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.
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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 College, Trinity 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.
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.
Happy Monday! With another weekend of college football in the books, it is time to unveil this week’s Noontime Sports Offensive, Defensive and Special Team units of the week, as well as our offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week, too.
Offensive Player of the Week: Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): In a must-win game for the Rams, Wojenski registered five touchdowns, including four through the air as Framingham State rallied to beat Western Connecticut, 39-35. The Rams’ signal-caller completed 18 of 27 passes for 325 yards.
Defensive Player of the Week: DeSean Hart (Mount Ida): Against Anna Maria, Hart recorded a pair of touchdowns – a 90 yard fumble recovery and a 100 yard interception – while tallying 10 total stops, including eight solo tackles and one pass break-up.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Jeremy Martin (Plymouth State): Martin helped his team secure the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown by converting all three extra points, as well as a 36-yard field goal. Additionally, three of his punts landed inside the Fitchburg State 20-yard-line. He also finished the game with six punts for 230 yards and five kickoffs for 221 yards.
Offensive Team of the Week
Dante Aiken (WNE): Aiken rushed for 152 yards and four scores on 28 carries, averaging 5.4 yards per carry as the Golden Bears defeated Curry en route to claiming the first-ever Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) title.
Abbi Bamgbose (UMass Dartmouth): Bamgbose led all receivers with five receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s double-digit win over Massachusetts Maritime.
Stephen Beahn (Framingham State): Beahn hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions, including the go-ahead and game-winning score with 10 seconds remaining as the Rams topped the Colonials in Framingham. The senior wide out concluded the contest five receptions for 93 yards.
Jevon Brown-Simpson (Fitchburg State): Brown-Simpson led all rushers with 109 yards on 22 carries and one score against Plymouth State. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry, too.
Brendan Costa (Bates): Costa rushed for a game-high 170 yards on 20 carries and one score, averaging 8.5 yards per carry, while completing one of five passes for 23 yards as the Bobcats claimed their fourth-straight CBB crown.
Alex Corvese (Curry): Corvese amassed 321 yards of total offense, including 227 passing yards, while recording a quartet of touchdowns (three through the air) in his team’s 42-28 setback to Western New England.
Moe Harris (Castleton): Against Gallaudet, Harris rushed for a game-high 128 yards on 29 carries and two scores, while averaging 4.4 yards per carry.
Tyler Hyde (Springfield): Against Maine Maritime, Hyde rushed for 118 yards on seven carries and two scores, while averaging a game-high 16.9 yards per carry.
Joe Kalosky (Endicott): Kalosky completed 14 of 26 passes for 181 yards and three scores, while rushing for 27 yards on two carries during his team’s first Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) win over Nichols.
Jack Lavanchy (Bridgewater State): Lavanchy led all receivers in receptions (nine) and yards (169), while hauling in two touchdown receptions against Worcester State.
Emmanuel Leake (Anna Maria): Leake amassed 277 yards, including 211 passing yards against Mount Ida, while completing 12 of 20 passes for one touchdown. He also rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries (5.5 yards per carry) and one score.
Jimmy Martinez (Middlebury): Martinez recorded three catches for 117 yards and two scores in his team’s 41-20 win over Hamilton.
Sean McAllen (WPI): Against Coast Guard, McAllen rushed for 152 yards on 20 carries and three scores, while averaging 7.6 yards per carry.
Jack Meservy (Middlebury): Meservy completed 11 of 16 passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 41-20 win over Hamilton.
Noah Nelson (Bowdoin): Against Bates, Nelson amassed 314 yards, including 302 passing yards. Nelson completed 34 of 55 passes and two touchdowns, while rushing for 12 yards on 12 carries.
Michael Nolan (Nichols): Against Endicott, Nolan rushed for 127 yards on 23 carries and one score, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. He also concluded the game with 10 yards on four receptions, too.
James O’Regan (Amherst): O’Regan led all receivers with 95 yards on six receptions and one touchdown in his team’s big win against Trinity.
Gregory Olson (Bowdoin): Olson concluded Saturday’s tilt with Bates by recording nine receptions for 98 yards, while hauling in a pair of touchdown passes from Nelson. Olson averaged 10.9 yards per reception.
Hunter Paupaw (Worcester State): Paupaw rushed for 65 yards on seven carries and three scores, while averaging 9.3 yards per carry.
Mike Pedrini (Tufts): Pedrini rushed for a game-high 135 yards on 31 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and three scores in his team’s 28-14 win over Colby.
Jace Pena (UMass Dartmouth): Against Massachusetts Maritime, Pena completed 21 of 35 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns as the Corsairs sailed passed the Buccaneers for a 37-14 win.
Mark Piccirillo (Wesleyan): Piccirillo was quite impressive against Williams, completing 26 of 32 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns, while leading all rushers with 69 yards on 15 carries and two scores.
Michael Pina (Mount Ida): Pina completed 19 of 29 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 55 yards on eight carries (6.9 yards per carry) and one score in his team’s exciting win over Anna Maria.
Marquis Roderique (Anna Maria): Roderique concluded Saturday’s contest against Mount Ida with a career and season-best 11 receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown reception was Roderique’s first of his collegiate career.
Michael Slaughter, Jr. (UMass Dartmouth): Slaughter, Jr. rushed for 122 yards on 27 carries and two scores, while averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
John Smith (Husson): Smith rushed for 143 yards on 15 carries for three scores, while averaging 9.5 yards per carry in his team’s eighth win of the season. The win secured the Eagles a spot in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament. The three scores bumped Smith’s total to 23 rushing touchdowns this season, which shattered his original single-season mark of 20 that he set in 2015.
Anthony Service (WNE): Service amassed 240 yards of total offense, including 196 passing yards in his team’s fourth-straight conference win over Curry. The senior signal-caller completed 15 of 22 passes and one touchdown, while rushing for 44 yards on 10 carries. Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Against Maine Maritime, Wilcox rushed for 213 yards, an average of 15.2 per carry, and three touchdowns on 14 carries.
Defensive Team of the Week
Max Breschi (Bates): Against Bowdoin, Breschi registered 11 total tackles, including a quartet of solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 16 yards, one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry.
Anthony Fogarty III (Bridgewater State): Fogarty III paced the Bears’ defense with 12 total stops, including nine solo tackles, two tackles for a loss of 19 yards and one interception returned for 27 yards.
Joseph Grogan (Curry): Against Western New England, Grogan recorded eight total tackles, including four solo stops, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one sack for a loss of seven yards.
Alex LaPiana (Tufts): Against Colby, LaPiana registered six total tackles, including four solo stops, along with one fumble recovery and one interception.
John Jackson (Middlebury): Against Hamilton, Jackson tallied nine total tackles, including six solo stops and one tackle for a loss of four yards. He also recorded a forced fumble and fumble recovery, too.
Jon Lindgren (Bates): Lindgren recorded 16 total tackles, including 11 solo stops, one tackle for a loss of five yards, six pass break-ups and one blocked kick.
Brett McEvoy (Nichols): Against Endicott, McEvoy led all defenders with 15 total tackles, while concluding the game with five solo stops and half a sack for a three-yard loss.
Blayne Merchant (WPI): Merchant tallied seven solo tackles against Coast Guard, including four tackles for a loss of 15 yards and one sack for a loss of nine yards.
Joshua Onujiogu (Framingham State): Onujiogu concluded Saturday’s primetime conference tilt with Western Connecticut with seven solo stops, including a sack for a loss of nine yards.
Dereck Pacheco (WPI): Pacheco led the Engineers’ defense with 10 total tackles, including eight solo stops, one tackle for a loss of six yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and blocked kick.
Sebastien Philemon (Colby): Philemon recorded 18 total tackles, including six solo stops, two tackles for a loss of five yards and one sack for a loss of three yards in his team’s 28-14 setback to Tufts.
Jakob Trautwein (Castleton): Trautwein led the Spartans’ defense with 11 total tackles, including six solo stops, one tackle for a loss of one yard and one interception for 15 yards.
Mitch Turley (MIT): On ‘Senior Night’ in Cambridge, Turley turned in a monstrous performance, tallying 10 total tackles, including nine solo stops, one fumble recovery for 34 yards, one interception and one pass break-up against Norwich University.
Marquez Walls (Dean): Against SUNY Maritime, Walls registered seven total tackles, including five solo stops, three interceptions for 50 yards and two pass break-ups. Additionally, he scored a touchdown on a 73-yard punt return in the opening quarter, which provided the Bulldogs with the lead after one quarter of play.
Andrew Yamin (Amherst): Yamin recorded seven solo tackles, including a trio of stops for a loss of 11 yards and one sack for a loss of four yards in his team’s big win over Trinity.
Christian Zotti (Springfield): Zotti registered seven total tackles, including a trio of solo stops, a tackle for a loss of 13 yards, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in his team’s win over Maine Maritime.
Special Teams of the Week
Henry Atkeson (Amherst): Atkeson punted the ball eight times against Trinity with five boots landing inside the Bantams’ 20-yard line. He totaled 252 yards on eight punts for an average of 31.5 yards per kick.
Riley Ford (Mount Ida): Ford connected on seven of eight extra points, as well as a 30-yard field goal for 10 points against Anna Maria.
John Glaser (Endicott): Glaser recorded 10 points off seven extra points and a 26-yard field goal during his team’s initial conference win against Nichols.
Christian Humulock (Springfield): Humulock converted eight of nine extra point attempts in his team’s 62-0 win over Maine Maritime.
Andrew Verre (Salve Regina): Verre connected on seven of eight extra point attempts during his team’s win over Becker College.
Mark Wright (MIT): Wright connected on four of five kicks, including a 30-yard field goal. Wright concluded his team’s conference clash against Norwich with eight points.
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 Podcastand 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 Malafronte. WPI 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 ‘TomBrady‘ 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 Barry. Castleton 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
It’s Wednesday, Noontime Sports fans, which means it’s time to highlight another New England Division III football conference to watch this season.
This week, we’re highlighting the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), an eight-team league that features squads from New England, as well as outside the region, too. All eight teams were represented on our ‘Players to Watch’ list below.
Prior to this week’s ECFC Players to Watch post, we highlighted the following conferences: