Tufts Looks To Continue Its Momentum Against Amherst On Saturday

171007_4020_football0140
Ryan McDonald and the Tufts University football team will look to continue their winning ways on Saturday against Amherst College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tufts University Athletics)

By Brian Willwerth | @BriWillwerth 

With three games left in the season, the Tufts University football team sits at 5-1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), one game behind undefeated Amherst College.

As the Jumbos prepare for Saturday’s big game against the Mammoths, we caught up with Tufts football coach Jay Civetti to discuss the Powder Blue and White’s current success this fall on the gridiron, which recently included a hard-fought 28-21 win over Williams College last Saturday in Somerville.

With their seven-point victory last week over Williams, Tufts has now posted four straight winning seasons for the first time since 1988-1991.

“Anytime you beat Williams, that’s a big deal, and I’m certainly proud of the effort last week,” said Civetti.  “There’s a lot of great accomplishments that came from that win.

“We’ve got a lot of ahead of us, and this weekend we have as good of a challenge as we’ve had all year.”

One of the players who’s stepped up defensively against the Ephs was junior linebacker Greg Holt. The senior linebacker had a game-high 13 tackles in the victory over the Ephs, which earned him the Gold Helmet award and NESCAC defensive player of the week honors.

“Greg’s just a tremendous competitor,” said Civetti. “He’s a very smart player. He’s got a great knack for the ball, and he just plays the game incredibly hard.”

“I think all the hard work he puts in during the week shows on Saturday.”

On offense, quarterback Ryan McDonald is having a solid senior season, throwing ten touchdown passes, while adding an additional six scores on the ground.

“The one thing about Ryan’s game is he’s a runner first before he’s a thrower,” said Civetti. “(He’s) managing the game in different ways, but at the same time, when he has to make moves…he’s doing everything he can to do that.”

McDonald and Holt will certainly be counted on this Saturday when the Jumbos visit the Mammoths of Amherst with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.


Stay connected with our New England Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

D3 Football: Amherst Welcomes Malik Grove To Coaching Staff

Mammoths-logo-flex-callout-reversed-1000x600By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It was announced yesterday on Twitter that Malik Grove will be joining the Amherst College football coaching staff as their running backs coach.

Grove arrives in Amherst, Massachusetts after concluding a successful collegiate career at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio.

As noted in the team’s post on Twitter, Grove was a three-year starting quarterback for the Falcons, finishing his career with 7, 647 passing yards and 2,198 rushing yards. He tossed 103 touchdowns and currently holds the NCAA Division II record for best career interception ratio (1.29%), only 13 interceptions in 1,0008 attempts.

Grove will oversee a rushing unit that averaged 178.6 yards per game last season and led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with 20 touchdowns on the ground. Jack Hickey concluded last season by leading the Amherst rushing attack with 640 yards on 106 carries and nine touchdowns. Additionally, quarterback Ollie Eberth found success on the ground, finishing the season with 244 yards on 70 carries and five touchdowns.

Amherst will kick-off its 2018 campaign on Saturday, September 15th when they visit Bates College for a 1 p.m. kick-off.

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 Lax Roundup: Four NESCAC Teams Appear On USILA/Nike Preseason Poll

D3 Lax RoundUp

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

A brand new season of New England Division III lacrosse is right around the corner, so get excited!

And to get us even more eager for a brand new season, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) released its 2018 preseason coaches poll yesterday, which found four New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams earn spots on the 20-team list.

Wesleyan University checked-in second overall, while Salisbury University and and RIT earned the first and third positions, respectively.

Tufts University slid into the eighth position, while Amherst College earned the 10th spot. Bates College was the final NESCAC team to earn a spot on the poll as they checked-in 11th overall.

Denison University and York College rounded out the top five spots, checking-in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Wesleyan captured last season’s NESCAC crown by defeating Middlebury College in the conference tournament final before advancing to the NCAA Division III semifinals. The Cardinals would see its season conclude against RIT, which advanced to the championship game to face Salisbury at Gillette Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Tigers, 15-7, to capture their second-straight title and fourth since outlasting Tufts in 2011.

The NESCAC lacrosse season officially kicks-off next month on Saturday, February 24 with Bates facing RIT in Amherst, Massachusetts with face-off scheduled 4 p.m. The Bobcats will then return to action four days later when they host Babson College on Wednesday, February 28 at 5 p.m.

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Five (New England & Northeast)

10 Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Ah, it’s Friday, which means it’s time to dish out some weekly picks! It also means a brand new weekend of college football (and high school and professional) is upon us, too.

Any who, here are 10 Games to Watch this week in New England and Northeast D3 Football, as always, make sure to stay connected on Facebook and Twitter throughout the weekend for news, scores and updates!

Brockport at Cortland: The Golden Eagles have soared to four-straight wins this season, including an impressive 38-7 win over St. John Fisher two weeks ago. Their momentum should certainly continue this week against the Red Dragons. PREDICTION: Brockport 28, Cortland 21 

Buffalo State at Alfred: This is a big-time test for the Bengals, who are a perfect 1-0 in Empire 8 play this season. Buffalo State scored an impressive win last week, tallying 24 unanswered points over the final two frames to beat RPI. They certainly will need to play their best against a quality Saxons foe, which has yielded at least two touchdowns per game this season. PREDICTION: Alfred 30, Buffalo State 21 

MIT at Merchant Marine: If the Engineers are going to secure another NEWMAC win, their offense will need to match the Mariners’, who have scored 31 points or more in three games this season. Slowing down Brice Moore won’t be an easy task, but this Engineers defense should be up for the challenge. PREDICTION: Merchant Marine 38, MIT 26 

Husson at Endicott: Endicott clearly gave Hobart a challenge last week, but can that momentum continue this week, especially against a talented Husson squad that is coming off a disappointing setback to Western New England one week ago? If Endicott is going to win this one, they must find a way to slow down John SmithPREDICTION: Husson 21, Endicott 17 

Williams at Trinity: A pair of 2-0 squads are set to meet in Hartford on Saturday in what should be an interesting NESCAC affair. Trinity’s offense has put up a lot of points in its first two contests, so the Ephs must find a way to slow down their passing and rushing attacks. Keep an eye on Williams quarterback Bobby Maimaron and wide receiver Justin Nelson in this one. PREDICTION: Trinity 30, Williams 20 

Alfred State at SUNY Maritime: Conference play officially begins for the ECFC and this could be an interesting contest to follow, especially since Alfred State did provide a challenge to Rochester a few weeks ago. The Privateers were off last week, but have scored some important wins this season, including a 38-31 win over Merchant Marine. PREDICTION: SUNY Maritime 28, Alfred State 14 

St. Lawrence at Western New England: The Golden Bears returned to the win column last week by defeating the Eagles of Husson, thanks to 21 unanswered points over the final two frames. This week, they must continue that second half momentum against a talented St. Lawrence unit, which provided challenges to Ithaca College two weeks ago. PREDICTION: St. Lawrence 28, Western New England 20 

Hobart at Ithaca: The Bombers were off last week, but return to action this week against a solid Hobart squad that relied on its passing game to defeat Endicott. Ithaca must find a way to slow down Shane Sweeney, who ranks second in the Liberty League in touchdown passes (eight). PREDICTION: Hobart 24, Ithaca 21 

Union at Morrisville State: Since falling to Husson, these Dutchmen have found ways to grind out wins, including last week when they squeaked out an exciting third-straight victory over Curry College. This week, they must rely on all units – offense, defense and special teams – to defeat Morrisville State. PREDICTION: Morrisville State 30, Union 20 

Hartwick at Utica: Can the Pioneers win their initial Empire 8 contest of the season? If they do, it will entail finding a way to slow down an impressive Hartwick passing attack. PREDICTION: Hartwick 31, Utica 22