D3 Football: Mass. Maritime’s Fontana, McCabe Set To Lead The Buccaneers Defense On Saturday

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Colin McCabe and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy defense combined for 14 tackles for a loss of 75 yards against Worcester State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Massachusetts Maritime Academy Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

After securing just two wins one year ago, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football team has doubled their win total this season, thanks to some impressive efforts on both sides of the ball.

But from a quick glance from the team’s most recent outing against Worcester State, it appears as if the Buccaneers’ defense has been a big reason why Massachusetts Maritime Academy has won all four of its contests thus far.

Against the Lancers, the defense recorded 14 tackles for a loss of 75 yards. Jack Fontana led the unit with a team-high 14 total tackles, including nine solo stops, while Colin McCabe added eight tackles, including four tackles for a loss of 30 yards and two fumble recoveries.

Through four contests, the Buccaneers’ defense has limited opposing offenses to just 13.8 points per game and 75.8 rushing yards.

This week, the defense will certainly be tested against an undefeated Western Connecticut squad that is averaging 34.3 points per game, along with 337.8 offensive yards.

Noontime Sports caught up with McCabe and Fontana to discuss the team’s defensive performance thus far, as well as what they must do to continue their recent success on Saturday against Western Connecticut.

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Jack Fontana paced the Massachusetts Maritime Academy defense last week against Worcester State with 14 total tackles. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mass. Maritime Academy Athletics)

It sounds cliche, but what has made the defense so successful this season?

Colin McCabe: “I think that last year we were young, but (this year) our defense came back with experience from a year ago. (Last season) we developed the chemistry, (which has helped us be successful) and our coaching staff is always on top of what the (opposing) offense will be doing (every week).”

Jack Fontana: “Everyone is doing what they have to do, and it clearly shows on Saturday. The defensive line is getting to the quarterback, they’re holding up the offensive linemen and giving linebackers like myself and Sean Smialek the opportunity to rush the passer.”

How does facing quarterback Matt Long in practice help the defense prepare for other quarterbacks and offenses you will see throughout the season? 

Jack Fontana: “Going against a great athlete like Matt makes the whole defense so much better. You get to see one of the top athletes in practice (every day).”

Colin McCabe: “It’s tough because he is very shifty, so you have to really time out where he is going to be, so I focus on my footwork when going up against a guy like him.”

This week, your defense faces a talented quarterback in Western Connecticut’s David James. What must the defense do to slow down and contain the Colonials offense? 

Colin McCabe: “We’re probably going to see a lot of passing this week, so our defensive line needs to have a big game. We need to give our cornerbacks and safeties some time with the receivers, and we can’t let the quarterback scramble.

“We also need to make sure we contain (David James) before he throws the ball downfield, so those are a few keys for (the defense) for Saturday.”

Jack Fontana: “We have a good game plan going in right now, but we’re just going to have to follow all the points and insight from our coaches, so we can fly around to the ball and focus on limiting yards after the catch.”

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Colin McCabe has recorded a career-high seven sacks this season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mass. Maritime Academy Athletics)

How has the defense been able to limit opposing rushers to less than 100 yards per game? 

Jack Fontana: “I think it is just from working hard every day in practice. The defensive line does a great job of getting tackles (and breaking through opposing o-lines) to making the running back half to bounce (in a different direction).”

Colin McCabe: “I know I sound like (New England Patriots) coach Bill Belichick here, but you have to just do your job, do what the coaches say, fight for your gaps and then swallow up the run game.”

Did you both think your team would enjoy this successful of a start and remain undefeated through five weeks of the season? 

Colin McCabe: “I didn’t think that 4-0 was too far out of the picture (when our preseason practices started two months ago). Pretty much every game last year was close (excluding) a couple, but we basically have all of our players back (from last season) so 4-0 seems pretty good (from my perspective).”

Jack Fontana: “We just try to go into every week (with the mindset) of a win every day in practice. We finished 2-8 last year and I think we were getting sick (of losing), so heading into the offseason and spring ball our focus was that we could do this and change our mindset heading into (this season).”

Noontime’s Take: The Bruins Provided Us With Some Entertaining Hockey This Spring

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11 

By now last night’s Stanley Cup game seven setback to the St. Louis Blues has officially set in for all of us. And it is a tough pill to swallow.

Waking up this morning was not as easy as it was yesterday – we were all excited for a seventh game, as well as the post-game celebration that would extend deep into the night and early this morning.

But instead, myself, along with other devoted Boston Bruins fans, were treated to a sight we may have not expected, a Blues victory, which included players, coaches, and various personnel skating around the TD Garden late last night celebrating the franchise’s initial championship.

And while St. Louis is certainly not singing the blues today, Boston is mourning a loss for a team that struggled to convey to reporters what exactly this setback means to both them and their fanbase.

Hearing stories from the locker room of players weeping to those that struggled to string together enough sentences for reporters certainly made me sympathize for them, but also made me realize how lucky we were as a fanbase to cheer on a dedicated group of hockey players for the past two months.

The Bruins captivated our attention every day by scoring impressive wins over the Toronto Maple LeafsColumbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes. We also celebrated some exciting wins against the Blues, as well, including a 7-2 thrashing in the third game, which provided Boston with a 2-1 advantage.

But our hometown team’s five-goal route was quickly forgotten a few days later when St. Louis rallied to win both games four and five, which ignited an early celebration for numerous Blues fans this past weekend. And while St. Louis was eager to begin a long-awaited celebration on Sunday, they were instead forced to wait an additional 72 hours before popping champaign due to Boston’s game six victory.

St. Louis will celebrate this win every day this summer, as well as think about it when they reconvene for the start of the National Hockey League‘s (NHL) 2019-20 season.

The loss to the Blues will resonate with us all for days, weeks and months, but the good news is another season will be here before we know it.

In the meantime, we have the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots to help us cope with a disappointing finish, along with with Anthony Davis trade talk, too – hello, Boston Celtics fans. And of course, there is the World Cup, as well, but we will certainly miss our mid-week and weekend hockey games that meant something.

We will have games that mean something again soon, Boston Bruins fans. And when they do mean something, you, I and others will gather around the television eager to cheer on our beloved hockey team to victory.

No matter how you cope with this particular loss, just know one thing, it was a heck of a run and a fun season. And despite the outcome, I am eager for more hockey.


Stay connected with Matt Noonan on Instagram and Twitter today! 

Noontime’s Take: There’s Nothing Like A Game Seven In Boston

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Game seven. The two best words in sports.

In a few hours, we will be treated to a seventh game of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Stanley Cup Finals when the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues collide on Causeway Street.

Are you excited?

It feels like its been years since the Bruins last skated in a seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals, but it actually occurred eight years ago when the Bruins clinched the series with a convincing 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

The four-goal win over the Canucks is the Bruins’ lone game seven victory in franchise history. The Blues have never skated in a game seven, so the arrow should favor the Bruins, not the team from St. Louis, once the puck is dropped.

Game seven is not new to the Boston Celtics, who have won this particular contest seven times in franchise history, including the final game of the 1984 National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Final, which happened to occur on the same date as this evening’s series finale. Boston defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 111-102, to clinch the series – it was the last time a professional team in this city captured their league’s respective crown in the Bay State.

The Boston Red Sox have also competed in the seventh game of the World Series, but haven’t been as successful as the Bruins and Celtics. Since 1986, the Red Sox are 1-5 in the seventh game of a World Series, including 1912 when they lost to the New York Giants before clinching the championship one day later in the eighth game. Yes, some World Series needed eight games to decide a winner.

Boston’s lone seventh game win in a World Series occurred in 1903 when they were called the Boston Americans. They beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-3, before clinching the franchise’s initial championship one day later with a 3-0 victory.

Excluding 1903 and 1912, game seven has not been kind to the hometown ballclub as they lost the series in 1946, 1967, 1975, and 1986. Two of those series happened to be against the St. Louis Cardinals. But luckily, those series are in the past as Boston has beaten the Cardinals twice in the current century.

The New England Patriots have never experienced as a seventh game because the National Football League (NFL) is all about one-game playoff series, not three, five or seven. But if the Patriots played a seven-game series, I would pick New England to win.

Game seven is often a contest many sports fans remember. And I bet there will be some amazing moments (and memories) this evening between the Bruins and Blues that will be discussed for years to come.

I am excited – why not have a seventh game to decide this particular series? – but also nervous at the same time. I believe the Bruins can win this evening but also think the Blues could steal this one.

Boston has won six Stanley Cups. St. Louis has never won a Stanley Cup, so winning the series against the Bruins, who beat them in 1970, would certainly be satisfying for those decked out in Blue and Gold this evening.

We want the cup, we want a game seven victory, so here’s to hoping game seven will result in another win for a Boston winter team, which is accustomed to celebrating a championship once this contest concludes.


Stay connected with Matt Noonan by following him on Instagram and Twitter

Lax Notebook: Weekend Takeaways From PLL & WPLL

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

This past weekend, I made the trek to Gillette Stadium to witness the start of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), as well as the second season of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL).

Both leagues enjoyed successful starts to their respective seasons, especially the PLL, which needed overtime to decide two of their three contests.

The PLL is a new men’s professional league that was founded by Paul Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil and is touring the country this summer with games being played in major cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. The league consists of six teams and can be seen on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) or NBC Sports Gold.

The WPLL, which competed for the first time last summer, is also touring the country, but playing a shorter schedule than the PLL. They will, however, share the same field later this month when the two leagues collide at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Maryland.

WPLL consists of five teams and features some of the best women’s lacrosse players in the country, including Kaya TreanorTaylor Cummings, and Kylie Ohlmiller.

Here are some thoughts from what I witnessed this past weekend from both leagues, specifically their social media presence, broadcasts and fan engagement.

The PLL’s Social Media Experience: For starters, I really enjoyed scrolling through the PLL’s social media channels this past weekend. I thought the content they produced was awesome. Even though I wasn’t there for every second of the first or second day, I felt their social media presence made me feel as if I was on the field competing with the players or cheering them on from the sidelines or stands. 

The PLL’s Vlog, which is run by RJ Kaminski, is something I also really liked. Kaminksi’s videos were extremely innovative but also engaging, as well. I loved his interactions with fans in the parking lot to his chats with the players and former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi.

NBC Sports’ Innovative Broadcasts: Watching Sunday’s game between the Atlas and Redwoods brought back memories of what the network did when they produced the XFL. From micing-up players to watching Paul Burmeister interviewing those that were whistled for a penalty was extremely innovative for a television broadcast, but also more captivating than just showing goals, assists and replays over and over.

The NBC graphics were awesome, too – showing the line-ups, which look very similar to what fans of the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL) are used to seeing made it feel like a big-time production. And the Skycam, which provided another angle on the clears and goal-scoring opportunities was also a nice change from the typical side-to-side view.

Finally, I loved the interviews during the games, as well as the insight from players, too. Hearing what Myles Jones thinks about his upcoming opponent is a great way for NBC to bring its viewers even closer to the action, but also their favorite lacrosse players, too. And of course hearing Bill Belichick discuss his love for the sport and what position Tom Brady would play – goalie, for those that didn’t watch the interview – was something else I really enjoyed from Sunday’s broadcast.

WPLL on ESPN3: Having the WPLL’s games on an ESPN platform is an enormous victory for the league.

The WPLL deserves the same attention as any other professional league because it really does feature the best women’s lacrosse players in the country, and perhaps the world, too.

Fans of the game or perhaps general sports fans will certainly enjoy what they witness when they stream games over the next few weeks. Additionally, fans can watch games on their tablets or phones through the ESPN app.

The WPLL fan engagement: One thing the WPLL really wants to do this summer is to bring its game to its fans, as well as aspiring women’s lacrosse players, which they’re doing through clinics, including one this past Sunday, which was held at Gillette Stadium prior to the Fight edging the Pride, 6-4.

Engaging with new fans of the sport, as well as those that are playing, will certainly help grow the league’s recognition.

These are just a few thoughts from this past weekend, but I am certainly excited to produce more content on the PLL and WPLL over the next few weeks and months.

Daily Noontime: Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Daily Noontime 2019

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

It’s Thursday, which means we are ONE day closer to a brand new weekend. Are you excited?

This weekend – Memorial Day Weekend, to be exact – is considered by many the unofficial start of summer, which makes us excited for warmer weather and good times!

We’re posting a little later than our mid-morning time, so enjoy a quick break from the grind with some news on the Boston and New England sports scene!


In The News | Thursday, May 23rd, 2019


Thursday’s Viewing Schedule: Here is what we will be watching today!

  • NCAA Softball D-III Championship: Eastern Connecticut vs. St. Thomas (Minn.) 12 p.m.
  • Baseball: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays, 12:37 p.m.
  • NCAA Softball – Super Regionals: Florida State vs. Oklahoma State, 7 p.m.
  • NBA – Eastern Conference Finals: Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks, 8:30 p.m.
  • NCAA Softball – Super Regionals: Alabama vs. Texas, 9 p.m.

Have a great day, everyone, and we’ll be back tomorrow to get your weekend started!