NECC Men’s Lacrosse Tournament Preview: Can Regis Repeat?

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Regis College men’s lacrosse enters the NECC Tournament as the top seed, but also the defending tournament champions. (PHOTO CREDIT: Regis College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

After finishing league play undefeated, Regis College men’s lacrosse will look to capture its second-straight New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) postseason crown this week when they open tournament play tomorrow, Wednesday, April 26th against fourth-seed Mitchell College.

Regis defeated Mitchell in its season finale last Saturday, thanks to a combined 12 points from AJ Karofsky (four goals and two assists) and Calvin Brault (four goals and two assists).

A win for the Pride would send them to Saturday’s (Apr. 29th) championship game against either Daniel Webster (second seed) or Becker College (third seed).

The Eagles and Hawks will also begin tournament play tomorrow, competing in New Hampshire with face-off set for 4:00 p.m.

Daniel Webster, which lost just one league contest this season, will face Becker for the second time in four days. The Eagles soared past the Hawks last Saturday by a score of 7-1, thanks to a pair of goals and assists from Gavin Abbott, who is current sixth in the league in goals (24). Tre Mason (Daniel Webster) leads all NECC scorers with 38 goals.

Last season, Regis captured its first-ever NECC Tournament crown, defeating Becker in the championship game by a score of 10-6. The four-goal victory capped the team’s best season in program history as Regis finished its campaign with 13 wins.

Noontime’s Prediction: Regis maybe the favorite heading into this year’s tournament, but I certainly would not overlook Daniel Webster or Becker, two teams that were edged by the Pride earlier this season by one goal. The Pride needed an extra session to beat the Hawks, while its defense dashed a fourth quarter rally against the Eagles.

I’ll take Regis over Mitchell and Daniel Webster over Becker. In the championship game, I’ll take the Eagles over the Pride. 

Stay up to date with New England NCAA Division III sports by following Noontime Sports (@NoontimeSports) on Twitter and becoming a fan on Facebook

Catching Up With Brittany Stone (Regis College Women’s Basketball)

Brittany Stone guided the Regis College women's basketball team to a trio of wins last week. (PHOTO CREDIT: Regis College Athletics)

Brittany Stone guided the Regis College women’s basketball team to a trio of wins last week. (PHOTO CREDIT: Regis College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports (@NoontimeSports.com

After guiding her team to a trio of conference victories last week, Regis College junior Brittany Stone was tabbed the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) and New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA) Player of the Week.

Stone recorded a pair of double-doubles in two of three games last week, while leading all scorers with 18 points in her team’s 68-37 win over Wheelock.

Stone currently leads the Pride in points (108), free-throws (24-of-31) and rebounds (52) and less than 100 points away from eclipsing the 1,000-point mark.

Earlier this week, Noontime Sports caught up with Stone to discuss her team’s 4-1 overall start, why she chose to major in nursing, as well as what songs she listens to on a game day.

You enjoyed another successful week (last week), recording a pair of double-doubles, so what worked for you? 

Visualizing is something I’ve started doing (this season) and it’s been working well for me. On the bus ride to games, I think of the opening tip and the ending buzzer, and the feeling of winning (a game). Also, during warm-ups, my team helps me get pumped up by giving high-fives and exhibiting a lot of energy. We are always yelling and cheering each other on, even for the little things.

Tell me about playing Daniel Webster last Saturday – similar to the question above, but how were you able to be so successful, both shooting the ball and pulling down rebounds? 

There are so many things motivating us right now, and that’s what I thought about Saturday. For rebounding specifically, our team had a goal to get at least five offensive rebounds each quarter, and that’s what I was thinking about the whole time. I wanted to get as many boards as I could, both offensively and defensively. Shooting is all about the points, so we always want to score as much as possible.

What do you enjoy more during a game: scoring or rebounding? 

This is a hard question because I love doing both. Scoring is probably my favorite because it gives us a lot of energy on the court and bench, which makes us play better.

Your team has played five games thus far and is currently 4-1 overall and 3-0 in NECC play. How has the season gone thus far from your perspective? 

I think this season has been great (thus) far and we’ve definitely learned a lot from our first five games. It is still early in the season, but I believe we have the potential to go further than we ever have.

Your team heads to Las Vegas in a few weeks to compete in the Las Vegas Hoopla. What does your team need to do to be successful in both contests? 

We are facing two very tough teams, so it will be good tests for us. We need to do what we always do, which is play with a lot of energy and just be ready for anything that comes our way. If we play hard like we have nothing to lose then we will be successful.

What is something many fans don’t know about this particular Regis squad?

We have won 96 consecutive conference games, which is in the NCAA record book.

Tell me about choosing your major. What interested you in studying nursing? 

I was originally interested in exercise science my first-year at Regis, but during my sophomore year I switched to nursing because I was more interested in the medical field. My family had many experiences in hospitals, so I always found the nurses to be the most genuine people in those particular settings. Also after reading The Fault in Our Stars and watching movies like My Sister’s Keeper, I knew I wanted to pursue a nursing career in pediatric oncology.

 Have you held any internships or part-time jobs in the field? If so, where? 

This summer I am hoping to work at one of the hospitals in Boston.

Do you have any family members that work in the medical field? If so, did they inspire you to purse this major? 

I do not have any family members that work in the medical field, but like I said, my family has experienced its share of hospital stays and medical diagnoses, so those experiences inspired me to become a nurse.

Being from New England, I would presume you’re a Boston sports fan, so which of the four major teams (Bruins, Celtics, Patriots or Red Sox) is your favorite? 

The New England Patriots are my favorite Boston sports team. My goal is to actually go to a game next season.

You are less than 100 points away from reaching 1,000 points as a member of the Regis women’s basketball team – was that a goal you had heading into Regis? 

It was a goal I have had since my first season and even before  I committed to play college basketball. Since I reached the mark my junior year of high school, I wanted to do the same in college.

You eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in high school – how challenging is it to reach this particular milestone? 

In high school, I thought it would be impossible and I never thought I would reach that milestone. It was definitely a long journey, but it took a lot of hard work and perseverance.

Three songs you listen to on a game day? 

‘Famous’ by Kanye West,

‘Five More Hours’ by Chris Brown,

‘Under Control’ by Calvin Harris

Favorite television show these days? 

When I’m not watching ‘25 Days of Christmas,’ I am probably watching any reality television show.

The last book you read was …? 

The Fault in our Stars by John Green.

Finally, what do you love most about being a student-athlete at Regis? 

I love how  student-athletes are well integrated within the institution’s community. I also like how you are encouraged to pursue both athletics and education when applying to Regis.

New England D3 Lax Notebook: Catching Up With Trevor Craven (Becker College)

The Becker College men's lacrosse team will have a new head coach next spring as it was announced that Trevor Craven will guide the Hawks in June.  (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

The Becker College men’s lacrosse team will have a new head coach next spring as it was announced that Trevor Craven will guide the Hawks in June.
(Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Last month, Becker College Director of Athletics Frank Millerick announced the hiring of Trevor Craven as the head coach of the men’s lacrosse program.

Craven, who grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts and competed for the UMass Boston men’s lacrosse team as a student-athlete, comes to Becker following a six-year stint as the Emmanuel College men’s lacrosse assistant coach.

NoontimeSports.com caught up with the Hawks’ new head coach to discuss the role and goals for the program heading into the 2017 season.

 What intrigued you about this position?

This position offers me a chance to lead a program that has great potential. I have followed the program from afar because of their former ties to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). I see potential to take this program to the next level. The academics at the school are very good and I can’t even keep track of the number of awards and ‘best of lists’ the school is on.

Tell me about your experience at Emmanuel – how did you assist Coach McWilliams in turning the Saints into a conference champion the past three seasons?

We literally had to build everything from the ground up at Emmanuel. Brendan McWilliams had a vision that was clear and to the point, and he worked to convince the administration to do lots of things to assist the program. Brendan worked extremely hard to build this program – I just followed his lead – but after two years of explaining our program’s goals and initiatives, as well as what the institution could offer from an academic perspective, we started attracting players that bought into our system and ran with it.

How did Coach McWilliams help you improve as a coach?

Coach McWilliams taught me so much over the last six seasons. It’s easy to point at the X’s and O’s, but he taught me more about how to be an effective coach. He taught me the humility and professionalism that goes along with being a professional coach. It’s easy to just show up and roll the balls out and say ‘do it,’ but he took time to show me the right way to do things. He taught me that the right way isn’t always the easy way and that the team always comes first.

What sort of offensive and defensive styles do you hope to implement with the Hawks?

I am a defensive guy, so I would like to implement some of the things that we used at Emmanuel. We got lucky and recruited a great group of defenders early on, so our defense was always a little more advanced than our offense. Hopefully I can make a similar transition with Becker. As for our offense, I have a style in mind that I want to implement. Everyone wants to run an attack similar to Tufts, so the offense will be a work in progress with an end goal in mind.

What goals and objectives do you hope to accomplish as the head coach of the Becker men’s lacrosse team?

We want to compete at the highest level possible. At Emmanuel, we set out to build a competitive program that could compete against the best teams in Division III, and the squad is in a better place than it was in year one. At Becker, we want to win the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) – that is our first goal. We also want to position ourselves for a Pool B bid for the NCAA Tournament. And finally – speaking collectively as team – we want to get better everyday and make sure we prepare our student-athletes to win lacrosse games, but also in life. Wins and losses will happen, but one of my biggest goals for the program is preparing these student-athletes for future success beyond the lacrosse field.

Mass. College Lax: Randy Fraser Optimistic About Regis College Men’s Lacrosse

Regis College tabbed Randy Fraser as the program's new head coach this month. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

Regis College tabbed Randy Fraser as the program’s new head coach this month. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Randy Fraser has spent his entire life coaching and playing lacrosse, but after a short stint with the Junior U.S.A. National Box Lacrosse team this summer, he felt it was time to return to the collegiate level as a head coach.

“(Being the head coach of the Junior U.S.A. National Box Lacrosse team) really rose my level of confidence and my ability to be the top-guy and leader to steer the ship,” said Fraser.

“I really think we did a good job with the team this past summer, we got great feedback from the players and parents, which was very positive and so that really drove me to pursue a head coaching position (at the collegiate level).”

Fraser accepted the head coaching position – his first collegiate head coaching job – with the Regis College men’s lacrosse team, a member of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) earlier this month. Fraser becomes the program’s third head coach and will look to continue the team’s success from the past two seasons, which featured a pair of postseason appearances in the conference and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournaments.

No stranger to collegiate lacrosse, Fraser played for Springfield College before accepting assistant positions with American International College (AIC), Nichols College and Dean College. He has also coached high school lacrosse at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Massachusetts, while competing at the professional level in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) with the Boston Blazers, New York Saints and Buffalo Bandits. In 2003, he captained Team U.S.A. to a Bronze Medal at the World Games in Canada, finishing the tournament with 10 assists and one goal.

“I was looking for a certain balance (in a head coaching position) and the Division III, small college level really fit that balance of what I was looking for,” said Fraser.

“My aspirations (for this role) is to coach a winning program and strong program, and I feel like we have that here at Regis.”

Mass. College Lax: NECC Unveils Men’s Lacrosse All-Conference Team (LINK)

By Matt Noonan 

The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) unveiled its men’s lacrosse All-Conference Team yesterday and their were a few local schools represented on the first team. Also, Regis College coach Josh Blumenthal, who appeared on last week’s podcast, was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.

For all the details on the various awards, along with the first team — HOP HERE.

 

Mass. College Lax: Regis-Springfield Game Preview

Regis College's Peter Leighton recorded a game-best seven points against Daniel Webster last week! (Photo Credit: Regis College Athletics)

Regis College’s Peter Leighton recorded a game-best seven points against Daniel Webster last week! (Photo Credit: Regis College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Our Wednesday lacrosse coverage continues as this evening Noontime Sports will be pacing the sidelines of Regis-Springfield, which starts at 6 p.m.

Both teams enter the contest having won their last match as Regis defeated Daniel Webster, 13-5, while Springfield snapped a six-game skid with an 11-10 victory against Western New England.

Meet Regis: The Pride concluded March with an impressive win against NECC (New England Collegiate Conference) foe Daniel Webster. Peter Leighton led all players with a game-best seven points (three goals, four assists), Billy Stewart registered four goals and two assists, and Nicky Rodrigo netted a hat trick.

Excluding their victory against the Eagles, the Pride has also defeated Dallas and Rivier this season.

Meet Springfield: The Pride began their campaign with an enormous victory against Gordon College before dropping their next six games. However, they relocated the win column last Saturday with an impressive victory against the Golden Bears as Ryan Murphy netted the game-winner with three ticks remaining.

Last Meeting: Springfield defeated Regis in their inaugural meeting last season, 16-4. Chris Campell led Regis with two strikes, while Springfield’s Murphy, Sean Doolady and Kevin Sainte finished with two goals apiece.  

Players To Watch: For Regis, keep an eye on Rodrigo, who is having a fantastic first season. He’s recorded three points or more in six of eight contests, as well as tallied five points against Daniel Webster, Rivier and Southwestern, and four points against Becker College and Emerson College.

For Springfield, it’s Ryon Lynch, who leads the unit with 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists). The junior attack has been a pivotal part of the Pride’s offense by locating dodgers for goals.

Interesting Statistic: Springfield College is 19-3 in the month of April since 2010. They didn’t lose a single game last season, but lost twice in 2011 and once in 2010.

Live Stats: Can’t make the game? Do not worry because you can follow the live stats courtesy of the Regis sports information department by CLICKING HERE 

* For more information on Regis men’s lacrosse — HOP HERE

* For more information on Springfield men’s lacrosse — HOP HERE 

Endicott Men’s Volleyball Soars Past Southern Vermont, Remains Perfect In NECC

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Southern Vermont sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the Endicott College men’s volleyball team, who defeated Southern Vermont in three matches. The Gulls have now won four consecutive contests and remain undefeated in the New England Collegiate Conference:

BENNINGTON, Vt. – A strong block presence at the net helped carry the visiting Endicott College men’s volleyball team over Southern Vermont College Tuesday night, 3-0, to remain undefeated in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.

EC won with game scores of 25-20, 25-19, 25-14.

The Mountaineers drop to 5-8 overall on the season, 2-2 in the conference, while the Gulls improve to 10-4 and 5-0 in NECC play.

Endicott recorded hitting averages of above .300 in each set with junior Travis Netherton (Waukegan, Ill.) leading the way at 11 kills; he committed only two hitting errors on 15 swings for a .600 hitting percentage.

The Mountaineers took a brief lead in the opening set, but EC was quick to answer as the teams went back-and-forth. The Gulls took a late lead which they would not relinquish while taking the frame 25-20.

Endicott grabbed four-straight points early in the second game to gain a quick advantage. The Gulls would slowly increase that margin before SVC tried to storm back later on in the set. EC remained tough and focused, however, to close it out 25-19.

In the final set, Southern Vermont would again take an early lead and used the momentum to jump out 4-1, but Endicott came right back with four unanswered of its own to go on top. The Mountaineers grabbed a momentary 6-5 lead, but the Gulls went on an 11-3 run and left SVC with a deficit it would be unable to overcome through the remainder of the match, falling 25-14.

Mountaineer junior outside hitter Anthony Barahona (Eagle Rock, Calif.) and sophomore middle Joey Dighton (Riverside, Calif.) each led the team with nine kills while Barahona, sophomore setter Herson Canta (Los Angeles, Calif.) and sophomore libero Florentino Escovedo (Fresno, Calif.) recorded eight digs apiece. Canta also had 21 assists for SVC.

Following Netherton on the Gulls was junior middle blocker Mike Coniglione (Glenville, N.Y.) who put down 10 kills, only notching two errors on 21 attack attempts for a .381 hitting percentage. Junior Josh Anderson (La Canada, Calif.) had six kills to go along with a match-high five block assists; Netherton also contributed four block assists and a solo for the Endicott defense. Freshman setter Tyler Bacon assisted on 30 of the 43 Gull kills. The team hit .393 on the night with 43 kills and 10 errors on 84 attack attempts.

The Mountaineers return to action Friday with a 4 p.m. NECC home match against Newbury College, and Endicott is off until Saturday’s rematch against SVC at 1 p.m. on the Gull’s home court.