Tag: New England Small College Athletic Conference

D3 Lacrosse: What We Learned In The Month of March

The month of March has been a busy one for a slew of NCAA D-III teams, including the Centenary College men’s lacrosse team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Centenary College of Louisiana Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The final day of March has arrived – can you believe it?

I can’t, but what I can say is it has been a busy few weeks in the NCAA D-III lacrosse world – hopefully, you have stopped by to read our various player perspective interviews, along with our weekly notebooks this month! – but before we usher in a brand new month, along with the second half of the season, I thought we could revisit some of the storylines (and yes, headlines, too) from the past few weeks.

Salisbury University Women’s Lacrosse is off to a fast start

Let’s begin with Salisbury University, specifically the women’s team, which recently scored its eighth-straight win, as well as its third conference victory. The Sea Gulls are averaging 15 goals per game – so far, they have deposited 124 shots – and appeared to be in mid-season form earlier this month when they beat The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), 14-8.

Seniors Alexis Strobel (12 goals and 37 assists), Lydia McNulty (21 goals and three assists), and Julie Talbert (11 goals and two assists) have highlighted the Sea Gulls’ impressive attack, which has also received a boost from sophomore Erin Scannell, who has recorded career-highs in goals (26) and points (27).

With five games remaining, the Sea Gulls appear to be the team to beat in the Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) – one game to watch next month is Salisbury’s regular-season finale against St. Mary’s College, which has won three of four contests thus far. The Seahawks’ lone setback occurred earlier this month against Salisbury (14-10 setback).

John Carroll University boasts two NCAA D-III Goal Scorers

Skyler Blake and Colleen Grombala of John Carroll University are currently leading all NCAA D-III lacrosse players in goals – yes, I know this can change with games set to commence later today and this evening.

Blake, who is a graduate student, has been a player to watch through eight contests – the Dublin, Ohio native recently established a new single-game record for goals in a game with 10 against Marietta College on Wednesday, March 17. As of this afternoon, Blake and the Blue Streaks have won five of six contests this spring – they will return to the field this Saturday, April 3 when they host Heidelberg University, a team they beat earlier this season by a score of 32-1.

Grombala is also a graduate student – the Beverly Hills, Michigan native has picked up where she left off in 2019 by tallying 48 goals and 13 assists through nine contests this season. She registered a season-best nine points on nine goals earlier this month in a conference clash with Capital University before recently stuffing the stat sheet against Ohio Northern with four goals, one assist, seven ground balls, and six draw controls.

The JCU women’s lacrosse team, which has won nine-straight contests this spring, will host Heidelberg this evening with opening draw set for 7 p.m.

Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse scores an exciting first win

Earlier this month, I had the chance to converse with CJ Seling, who is the head coach of the Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team – we chatted a few days after the Gents scored their first win of the 2021 season.

The Gents recently restarted their lacrosse program and defeated the University of Dallas earlier this month – the win is certainly a step in the right direction for the Maroon and White, which is currently the only NCAA squad in Louisiana.

As of this afternoon, Centenary boasts a 1-8 record but I’ll be rooting for them in their next two contests against Southwestern University and Dallas.

Averett University men’s lacrosse has shown improvements in its fourth season

Speaking of younger (or newer programs), the Averett University men’s lacrosse team, which is in its fourth season as a varsity squad, has captured four of eight contests this spring, including a 13-7 victory earlier this month against Brevard College.

The four wins are the most for the Cougars, who are scheduled to compete this Saturday, April 3 against William Peace University. This will be the first of two meetings between the two schools this season.

As of this afternoon, first-year Liam Taylor leads the Navy Blue and Yellow with 24 points on 18 goals and six assists.

Keep your eyes on Christopher Newport men’s lacrosse next month

The Captains have been a great story this spring – as of this afternoon, the Blue and White have won six of seven contests, including a 10-9 overtime win against the University of Lynchburg.

The one-goal win over the Hornets was the first for Christopher Newport in four attempts (Lynchburg would even the season series six days later with a 12-5 win).

Despite a recent loss to Lynchburg, Christopher Newport has looked quite impressive this month – they are scheduled to face some challenging foes in Colorado College, Salisbury University, and Washington and Lee University over the next few weeks.

The Captains and Sea Gulls will square-off this Saturday, April 3 in Maryland with a face-off set for 4 p.m. I would highly recommend streaming the game.


NCAA D-III Lacrosse Blogs from March 2021


Additional news, notes, and links:

  • The Washington and Lee women’s lacrosse team has won six-straight contests and will commence the second half of their schedule tomorrow when they visit Shenandoah University. After visiting the Hornets, the Generals will play four more contests before competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament.

    One week ago, Landon Shelley recorded her 100th career assist in her team’s 17-2 victory over Randolph-Macon.

  • The George Fox University women’s lacrosse team will enter the second half of their schedule with a 7-0 record – the Bruins recently scored back-to-back wins last weekend against Willamette University. Andrea Garcia-Milla highlighted her team’s seventh win with six assists to go with five ground balls and one caused turnover.

  • The first weekend of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action is set to commence this Saturday, April 3 with three contests. Trinity College men’s lacrosse will visit Connecticut College at 11 a.m. followed by Bates College women’s lacrosse visiting Colby College. Connecticut College women’s lacrosse will entertain Tufts University at 3 p.m.

  • SUNY Cortland men’s lacrosse will enter the month of April with a 2-1 record – they recently defeated Clarkson University, 11-9, thanks to four goals and one assist from Zak Jones.


    Staying within the conference, the SUNY New Paltz men’s lacrosse team played its first-ever conference game earlier this week against SUNY Plattsburgh. The Hawks, who are in their second season as a varsity squad, did not compete in a single SUNYAC contest last spring due to the season being cut short due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

  • The Worcester State University women’s lacrosse team scored its first-ever win against Bridgewater State University last Friday (10-7) before capping the weekend with a second-straight win over the Bears in overtime.

  • Dickinson College men’s lacrosse scored perhaps the most exciting win of March last Saturday when they outlasted Muhlenberg College, 11-10, in four-overtimes.

D3 Lacrosse Notebook: Centenary Looks To Build Off Its First Varsity Win

The Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team celebrated their first varsity win on Sunday against the University of Dallas. (PHOTO COURTESY: Centenary Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

CJ Seling was beaming just two days after the Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team scored its first varsity win over the University of Dallas. And he had a good reason to smile.

The Gents’ three-goal (7-4) victory over the Crusaders was the culmination of both commitment and hard work by a group of student-athletes that Seling welcomed to a school, which recently relaunched the men’s lacrosse program as a club team in 2019 before competing at the varsity level one year later. And despite playing just six contests last spring before the current Covid-19 pandemic sidelined the squad, Seling began to notice his unit improve from week-to-week – he considered this some serious growth for a young squad that is currently made up of two seniors, eight sophomores, and eight freshmen.

That growth, which Seling highlighted in a phone interview on Tuesday, was on display Sunday against a Dallas squad that was limited to four goals on 13 shots. The Centenary offense produced a season-best 56 shots while Mark Temple and Jacob Miller combined for four goals and three assists.

Said Seling, “To keep a team to four goals was huge for us … (it shows) the growth (from the past two seasons), but also the potential we have for moving this program forward.”

Indeed, Seling’s squad has potential for more success – perhaps Sunday’s win could be viewed as a turning point for the state’s only NCAA Division III program that recently returned to the practice field with smiles from ear to ear. Seling and his team know there is still a lot of work to be done, but winning that first game in program history is exciting.

“No win is ever easy as you still have to go out and execute,” Seling explained, “but our guys did that and we’re proud of them.”

The Gents will attempt to continue their recent momentum tomorrow, March 12 when they visit Huntingdon College with face-off scheduled for 8 p.m. eastern, 7 p.m. central time.


News and Notes from the NCAA D-III Lacrosse World

  • The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) announced plans to return to the field this spring, which means it is possible that we could see some lacrosse games played, beginning next month. However, for lacrosse games to occur, at least six schools must commit to a shortened season that would run from mid-April to mid-May.

  • It’s been roughly a year since the Alfred University men’s and women’s lacrosse teams competed, but the plan as of this afternoon is for both teams to return to the field this week.

    Both teams are scheduled to entertain Elmira College over the next two days – the men’s team will face-off against the Soaring Eagles at 4 p.m. this afternoon while the women’s team will play on Saturday, March 13 at 3 p.m.

    Following the conclusion of the 2021 season, both Elmira teams will be transition from varsity to club status for the 2021-22 school year.

  • The USA South men’s lacrosse preseason coaches polls were announced earlier today – Pfeiffer University is expected to win the East Division while Piedmont College is the favorite in the West Division. Greensboro College and LaGrange College each secured one first-place vote.

    Staying in the USA South, Meredith College, which won the conference tournament crown in 2019, was picked to win the women’s East Division while Averett University, which placed second in the preseason coaches poll, secured one first-place vote. Both Pfeiffer and Piedmont secured a two-way tie with two-first-place votes in the West Division.

  • The Capital University women’s lacrosse team recently scored their fourth-straight win on Wednesday with a 21-2 victory against Heidelberg University. Brianna Rampi highlighted the win with six goals while Brooke Delara recorded a season-best eight points on seven assist and one goal.

    Capital will attempt to capture its fifth-straight contest on Saturday when they visit John Carroll University for their fourth Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) meeting of the season.

  • The Centennial Conference (CC) announced its spring schedule today with men’s and women’s lacrosse games set to begin next Saturday, March 20.

  • Finally, a quartet of Eastern Connecticut University men’s lacrosse players earned weekly honors from the Little East Conference (LEC) on Monday, March 8, including Shane Haggerty, who was tabbed the Rookie of the Week after tallying nine points on six goals and three assists in a pair of early-season contests.

Noontime’s ‘What If’ D3 Football Conference Champion Predictions

Bobby Maimaron and the Williams College football team would have been one of our teams to watch this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College)

By Matt Noonan

Like many of our fans and friends, I miss New England D-III football. But as an optimist, I believe we’ll see our favorite teams and student-athletes back on the gridiron at this time next year vying for conference crowns, along with at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.

And speaking of conference crowns – and yes, the national postseason, too – I thought it would be fun to produce a special Noontime’s ‘What If‘ post on which teams I believe would have won their respective conference this fall.

As expected, these predictions were not easy as there are a slew of teams and programs capable of winning their respective conference, but here are my predictions. And as usual, you can share your thoughts with me on social media, as well as send a note to MattNoonan@noontimesports.com.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC): Western New England

For the past few seasons, the Golden Bears have been the team to watch and beat in this conference. And once again, Western New England would be the squad to watch in the CCC this fall. They would most likely enter their final game of the regular season with two important wins against Endicott College and Salve Regina University. And like most teams highlighted in this post, the 2020 Golden Bears would look a bit different than previous years, especially on offense as they would have a new quarterback, but their defense would be be a unit to watch – it would be led by linebacker Erich Keutmann, who was named a D3Football.com Preseason All-America second-teamer in September.

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): Dean College

The Bulldogs captured their first-ever conference crown last season, thanks to quarterback Terrell Watts, who was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year, along with wide receiver Errol Breaux and safety Tyzohn Poole. Of course, there would be other student-athletes to watch as the season progressed, but at this point of the 2020 season, the Bulldogs would have claimed some important wins against Castleton University and SUNY Maritime. They would have also beaten a new D-III football team: Keystone College.

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State University

Like Western New England, it is hard to pick against the Rams, which would be starting a new chapter in its program history with first-year coach Aynsley Rosenbaum, who spent the past 12 seasons overseeing the Framingham State offense. But like prior years, this would be the team to watch in the MASCAC. Sure, they would look a bit different on offense without quarterback Adam Wojenski, who graduated last spring, but the Rams would welcome back some key pieces from that unit, including halfback Devaun Ford, who was named the 2019 MASCAC Rookie of the Year. Framingham State would be challenged for the top spot by Bridgewater State, UMass Dartmouth, and Western Connecticut.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): Williams College

The Ephs of Williams College suffered just two setbacks last season, including an opening day loss to Middlebury College, which would be a game circled on their calendar this season. Williams would somehow find a way to beat the Panthers at home, along with Wesleyan University, which tripped up the Ephs prior to their season-ending win over Amherst College last November. But for the Ephs to win the NESCAC, they would not only need to beat Amherst, Middlebury, and Wesleyan, but also Trinity College and Tufts University. Additionally, let’s not overlook Colby College and Hamilton College, which would challenge the Purple and Yellow, but in the end, quarterback Bobby Maimaron, along with the rest of the Ephs would make just a few more plays in all nine contests to secure the NESCAC title.

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): Springfield College

Sure, MIT maybe the favorite after winning the NEWMAC crown the past two years, but it would be hard to overlook Springfield College, which would be led by halfback Hunter Belzo and linebacker AJ Smith. The Pride, which finished with six wins last year, would win at least seven, maybe eight games this season, but their most important victory would occur during the final weekend of the regular season against the Engineers in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

SUNYAC Cancels Winter Sports

SUNYAC Logo (courtesy sunyacsports.com)

By Matt Noonan

Another NCAA D-III conference has announced its plans for the upcoming winter sports season.

Just a short time ago, the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) announced they have canceled the 2020-21 winter season.

The sports impacted by today’s decision are the following: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field.

As noted in this afternoon’s release, which can be seen on the conference’s website, the health and safety of “everyone involved with intercollegiate athletics,” along with each and every campus was why the conference made the difficult decision, according to Erik Bitterbaum, who is the chair of the SUNYAC Presidents.

While this is not the first announcement regarding the upcoming college winter sports season from the NCAA D-III world, it certainly won’t be the last. Earlier this month the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) called off winter sports while the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) has canceled conference play, including championships.

Basketball Notebook: Sheldon Announces Retirement From Tufts University

Bob Sheldon, who has coached the Tufts University men’s basketball team for three decades, announced his retirement Thursday. (PHOTO COURTESY: TuftsNow)

By Matt Noonan 

Prior to yesterday’s announcement from the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) regarding an update on the upcoming winter sports season, which has been canceled, Bob Sheldon, who has guided the Tufts University men’s basketball team for the past 33 years, announced he will be stepping down effectively on Thursday, December 31, 2020. 

Matt Malone, who has been an assistant under Sheldon for the past 15 years, will take over as the interim coach, according to Wednesday’s (Oct. 7) release from the Tufts University athletic department

Sheldon and the Jumbos matched a program record for wins (23) this past winter while capturing their first-ever NESCAC Tournament Championship by outlasting Colby College in double-overtime

“I was getting near the end of my career as it was, and then when Covid came up and the craziness with that, I just felt that it was time for me to go,” said Sheldon, via the Tufts athletic department story, which can be seen (and read) on the school’s athletic website. 

Sheldon noted he “went back and forth” with his decision to retire, but seems content with his choice to leave a program that he believes is in “a good spot going forward.” 

Prior to their season concluding earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tufts won a pair of NCAA D-III Tournament games in Medford, including a come-from-behind win over Western Connecticut in the opening round. 

Sheldon, who is the program’s all-time winningest coach, would have entered his team’s 2020-21 season as one of the Top 25 NCAA D-III winningest coaches after being named the NESCAC and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Northeast Region Coach of the Year in March. 

The 2020-21 NESCAC winter sports season has been canceled: As noted above, the NESCAC became the first New England D-III conference to cancel its upcoming winter sports season on Thursday, October 7, after postponing its fall season on Friday, July 10

While health and safety were stressed in yesterday’s release regarding the decision by the conference’s presidents, the NESCAC did note that some of their schools have made “significant modifications” to their current academic calendar, which would limit the number of games each program would be able to compete in.  

The NESCAC has made no announcement regarding spring sports – an update will most likely come in a few months – but the conference did say the league’s 11 schools could schedule non-conference games if they choose to. However, D3Sports.com has reported that some schools within the conference have already made decisions for its various winter sports programs, including Middlebury College, which announced yesterday that they “will not hold any athletic competitions during the winter season.” 

Elms College to join the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC): While it is uncertain if and when Elms College will resume athletic competition in the next few weeks or months, the athletic department did announce some exciting news earlier this week about joining the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) for the 2022-23 school year. 

The Blazers currently compete in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) and would join a former member of the eight-team league – that would be Dean College – which joined the GNAC as a full-time member at the start of the current academic year (2020-21)

Both Elms College basketball teams competed last winter in the NECC Tournament with the women’s squad advancing to the conference championship game against Mitchell College

The GNAC has welcomed a few new schools to its conference over the past few years, including Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts in 2017, and Colby-Sawyer in 2018.