ida College checked-in second and third, respectively, while Castleton University (fourth) and Dean College (fifth) rounded out the top five. The Privateers of SUNY Maritime earned one first-place vote, as well as the Bulldogs of Dean.

Gallaudet University, which welcomes back 16 starters, was picked to finish sixth, while Alfred State and Anna Maria College checked-in seventh and eighth, respectively.

Husson, which advanced to last season’s NCAA Division III Tournament, welcomes back 13 starters from last season, including halfback John Smith, who led the conference in multiple categories, including rushing touchdowns (17). Smith will certainly be tasked with carrying the Eagles this season due to gradation losses to Deon Wiggins and Kadeem Edge. Quarterback Cory Brandon returns this fall, along with key members of the defense, including defensive lineman Luke Washburn.

The Eagles will begin its title defense on Saturday, September 2 when they entertain Union College before visiting Dean College on Saturday, September 9. Last season, the Eagles defeated the Bulldogs, 43-23, thanks to four rushing touchdowns by Smith. Smith would conclude the contest with 280 yards on 39 carries. He also hauled in two catches for 25 yards.