New England Sends Four Teams to NCAA D3 Football Tournament

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Framingham State’s Joshua Smiley and the Rams are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Four New England D3 football teams secured spots in the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament, which officially begins Saturday, November 17th with 16 opening round contests.

32 teams were selected to compete in this year’s tournament, including a trio of local teams (Framingham StateHusson University and Western New England) which captured their respective conference crown.

MIT, which also earned a spot in this year’s tournament, secured an at-large bid following an exciting 22-7 win yesterday over Springfield College to secure the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown (the NEWMAC title was the Engineers’ first in program history).

All four teams will hit the road this week with Framingham State visiting Brockport, Husson traveling to RPI, MIT heading to Johns Hopkins and Frostburg State entertaining Western New England. All four match-ups will commence at 12 p.m. eastern.

Both Husson and WNE advanced to the tournament last year, while Framingham State is making its first appearance in three seasons (the Rams last competed in the national postseason in 2015). MIT is making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history after making an impressive debut four years ago with an opening round win against Husson.

We’ll have more on all four match-ups later this week, but as always, stay connected with @Noontime_FB on Twitter for news, notes and more from the New England football world! 

Under The Helmet with Framingham State’s Quron Wright & Joshua Onujiogu

FSU Social Noontime Helmet

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

A new season of Framingham State football is set to begin tomorrow, (Saturday, September 1st) when the Rams host Endicott College in a non-conference clash at 12 p.m.

Last season, the Rams went 10-1, earning a share of the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown with Plymouth State before capturing its second-straight New England Bowl championship.

This season, the Rams hope to continue its  momentum from last year by leaning on its upperclassmen, including senior halfback Quron Wright and junior defensive end Joshua Onujiogu. Both players will be counted on to lead the offense and defensive, respectively.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with both student-athletes to share their outlook for the upcoming season, but also what they must do to help their respective unit, too.


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Quron Wright (2) will once again be asked to lead the Framingham State ground game this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

Quron Wright | Senior Halfback | Worcester, Mass. 

On the upperclassmen leading this year’s team: We have a bunch of new guys on this year’s team, so coach (Tom Kelley) is really putting an emphasis on the upperclassmen with helping the young guys learn their roles, while also learning where they need to be on the field (during different situations).

On this year’s offense: We’re keeping the focus on the same things we did last year, which is just trying to be a little bit faster, while keeping opposing defenses on their heels. Our biggest goal is making sure the upperclassmen make plays when needed.

On preparing for his final season: I worked out a lot this summer. I was coming off a good season from last year, so I just want to keep improving. I watched a lot of film and found things I needed to improve on this season. But for me, my goal is to be more involved in the blocking game on offense, so that has been something I have been working on this offseason.

On what motivates you to be successful: I keep the focus on myself (and improving every day). I personally think I am one of the best (running) backs in the area, so I am extremely motivated and want to end (my final season with the Rams) on a high note.

On facing Endicott College: We don’t have much film on them, so we don’t (always) know what to expect. We just try to go in there and get a feel for them, and then go from there. But it is always fun playing against them. It should be even more fun this year since we will be at home.

On qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this fall: We finished 10-1 last year, but it wasn’t what we expected, so this year we have emphasized trying to take that next step (to contend for a national title).


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Joshua Onujiogu (91) will be counted on to lead the Framingham State Rams defense this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Poulin)

Joshua Onujiogu | Junior Defensive End | Wareham, Mass.

On the team’s defense: I think we’re getting better, but there is a lot more work we need to do (due to some key graduation losses from last year’s squad), but we just need to keep working hard. We will be fine.

On what the defense must improve on: We need to improve our communication.

On facing your team’s offense in practice every day: I think we’re facing one of the best offenses that we are going to see this year, so it definitely helps us get better.

On qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this season: Yeah, that is the top goal and we really want (to compete for a national championship this season).


Stay connected with our Noontime Sports football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

D3 Lacrosse: Wesleyan Wins First-Ever NCAA Championship

fP0ILBHzBy NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

For the first-time in school history, the Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team captured the national crown, defeating Salisbury University, 8-6, on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium in the 2018 NCAA Division III championship.

Harry Stanton capped his impressive four-year career with the Red and Black by netting a pair of goals, while setting-up his team’s final marker late in the third quarter, which provided Wesleyan with an 8-4 lead heading into the final session.

Wesleyan’s defense limited Salisbury to just a pair of goals during the final 15 minutes, while Otto Bohan halted the rally with his final save with 13 seconds remaining.

Bohan concluded the contest with 11 stops – he also ended the season with an impressive 17-2 record between the pipes.

The Cardinals secured a 4-0 lead to begin the game, thanks to goals from Stanton and Carter Hawthorne before Salisbury halted the short spurt with a Zach Pompea strike with two seconds remaining. Salisbury would close the gap with back-to-back markers in the second quarter from Corey Gwin before Stanton netted his final goal with 3:07 remaining in the stanza to provide Wesleyan with a 5-3 lead at the break.

Salisbury would again pull within one goal early in the third as Josh Melton buried a feed from Pierre Armstrong before Taylor Ghesquiere jumpstarted a three-goal run with 8:52 remaining in the session that helped the Cardinals enter the final stanza with an 8-4 advantage.

Wesleyan, which concludes its season at 19-3 overall, scored five impressive postseason wins this month, including a pair of victories against RIT and Tufts University to secure a match-up with the Sea Gulls. Wesleyan attempted to reach the finals last season, but saw their run conclude against the Tigers of RIT.

D3 Lacrosse: Men’s NCAA Tournament First & Second Round Pairings

NCAA Pairings

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

The 2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Tournament pairings were announced this evening – the postseason officially begins Tuesday, May 8th with four first-round games followed by a full slate of second round games on Wednesday, May 9th. The third round will take place on Saturday, May 12th, while the quarterfinals are slated for Wednesday, May 16th.

The final four teams remaining in the tournament will compete in the semifinals on Sunday, May 20th with each winner advancing to the national championship on Sunday, May 27th at Gillette Stadium.

Here are the opening round and second round pairings – no times have been announced as of Sunday evening.

First Round Pairings (Tuesday, May 8th)

Albion vs. New England College
Merchant Marine vs. Johnson & Wales Univ.
Eastern vs. Morrisville
Elizabethtown vs. John Carroll

Second Round Pairings (Wednesday, May 9th)

Albion/New England College vs. RIT
Stevens vs. Springfield College
York (Pa.) vs. Western New England
Amherst College vs. Keene State
Wesleyan vs. SUNY Cortland
Cabrini vs. Colorado College
Ithaca College vs. Stevenson
Merchant Marine/Johnson & Wales vs. Tufts
Eastern/Morrisville State vs. Salisbury
Roanoke vs. Christopher Newport
Washington & Lee vs. Transylvania
Dickinson vs. Lynchburg
Denison vs. Illinois Wesleyan
Ohio Wesleyan vs. Aurora
Rhodes vs. Huntingdon
Gettysburg vs. Elizabethtown/John Carroll

NCAA D3 Tournament: Opening Round Roundup

NS NCAA TOURN ROUNDUP

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Welcome to the official start of ‘March Madness!’

The NCAA Division III basketball tournament commenced today with some pretty exciting outcomes as St. Joseph’s (Maine) and Hamilton College each began the day with opening round wins. The Monks scored an exciting five-point (61-56) victory over UMass Boston women’s basketball team in Amherst, while the Continentals defeated Nazareth, 86-72, thanks to a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds from Kena Gilmour.

The Monks of St. Joseph’s played some impressive defense down the stretch, holding the Beacons just nine points in the third and fourth quarters. Julia Champagne led the Monks with 16 points – she also stuffed the stat sheet with six caroms, three steals and one one assist.

Joining the Monks in the second round of the women’s tournament is Amherst CollegeBowdoin College and Tufts University. The Jumbos scored an opening round win over Westfield State, thanks to 17 points off the bench from Cailin Harrington, along with 15 points from Jac Knapp and Melissa Baptista.

On the men’s side: MIT scored an opening round win as the Engineers defeated Brockport, 81-67. Tim Roberts recorded his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Middlebury College topped Lebanon Valley, 83-63, behind a triple-double of 13 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists from Jack Daly.

Joining MIT and Middlebury in the second round is Springfield CollegeWesleyan UniversityEastern Connecticut and Williams College. The Pride scored an exciting opening round win as they edged Albright, 88-86, thanks to a pair of freebies from Jake Ross, along with a late free throw from Heath Post.

Bobby Casey helped the Ephs break-open a one-point (21-20) lead at the break to defeat the Bears of Bridgewater State, 56-45. James Heskett concluded the game with 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals.  


Saturday’s Schedule | Round Two 

  • Women’s Basketball: St. Joseph’s (Maine) at Amherst College, 6 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball: FDU-Florham at Bowdoin College, 7 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball: Ithaca at Tufts University, 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Ramapo at Williams College, 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Middlebury College at Eastern Connecticut St., 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: MIT at Johns Hopkins, 8 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Hamilton College at York (Pa), 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Swarthmore at Wesleyan, 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball: Springfield at Cabrini, 7 p.m.