D3 Lacrosse: Clark University To Add Women’s Lacrosse

teamPicThumb11731-4657-ubrd1aBy Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

It was announced earlier today that Clark University will be adding women’s lacrosse as a varsity sport, beginning in 2020.

The Cougars will compete in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and become the conference’s newest team since Coast Guard Academy elevated its women’s lacrosse program from club to varsity in 2015.

According to the Friday press release, the school will begin a search for the program’s first-ever head coach this spring with the recruiting process set to begin immediately.

“It is always exciting for an athletic department when we can increase the opportunities for students to participate at the intercollegiate level,” said Clark University Athletic Director Trish Cronin in the release.

“Women’s Lacrosse will be a great addition to our athletic program and we look forward to their inaugural season.”

Under The Helmet With WPI’s Dereck Pacheco

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WPI’s Dereck Pacheco (94) recorded six solo stops last week in the Engineers’ season-opening win over Anna Maria College. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier today, WPI senior defensive lineman Dereck Pacheco was tabbed this week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Player of the Week for his effort in the Engineers’ week one victory over Anna Maria.

Pacheco paced the Engineers’ defense with six solo stops, including four tackles for a loss for 29 yard, while recording a pair of sacks. He also recorded two of quarterback hurries, too.

This week, Pacheco and the Engineers host RPI during WPI’s Homecoming with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m on Saturday, September 9. Last season, Pachecho helped WPI defeat RPI, 19-7, thanks to 10 total stops, including two-and-a-half tackles for a loss and a safety. The win provided the Engineers of Worcester with the Transit Trophy for the first time in two seasons.

Noontime Sports caught-up with Pachecho earlier today to discuss his team’s week two contest against RPI, as well as his goals for the team this season.

What are your goals for a successful senior season with WPI? 

Obviously, the big the goal for the season is to get that championship ring, but as long as we keep plugging away game-by-game, week-by-week (then we will be successful). My goal by the end of the year is to have this team’s chemistry get stronger and stronger, so we have a legacy to leave behind (as seniors). We did lose a lot of big-time seniors (from) last year’s team, but I feel this new group of guys we have can really give these (young) guys a chance to develop and get better as a team.

One of the players who graduated this past spring was linebacker Brian Murtagh, who you had a chance to play with the past three seasons. How did he help you improve your game over the past few seasons? 

He was always very vocal, while getting the guys excited for practice. Brian did a good job getting the guys geared up to be on the field and that’s what he passed down to the rest of the captains. He wanted to make sure that the energy was always there and when you step on the football field that you’re only thinking about football.

This week, your team faces RPI in the Transit Trophy game. Tell me more about being a part of this rivalry.  

When I think of RPI-WPI, I think of Ohio State-Michigan because of that rivalry there. We’re both competitive engineering schools, guys are similar (on both sides of the ball),   so it is nice to have a team with equal caliber (student-athletes) on the other side.

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Dereck Pacheco was tabbed the NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, September 5. (PHOTO COURTESY: WPI Athletics)

This game is also a Homecoming Game, so what’s that atmosphere like as a student-athlete? 

It is very humbling because you’re looking at guys in the stands that have been in your shoes – all of my friends and family come to the game each week, but when you have the alumni there you’re trying to play for them and get that win for them because they were in your shoes (years ago). Playing for the alumni, families, coaches and friends is really (what this game) is about at the end of the day.

What’s it like to compete in a new conference this season? 

I was playing (against) some friends in the Liberty League, but in this conference – the NEWMAC – I am playing against some new friends. It is nice to get a new group of guys out there to battle against, but at the same time I am going to miss the Liberty League.

Have you always played defensive line? Did you happen to play another position growing up? 

Growing up and playing Pop Warner, while being the biggest guy out there, they had me play running back, quarterback and other positions, but as I (got older) I was still the biggest guy out there, so they put me on the line in high school. At first, it was offensive line and I didn’t really like it, so the next day (my coach) put me on the defensive line and I have been there ever since.

Are you still following your former high school’s football team? 

Oh yeah. Barnstable has been doing alright after (I) graduated, but I think eventually they’re going to be (a team) that’s back up there (with the top teams in the state).

What is your major? 

I am majoring in civil engineer. I grew up helping my dad – he owns a small and local construction company, so at a young age I would be out there helping him pick up nails and lumber, and then basically that feeling of building (something) from bottom to top stuck with me and I grew a passion for it. I feel like civil engineering is kind of the same deal, but my focus is project management.

Being from Barnstable, what’s your favorite type of sea food? 

Definitely the cod fish.

What are three songs do you listen to on a game day? 

Believe it or not, I am not a big song guy because I have the self-motivation drilled into me from my father, but if I were to choose what I am listening to in the weight room, I am usually listening to Metallica and classic rock because when I was in high school and that was all we would be allowed to listen to (while working out in the gym).

Finally, what is your all-time favorite movie? 

It’s kind of cliche, but Friday Night Lights. I like that movie a lot because my high school team somewhat resembled that whole movie. My junior year, we made it to the Division 1A Super Bowl (against Everett) and we played at Gillette Stadium, but lost by one point.

King’s Five Goals Sends Clark Past Babson, 14-9

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Clark University sophomore Brandon Kings celebrates one of his five goals against Babson College on Saturday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

BABSON PARK – Clark University sophomore Brandon King has been a tough match-up this season for his team’s opponents, according to his head coach Jeff Cohen.

And against Babson College (6-7, 2-3) on Saturday, King continued his impressive play, netting five goals, including four in the second half, which helped the Cougars (11-3, 5-0) claim an important 14-9 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory.

“In league (play), he is a tough match-up,” Cohen said of King following his team’s 11th win of the season. “He’s a tough match-up.”

King, who deposited his team’s initial goal of the contest, appeared unstoppable in the second half, netting a pair of goals in the third and fourth quarter, including a diving strike late in the final session, which was set-up by junior Will Mandracchia.

King’s final goal sewed-up an impressive victory for the Cougars, who snapped a 20-game losing streak to the Beavers, dating back to their initial meeting in 1994.

Babson and Clark swapped goals throughout the opening two stanzas with neither team pushing ahead by more than one or two goals. And despite a one-goal (7-6) lead at the break by Clark, the trend continued for a majority of the third quarter before senior Isaac Bass jumpstarted a three-goal run that helped the visitors push ahead for good.

Clark would tack on three more goals in the fourth, while Babson deposited just one strike during the final 10 minutes.

“I thought we really started clicking and things were going our way in the third,” said Cohen. “I thought early on, maybe nerves, maybe teams playing each other out, but the second half saw (the game) get more competitive and we were fortunate enough that the ball bounced our way at times.”

The win extends Clark’s current winning-streak to six games, which dates back a late March victory over Plymouth State. It also keeps the Cougars atop of the NEWMAC standings with two games remaining.

Clark, which returns home for its final two contests of the regular season, will host Springfield College on Wednesday (Apr. 26th) and Emerson College on Saturday (Apr. 29th).

Springfield trails Clark by half a game for the top spot. This afternoon, they scored a hard-fought 7-6 win over Wheaton College.

Cohen, who is in his eighth season with the Cougars, credits his senior class for the position the Cougars are currently in. A win over the Pride would most likely provide Clark with the top-seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament.

“We’re fortunate the ball is bouncing our way, but we give credit to the seniors, they’re working their tails off,” said Cohen. “They’re an extremely dedicated group and all I do is ask more of them, so I am glad things are working out and good things are happening for them.”

Social Media Reactions From Springfield’s Overtime Comeback

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Springfield College’s overtime win last night resulted in some excitement on social media, specificlally

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

A few months ago, social media – well, Twitter to be exact – went bonkers over Springfield taking down Amherst College prior to winter break.

Yes, that was a HUGE win – however, last night was another epic victory for the Pride as they rallied back to defeat Wheaton College in overtime to advance to this weekend’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinal.

With the win, the Pride will face top-seed Babson College with tip-off scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

Following last night’s dramatic and crazy victory over the Lyons, Springfield fans shared their excitement on Twitter, and below are some of our favorite posts!

Wednesday’s Conference Tournament Scoreboard

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Aretha Sullivan and Clark University stunned Springfield College on Wednesday evening in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Quarterfinals. (PHOTO CREDIT: Clark University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Here are the results from Wednesday’s conference tournament:

Clark 64, Springfield 54 (WBB) 

Smith 77, MIT 70 (WBB) 

WPI 68, Coast Guard Acad. 38 (WBB) 

Springfield 85, Wheaton 82 (OT) (MBB)