Tag Archives: New England Small College Athletic Conference

New England College Notebook: WNE Starts Women’s Ice Hockey, Nichols Names Linton Men’s Basketball Coach

NS NEW ENG COLL NOTEBOOK

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Just hours before the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues squared-off in the seventh game of the 2019 Stanley Cup FinalsWestern New England announced some exciting news that they would be adding women’s ice hockey, the school’s 20th varsity sport, during the 2020-21 school year.

The exciting news of the school adding women’s ice hockey was shared by Matt LaBranche, Western New England’s Director of Athletics, Recreational Sport & Physical Education, who looking forward to seeing the team compete in 2020.

“Interest at the high school and youth levels has never been higher, and we are proud to be providing a new opportunity for those young women to pursue their passion in a highly competitive collegiate program,” said LaBranche in Wednesday’s press release about the women’s ice hockey team.

LaBranche also announced the hiring of Katie Zimmerman, who becomes the first head coach in the program’s history. Zimmerman previously served as an assistant at nearby Amherst College and has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.

Zimmerman also played Division III hockey for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

According to Wednesday’s release, Western New England will join 66 other colleges that sponsor women’s ice hockey at the Division III level.

Nichols College announced on Thursday that Brandon Linton has been named the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton replaces Scott Faucher, who guided the Bison to 28-3 record this past winter, including an appearance in the NCAA Division III sectional finals (elite eight).

Faucher was recently named the new men’s basketball coach at Assumption College.

Linton arrives in Dudley after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he “was responsible for the development of scouting reports on opponents and managing the scout team,” along with additional duties, as well.

“Nichols College is a special institution that offers a world-class experience for our student-athletes both on and off of the court,” said Linton in Thursday’s release. “I cannot wait to begin the process of getting to know our current players and continuing to build on the foundation they have created.”

Linton is no stranger to Division III basketball as he played for Clarkson University in the Liberty League (LL) and spent time as an assistant under coach Tim Gilbride at Bowdoin College.

Finally, congratulations to former Babson College men’s ice hockey assistant coach Chris Zimmerman, who recently celebrated a Stanley Cup championship on Wednesday evening with the St. Louis Blues.

Zimmerman, who President and CEO of Business Operations for the Blues, played hockey at the University of Vermont in the Hockey East before pursuing his MBA at Babson.


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D3 Lacrosse Notebook: What We Learned From The Women’s Tournament

NS Lacrosse Notebook

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

The first weekend of the NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse tournament is in the books, which means its time to focus our attention on next weekend’s third round and quarterfinals.

Similar to our men’s lacrosse notebook from yesterday, here are a few thoughts and takeaways from the opening weekend, which saw a few New England teams advance to the third round.

Keep your eyes on Tufts University: The Jumbos recorded their second shutout of the season on Sunday with an 18-0 win over Plymouth State to bump their overall mark to 17-2.

Tufts has become one of my teams to watch in this spring, especially after an impressive regular season, which saw the Powder Blue and White lose just once before falling to Middlebury College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship.

The Jumbos have what it takes to advance to championship weekend, but face a tough task this Saturday against a talented TCNJ squad, which outlasted Colby College on Sunday in its second-round match-up.

TCNJ lost to Tufts earlier this season but rebounded with some important New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) wins, including a conference championship victory against Rowan University.

The Lions advanced to the semifinals last season but fell to Middlebury Colleg after beating Bowdoin CollegeFranklin & Marshall, and William Smith in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

If the Jumbos are going to beat the Lions and advance to the sectional finals, they will need a big performance from Emily Games (67 points on 52 goals and 15 assists) and Colette Smith (54 points on 40 goals and 14 assists).

Smith netted the clincher late in the second half in Tufts’ initial meeting with TCNJ, which helped the Jumbos squeak out an exciting 8-7 victory.

If Tufts defeats the Lions on Saturday, they will then need to duplicate their performance against the winner of St. John Fisher versus York College (Pa.).

Middlebury to meet Bowdoin in Third Round: After falling to Bates College in its season-opener, the Panthers of Middlebury have ripped off 18-straight wins, including a 22-3 second-round win over Johnson & Wales.

Middlebury will attempt to stretch its winning streak to 19 when they host Bowdoin College on Saturday.

Similar to Middlebury, the Polar Bear secured a first-round bye and defeated William Smith, 13-5, thanks to six points (five goals and one assist) from Fiona Bundy and five points (four goals and one assist) by Katie Miller.

Bowdoin’s Erin Morrissey and Aaliyah Biondo combined for seven saves on 12 shots in the team’s 10th win over the Herons.

Earlier this season, the Panthers outlasted the Polar Bears, 21-18, so don’t expect Middlebury to run away from Bowdoin on Saturday.

Middlebury outscored Bowdoin, 12-8, in the opening session of their lone match-up in March, while the Polar Bears outscored the Panthers in the second half, 10-9. Bowdoin led Middlebury, 8-3, in the first half, but surrendered a nine-goal run that provided the visitors with a four-goal lead at the break.

Jane Earley helped Middlebury beat Bowdoin by netting a team-high five goals, so she will certainly be needed again in this match-up, especially if the Panthers would like to advance to Sunday’s sectional final.

The winner of Bowdoin-Middlebury will advance to semifinals – I think they both can defeat Illinois Wesleyan or Franklin & Marshall.

Which New England team will advance to the national semifinals?

I still believe Tufts has a chance to compete for a national crown over Memorial Day Weekend, but they must get past TCNJ, which will certainly be a tough test for the Powder Blue and White.

Bowdoin or Middlebury certainly have what it takes to advance to the semifinals, too – I would say Middlebury first, Bowdoin second – but I wouldn’t overlook Wesleyan University, as well.

Wesleyan, however, faces a really challenging path to the semifinals as they would need to beat Washington & Lee on Saturday followed by most likely Gettysburg College, which is scheduled to face Denison University in the third round.

Similar to Tufts, I have enjoyed following Wesleyan this spring, so if they somehow find a way to the semifinals, then I think they can make it to the championship round.

Amherst College may have an easier path to the semifinals, but they will need to play their best lacrosse against Catholic University on Saturday in order to secure a sectional final meeting with either Colorado College or Salisbury University.

D3 Lax Notebook: Amherst, Tufts & Williams Advance To Quarterfinals

NS Lacrosse Notebook

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Three rounds of the 2019 NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse tournament are in the books, which means its time to turn our attention to the quarterfinals.

This year, three of the eight teams competing in the quarterfinals happen to hail from Massachusetts and compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). 

Amherst College, which defeated last year’s national champion Wesleyan University, will face Tufts University, while Williams College secured a date with RIT. Both games, along with the two other quarterfinals – Salisbury University versus Denison University and York College (Pa.) versus Cabrini University – will be played Wednesday, May 15th.

The four quarterfinal winners will advance to next Sunday’s (May 19th) semifinals followed by the championship game one week later (Sunday, May 26th) at 4 p.m. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Let’s learn more about the three Massachusetts teams that will be competing this week in the quarterfinals.

Amherst College (16-3, 8-2 NESCAC) 

  • The Mammoths advanced to their first quarterfinals in three seasons with back-to-back postseason wins over Wesleyan (16-13) and Elizabethtown College (21-9).
  • Amherst will enter Wednesday’s meeting with the Jumbos with a 16-3 overall mark, including a 5-1 record on the road. Their lone road loss of the 2019 season came against Williams in April.
  • Evan Wolf leads the Mammoths with 107 points on 69 goals and 38 assists, while Colin Minicus ranks first on the team with 44 assists.
  • Juan Gonzalez leads the unit in face-off wins (171), while Dylan Finazzo is second on the team with 83 victories at midfield.
  • Rod Castro has recorded the most caused-turnovers this spring, tallying 36 in 17 contests.
  • Gib Versfeld secured his third win between the pipes on Saturday against Wesleyan – he will enter Wednesday’s contest with a 3-2 mark between the pipes, along with a 56.4 save percentage.
  • Amherst lost to Tufts earlier this spring by a score of 15-14. The Mammoths outscored the Jumbos, 11-5, in the second half, including 5-1 in the final quarter.
  • Through 19 games this spring, Amherst has averaged 18.37 goals per game.

Tufts University (19-1, 9-1 NESCAC) 

  • The Jumbos secured a date with the Mammoths on Wednesday by cruising past New England College (24-7) and Stevenson University (19-4).
  • Tufts will enter Wednesday’s clash with the Mammoths riding a nine-game winning streak, which includes a pair of NESCAC Tournament overtime wins against Middlebury College (14-13) and Williams (17-16).
  • As a team, Tufts has netted 356 goals, including 74 markers in the month of May.
  • Tufts is averaging 18.5 goals per game in May, which is roughly one more than their season average of 17.80 goals through 20 games.
  • Danny Murphy has enjoyed a successful final season with the Powder Blue and White, tallying 88 points on 47 goals and 41 assists, while Max Waldbaum has contributed 78 points on 67 goals and 11 assists.
  • Kyle Helfrich has scooped an impressive 148 ground balls this spring while winning 248 of 441 face-offs.
  • Mason Pollack and Joe Theuer have combined for 19 wins between the pipes and 260 saves, which is an average of 13.68 saves per game between the two goalies.
  • Tufts edged Amherst, 15-14, earlier this season, which helped the Jumbos go onto secure the top spot in the NESCAC Tournament a few weeks later.
  • The Jumbos have won nine of NESCAC championships in the past 10 seasons.

Williams College (17-3, 8-2 NESCAC) 

  • With their third-round win over St. John Fisher on Saturday, the Ephs have now won 10 games at home this spring with their last home setback occurring last April when they fell to Tufts by a score of 11-8.
  • Saturday’s win over the Cardinals was the team’s 17th victory of the 2019 season, which is the most games any Ephs squad has won in a single-season.
  • Williams defeated Keene State (21-10) last Wednesday in a second-round meeting before scoring a 17-12 win over St. John Fisher three days later.
  • Williams will visit RIT this Wednesday – the Tigers needed its defense down the stretch to defeat Union College, 10-9, in their third-round meeting. With their one-goal win against the Dutchmen on Saturday, RIT has now beaten Union three times this season, including once during the Liberty League (LL) playoffs.
  •  RIT and Williams have met just once on the lacrosse field with the Tigers scoring a 15-10 win over the Ephs on March 28, 2014. The game was played at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Williams is currently 2-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games – their first win in program history came against Keene State last Wednesday.
  • Williams’ first appearance in the NCAA Tournament occurred in 2008 when they lost to Ithaca College, 17-10.
  • Jake Haase leads the Ephs with 93 points on 62 assists and 31 goals, while Cory Lund ranks first on the team with 63 goals.
  • Alex Kitt has won 248 of 422 face-offs while scooping a team-high 132 ground balls.
  • Harry Gahagan has won 17 of 20 games between the pipes this spring. He currently boasts a 10.07 goals allowed average, along with a 53.4 save percentage.

D3 Football: Amherst College Announces Its 2019 Captains

Mammoths-logo-flex-callout-reversed-1000x600By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Months after finishing its 2018 campaign with an 8-1 record, the Amherst College football team announced its captains for the upcoming season yesterday on Twitter.

Ollie EberthJames O’ReganAvery Saffold, and Henry Atkeson were each elected captains, according to the team’s Twitter handle, which credited all four student-athletes as “great leaders on the field and great ambassadors off it.”

All four student-athletes helped the Mammoths finish 4-0 at home last season, as well as capture their annual meeting with Williams College, too, which provided the Purple and White with its second-straight Little Three crown (they also beat Wesleyan University last season, as well).

Here are some highlights of all four student-athletes that will be tasked with leading Amherst to its third consecutive Little Three crown this season, as well as its first New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title since 2015.

Avery Saffold (Defensive Back | Chicago, Ill.): Safford ended his junior year with a career-high 30.0 total tackles, including 21 solo stops in nine games. His 21 total tackles were the most he has recorded in his three years with Amherst. He also recorded four total tackles in three games while registering a quartet of solo stops in two contests.

James O’Regan (Wide Receiver | Wilmington, Mass.): O’Regan concluded his team’s nine-game schedule last fall with 39 catches (4.3 receptions per game) for 579 yards and four touchdowns. His best outing came against Wesleyan when he hauled in seven receptions for a season-best 134 yards and one touchdown.

Ollie Eberth (Quarterback | Andover, Mass.): The former St. John’s Prep signal-caller concluded his junior year with a career-best 1,634 passing yards on 122 completions (208 attempts) for 10 touchdowns. He also rushed for a career-high 405 yards on 97 carries for nine touchdowns. He tossed three touchdowns in a pair of wins over Bowdoin College and Colby College before rushing for a season-best three touchdowns in his team’s season-finale against Williams.

Henry Atkeson (Punter/Kicker | Raleigh, N.C.): Atekson recorded 39 punts last fall, including a career-long 72-yard boot against Middlebury College. The North Carolina native finished the season with 1,455 punting yards with 15 kicks landing inside his opponents’ 20-yard line. Additionally, four kicks resulted in touchbacks.

D3 Hockey: Conference Championship Weekend Primer

NS CONF CHAMP WEEKEND

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

It’s a BIG weekend in New England, especially in the D3 hockey world with a slew of conference semifinals and championships taking place. The winners of each conference championship will secure an automatic berth for the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament, which will begin next weekend.

Here is this weekend’s schedule of games, including links to the video feeds.


Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) 

  • CHC Women’s Ice Hockey Preview
  • Dates/Location: The 2019 CHC Women’s Ice Hockey Championship will take place this Saturday, March 2nd (semifinals) and Sunday, March 3rd (finals) at Endicott College.
  • Match-Ups: Endicott College vs. University of New England (1 p.m.) and Nichols College vs. Morrisville State (4 p.m.)
  • VIDEO 

Commonwealth Coast Conference Men’s Ice Hockey Championship

  • CCC Men’s Ice Hockey Preview
  • Date/Location: The 2019 CCC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship will take place Saturday, March 2nd at 7 p.m. The game, as noted on the conference’s website, has been moved to University of Rhode Island’s Boss Ice Arena.
  • Match-up: University of New England vs. Salve Regina (7 p.m.)
  • VIDEO

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Men’s Championship

  • MASCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Preview
  • Date/Location: The 2019 MASCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship will take place Saturday, March 2nd at Plymouth State. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.
  • Match-up: Salem State vs. Plymouth State (7 p.m.)
  • VIDEO

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament

  • NESCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Preview
  • Dates/Location: The 2019 NESCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship weekend will be held at Trinity College with the semifinals being played Saturday, March 2nd and championship Sunday, March 3rd.
  • Match-ups: Amherst College vs. Wesleyan University (1 p.m.) & Hamilton College vs. Trinity College (4:30 p.m.)
  • VIDEO

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament

  • NESCAC Women’s Ice Hockey Preview
  • Dates/Location: The 2019 NESCAC Women’s Ice Hockey Championship weekend will take place at Williams College. The semifinals will be held Saturday, March 2nd, while the championship will be played on Sunday, March 3rd.
  • Match-ups: Amherst College vs. Williams College (1 p.m.) and Hamilton College vs. Middlebury College (4 p.m.)
  • VIDEO

New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Men’s Championship 

  • NEHC Men’s Ice Hockey Preview
  • Date/Location: The 2019 NEHC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship will take place at Norwich University in Vermont.
  • Match-up: Hobart vs. Norwich University (7 p.m.)
  • VIDEO

New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Women’s Championship 

  • NECH Women’s Ice Hockey Preview
  • Date/Location: The 2019 NEHC Women’s Ice Hockey Championship will take place at Norwich University in Vermont.
  • Match-up: Castleton University vs. Norwich University (3 p.m.)
  • VIDEO 

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