Tag: NESCAC

Noontime’s New England D3 Football Top 10 (Sept. 26, 2022)

Ben Tauber and the Middlebury College football team scored an impressive win last Saturday over Wesleyan University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Foley)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to the fifth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season.

Additionally, welcome to the final week of September — where has the time gone?

Endicott College remains the top team on this week’s poll following its fourth-straight win this past weekend against Norwich University.

UMass Dartmouth and Springfield College moved up following impressive week four victories while Coast Guard Academy and Middlebury College joined this week’s poll.

Noontime’s Top 10 Poll: Monday, September 26, 2022 (Week Five)

1.  Endicott College (4-0, 0-0 CCC) (LW: No. 1): Make it four-straight wins for the Gulls. Endicott is off to its best start since 2011, thanks to its defense, which has yielded 20 points through four weeks. Linebacker Matthew Licciardi leads the Endicott defense with 36.0 total tackles.  

2. UMass Dartmouth (3-1, 2-0 MASCAC) (LW: No. 4): The Corsairs move up two spots after capturing their second-straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) clash on Saturday. UMass Dartmouth concluded their week four meeting with Worcester State with 675 yards of total offense and nine sacks. Quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos has now thrown for 300 yards or more in three straight contests.

3. Springfield College (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) (LW: No. 5): Like UMass Dartmouth, Springfield is moving up this week – two spots, to be exact. The Pride capped their non-league schedule with a big win on Saturday over Husson University, thanks to fullbacks Nicholas Raneri, Arsen Shtefan, and Joseph Cannizzaro. The trio combined for 260 yards and four touchdowns.

4. Trinity College (2-0, 2-0 NESCAC) (LW: No. 2): Yes, we know the Bantams scored their first home win of the season, but Colby College did indeed present some challenges for Trinity. Through two contests, Trinity has produced 779 yards of total offense, including 502 passing yards, thanks to Spencer Fetter, who has located three receivers in the end zone. DeVante Reid leads the receiving core with two touchdowns.

5. Salve Regina University (3-1, 0-0 CCC) (LW: No. 7): The Seahawks concluded their non-conference slate by scoring an impressive win over Rowan University. Salve Regina scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 21 seconds left when quarterback Jake Stack capped a 15-play, 83-yard drive with a three-yard rushing touchdown.

6. Middlebury College (2-0, 2-0 NESCASC) (LW: NR): The Panthers join this week’s poll following an impressive win against the Wesleyan University Cardinals. As a team, Middlebury produced 346 yards of total offense while stopping Wesleyan on three fourth-down attempts. Quarterback Ben Tauber leads all New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) quarterbacks with 561 passing yards.

7. Wesleyan University (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC) (LW: No. 2): After scoring a big opening day win over Bates College, the Cardinals stumbled against the Panthers, which recorded three interceptions and three sacks. Wide receiver Logan Tomlinson led all receivers with nine catches for 146 yards.

8. Plymouth State (3-0, 1-0 MASCAC) (LW: No. 8): The Panthers return from their bye week with an important week five matchup with Framingham State. Last season, the Rams rolled past the Panthers, but perhaps this year’s meeting could favor the men dressed in Green and White.

9. Coast Guard Academy (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) (LW: NR): Keep your eyes on halfback Spencer McMillion going forward. The Laurel, Maryland native has produced career-highs in multiple categories this fall, including rushing yards (653) and touchdowns (11). Against Anna Maria College, McMillion rushed for a game-high 285 yards on 43 carries and five touchdowns.

10. Anna Maria College (2-1, 0-0 ECFC) (LW: No. 6): After scoring an impressive week two victory over UMass Dartmouth, the momentum vanished this past weekend with a 66-28 setback to Coast Guard Academy. Through three contests, Anna Maria has produced 114 points while yielding 128.

On the Rise: Bridgewater State (1-3, 1-1 MASCAC), Framingham State (2-2, 1-1 MASCAC), Nichols College (3-1, 0-0 CCC), and the University of New England (2-1, 0-0 CCC)

New England D3 Football Roundup: Estevez Leads Wesleyan To An Opening Day Win

Wesleyan University quarterback David Estevez tossed three touchdowns on Saturday against Bates College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Steve McLaughlin)

By NoontimeSports.com

David Estevez completed 15 of 20 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns while the Wesleyan University defense recorded three sacks, two fumble recoveries, and one interception as the Cardinals soared past Bates College, 41-10, on Saturday afternoon.

The win – the team’s first of the season – was also highlighted by Nick Helbig, who stuffed the stat sheet with seven total tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two forced fumbles.

Wesleyan was one of five New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) squads to conclude the opening week of their nine-week season with a victory, along with Bowdoin College, Colby College, Middlebury College, and Trinity College.

Trinity fended off a late rally by Tufts University, which erased a 23-point setback at the break to fall short of a week three victory.

Michael Berluti tossed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull the Jumbos within three points with 1:37 remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Tufts committed back-to-back unsportsmanlike conducts, which moved the Bantams to the Jumbos’ 20-yard line. Quarterback Spencer Fetter took three straight kneel-downs to seal the win.

Fetter concluded the game 19 of 33 for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Sean Clapp led the Bantams’ receiving core with four catches for 105 yards while DeVante Reid caught seven passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns.

Tufts’ Phil Lutz led all receivers with nine grabs for 192 yards and one touchdown.

Colby began its 2022 season by beating Williams College, 24-14.

Quarterback Matt Hersch tossed two touchdowns in the win and added an additional score on the ground while Julian Young paced the Mules’ defense with 14 total tackles, including one tackle for a loss and one pass breakup.  

Kieran Sheridan and John McCool combined for 16 total tackles, one sack, and three tackles for a loss to lead Middlebury past Amherst College, 17-6, while Andrew Boel recorded four touchdowns for Bowdoin College as the Polar Bears rolled past Hamilton College, 41-13.

Endicott College scored its third straight win as the Gulls soared past The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), 28-7.

Clayton Marengi tossed two touchdowns in the win while Jackson DeAngelo stuffed the stat sheet on defense with eight total tackles, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 14 yards to go with a pair of pass breakups and quarterback hurries.

Endicott has won seven of its last eight home contests, dating back to their season-opener one year ago against St. Lawrence University.

Nichols College improved to 3-0, thanks to a three-touchdown (two passing, one rushing) performance by quarterback Xavier Powell. The Bison outlasted Coast Guard Academy, 37-33, and will attempt to conclude the opening month of play with its fourth-straight win when they visit Hartwick College next Saturday.

Braden Lynn tossed two touchdowns and Manny Sanchez rushed for two scores as Plymouth State topped Bridgewater State, 41-34.

Bridgewater State concluded the conference clash with 504 yards of total offense, thanks to quarterback James Cahoon, who completed 28 of 37 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns. Halfback Adam Couch rushed for a game-high 111 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown.

UMass Dartmouth bounced back from its week two setback to Anna Maria College with a 46-21 victory over Framingham State.

Dante Aviles-Santos completed 18 of 36 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns.

The Corsairs defense intercepted Framingham State’s Nicolas Goffredo three times while scooping three fumbles.

Finally, Curry College provided coach Todd Parsons with his initial win on the sidelines as the Colonels topped Dean College, 33-25.

New England D-III Football Week Three Scoreboard

  • Husson 23, Alfred State 17
  • Nichols 37, Coast Guard Academy 37
  • Curry 33, Dean 25
  • Gallaudet 34, University of New England 31
  • Endicott 28, TCNJ 7
  • Utica 23, Western New England 21
  • Anna Maria 23, Massachusetts Maritime 14
  • Norwich 26, Castleton 21
  • Plymouth State 41, Bridgewater State 34
  • Worcester State 56, Fitchburg State 10
  • UMass Dartmouth 46, Framingham State 21
  • Bowdoin 41, Hamilton 13
  • Colby 24, Williams 14
  • Wesleyan 41, Bates 10
  • Trinity 26, Tufts 23
  • Middlebury 17, Amherst 6
  • Union 21, Springfield 6
  • RPI 37, WPI 0

Noontime’s NESCAC Football Preview: Can Williams Defend Its 2021 Crown?

Joel Nicholas and the Williams College football team begin their 2022 season on Saturday at Colby College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour)

By Matt Noonan

A brand-new season of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football returns this Saturday.

As expected, there are some enticing matchups this weekend, including Trinity College at Tufts University, Amherst College entertaining Middlebury College, and Bates College visiting Wesleyan University.

But perhaps the game most fans will be watching – or perhaps following – is Williams College at Colby College.

The Ephs completed their first-ever 9-0 campaign last fall – Williams defeated Trinity, Wesleyan, and Amherst during the final three weeks to clinch its first outright crown since 2010 (the Ephs concluded its 2010 campaign with an 8-0 record, along with some hardware).

Quarterback Bobby Maimaron and wide receiver Frank Stola have graduated so if Williams is going to defend its crown, the Ephs will need to lean on both its returners and newcomers this fall.

Halfback Joel Nicholas returns after leading the NESCAC in scoring last season – the Buffalo, New York native tallied 17 touchdowns in nine contests. In addition to Nicholas, Williams will lean on John Freeman (offensive line), Ian Devine (defensive line), and Rocco Giandomenico (defensive back).  

The biggest question for the Ephs is who will play quarterback?

That remains an unknown, but don’t be surprised if you see Jack Dickinson or Luke Bobo line up under center on Saturday.

“We’ll make our decision on who will start later this week,” coach Mark Raymond said in the Williams College football preview on Ephsports.com. “Both are smart, talented, athletic, and they are good leaders who have taken control of the offense.”

Looking to challenge Williams for the top spot in the standings are Trinity and Wesleyan, which finished second and third, respectively, last season.

The Bantams return some key pieces from its 8-1 squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, and wide receiver DeVante Reid. Additionally, Noah Glantz (defensive line), Brian Casagrande (linebacker), and Aidan Kennedy (defensive back) return to anchor a defense that yielded 13.77 points per game last season.

Trinity concluded its season with back-to-back wins over Amherst (49-7) and Wesleyan (14-7) but saw its six-game winning streak snapped last October against Williams (42-3).  

Wesleyan began its 2021 campaign with six-straight wins before losing its final three contests to Amherst, Williams, and Trinity.

But despite ending its previous season with three-straight losses, there is a sense of optimism surrounding coach Dan DiCenzo’s squad, which will be led this fall by Nick Helbig, who was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year last November.

Helbig was the Co-Rookie of the Year in 2019 with Middlebury College’s Alex Maldjian and finished his junior season with 50 total tackles. He ranked second in the conference in tackles for a loss (11) and tied with Ian Devine in sacks (5.5).

As a unit, the Cardinals surrendered 168 points while the offense produced 197 points, thanks to David Estevez, a dual-threat quarterback that placed fourth in the conference in rushing yards (746). His longest burst was an 88-yard rush against Tufts last October.

Wesleyan shared the conference crown with Amherst and Middlebury in 2013 while finishing as the runner-up to the Panthers in 2019.

Trinity won three-straight titles from 2016 to 2018 and is seeking its 18th crown in program history.

Noontime’s Team to Watch in 2022: Colby College. Coach Jack Cosgrove’s squad has gradually improved over the last few seasons – last fall, the Mules produced its first four-win season since finishing 4-4 in 2013.

Brett Holmes, who represented the Blue and White on the NESCAC First-Team Defense last November, has graduated, which means Colby will need to lean on a few returners, including defensive back Nick Donatio, who led the unit in total tackles (69.0). Donatio also recorded a team-high 47 solo stops to go with six pass breakups.

Linebacker EJ Brister is back after recording 35 total tackles in nine contests, including seven tackles for a loss of 15 yards.

Quarterback Matt Hersch returns after throwing for 1,742 yards – expect him to target wide receiver Jack Sawyer, who led the Colby receiving core with 462 yards on 28 receptions.

Colby may have dropped three of its first four contests last season, but the Mules did score some impressive wins last fall over Amherst (10-7) and Middlebury (28-14). Additionally, they topped Bates and Bowdoin College to claim their third consecutive CBB crown (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin trophy).

Noontime’s Surprise Team in 2022: Middlebury College. The 2022 season will mark the final time coach Bob Ritter will pace the sidelines, so I expect this current group of Panthers to play some inspired football this fall.

Middlebury’s perfect season from 2019 seemed like a distant memory last fall as the Navy Blue and White won just three of nine contests.

For the Panthers to cap Ritter’s time on the sidelines with some hardware, they will need to score wins over Trinity, Wesleyan, and Williams, along with Amherst, Colby, and Tufts. Additionally, they will want to beat Bates, Bowdoin, and Hamilton College.

Linebacker Jack Pistorius has graduated, which means the Middlebury defense will need to lean on Tomas Kenary (defensive line), who was named Co-Rookie of the Year last fall with Andre Eden of Bowdoin, and wide receiver Donovan Wood, who earned a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Offense.

Cole Crider returns as the team’s punter – he represented Middlebury on the All-NESCAC First team Special Teams.

Noontime’s NESCAC Champion Prediction: Trinity College. As much as I would like to pick Williams to repeat, Trinity seems like the safe pick, as well as the early favorite by many that observe or cover the NESCAC. Sure, you could make the case for Wesleyan, but in the end, coach Jeff Devanney’s squad will score a few late-season wins over Bates, Bowdoin, and Wesleyan to secure the team’s first NESCAC crown in four years.

10 D-III Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2023

Jane Earley has won two national championships with Middlebury College. (PHOTO Courtesy: Will Costello)

By Matt Noonan

It’s been a few days – OK, a little over a week since the NCAA Division III college lacrosse season concluded, but before we officially say farewell to the 2022 season, I thought I would share a ten teams – five men and five women’s squads – that I believe could contend for a national championship next May.

Men’s D-III Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2023

Bowdoin College: The Polar Bears were a team to watch this spring — hey, I thought they were the team that was going to win the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown last month. Despite ending their season in the quarterfinals against RIT, Bowdoin is certainly a squad to keep an eye on next spring. Coach Bill Mason will welcome back some key members of this year’s team, including Will Byrne (68 goals, 33 assists), Patrick Fitzgerald (53 goals, 16 assists), and Ethan Barnard (342 face-off wins) that will certainly help Bowdoin contend for both a conference and national title.

RIT: Coach Jake Coon and the 2022 Tigers joined an elite group of teams that captured back-to-back titles in NCAA D-III lacrosse history, but could they really contend for a third consecutive crown next spring? I believe they can, despite losing some talented upperclassmen, but if the Tigers are able to win their third-straight title, they would become the first team since Salisbury University to capture three-straight championships (Salisbury won three consecutive NCAA titles in 2003, 2004, and 2005).

Tufts University: The Jumbos’ run toward a national championship was quite exciting with the Powder Blue and Brown scoring two impressive postseason wins against St. John Fisher College and Salisbury. Tufts’ season concluded in the semifinals with a 26-15 setback to RIT. Like Bowdoin, Tufts will return some key pieces from its 19-win squad next spring that will certainly be players to watch, including Jack Boyden and Tommy Swank.

Union College: The Dutchmen’s run toward its first-ever national championship was exciting — can I say entertaining, as well? Union should be in the mix again next spring, despite graduating some key members of its 2022 squad. Dan Donahue will return between the pipes next season after an impressive second year with the squad that saw the Weston, Massachusetts native record a career-best 240 stops and 17 wins.

York College: Despite ending its season in the national semifinals, the Spartans run toward a championship was highlighted by two postseason victories over Christopher Newport and Southern Virginia. They will lose some key veterans that were either graduate students or seniors this spring, but will welcome back Ben Mayer, a first-year attack from Palm Harbor, Florida that led the Green and White with 90 points on 58 goals and 32 assists.

Others to watch: Albion College, Amherst College, Christopher Newport, Denison University, Dickinson College, Gettysburg College, RPI, Salisbury University, St. John Fisher, Wesleyan University, and Western New England

Women’s D-III Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2023

Middlebury College: After being idle for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Panthers continued their previous momentum from 2019 and their first three matchups in 2020 by winning 22 of 23 contests this spring, including the national title game. Jane Earley guided Middlebury to its second title in three years, as well as its eighth in program history. Earley, who established new single-season records for goals (80) and points (99), will be one of many players to watch next year.

Salisbury University: Despite ending their 2022 campaign without some hardware, the Sea Gulls were once again a team to watch after finishing the 2021 season as national champions. Coach Jim Nestor will welcome back some key pieces from its 2021 and 2022 squads, including Erin Scannell, who led Salisbury with 55 goals, which should help Salisbury be in the mix for its fifth crown in program history.

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ): After scoring two impressive postseason wins over Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland last month, the Lions’ momentum vanished in the national semifinals with an 18-7 setback to Tufts. The loss, however, could help the Lions understand what they must do to contend for the program’s 14th national championship. TCNJ has not won a national championship since 2006.

Tufts University: For the second-straight season, coach Courtney Shute‘s Jumbos fell short of winning the program’s initial title. But perhaps this year’s defeat to Middlebury will be the inspiration to win the crown in 2023? Like every team, the Jumbos will graduate some key pieces from this year’s squad, including goalie Molly Laliberty and midfielder Anna Clarke.

Washington and Lee: The Generals ended their season by matching their program record for wins with 19. Washington and Lee saw its bid toward a national title conclude in the quarterfinals against Gettysburg College, but the loss will certainly fuel the Blue and White next season, which returns some impressive talent that has guided the unit to 33 wins in its last 37 contests.

Others to watch: Capital University, Colby College, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg College, Ithaca College, Kenyon College, Pomona-Pitzer, Rhodes College, Roanoke College, SUNY Cortland, SUNY SUNY Geneseo, University of Chicago, Wesleyan University, and William Smith

Middlebury Women’s Lacrosse Secures The Top Spot In This Year’s NESCAC Tournament

Jane Earley and the Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team clinched the top spot in this year’s NESCAC Tournament with a 15-5 victory over Williams College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Colin Bourque)

By Matt Noonan

The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team has not lost a game in three years.

On Wednesday, the Panthers concluded its regular season slate by winning its 15th straight contest this season with a 15-5 victory over Williams College.

The 10-goal win is Middlebury’s 40th consecutive victory dating back to a 16-1 victory over Springfield College on March 8, 2019.

Middlebury secured the top spot in this year’s New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament, which begins this Saturday, April 30 with four quarterfinal matchups. The Panthers will welcome Amherst College to campus with the opening draw set for 12 p.m.  

Amherst lost to Middlebury last weekend by a score of 15-7 before ending its regular-season slate last night with an 11-9 setback to Trinity College.

Colby College secured the second seed with a 13-2 overall record, including a 9-1 mark against NESCAC opponents, and will host seventh-seed Bowdoin College on Saturday. Tufts University, which is the third seed, will host Trinity while the fourth seed Wesleyan University will entertain Hamilton College.

All three matchups are scheduled to commence at 12 p.m.  

Middlebury has appeared in 20 consecutive NESCAC Tournaments, winning 10 titles in 12 championship appearances.  They have won two of the last three NESCAC titles with Tufts claiming the league crown last year en route to an appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship against Salisbury University (the Sea Gulls edged the Jumbos, 14-13).

Following the conclusion of Saturday’s quarterfinals, the four winning teams will advance to the highest remaining seed, which will host both the semifinals (Saturday, May 7) and championship (Sunday, May 8). The winner of this year’s NESCAC Championship will secure the league’s automatic bid for the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament, which is scheduled to begin Saturday, May 14.