NCAA Lacrosse Championships To Return To Gillette Stadium

Gillette Stadium will be the site for four NCAA Championships in 2025 and 2026. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

The NCAA unveiled future sites for future championships over the next few years earlier today, including lacrosse, which is scheduled to return to Gillette Stadium in 2025 and 2026. 

All three men’s championships – D-I, D-II, and D-III – will take place both years at the home of the New England Patriots while the D-I women’s title games will occur each year, as well. 

Gillette Stadium has been the host site for all three men’s lacrosse championships five times, including in 2018 when Yale University captured its first-ever national title by defeating Duke University by a score of 13-11. 

One year earlier – 2017, to be exact! – Maryland defeated Boston College in Foxborough, Massachusetts in the first championship game held in Foxborough, Massachusetts by a score of 16-13. 

Noonan: Revisiting My First Lacrosse Championship Game

Beau Wood/Tufts Lacrosse

Tufts University’s Beau Wood (No. 18) netted the game-winning goal for the Jumbos against Bowdoin College in the 2012 NESCAC Championship game. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan)

By Matt Noonan 

The month of May, in my opinion, will always be associated with the sport of lacrosse.

It is a month that features a slew of college tournaments and championships to NCAA postseason runs that concludes on Memorial Day weekend.

But while the sport of lacrosse, as well as other games, remain sidelined for the moment, memories of games covered, including my first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament Final, is on my mind. And it is hard not to think back to that gorgeous day – May 6, 2012, to be exact – when Tufts University outlasted Bowdoin College, 9-8, in double-overtime

At the time, I didn’t know much about lacrosse. I thought it was hockey on grass – maybe basketball, too – but it was a sport I grew to love from watching a talented Tufts team (and program), which had won its first-ever national championship two years earlier against Salisbury University.

I got my first glimpse of these Jumbos in mid-April of 2012 when Tufts rolled past Amherst College, 15-5. It was an impressive win.

Mike Daly, who was the coach of the Jumbos, told me neither he or his coaching staff anticipated his team was going to beat Amherst by ten goals on this particular afternoon. Instead, Daly, who is currently the head coach of the Brown University men’s lacrosse team, told me that his team “just put together a pretty complete effort today.” And that effort would certainly be on display weeks later when I covered Tufts’ dramatic win over a Bowdoin, which would conclude its 2012 campaign in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

Bowdoin was a good team. They had scored some impressive conference wins in 2012, as well as some important non-league victories against Keene State and Springfield College. They beat Wesleyan University in the NESCAC quarterfinals before knocking off Trinity College in the semifinals shortly after Tufts topped Connecticut College.

Tufts had beaten Bowdoin prior to their championship meeting – the Jumbos topped the Polar Bears, 15-7, in Medford, Massachusetts, which made me think the young men who wore the powder blue, brown and white jerseys that day would duplicate that performance on the same field. But I was wrong.

Instead, I, along with fans and friends of each program, was treated to an amazing back and forth affair that saw Bowdoin erase a two-goal deficit during the final minutes of the fourth quarter to force not one, but two extra sessions.

Tufts had a chance to win the game in the first overtime but neither Nick Rhoads and Beau Wood were able to deposit their attempt past Bowdoin’s, Chris Williamson. Bowdoin would also have a chance to clinch the victory but watched Conor O’Toole‘s shot sail wide of the Tufts cage.

So, with the score still knotted at 8-8, we quickly advanced to a second overtime period. And like many, I wondered which team would score that game-winner? Would it be Bowdoin, since they seemed to have all the momentum, thanks to back-to-back fourth-quarter goals by Keegan Mehlhorn and Will Wise, or Tufts, which had not located the back of the net since the final seconds of the third quarter?

That question would be answered during the sixth and final period when Tufts scored on its third attempt of the session with 1:50 remaining. Beau Wood fired home the game-winner after receiving a pass from Geordie Shafer. And once the ball slipped past Bowdoin’s Chris Williamson, the Jumbos rushed the field to celebrate a hard-fought yet exhilarating win.

“We knew we had to just end (the game) it as soon (as we got the ball),” Wood remarked shortly after his team’s one-goal win.

Indeed, the Jumbos did end it, but not until they forced their second turnover of the second overtime.

Tufts would advance to the NCAA semifinals two weeks later but saw their run toward a national title conclude against SUNY Cortland. The Red Dragons, which beat the Jumbos by a score of 12-10, would end up losing in the finals to Salisbury, who had beaten Tufts in the national title game one year earlier.

Sure, it was disappointing to see a team you had covered fall short of winning the ultimate prize, but I knew eventually this team (and program) would celebrate a championship in the future. And that they did. Tufts would win a pair of titles in the coming years, including their second national championship against Salisbury in 2014. They would also make a third-straight appearance in the championship game in 2016 but lose by one goal to the Sea Gulls of Salisbury.

Tufts will return to the title game again soon. But for now, I consider myself lucky to have covered and chronicled their various campaigns these past few years through NoontimeSports.com. I will always be thankful for the time both Mike Daly and his players provided me after the three contests I covered in 2012 and will continue to look back on this time fondly. I was a young journalist (and blogger), but also someone that wanted to learn more about a sport that I had only played once in my life. And because of Tufts, I am now an avid lacrosse fan, as well as a high school and middle school official here in Massachusetts.

I miss watching and covering games, especially on gorgeous days like today, but I do know better days are ahead for all of us, and they will certainly include exciting and dramatic one-goal victories.

D3 Lacrosse: New England Women’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll (Monday, March 9th, 2020)

D3WLAXZelosTop10Poll

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Another week of New England D-III Women’s Lacrosse is in the books, which means its time to unveil our second Top 10 Poll of the 2020 season.

This spring, our New England D-III Lacrosse Polls are powered by Zelos Athletics, which turns athletes into champions.

This week, Middlebury College and Tufts University remained in the top two positions while Wesleyan University moved into the third position followed by Amherst College and Bowdoin College in the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.


New England D-III Men’s Lax Top 10 Poll | Monday, March 9th, 2020 

1. Middlebury College 3-0, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Tufts University 3-0, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Wesleyan University 2-0, 1-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 4
4. Amherst College 3-1, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3
5. Bowdoin College 2-1, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 6
6. Colby College 3-1, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7
7. Trinity College 2-1, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 5
8. Endicott College 3-0, 0-0 CCC Last Week: No. 9
9. Springfield College 2-3, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
10. Babson College 2-3, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 10

On The Rise: Coast Guard Academy, Framingham State, MIT, and Roger Williams 


Previous Polls: Week One Poll 

 

D3 Lacrosse: 2019 All-Noontime New England D3 Men’s Lacrosse Team

ALL NOONTIME MLAX MAY 2019

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax 

With another season of New England Division III men’s lacrosse in the books – the 2019 season concluded this past weekend with Cabrini University defeating Amherst College in the championship game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – it is time to unveil our All-Noontime Sports team, including our player, rookie, and coach of the year.


All-Noontime End of Season Awards 

Coach of the Year: Jon Thompson | Amherst College: Thompson’s Mammoths made history this spring by advancing to the program’s first-ever NCAA Division III championship game. Despite falling to Cabrini, Thompson’s crew matched the 2015 Amherst squad with 18 wins, while scoring some impressive victories over a trio of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCASC) squads in the NCAA Tournament, including Williams College, which beat Amherst twice this season. Amherst concluded its 2019 campaign with an 18-4 record, 386 goals scored, and 244 assists.

Player of the Year: Evan Wolf | Amherst College: Wolf enjoyed his best season with the Mammoths, tallying career-highs in goals (75), assists (43) and points (118) while leading Amherst to its first-ever NCAA Division III Championship appearance. Additionally, Wolf and the Class of 2019 helped Amherst match its win total from 2015 with 18 victories this spring. Wolf departs Amherst with a slew of postseason honors while becoming the first-ever Division III student-athlete to earn a spot on the  Tewaaraton Watch List.

Rookie of the Year: Jake Haase | Williams College: The 2019 NESCAC Men’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Year enjoyed a very successful first season with Williams College, tallying 99 points on 67 assists and 32 goals to lead the Ephs to their best season in program history. Haase posted a season-high 10 points in a late March win over Colorado College while netting a season-high four goals in Williams’ 16-9 win over MIT. Haase’s 99 points were the most recorded by any member of the Ephs this spring.


All-Noontime First Team

Colin Minicus 

Amherst College 

Darien, Conn. 

Evan Wolf  Amherst College  Wynnewood, Pa.
Matt Chlastawa Bates College  Westfield, Mass. 
Riley McNulty  Coast Guard Academy Annapolis, Md.
Scott Morgan Trinity College East Grand Rapids, Mich.

Danny Murphy 

Tufts University 

Hauppauge, N.Y. 

Max Waldbaum 

Tufts University

Denver, Colo

Otto Bohan

Wesleyan University

Westlake, Ohio

Brendan Hoffman 

 Williams College

Darien, Conn.

Jake Haase 

Williams College 

Wayland, Mass. 

 


All-Noontime Second Team

Rod Castro

Amherst College

Bryn Mawr, Pa.

 Matt Solberg

Amherst College 

East Grand Rapids, Mich.

Rocco Fantoni

Bates College 

Hauppage, N.Y. 

C.J. Layton 

Colby College

Wakefield, Mass. 

PJ Kelleher 

Conn. College

Walpole, Mass. 

Matt Treiber

Tufts University 

Medfield, Mass. 

Ben Connelly  Tufts University 

Kenilworth, Ill.

Jared Ward

Western New England

Littleton, Mass.

Cory Lund

Williams College

El Segundo, Calif. 

Kevin Stump

Williams College

Allentown, PA 

 


All-Noontime Third Team 

Juan Gonzalez 

Amherst College 

Sarasota, Fla.

Samuel Mishkind

Babson College 

Chappaqua, N.Y.

Nathan Maselek

Clark University

Marblehead, Mass. 

Derek Yannone 

Endicott College 

Lynnfield, Mass.

Joe Nutting 

Keene State College

Amherst, N.H.

Ryan Madden 

Lasell College

Hingham, Mass. 

James Santoro 

MIT

Tewksbury, N.J.

Connor Smith

New England College

Oakland, Maine

Jack Vail 

Springfield College

Franklin, Mass.

Joe Hawley

Springfield College

Poulsbo, Wash.

 

D3 Lax Notebook: Amherst, Tufts & Williams Advance To Quarterfinals

NS Lacrosse Notebook

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Three rounds of the 2019 NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse tournament are in the books, which means its time to turn our attention to the quarterfinals.

This year, three of the eight teams competing in the quarterfinals happen to hail from Massachusetts and compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). 

Amherst College, which defeated last year’s national champion Wesleyan University, will face Tufts University, while Williams College secured a date with RIT. Both games, along with the two other quarterfinals – Salisbury University versus Denison University and York College (Pa.) versus Cabrini University – will be played Wednesday, May 15th.

The four quarterfinal winners will advance to next Sunday’s (May 19th) semifinals followed by the championship game one week later (Sunday, May 26th) at 4 p.m. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Let’s learn more about the three Massachusetts teams that will be competing this week in the quarterfinals.

Amherst College (16-3, 8-2 NESCAC) 

  • The Mammoths advanced to their first quarterfinals in three seasons with back-to-back postseason wins over Wesleyan (16-13) and Elizabethtown College (21-9).
  • Amherst will enter Wednesday’s meeting with the Jumbos with a 16-3 overall mark, including a 5-1 record on the road. Their lone road loss of the 2019 season came against Williams in April.
  • Evan Wolf leads the Mammoths with 107 points on 69 goals and 38 assists, while Colin Minicus ranks first on the team with 44 assists.
  • Juan Gonzalez leads the unit in face-off wins (171), while Dylan Finazzo is second on the team with 83 victories at midfield.
  • Rod Castro has recorded the most caused-turnovers this spring, tallying 36 in 17 contests.
  • Gib Versfeld secured his third win between the pipes on Saturday against Wesleyan – he will enter Wednesday’s contest with a 3-2 mark between the pipes, along with a 56.4 save percentage.
  • Amherst lost to Tufts earlier this spring by a score of 15-14. The Mammoths outscored the Jumbos, 11-5, in the second half, including 5-1 in the final quarter.
  • Through 19 games this spring, Amherst has averaged 18.37 goals per game.

Tufts University (19-1, 9-1 NESCAC) 

  • The Jumbos secured a date with the Mammoths on Wednesday by cruising past New England College (24-7) and Stevenson University (19-4).
  • Tufts will enter Wednesday’s clash with the Mammoths riding a nine-game winning streak, which includes a pair of NESCAC Tournament overtime wins against Middlebury College (14-13) and Williams (17-16).
  • As a team, Tufts has netted 356 goals, including 74 markers in the month of May.
  • Tufts is averaging 18.5 goals per game in May, which is roughly one more than their season average of 17.80 goals through 20 games.
  • Danny Murphy has enjoyed a successful final season with the Powder Blue and White, tallying 88 points on 47 goals and 41 assists, while Max Waldbaum has contributed 78 points on 67 goals and 11 assists.
  • Kyle Helfrich has scooped an impressive 148 ground balls this spring while winning 248 of 441 face-offs.
  • Mason Pollack and Joe Theuer have combined for 19 wins between the pipes and 260 saves, which is an average of 13.68 saves per game between the two goalies.
  • Tufts edged Amherst, 15-14, earlier this season, which helped the Jumbos go onto secure the top spot in the NESCAC Tournament a few weeks later.
  • The Jumbos have won nine of NESCAC championships in the past 10 seasons.

Williams College (17-3, 8-2 NESCAC) 

  • With their third-round win over St. John Fisher on Saturday, the Ephs have now won 10 games at home this spring with their last home setback occurring last April when they fell to Tufts by a score of 11-8.
  • Saturday’s win over the Cardinals was the team’s 17th victory of the 2019 season, which is the most games any Ephs squad has won in a single-season.
  • Williams defeated Keene State (21-10) last Wednesday in a second-round meeting before scoring a 17-12 win over St. John Fisher three days later.
  • Williams will visit RIT this Wednesday – the Tigers needed its defense down the stretch to defeat Union College, 10-9, in their third-round meeting. With their one-goal win against the Dutchmen on Saturday, RIT has now beaten Union three times this season, including once during the Liberty League (LL) playoffs.
  •  RIT and Williams have met just once on the lacrosse field with the Tigers scoring a 15-10 win over the Ephs on March 28, 2014. The game was played at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Williams is currently 2-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games – their first win in program history came against Keene State last Wednesday.
  • Williams’ first appearance in the NCAA Tournament occurred in 2008 when they lost to Ithaca College, 17-10.
  • Jake Haase leads the Ephs with 93 points on 62 assists and 31 goals, while Cory Lund ranks first on the team with 63 goals.
  • Alex Kitt has won 248 of 422 face-offs while scooping a team-high 132 ground balls.
  • Harry Gahagan has won 17 of 20 games between the pipes this spring. He currently boasts a 10.07 goals allowed average, along with a 53.4 save percentage.