Catholic University, MIT, and WPI rounded out the top five spots, checking-in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
The seven-team poll concluded with Norwich University in the sixth position and Coast Guard Academy in the seventh.
Springfield’s path to its second league crown culminated in a six-game winning streak, along with its first NCAA Division III Tournament berth since 2017.
For Springfield to win its third NEWMAC title, they will need to lean on some key members of last year’s squad, including linebackers Aiden Lewin and DJ Brown, along with Lou Cocozza (o-line), Christian Hutra (kicker), and quarterback David Wells.
Four of the league’s seven squads will be in action on Friday, September 2, including Springfield, which is scheduled to host Western New England in the Pynchon SAW Game.
This fall will mark Salve Regina University’s final season in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league – the Seahawks will be joining the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)next school year as a full-time member.
Yet, before Salve Regina departs the CCC, the hope – or perhaps the early preseason thought? – is that maybe the Seahawks can win its first-ever conference crown this year.
For Salve Regina to win the conference crown, they will need every player’s best effort, especially when competing against Endicott College, Husson University, and Western New England. All three squads, along with the University of New England should be in the mix for the league crown – one should also not rule out Curry College and Nichols College from providing the top half of the league with some challenges.
The Seahawks began their 2021 campaign with four-straight wins, including a come-from-behind victory over Rowan University. Their early-season momentum vanished in early October with a 41-3 setback to Western New England.
Salve Regina would bounce back, winning its next four contests before ending its season with a 24-10 setback to Husson.
Coach Rocky Batty returns seven starters from last year’s squad, including Ryan Donovan, a Cohasset, Massachusetts native, that led the Beavers with 18 points on 10 goals and eight assists to go with eight ground balls and one caused turnover. Peter Chisholm also returns after placing second on the team in points with 12 goals and three helpers while Mac Mowat is back for his senior season after starting all six games between the pipes.
Babson’s 2022 season begins Saturday, February 19 with a visit to Roger Williams University, a team the Beavers defeated at the beginning of their 2020 campaign.
The 22 goals are the most the Petrels have recorded in a single contest since producing 21 goals last March against Birmingham-Southern College.
Ally Moir highlighted Oglethorpe’s third-straight win by registering seven goals and four assists while goalie Asia Williams tallied 14 saves. As a team, the Petrels forced 13 turnovers, scooped 32 ground balls, and were a perfect seven-for-seven on clears.
Oglethorpe’s three-game winning streak is their best start in program history, which should certainly provide the squad with some momentum heading into a pair of non-conference games later this month before their initial Southern Athletic Association (SAA) meeting with Hendrix College on Saturday, March 5.
Coach Autumn Johnson believes her squad has the potential to truly contend with some of the top teams in the SAA this spring but will need to focus their attention on the basics for a successful season.
“We’re trying to move up in the ranks, as well, (but) we know that starts with catching, passing, and communication, so those are the things we’re working on this season (by) trying to emphasize and perfect so that we have the ability to do that hopefully this season, but of course, the seasons following, as well,” said Johnson when discussing her team’s outlook earlier this month.
Springfield’s journey to the postseason: After ending its initial month of play with just one win, the Pride rebounded with six straight wins, including three consecutive hard-fought wins during the final three weeks against Catholic University, MIT, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Their end-of-season win over the Cardinals allowed the Pride to secure their second New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown since capturing it in 2017.
Cortland’s journey to the postseason: After beginning their season with an opening day win over Wittenberg University, the Red Dragons ripped off nine straight wins, including six Empire 8 victories that saw just two teams – Brockport and SUNY Morrisville – score at least one touchdown against a Red Dragons squad that is yielding an average of 8.4 points per game this season.
Springfield’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Pride competed in the opening round of the 2017 postseason but saw their 10-game winning streak snapped to a Husson University squad that had captured its second-straight Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown one week earlier against Mount Ida College.
Cortland’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Red Dragons last appeared in the postseason in 2015 where they won an opening round contest against Salisbury University by a score of 45-21. Linfield University defeated Cortland in the second round before losing to St. Thomas in the semifinals.
Springfield’s NCAA Tournament history: The Pride are making their seventh trip to the postseason with their first appearance coming in 1998 when Springfield lost to Buffalo State in the opening round by a score of 38-35. Two years later, Springfield returned to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the East Regional Finals where they lost to Widener University.
Cortland’s NCAA Tournament history Saturday will mark the 10th time in program history that the Red Dragons have competed in the national postseason. Cortland first appeared in the postseason in 1988. They beat Hofstra University in the opening round at home before falling to Ithaca College in the quarterfinals.
Players to Watch on Springfield: Tim Callahan (FB), Isaiah Cashwell-Doe (RB), Christian Hutra (K | NEWMAC Special Teamer of the Year), Kyle Niehr (DB), Ronald Beard (DB), DJ Brown (LB), Aiden Lewin (LB), David Wells (QB), and Patrick Tuohy (P)
In just a few hours, we will learn the opening round matchups of the 2021 NCAA Division III Tournament with four New England teams scheduled to compete in the opening round.
One of the four teams — Framingham State — is making its third-straight trip to the national postseason while the other three, including Endicott College, are making their first appearance in a few seasons.
Let’s highlight the four local teams that will be competing in the national postseason, as well as how things played out in their previous appearances.
Anna Maria College (7-2, 5-1 ECFC): Coach Dan Mulrooney and his AMCATs made history this fall by winning their first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title on Saturday with a 31-7 victory over SUNY-Maritime. The win snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Privateers, dating back to Anna Maria’s first season as a varsity program, but this particular trip will be the team’s initial appearance in the national tournament.
Endicott College (8-2, 5-1 CCC): Saturday’s 37-3 victory over Nichols College provided the Gulls with their first conference crown since 2013 when they beat Salve Regina in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship game. Endicott secured a matchup with Rowan University but saw their second trip to the playoffs conclude in the opening round with a 24-0 setback. The Gulls’ initial trip to the national tournament came in 2010 — they lost to SUNY Cortland by a score of 49-35 after edging Maine Maritime Academy in the NEFC Championship one week earlier.
In addition to two trips to the NCAA Tournament, the Gulls have appeared in four bowl games, winning a pair of ECAC North Atlantic bowls against Mount Ida College and Norwich University, along with two appearances in the New England Bowl (beat Dean College in 2019, lost to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 2018).
Framingham State (8-2, 8-0 MASCAC): The Rams are heading back to the postseason for the third consecutive season after winning eight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchups this fall.
Framingham State is seeking its initial postseason win — the Black and Gold have competed in the national tournament five times in the last nine years. They made their first appearance in 2012 after beating Salve Regina in the New England Football Conference championship — Framingham State lost to SUNY Cortland by a score of 20-19.
In addition to competing in the NCAA Tournament, coach Tom Kelley‘s Rams have won two New England Bowls in 2016 and 2017 to go with a pair of ECAC Bowl games.
Springfield will represent the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in the postseason for the second time in program history — they captured the conference crown in 2017 with a 10-0 overall record but lost their opening-round matchup to Husson University.
The Pride’s initial appearance in the national postseason came in 1998 when coach Mike DeLong‘s squad lost its opening-round contest to Buffalo State by a score of 38-35. They would return two years later, winning back-to-back contests against Montclair State (first round) and Brockport (second round) before losing to Widener University in the NCAA East Regional Final.
Springfield’s 2000 postseason run was the furthest any Pride team would advance in the national tournament — they did advance to the second round in 2006 but lost to St. John Fisher by a score of 27-21. One round earlier, Springfield rolled past Curry College, 42-14.