Tag: NCAA Division III

Player Perspective: Timel Benton (Gallaudet University)

Gallaudet University quarterback Timel Benton rushed for a career-high 232 yards last Saturday against Dean College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Gallaudet University Athletics/David Sinclair)

By NoontimeSports.com

For the past few seasons, Timel Benton has been a quarterback to watch.

Last weekend, the senior signal-caller from Columbia, South Carolina, rushed for a career-high 232 yards and scored four touchdowns in Gallaudet University’s first conference win of the 2021 season against Dean College.

The win over the Bulldogs bumped the Bison’s overall record to 3-0 and 1-0 in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) play – the team’s three-straight wins matches its start from 2013, which saw Gallaudet secure an NCAA Division III first-round postseason matchup with Hobart College.

“Coach Chuck (Goldstein) called my number throughout the game and the big guy’s upfront, the slots, and wide receivers took care of the rest,” said Benton when discussing his impressive performance against the Bulldogs.

“(My teammates) opened lanes for me, and I was able to get out in space to help lead us to win. Without them, this win would not have been possible against such an athletic Bulldogs’ defense.”

Prior to rushing past numerous members of the Dean College defense, Benton threw for a season-best 265 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 49-42 victory over Greensboro College.

Noontime Sports recently caught up with Benton to discuss his impressive rushing performance, but also what he and the team must do this weekend against Keystone College.

You rushed for a career-high 232 yards and four touchdowns in the win – do you recall rushing for that many yards or more prior to competing for Gallaudet?

In high school, I was a role player. I plugged in at positions that needed filling each week. I never got the opportunity to have big games but what matters most to me is the wins. I could have all the stats in the world, but without another one in the win column, they’re meaningless in my opinion. 

It sounds cliché, but how important was it for you and your team to begin conference play with a win? How does a victory last Saturday help the team heading into this week’s contest against Keystone College?

I told the guys during pregame, “This game is what sets the tone for the rest of our season. If everyone does their job and knows their role, we’ll be just fine.”

The win over Dean has given us a spark that this program hasn’t felt in a long time. We have momentum but it’s important that we continue to stay focused and take it one game at a time. 

How has your game evolved from your initial season in 2016 to this fall? What changes have you made to become not just a thrower, but also a rushing signal-caller?

When I came into the program I had no idea what to expect in this system because it was so new for me being from an air raid offense in high school. When I earned the starting job in 2016, I played off of pure athletic ability and not enough knowledge. Over time I developed into my role as a leader and with that came my understanding of this offense. Coach Chuck preaches on seeing the big picture of what our offense is based on. It took some time but I finally understood that I didn’t have to do things on my own, I just need to take what the defense gives us and get the ball into our playmakers’ hands.

To become a more effective rusher, I had to learn to limit the impacts of the hits I took in games. Over the years I’ve studied New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara’s game film and his insane workouts that improved his balance. I took a few notes from those and applied them to my workouts as well as my game. 

Who is one or perhaps two (or three) quarterbacks you idolize/have studied over the past few seasons? And how has watching these quarterbacks play helped you become the signal-caller you are currently?

My two favorite quarterbacks to watch and mirror my game after are Denard Robinson (Michigan) and Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots). I admire how when Denard Robinson was in tight situations he would make people miss in the smallest gaps and just explode for long runs. Additionally, I love how Cam was such a powerful force with the ball in his hand and his vibe of playing the game he just had fun with it. 

Tell me about your major – what interested you in pursuing a degree in physical education and recreation? What do you hope to do with it after graduation?

In high school, I bounced between culinary, business, and graphic design. My senior year I was a middle school teacher’s assistant for PE class and loved it. I enjoy being physically active even outside of playing football and I want to dig even deeper to encourage the new generations to enjoy physical activity as well. 

My plan is to go back to South Carolina and pursue my career somewhere in the physical education field. I want to work with high school students but I’ll take whatever opportunity is available.

Finally, could you see yourself coaching or finding a way to stay involved in football after your final game with the Bison?  

Funny you ask, during the Covid year of 2020 I was a quarterback coach at a high school in South Carolina. I loved every second of it, and I plan on returning to be a coach once my football career comes to an end. I even have aspirations to coach college football at some point in my life.  

The Early Outlook: MASCAC

Stephen Gacioch will be spotted under center this fall for the UMass Dartmouth football team. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Our preseason New England college football coverage rolls on with some early thoughts on the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), which certainly has the making of a multi-team race for the top spot.

In case you missed it, make sure to read our previous early-season outlooks for the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), and Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC).

MASCAC Teams

  • Bridgewater State
  • Fitchburg State
  • Framingham State
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy
  • Plymouth State
  • UMass Dartmouth
  • Western Connecticut
  • Westfield State
  • Worcester State

2019 Conference Refresh: For the sixth time in seven seasons, Framingham State secured the top spot with an 8-2 overall record, including an 8-0 league record. The Rams advanced to the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament but saw their championship hopes dashed to Wesley College by a score of 58-21.

Western Connecticut also finished its 2019 campaign with an identical 8-2 record — the Colonials, who finished tied for second in the conference with Bridgewater State with a 6-2 record, ended their season against WPI in the New England Bowl (the Engineers won the game by a score of 35-6).

The biggest surprise of the 2019 season was UMass Dartmouth — the Corsairs posted seven wins for the first time since 2004 when they represented the conference in the ECAC Northwest Bowl. Quarterback Stephen Gacioch was named the MASCAC Offensive Player of the Year — the junior signal-caller finished second in the conference in efficiency (143.2) while completing 59.2 percent of his passes.

Additionally, Gacioch competed in eight games and recorded career-highs in passing touchdowns (20), passing yards per game (277.6), rushing yards (356), and rushing touchdowns (six).

Massachusetts Maritime ended its season with six wins, which is the most the Buccaneers have tallied since posting an 8-2 record in 1999.

New Coaches at Fitchburg State and Worcester State: The MASCAC will feature two new coaches at Fitchburg State and Worcester State this fall — Adam Peloquin will lead the Lancers (he was a three-year offensive guard for the blue and gold) while Scott Sperone will lead the Falcons after spending three seasons as a defensive coordinator with WPI.

New Signal-Callers: A majority of the quarterbacks from 2019 have graduated, so the expectation is we will see some new signal-callers this fall for some of the “usual” contenders.

Stephen Gacioch is the only starting quarterback returning (that I know of at this time), but it is expected that we’ll see someone new running the offense at Bridgewater, Fitchburg, and Framingham this fall.

Westfield State excited to be back on the field: Like many teams in our region, getting back to the gridiron after a year away due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is certainly something the Owls of Westfield State were happy to do a few days ago, despite a mini-heatwave. But with cooler weather now arriving to the area, the Blue and White will use this time, as well as the next few days and weeks to prepare for their season-opener against Nichols College on Friday, September 3 at 6 p.m.

Nichols and Westfield last met in the opening week of the 2018 season when the Owls topped the Bison, 25-14, thanks to 205 rushing yards and two touchdowns from halfback R.J. Darby.

Early-Season Favorite(s): It might be easy to pick the Rams of Framingham State, but the Black and Gold enter the upcoming season with some question marks on both sides of the ball, including who will be their starting quarterback. Adam Wojenski has graduated, so it will be interesting to see who coach Tom Kelley selects to lead his offense.

While Framingham State will certainly be a team to watch, the same could be said for these three squads: Bridgewater State, UMass Dartmouth, and Western Connecticut. Like Framingham, all three have some question marks heading into their respective 2021 campaign, but the Colonials will welcome back some key members of its 2019 squad, including wide receiver Will Daniels and cornerback Jarius Bailey.

Don’t rule out Plymouth State, which finished its 2019 campaign with a 6-4 record. The Panthers concluded their 2019 campaign by winning one of their final four contests, but I expect the Green and White to be in the mix this fall.

The Early Outlook: Eastern Collegiate Football Conference

Anna Maria Football
Dan Mulrooney and the Anna Maria College football team will be one of a few teams to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley/Anna Maria College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of college football is quickly approaching — are you ready for some football?

As we inch closer to the upcoming season, we’ll be producing some early-season outlooks for a slew of Northeast conferences. And today, we’ll begin our early-season outlook with some thoughts (and ideas) on what fans of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) should expect this fall.

ECFC Teams:

  • Alfred State
  • Anna Maria
  • Castleton
  • Dean
  • Gallaudet
  • Keystone
  • SUNY-Maritime

2019 Conference Refresh: With a 4-1 conference mark, the Dean Bulldogs secured their initial league crown, despite ending the regular season with a 38-20 setback to Castleton on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Weeks later, the Bulldogs competed in their final contest of season — they were one of four New England teams selected to compete in the New England Bowl against Endicott College.

SUNY-Maritime represented the conference in the NCAA Division III Tournament but saw their championship hopes dashed in the opening round of the national postseason to Salisbury University.

Anna Maria enjoyed one of its best seasons under coach Dan Mulrooney by posting two wins after averaging one win during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, while Alfred State produced a three-win season, which is the most recorded by any team in the Pioneers’ program history.

Despite producing just two wins, Gallaudet recorded back-to-back wins in mid-October against Castleton and Alfred State — they scored a season-high 62 points against Alfred State.

Finally, Castleton ended its 2019 campaign on a high note by scoring back-to-back wins against Anna Maria and Dean. The Spartans recorded just two wins during the 2019 season but certainly made things difficult for both conference and non-conference foes.

ECFC Soundbite (Dan Mulrooney of Anna Maria College on the Noontime Sports Podcast):

A 2021 Storyline to Follow: Keystone College reintroduced its football program in January 2018 — the Giants played a limited schedule during the 2019-20 school year but will play their first game as a member of the ECFC on Saturday, September 4 when they visit Wilkes University for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

The Giants produced three wins during their first season in 2019 — they scored their initial win on September 23, 2019, against Morrisville State College, which was the program’s first victory since last competing in 1948.

Keystone will enter the upcoming season with 52 first-year players on their roster — sure, there are some unknowns about the Blue and Orange, but they will certainly be a team we’ll be watching this fall, especially when they begin conference play at home on Saturday, October 2 against Anna Maria.

Our Early-Season Favorite(s): It’s a toss-up — we could see Anna Maria or Castleton secure the conference crown, but also believe Dean and SUNY-Maritime will be able to contend for the league title. As Mulrooney told us during a recent podcast sit down, the AMCATs return some impressive talent on both sides of the ball that should help them return to the title game for the first time since November 9, 2013.

D3 Lacrosse: What We Learned In The Month of March

The month of March has been a busy one for a slew of NCAA D-III teams, including the Centenary College men’s lacrosse team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Centenary College of Louisiana Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The final day of March has arrived – can you believe it?

I can’t, but what I can say is it has been a busy few weeks in the NCAA D-III lacrosse world – hopefully, you have stopped by to read our various player perspective interviews, along with our weekly notebooks this month! – but before we usher in a brand new month, along with the second half of the season, I thought we could revisit some of the storylines (and yes, headlines, too) from the past few weeks.

Salisbury University Women’s Lacrosse is off to a fast start

Let’s begin with Salisbury University, specifically the women’s team, which recently scored its eighth-straight win, as well as its third conference victory. The Sea Gulls are averaging 15 goals per game – so far, they have deposited 124 shots – and appeared to be in mid-season form earlier this month when they beat The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), 14-8.

Seniors Alexis Strobel (12 goals and 37 assists), Lydia McNulty (21 goals and three assists), and Julie Talbert (11 goals and two assists) have highlighted the Sea Gulls’ impressive attack, which has also received a boost from sophomore Erin Scannell, who has recorded career-highs in goals (26) and points (27).

With five games remaining, the Sea Gulls appear to be the team to beat in the Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) – one game to watch next month is Salisbury’s regular-season finale against St. Mary’s College, which has won three of four contests thus far. The Seahawks’ lone setback occurred earlier this month against Salisbury (14-10 setback).

John Carroll University boasts two NCAA D-III Goal Scorers

Skyler Blake and Colleen Grombala of John Carroll University are currently leading all NCAA D-III lacrosse players in goals – yes, I know this can change with games set to commence later today and this evening.

Blake, who is a graduate student, has been a player to watch through eight contests – the Dublin, Ohio native recently established a new single-game record for goals in a game with 10 against Marietta College on Wednesday, March 17. As of this afternoon, Blake and the Blue Streaks have won five of six contests this spring – they will return to the field this Saturday, April 3 when they host Heidelberg University, a team they beat earlier this season by a score of 32-1.

Grombala is also a graduate student – the Beverly Hills, Michigan native has picked up where she left off in 2019 by tallying 48 goals and 13 assists through nine contests this season. She registered a season-best nine points on nine goals earlier this month in a conference clash with Capital University before recently stuffing the stat sheet against Ohio Northern with four goals, one assist, seven ground balls, and six draw controls.

The JCU women’s lacrosse team, which has won nine-straight contests this spring, will host Heidelberg this evening with opening draw set for 7 p.m.

Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse scores an exciting first win

Earlier this month, I had the chance to converse with CJ Seling, who is the head coach of the Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team – we chatted a few days after the Gents scored their first win of the 2021 season.

The Gents recently restarted their lacrosse program and defeated the University of Dallas earlier this month – the win is certainly a step in the right direction for the Maroon and White, which is currently the only NCAA squad in Louisiana.

As of this afternoon, Centenary boasts a 1-8 record but I’ll be rooting for them in their next two contests against Southwestern University and Dallas.

Averett University men’s lacrosse has shown improvements in its fourth season

Speaking of younger (or newer programs), the Averett University men’s lacrosse team, which is in its fourth season as a varsity squad, has captured four of eight contests this spring, including a 13-7 victory earlier this month against Brevard College.

The four wins are the most for the Cougars, who are scheduled to compete this Saturday, April 3 against William Peace University. This will be the first of two meetings between the two schools this season.

As of this afternoon, first-year Liam Taylor leads the Navy Blue and Yellow with 24 points on 18 goals and six assists.

Keep your eyes on Christopher Newport men’s lacrosse next month

The Captains have been a great story this spring – as of this afternoon, the Blue and White have won six of seven contests, including a 10-9 overtime win against the University of Lynchburg.

The one-goal win over the Hornets was the first for Christopher Newport in four attempts (Lynchburg would even the season series six days later with a 12-5 win).

Despite a recent loss to Lynchburg, Christopher Newport has looked quite impressive this month – they are scheduled to face some challenging foes in Colorado College, Salisbury University, and Washington and Lee University over the next few weeks.

The Captains and Sea Gulls will square-off this Saturday, April 3 in Maryland with a face-off set for 4 p.m. I would highly recommend streaming the game.


NCAA D-III Lacrosse Blogs from March 2021


Additional news, notes, and links:

  • The Washington and Lee women’s lacrosse team has won six-straight contests and will commence the second half of their schedule tomorrow when they visit Shenandoah University. After visiting the Hornets, the Generals will play four more contests before competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament.

    One week ago, Landon Shelley recorded her 100th career assist in her team’s 17-2 victory over Randolph-Macon.

  • The George Fox University women’s lacrosse team will enter the second half of their schedule with a 7-0 record – the Bruins recently scored back-to-back wins last weekend against Willamette University. Andrea Garcia-Milla highlighted her team’s seventh win with six assists to go with five ground balls and one caused turnover.

  • The first weekend of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action is set to commence this Saturday, April 3 with three contests. Trinity College men’s lacrosse will visit Connecticut College at 11 a.m. followed by Bates College women’s lacrosse visiting Colby College. Connecticut College women’s lacrosse will entertain Tufts University at 3 p.m.

  • SUNY Cortland men’s lacrosse will enter the month of April with a 2-1 record – they recently defeated Clarkson University, 11-9, thanks to four goals and one assist from Zak Jones.


    Staying within the conference, the SUNY New Paltz men’s lacrosse team played its first-ever conference game earlier this week against SUNY Plattsburgh. The Hawks, who are in their second season as a varsity squad, did not compete in a single SUNYAC contest last spring due to the season being cut short due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

  • The Worcester State University women’s lacrosse team scored its first-ever win against Bridgewater State University last Friday (10-7) before capping the weekend with a second-straight win over the Bears in overtime.

  • Dickinson College men’s lacrosse scored perhaps the most exciting win of March last Saturday when they outlasted Muhlenberg College, 11-10, in four-overtimes.

Daily Noontime: Thursday, February 4, 2021

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to Thursday, everyone – we decided to post our Daily Noontime a bit earlier than yesterday, which we hope will bring a smile to your face (and a sense of relief, too – fingers crossed!).

Let’s get after it and make today a great day – isn’t every day awesome? – by sharing some news and links from the sports world.


Enjoy a brand new podcast – today, we welcomed John Avino, who is a Massachusetts based sports broadcaster that is currently announcing games at Boston University, Holy Cross, and Northeastern University.

Listen to today’s show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Anchor – you can visit our Anchor page to also find out where our show is being distributed (and shared!).


Let’s begin with some big news from the NCAA world as the Division III winter championships were canceled for the second-straight year.

As noted on Twitter yesterday – well, more last night, to be exact! – it appears the main reason D-III championships were canceled was due to “low participation numbers.” Spring championships at the D-III level have not been canceled – the hope, according to last night’s release is for teams that compete at the end of the academic year to have a chance to compete for a national championship.

And since we love Twitter, make sure to watch the latest video from our friends at In The (D3FB) HuddleFrank Rossi shares his thoughts on why he believes championships should occur, despite not many teams (or schools) competing this winter.

Speaking of D-III football, the spring season – yes, a spring season! – is set to begin this weekend. And you can find out who is playing by visiting D3Football.com’s scoreboard … now!

In addition to D-III football being played this spring – again, that sounds crazy, right? – there will also be some NCAA D-I Football Championship (FCS) games taking place, beginning next Saturday, February 13 when McNeese State visits Tarleton State for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

And just a quick program note, we will be covering spring football, both here in New England (and the northeast) and around the country, so make sure to stop by over the next few weeks and months for future blog posts. And we’re excited to cover spring football, which again seems strange, but that’s just our “two-cents.”

Let’s switch gears to some quick-hitters:

Finally, Noontime Sports is celebrating Black History Month by producing one post a day on the men and women that have and continue to impact the sports world. Yesterday, we highlighted Bobby Marshall, who was one of the first Africa American’s to play professional football.