It’s been an impressive start for the Whittier College men’s lacrosse team.
The Poets improved to 6-0 last night with a 24-3 win over Cornell College, thanks to six points (five goals and one assist) from Cameron Bentley, who currently leads the Purple and Gold in goals (22) and points (27).
Getting off to a fast – and yes, an impressive start, too – is nothing new for Whittier, which began its 2020 campaign with three-straight wins before the college lacrosse season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2019, the Poets started their season with six consecutive victories before falling to Cabrini University in March by a score of 14-6. Whittier would bounce back by winning seven of their next nine contests.
Whittier has not appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2016 when they lost a heartbreaker to Colorado College in overtime. They have, however, made it to the Final Four in 2003, but saw their bid for a national title fall short with a 15-8 setback to Salisbury University.
Perhaps this early-season momentum like previous years will result in a trip to the postseason – maybe they will win a round or two? That would be great as I would love to see a Western Division III team win a national championship.
But as we know, there is still lots of lacrosse left to be played – Whittier will return to the field tomorrow when they host Vassar College with hopes of capturing its seventh consecutive contest before turning its attention to Nichols College next Thursday, March 17.
UMass Boston picked up its third win of its 2022 campaign yesterday with a 16-8 victory over Lasell University. The non-league win was highlighted by Gavin Admirand, who produced a season-best eight points on five goals and three assists to go with three ground balls.
Prior to their win against Lasell, UMass Boston scored an opening day win — an overtime victory, to be exact — against Nichols College (11-10) before they rallied to beat Roger Williams University by a score of 18-14.
While Admirand will be a player to watch this spring, the same could be said for Michael Claflin (11 goals and six assists), Darragh Fahey (seven goals and seven assists), and Jack Dobrzynski, who has won 32 of 54 face-off attempts.
UMass Boston will seek its fourth-straight win this Saturday, March 12 against the University of New England before traveling to Texas next week to compete against Hendrix College and Southwestern University.
Welcome to another busy weekend of NCAA Division III lacrosse.
We have a slew of games to watch (and follow), beginning with a non-conference clash between Babson College and Union College.
The Babson men’s lacrosse team has won back-to-back contests, including its home-opener against Bates College, thanks to Matt Stucchi, who registered a game-high four goals. Chi Chi Price added two goals and one assist while Mac Mowat finished with 13 saves between the pipes.
Erin Scannell enters the non-conference clash as Salisbury’s leading goal scorer with six while Caroline McKenna has captured six draws.
Salisbury’s Mary Claire Hisle has enjoyed a successful start to her senior season with 15 saves. She is yielding roughly four goals per game.
Allie Schwab and Hanna Bishop have been two players to watch on Washington and Lee – the duo has combined for 14 points on 11 goals and three assists, while Eugenie Rovegno has won eight draw controls.
Oglethorpe University at Brevard College (MLAX) Friday at 7 p.m.: The Tornadoes will look to bounce back from a two-goal setback to Ferrum College when they welcome the Stormy Petrels to North Carolina.
Bates College at University of Chicago (WLAX) Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Maroons return to the field following an impressive 2021 campaign, which saw them advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
The expectation is UChicago should be back in the mix for a national title this spring with some key members of last year’s squad returning, including Ali Sheehy, who tallied 35 goals and eight helpers in 13 contests.
Bates will look to bounce back from a 2-3 season last spring, which included wins against Saint Joseph’s (Maine) and Connecticut College.
Lasell University at UMass Boston (MLAX) Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Beacons were picked to repeat as Little East Conference (LEC) champions — they recently outlasted Nichols College, 11-10, in overtime, thanks to Darragh Fahey, who netted the game-winner.
Methodist University at Berry College (MLAX) Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Vikings are off to a 3-0 start, thanks to Tyler Banfield, who leads the Blue and White with 13 points on eight goals and five assists.
Berry has won all three meetings with Methodist, which enters the non-conference meeting with a 1-1 record.
Oswego State at William Smith (WLAX) Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Herons and Lakers will meet for the third time on Saturday with William Smith leading the all-time series, 2-0.
The Herons were picked to finish second in the Liberty League behind Ithaca College but have garnered a slew of preseason attention as a team to watch, both this weekend and throughout the season. Maddie Montgomery, who was named the Liberty League Rookie of the Year last spring, will be a player to watch tomorrow against a Lakers squad that is looking to bounce back from a 4-5 campaign.
We’re another day closer to the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament — 32 small college football teams will be competing for spots in the second round on Saturday, including Endicott College and RPI.
Endicott and RPI will meet for the first time in the postseason — additionally, Saturday’s first round matchup will mark the first time the Gulls and Engineers meet since RPI edged Endicott, 6-3, on September 11, 2010.
Let’s learn more about this particular matchup that features two teams that captured their respective conference crown.
Game Time & Location: Saturday’s matchup between the Gulls and Engineers will take place in Beverly, Massachusetts at Hempstead Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.
RPI’s journey to the postseason: It’s been an exciting few weeks for these Engineers, who bounced back from a 10-9 setback to Hobart College with hard-fought wins over Ithaca College, St. Lawrence University, and Union College. Their come-from-behind win over Union last Saturday, which was highlighted by a game-winning field goal from Trevor Bisson, not only provided the squad with the Dutchman Shoes Trophy, but also the opportunity to represent the Liberty League (LL) in the national tournament.
Endicott’s journey to the postseason: After capping its last two seasons with appearances in the New England Bowl, the Gulls returned to the postseason by winning eight of 10 contests, including five of six Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) matchups. Endicott rebounded from a late October setback to Salve Regina University with a pair of end-of-season wins over the University of New England and Nichols College to secure its third trip in program history to the NCAA Tournament.
RPI’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: The Engineers last appeared in the postseason in 2018 when they win a pair of games against Husson University and Brockport. Their quest for a national title would conclude on the first day of December when they lost to Johns Hopkins University by a score of 37-14.
Endicott’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament: Endicott’s last appearance in the national postseason occurred in 2013 — the Gulls won the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Championship against Salve Regina, but los their first postseason contest to Rowan University by a score of 24-0.
RPI’s NCAA Tournament history: The Engineers will be making their seventh appearance in the national postseason in program history with their first trip occurring in 1999. Saturday will mark the third time coach Ralph Isernia has guided RPI to the postseason.
Endicott’s NCAA Tournament history: Endicott is making its third appearance in the national postseason with their first two trips occurring in 2010 and 2013. This particular trip is Paul McGonagle’s first with the Gulls – he last was in the postseason in 2017 as an associate coach with Assumption College.
Players to Watch on RPI: George Marinopoulos (QB), Vinnie McDonald (WR), Peter Lombardi (WR/ATH), Josh Cohen (DL), Joe Deptula (LB), C.J. Lyons (DB), Zac Montrief (P), Conor Ahern (DL), Francis Perry (DB), and Sterling Walker-Sutton (Return Specialist).
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.