Tag: NCAA

Revisiting Our Top Stories from 2021

The Williams College football team’s 2021 season was one of many stories we highlighted and covered this year. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

With 2022 quickly approaching, I thought we could do one more look back — maybe a reflection? — of some of our most read and viewed stories from 2021.

The biggest story in my opinion was the return to the field for so many colleges and high schools in the New England region — yes, I know some teams or programs competed during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic — but there was a euphoric sense from so many seeing their local teams back on the field or in the gymnasium.

Let’s share some other stories we enjoyed producing over the last 12 months.

  • At the conclusion of the 2021 small college football season — New England NCAA Division III, to be exact — we created (and shared) our first-ever All-Noontime Sports Team. Our fans enjoyed it — well, we enjoyed producing it! — and look forward to doing more of these in the future. (We also created a preseason team, too!)

  • In late June, I, along with many in this region, was eager for the college football season to begin. So, I decided to produce our Way Too Early Top 20 D3 Poll, which had Williams College in the top spot.

    Perhaps I knew this year’s squad would finish 9-0?

  • Speaking of Williams — yes, I know the Ephs were mentioned above! — but they finished their 2021 campaign by completing a perfect season with an end-of-season win over Amherst College. Their 24-19 victory clinched their first-ever 9-0 record in program history.

  • A new piece of content we created was ‘Inside the Matchup,’ which highlighted a few NCAA Division III playoff games. And one of our most-read playoff previews, according to our stats, was Endicott College hosting RPI in the opening round of the national tournament.

  • Sometimes, a sound bite — yes, a quote or a few words — can be used to create a post.

    In early June, I produced a short piece about Chris Hogan telling NBC‘s Paul Burmeister that he thought Paul Rabil could compete in the National Football League (NFL).

    Rabil, a long-time and well-respected lacrosse player, retired at the conclusion of the 2021 Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), but apparently did ponder the idea of playing football when he was 23.
  • Speaking of Chris Hogan, did you know the former New England Patriots wide receiver competed for the Cannons Lacrosse Club earlier this year?

    Indeed, he did — the Cannons, who used to play outside of Boston, were one of the newest members of the PLL.

  • Let’s go back to football where not one, but two Northeast football teams — the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) and UMass Dartmouthcaptured their respective New England Bowls.

  • We know football has been a major theme of this post, so why not share our first high school football story from early September, which saw Malden Catholic roll past Weymouth in its season-opener. And you can watch our interviews and highlights from our initial high school football coverage below:
  • Another great story from 2021: Anna Maria College captured its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown.

    The AMCATs crusied to an impressive 31-7 victory over SUNY Maritime to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

    Anna Maria will certainly be a team to watch in 2022 — can they win their conference again? We’ll have to wait and see!

  • We conclude this post with one more historical memory from New England: the Holy Cross football team won its first-ever postseason game by rallying to beat Sacred Heart University, 13-10.

    The three-point win over the Pioneers was certainly an exciting one — sadly, it did not translate into additional postseason wins, but it certainly provided the team with some momentum heading into the offseason. And like Anna Maria, Holy Cross will also be a team to watch in 2022.

Thanks for a great year, everyone — we wish all our fans, friends, and readers a very Happy New Year!

Holy Cross Makes History, Rallies To Beat Sacred Heart, 13-10

Matthew Sluka threw the game-winning touchdown pass on Saturday to send Holy Cross past Sacred Heart in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA FCS Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger Photography/Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Saturday was a historical day for the Holy Cross football team.

The Crusaders won their first-ever postseason contest by rallying to defeat Sacred Heart University, 13-10, in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA FCS Tournament.

With the win, Holy Cross snapped a five-game losing streak in the “second season,” which includes a trio of first-round setbacks to secure a date with Villanova University on Friday, December 3 in the second round. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Holy Cross erased a 10-3 deficit during its final two series with a 38-yard field goal by Derek Ng and a 35-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Sluka to Jalen Coker, which provided the hosts with their first and only lead. Sluka’s touchdown was reviewed, but not reversed — the go-ahead score occurred with 14 seconds remaining in the final session.

Sluka concluded the contest with 171 passing yards on 13 of 19 attempts to go with a game-high 90 yards on 23 carries. Peter Oliver added 15 yards on three carries while Coker led all receivers with five receptions for 103 yards.

Sacred Heart’s Rob McCoy provided the Pioneers with a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter when he capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a five-yard score. Holy Cross would counter late in the second with a 23-yard field goal by Ng before Sacred Heart added to its lead with a 33-yard field goal from Noah Gettman with 12:09 remaining in the final stanza.

McCoy led the Pioneers’ rushing attack with seven carries for 62 yards while quarterback Marquez McCray registered 137 yards of total offense, including 78 passing yards.

Holy Cross accumulated 288 total yards of offense on 56 plays compared to Sacred Heart, which finished with 236 yards on 56 plays.

Like Holy Cross, Sacred Heart was seeking its first-ever playoff victory, but today’s loss sends the Pioneers to 0-4 in the postseason, including 0-3 against teams from the Patriot League (Fordham University beat the Red and White in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014).

Sacred Heart concludes its 2021 campaign with eight wins while Holy Cross scored its 10th victory, which is the most a Purple and White squad has accumulated since posting an 11-0 record in 1991.

Holy Cross has never competed in the second round of the FCS Tournament but did appear in the quarterfinals in 1983 when they lost to Western Carolina.

Villanova has won 13 of 22 meetings with Holy Cross, including a first-round matchup in 2009 when the Wildcats defeated the Crusaders, 38-28. The Purple and White’s last win over the Wildcats occurred in 1989.  

Inside The Matchup: Springfield College @ SUNY Cortland

Aiden Lewin and the Springfield College defense will be tasked with slowing down an impressive SUNY Cortland offense. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Springfield College and SUNY Cortland first met on the gridiron in 1946 with the Red Dragons securing a hard-fought 14-12 victory over the Pride.

Since then, the two teams have met 32 times with both squads winning 16 contests and tying once.

On Saturday, the two squads will meet again in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Tournament.

Let’s learn more about this particular matchup like we have earlier this week with a few other local squads.


Game Time & Location: Saturday’s clash between Springfield and Cortland will take place in New York at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Team Schedules: Springfield | Cortland

Team Statistics: Springfield | Cortland


Springfield’s journey to the postseason: After ending its initial month of play with just one win, the Pride rebounded with six straight wins, including three consecutive hard-fought wins during the final three weeks against Catholic University, MIT, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Their end-of-season win over the Cardinals allowed the Pride to secure their second New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown since capturing it in 2017.

Cortland’s journey to the postseason: After beginning their season with an opening day win over Wittenberg University, the Red Dragons ripped off nine straight wins, including six Empire 8 victories that saw just two teams – Brockport and SUNY Morrisville – score at least one touchdown against a Red Dragons squad that is yielding an average of 8.4 points per game this season.

Springfield’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Pride competed in the opening round of the 2017 postseason but saw their 10-game winning streak snapped to a Husson University squad that had captured its second-straight Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown one week earlier against Mount Ida College.

Cortland’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Red Dragons last appeared in the postseason in 2015 where they won an opening round contest against Salisbury University by a score of 45-21. Linfield University defeated Cortland in the second round before losing to St. Thomas in the semifinals.

Springfield’s NCAA Tournament history: The Pride are making their seventh trip to the postseason with their first appearance coming in 1998 when Springfield lost to Buffalo State in the opening round by a score of 38-35. Two years later, Springfield returned to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the East Regional Finals where they lost to Widener University.

Cortland’s NCAA Tournament history Saturday will mark the 10th time in program history that the Red Dragons have competed in the national postseason. Cortland first appeared in the postseason in 1988. They beat Hofstra University in the opening round at home before falling to Ithaca College in the quarterfinals.

Players to Watch on Springfield: Tim Callahan (FB), Isaiah Cashwell-Doe (RB), Christian Hutra (K | NEWMAC Special Teamer of the Year), Kyle Niehr (DB), Ronald Beard (DB), DJ Brown (LB), Aiden Lewin (LB), David Wells (QB), and Patrick Tuohy (P)

Players to Watch on Cortland: Brees Segala (QB | Empire 8 Offensive Player of the Year), Jaden Alfanostjohn (RB), Derek Cruz (WR), JJ Laap (WR), Nick Lardaro (DL | Empire 8 Rookie of the Year), Devin Smith (DL), Dylan Dubuque (LB | Empire 8 Defensive Player of the Year), Joshua Cordero (DB), Christian Legagneur (DB), Stone Murray (DB), Patrick Luby (K), and Liam Casey (P)

Inside The Matchup: Anna Maria @ Delaware Valley

Donte Simmons and the Delaware Valley football team head into the national postseason riding a 10-game winning streak. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chuck Greco)

By NoontimeSports.com

The 2021 NCAA Division III postseason begins Saturday, November 20, 2021, with 32 teams competing in 16 first-round matchups.

This week, Noontime Sports is highlighting four matchups that feature squads from New England, including Anna Maria College visiting Delaware Valley University.

Let’s learn more about this particular matchup that features a pair of teams that captured their respective conference crown this fall.


Game Time & Location: Delaware Valley will be the home team on Saturday — the game will take place in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. (LIVE STATS | VIDEO)

Team Schedules: Anna Maria | Delaware Valley

Team Statistics: Anna Maria | Delaware Valley


Anna Maria’s journey to the postseason: The AMCATs secured their first-ever trip to the national postseason last weekend by defeating SUNY-Maritime by a score of 31-7. With the win, Anna Maria captured its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title and concluded the regular season with a program best seven wins in a single-season.  

Delaware Valley’s journey to the postseason: The Aggies head into the postseason riding a 10-game winning streak, which includes eight conference wins. They captured the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) crown this past weekend with a 27-0 victory over Widener University.

Anna Maria’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: Saturday’s contest against the Aggies will mark the first time the AMCATs compete in the national postseason.

Delaware Valley’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: After capturing its third-straight conference crown on November 16, 2019, with a 28-21 victory over Widener in the Keystone Cup, the Aggies secured the league’s automatic berth to the postseason where they would win back-to-back matchups against Bridgewater College (30-22) and Wesley College (45-10). Their quest for a national title concluded in the quarterfinals with a 31-14 setback to North Central College, which went onto beat Wisconsin-Whitewater in the national championship.  

Anna Maria’s NCAA Tournament history: The 2021 AMCATs are the first team in program history to compete in the national postseason. Anna Maria has been playing football since 2009.

Delaware Valley’s NCAA Tournament history: The Aggies will be making their 10th trip in program history to the postseason with their initial appearance coming in 2004. Delaware Valley last entered the national tournament undefeated in 2017.

Players to Watch on Anna Maria: Alex Cohen(QB), Kristian Sapp (RB), Justin McMillian (WR), Deandre Wallace (WR), Ryan Kent (K), Hayden Braga (P), Armstrong Antoine (DB), Jude Sampson (DL), and Sam Jakana (LB).

Players to Watch on Delaware Valley: DaQuan Bohannan (QB) | Donte Simmons (HB | MAC Offensive Player of the Year), Tahmir Barksdale (WR), Yusuf Aladinov (DL), Anthony Nobile (DL), Anthony Tedesco (LB | Defensive Player of the Year), and Blaine Netterman (DB)

Inside The Matchup: Framingham State @ Muhlenberg College

Devaun Ford and the Framingham State offense will look to continue their recent momentum against Muhlenberg College on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

By NoontimeSports.com

The 2021 NCAA Division III postseason begins Saturday, November 20, 2021 with 32 teams competing 16 first-round matchups.

This week, Noontime Sports is highlighting four matchups that feature squads from New England, including Framingham State visiting Muhlenberg College.

Let’s learn more about this particular matchup that features two teams that competed in the 2019 national playoffs.


Game Time & Location: Muhlenberg will host Framingham State on Saturday, November 12 at Scotty Wood Stadium in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. (LIVE STATS | VIDEO)

Team Schedules: Framingham State | Muhlenberg College

Team Stats: Framingham State | Muhlenberg College


Framingham State’s journey to the postseason: The Rams secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament by winning the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) — the Black and Gold won eight-straight league meetings this fall, including their last two against Bridgewater State (47-13) and Worcester State (40-21).

Muhlenberg’s journey to the postseason: After starting its season by winning two of three contests, the Mules ripped off seven-straight wins to capture the Centennial Conference (CC) they clinched the tile this past weekend with a 55-0 victory over Moravian University.

Framingham State’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: After winning their conference in 2019, the Rams advanced to the opening round, but saw their bid toward a national championship conclude against Wesley College.

Muhlenberg’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Mules concluded their 2019 campaign with a 13-1 record — their lone loss came in the national semifinals to North Central, which went onto beat Wisconsin-Whitewater in the national championship. The loss to Cardinals concluded an impressive run for the Muhlenberg seniors, who helped the Red and White win 41 of 49 contests to go with a pair of conference titles and trips to the NCAA quarterfinals.

Framingham State’s NCAA Tournament history: The Rams have competed in the national tournament five times in program history with their first appearance in 2012. Saturday will mark the program’s sixth trip to the postseason.

Muhlenberg’s NCAA Tournament history: This Saturday will mark the 10th appearance for the Mules dating back to their initial trip in 2002.

Players to Watch on Framingham State: Nicolas Goffredo (QB), Devaun Ford (RB/WR | MASCAC Offensive Player of the Year), Marcus McBean Jr. (HB), Elijah Nichols (RB), Joshua Onujiogu (DE | MASCAC Defensive Player of the Year), Cully Curran (DB), Gerell Boyce (DL), and Dylan DeWolfe (LB | MASCAC Defensive Rookie of the Year).

Players to Watch on Muhlenberg: Michael Hnatkowsky (QB | named the conference’s offensive player of the year), Rory DeLuca (HB), Ethan Brader (HB), Michael Feaster (WR), Mitch Daniel (WR), Spencer Kirin (LB), and Joshua Barnett (LB).