Tag Archives: NEWMAC

Catching Up With MIT’s Ravenne Nasser

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Ravenne Nasser became the first pitcher in MIT softball history to record back-to-back shutouts in the same day against the same team last weekend. (PHOTO CREDIT: David Silverman)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

It’s been an exciting few days for Ravenne Nasser. 

The Methuen, Massachusetts native, who is a senior on the MIT softball team, recently became the first-ever Engineers to record back-to-back no hitters in the same day when she led the Engineers to a pair of wins this past Saturday against Clark University.

Nasser retired 17 batters in a span of 14 innings against the Cougars to bump her overall record to 8-3 in the circle.

Her impressive effort against Clark, as well as earlier in the week against Emerson College and Wheaton College resulted in her being named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Pitcher of the Week, along with the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III National Pitcher of the Week, too.

The news of Nasser being tabbed the NFCA Division III Pitcher of the Week was announced this morning – she is the first MIT softball player to earn this special honor.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Nasser to discuss her historical outing from this past weekend, as well as what she and the team must do over the next few weeks to gain some momentum heading into the NEWMAC Tournament.

What does it mean to you to become the first member of the MIT softball program to record back-to-back no-hitters against the same team on the day?

It’s really an honor. There have been so many great pitchers and players to come through this program and to be even close to being among them is truly just something I never expected. I know I could never be in this position without all the people who have come before me, my teammates, and everyone who has supported me so this is really just a representation of all their work.

What was your mindset heading into this past Saturday’s doubleheader with Clark University?

I was just trying to come out strong for the rest of the team. I had a rough outing the day before and my team really picked me up so I just wanted to have their back and make their jobs a little easier on Saturday.

Did you think about each no-hitter as both games progressed? Did anyone mention it to you in the dugout?

I did think about it a bit in the first game but I was more focused on keeping people off the bases than how they had gotten on and then in the second game it didn’t even cross my mind. Also, no one mentioned it to me in either game so that definitely helped to keep it out of my mind.

It may sound cliche, but how hard is it to toss a no-hitter? What does a pitcher have to do to stay locked-in from one inning to the next?

It’s not easy. You have to stay focused on each pitch and move on from ones that didn’t go as well as you wanted them to. I’m lucky in that I have an awesome defense behind me that makes my job a lot easier and gives me a lot of confidence while I’m throwing.

When you finished game two with a second-straight no-hitter, what was the immediate reaction from your coach/teammates?

Honestly, not everyone realized it was two, myself included, but once we did they were all really excited for me. This team is full of amazing people who always support each other and celebrate each other’s successes so they were all really happy for me.

Your team has some important conference games looming in the distance, so what is the mindset/focus from both you and your teammates heading into this week’s games against Springfield College and Wellesley College?

We’re ready to go get them. We know they’re going to be tough games and that we have to come out strong to come away with (much needed) wins, but we’re really excited to play some really good competition.

From your perspective, what has been your team’s best outing of the season and how can you duplicate that performance over the next few weeks so you will have some momentum heading into the NEWMAC Tournament?

I would say the games against Coast Guard Academy were our best overall. We played them at the end of a long stretch of games and everyone adjusted well to everything they tried to do. Our defense, pitching and hitting over the two games were very solid and everyone on the team stepped up and contributed, both on the field and off. I think if we stick to playing our game and doing the small things right we will be able to execute and be successful for the rest of the regular season and into the postseason.


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D3 Lacrosse Notebook: Springfield Gains Momentum With Win Over WNE

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

It was an important non-conference win on Tuesday for the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team, which gained some important momentum heading into it’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) clash this Saturday against Babson College.

The Pride netted 18 goals – the second most tallies they have recorded in a single game this season – to defeat Western New England (our seventh-ranked team in this week’s Noontime Sports Top 10 Poll) for their fourth win of the season.

Cameron Glover netted a season-high five goals in the win, while Zachary Schuette registered a hat trick and two helpers. Additionally, the Pride received a trio of goals from Jack Vail while Patrick Watson added five points on four assists and one goal.

For Springfield, the next few weeks are critical especially after enduring a difficult start to its current season. The Pride struggled in a trio of early March contests but did score an important non-conference win against Endicott College. They concluded the month with a 21-5 win over Emerson College before earning its first win of the new month yesterday against the Golden Bears.

With just seven contests remaining, including one non-conference contest with Middlebury College, every game is important for a unit that has made 11 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.

As of early today, the Pride is one of four teams with 1-0 marks in NEWMAC play, but their game against Babson certainly won’t be easy as the Beavers will also enter the Saturday meeting with hopes of improving to 2-0 in league play.

Sticking with the NEWMAC, Coast Guard Academy remains the top team with a 7-2 overall record (and 1-0 league mark). The Bears scored a hard-fought 14-13 win last Saturday evening against Clark University.

Coast Guard hosts UMass Dartmouth this evening at 7 p.m. before they visit Wheaton College on Saturday for a 1 p.m. face-off in Norton, Massachusetts.

Switching gears to the women’s game, fans of D3 lacrosse should keep an eye on a tight race in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) with Endicott CollegeRoger Williams, and University of New England locked in a three-way tie for first place.

The Gulls were my pick to win the conference this spring – I won’t change it, I promise! – but Endicott will certainly be challenged over the next few weeks when they take on their remaining conference foes, including Roger Williams and UNE. Both meetings will occur later this month. Wins over the Hawks and Nor’easters would help the Gulls secure the top seed for the conference tournament.

Becker College appears to be in the diver seat in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) with a 5-1 mark. They have rebounded from their lone setback of the season last month with back-to-back wins against Anna Maria College and MCLA. They will face Mitchell College this afternoon with hopes of earning their sixth win, but also their initial conference victory.

Dean College appears to be the front-runner in the NECC, thanks to five wins, including a 19-5 league victory last month against Becker. The Bulldogs are led by Anthony Trasacco, who has recorded 45 points on 30 goals and 15 assists. The Cheshire, Connecticut native has a chance to match his point total from last spring when he recorded 64 points on 45 goals and 19 assists.

Dean has just four games remaining before the NECC Tournament commences – they should be the favorite in their league’s postseason.

Finally, keep an eye on Wentworth‘s Brooke Paradis, who currently ranks 10th in NCAA Division III in goals per game (5.40). The Pelham, New Hampshire native is enjoying another successful season after posting career-highs in goals (62), assists (22) and points (84) one year ago.

This season, Paradis has notched 54 markers in 10 contests, along with 13 assists for 67 points. She has converted 17 free-position goals while snatching 55 draw controls and scooping 29 ground balls.

This past weekend, Paradais she netted her 200th goal in a 21-6 win over Nichols College while also setting a new program record for goals in a single game with 11.

Paradis and the Leopards have won seven of 10 contests this season. They will host Endicott this Saturday – it will be the teams’ ‘Senior Day’ with opening draw set for 2 p.m. A win over the Gulls would be a huge momentum boost for the Leopards heading into the final few weeks of the regular season.

Springfield’s Shade Honored By New England Football Writers (NEFW) as D2/D3 Gold Helmet Recipient

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Springfield College junior quarterback Chad Shade was honored by the New England Football Writers (NEFW) on Wednesday as this week’s D2/D3 Golden Helmet Recipient. (PHOTO CREDIT: Springfield College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11 

It has been an exciting few days for Springfield College‘s Chad Shade, who has earned multiple awards for his six-touchdown performance last Friday evening in his team’s season-opening 42-21 win over Western New England.

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts native was tabbed this week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Offensive of Player of the Week, while being selected to the D3Football.com National Team.

Additionally, he earned our initial Noontime Sports Offensive Player of the Week honor before collecting the first New England Football Writers (NEFW) D2/D3 Gold Helmet award of the season this afternoon at Harvard University.

Shade shattered multiple career-bests last Friday, including a career-high six rushing touchdowns and 247 yards on the ground. He accounted for 32 of his team’s 42 points – also a career-high, too – while ripping off a career-best 75 yard burst in the third quarter, which helped the Pride push ahead for good.

Springfield (1-0) will look to continue its week one momentum this Saturday, September 8th when they visit Kean for a 1 p.m. kick-off. The Cougars were idle this past weekend, but lost to the Pride last season, 28-8, in Springfield.


Stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB today! 

D3 Football: Bubna, MIT Begin New Chapter of Engineers Football

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John Robertson rushes past members of the MIT defense during Tuesday’s practice at Steinbrenner Stadium. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan)

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11

It’s football season – yes, it has finally returned. And for the past few days, I have had the opportunity to visit with a few teams, including MIT, which seems eager to begin its season next Friday, August 31st when they host Becker College at 7 p.m.

This fall, MIT will be guided by the program’s former defensive and recruiting coordinator, Brian Bubna, who takes over for Chad Martinovich, who left earlier this year to accept the head coaching role with the University of Rochester.

Since being named the new leader of the Engineers, Bubna has implemented a unique culture that values two things: hard work, but also making sure his student-athletes are have fun.

Additionally, Bubna and his student-athletes have also embraced another word (or phrase, which appeared on the team’s Twitter handle a few days ago) – sure, it may not always be associated with the sport of football, but it seems to be keeping a smile on the players’ faces, though.

So, what is this word? The answer … party!

But, why party?

Well, allow senior linebacker Andrew DeNucci to explain what it means to this group of Engineers: “(Coach Bubna’s) big thing is party. Come out here, have a good time … we’re playing football, so we are out here to party and have fun.”

Added Bubna, “We try to keep it competitive and fun because these guys have so much academic responsibilities and internships, so when they get out here it has to be fun and it has to be excitable, too.

“We work hard and have fun doing it, so the guys enjoy it. We go from drill to drill with different stuff. We try to change it up, so it is not the same thing every day, so we can keep them on their toes.”

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MIT quarterback Udgam Goyal leads the offense during an 11-on-11 drill during Tuesday’s morning session. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan)

Tuesday’s morning session seemed like a fun practice – I was able to watch the final hour, which included a few group drills, as well as a competitive 11-on-11 that featured a touchdown strike over the middle from senior quarterback Udgam Goyal. Goyal enjoyed a successful junior season, recording a few career-bests, including completions (170), passing yards (1,922) and touchdowns (14).

Goyal should continue last season’s success this fall – he will have some familiar teammates to target, including classmate Eddy Garcia-Montes, who led the MIT receiving core with 55 receptions for 719 yards and six touchdowns.

Another receiver to watch this fall will be sophomore Keithen Shepard, who finished his initial season with 32 receptions for 365 yards and one touchdown. Shepard should also be seen on special teams again this fall – last season, he fielded 12 punt returns (129 yards) and 11 kick returns (261 yards).


Extra Notes from Tuesday’s Practice 

I had a chance to chat with Andrew DeNucci about the MIT defense, which yielded an average of two scores per game (16.3) last fall.

DeNucci will certainly be the focal point of this year’s unit due to a few graduation losses, including linebacker Matt Nicolai and defensive back Mitch Turley.

But the good news for the Engineers is DeNucci is back after recording multiple career-highs last fall, including total tackles (70.0), tackles for a loss (7.5) and sacks (2.5).

So, what worked for you last fall, Andrew? “I think the biggest thing is we have a great d-line and it starts with those guys up front. The less guys that are blocking the linebackers, the more free we are to make plays.”

DeNucci should certainly be able to make a few plays this fall, thanks to some key returners on the defensive line, including juniors CJ Reilly and Ben Bennington. Additionally, the unit returns juniors Sam Cantrell (linebacker) and AJ Iversen (defensive back).

In addition to some key returners, DeNucci is confident that some of the newcomers and first-years will make an impact, as well.

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A member of the MIT defense attempts to get past the o-line during Tuesday’s morning session. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan)

The defense will certainly be counted on with finding ways to slow down their opponents, especially Springfield College and WPI, two teams that will certainly be in the mix with MIT for the top spot in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). MIT finished 7-3 overall last season, including 5-2 in the NEWMAC, but junior halfback John Robertson believes his team’s current confidence should help the unit contend for its initial NEWMAC regular season crown.

“I think (what) makes all the difference in a season is believing you can actually go out there and win the title, win the conference,” said Robertson, who led the rushing unit with 882 yards on 166 carries for 11 touchdowns.

“There is a confidence (amongst the current group, along with some) excitement, so we know we can do it because we have been that close before, so I think last season really did set the pace and (we’re) looking to see it carry over to this season.”

For MIT to contend for some hardware, they will certainly need Robertson to enjoy another successful season in the backfield. Robertson appeared to be in midseason form on Tuesday, zigzagging through various gaps on both sides of the line, while bursting past defenders in the secondary. Similar to DeNucci, Robertson will also be a player to watch for the Engineers this fall.


We’ll have more coverage of the MIT football team, along with other New England squads as we inch closer to a brand new season. But in the meantime, make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – you can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel, as well! 

Under The Helmet with WPI Place Kicker & Punter Spencer Herrington

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Spencer Herrington lines-up to attempt a kick last season against Anna Maria College. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Spencer Herrington has just one goal heading into a brand-new college football season: “just be perfect.”

The WPI senior kicker was pretty close to perfect last fall, connecting on 10 of 12 field goals and 44 of 44 extra points for a career-best 74 points, which resulted in numerous postseason accolades, including NEWMAC Special Teams Athlete of the Year and D3Football.com’s All-East First Team Kicker.

But heading into the Engineers’ upcoming campaign, Herrington, who hails from Clearfield, Pennsylvania, seems confident that last season’s success could translate into even more this year – he certainly would like to cap his four-years with the WPI football program by being perfect in both extra points and field goals.

“I would like to see my stats (at the end of the season read) 15 for 15 or 16 for 16 on field goals and 40 for 40 on extra points,” said Herrington.

Herrington has the right attitude to accomplish his preseason goal, but plans to take it “game-by-game” this fall – he doesn’t seem interested in thinking about his kicks in October or November.

Prior to his team’s preseason practice on Monday, Noontime Sports caught-up with the senior place kicker and punter to chat about his personal goals heading into the upcoming season, as well as some important advice he received as a camper years ago from Robbie Gould, who is currently kicking field goals for the San Francisco 49ers.


What’s the biggest goal for you heading into a brand-new season?

“I think there is a lot of expectations (for me). Obviously last year, I didn’t have a lot of expectations because I had never started before, but I think my biggest goal is to put (any preseason expectations) aside and take it game-by-game.”

What helped you enjoy a successful season last year?

“I think it was confidence. I know for me, as long as I go out there with the mentality that I am going to make the field goal or extra point or I am going to punt well – it usually happens, but like for me it is all about keeping my form. I do watch some of my film to make sure some of my mechanics are the same every time, but honestly it is just like confidence. This summer I worked on (improving) my power by lifting.”

You connected on 10 of 12 field goals last fall. Do you ever think about those two kicks that missed?

“Yeah, both (attempts that missed) hit off the upright, so it’s kind of frustrating that I missed them by inches, but I still need to make those. Obviously, you want to get every kick back, but you can’t think about them too long (because) you have to move onto the next (kick) and make it.”

What was the biggest kick you made last year?

“I would say the field goal I made against MIT last year, which helped us win by three points.”

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The MIT-WPI football games seem to come down to field goals or have been decided by three points. And one of those games happened to be the 2016 overtime win over MIT. 

“Yeah, when Blaine Bursey made that (19-yard-field goal in overtime) to beat MIT, I was there for it. I thought it was cool, but it is kind of funny (how the games have been decided by three points the past few years). Last year it didn’t come down to me. There wasn’t that much pressure (on me) because I kicked a field goal (before they came back). I don’t think I really had too many pressure kicks (last fall).”

Do you enjoy being a part the MIT-WPI rivalry?

“I think MIT and RPI – well, I guess there is something a little bit more with RPI because of the (transit trophy), but all three schools’ mascots are the Engineers, so there is a little bit of a rivalry there (with MIT, as well). But I think everybody goes into every game with the same mentality, but maybe just a little bit more juice with those games.”

Do you think special teams gets overlooked when offenses or defenses makes big plays?

“(Special teams) is a part of the game that needs to be there because games are won through special teams. Whether it is a mistake on special teams or whether it is winning a game with special teams, games can be won or lost through special teams, but I think (the kicking game) can be overlooked by fans. It is certainly not overlooked by coaches or players because they understand how much special teams means to winning games and being competitive in games.”

Do you have an all-time favorite kicker? If so, who?

“Robbie Gould, who is currently with the San Francisco 49ers. He’s been in the league a longtime and he is so consistent. When he played for the Chicago Bears, I went to his camp and met him, and he is just so consistent and may not have the biggest leg – I don’t have the biggest leg either. He is someone that I try to base my game off of and that is what the coaches are looking for, which is me making field goals.”

When you went to Robbie Gould’s camp, what advice did he give you as a young kicker?

“I asked him how he has stayed in the league so long and he said the biggest thing for him is that he doesn’t kick that often during practices. He said that he kicks roughly 10 to 20 balls each day and then does an ice bath followed by lots of resting and recovery. He (also) said that as long as he is doing (this routine) then he will be fine.”


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