Tag: Paul McGonagle

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Sept. 6, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

The first official week of the 2021 New England (and yes, NCAA Division III) football season is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our second Top 20 Poll.

In case you missed it, make sure to check out last week’s poll, which found Western New England, Endicott College, and UMass Dartmouth in the top three spots.

Stay tuned for more college football (and soon, high school football) coverage later this week, but for now, it is time to unveil our second poll of the 2021 season!

Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll (Week No. 1 | September 6, 2021)

  1. Western New England (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): They say defense wins championships and last Saturday, the Golden Bears defensive unit shined in a crosstown rivalry against Springfield College.

  2. Endicott College (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 2): Second half adjustments were key for Paul McGonagle‘s squad last Saturday in a 27-14 victory over St. Lawrence University.

  3. UMass Dartmouth (1-0, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 3): Quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos‘s second touchdown pass with 1:48 remaining in the final session proved to be the difference in a hard fought victory for the Corsairs.

  4. Williams College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): The Ephs were idle this past weekend and will be off again this upcoming weekend, but an opening day clash with Middlebury College is quickly approaching.

  5. Middlebury College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 5): It’s almost game week for the defending New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) champions — after an upcoming bye week, the Blue and White will begin final preparation for their opening day foe: Williams.

  6. Wesleyan University (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 6): Game week for the Cardinals will be here soon — an opening clash with Colby College will certainly be a game worth watching next Saturday, September 18.

  7. Trinity College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 8): Despite being idle, both last weekend and this upcoming weekend, the Bantams switched places with Western Connecticut.

  8. Western Connecticut (1-0, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 7): The Colonials squeaked out a three-point win last Saturday over William Paterson University — can they keep their early season momentum going this week against Albright College?

  9. MIT (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 12): The Engineers moved-up three spots after outscoring Curry College, 27-0, in the second half. We’ll certainly learn more about MIT this week when they travel to Salve Regina University.

  10. WPI (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 13): Despite a slow start, the Engineers of Worcester looked pretty good against Worcester State in the second half — a big challenge awaits coach Chris Robertson‘s squad on Friday against Endicott College.

  11. Nichols College (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 11): The Bison opened their season with a victory over Westfield State — they will look to continue this early-season momentum on Saturday against Anna Maria College.

  12. Salve Regina University (1-0, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 16): Salve Regina opened its season with a 38-0 win over Norwich University, thanks to an impressive rushing attack led by halfback Joey Mauriello.

  13. Husson University (0-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: No. 15): Despite losing to the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth last Saturday, these Eagles certainly proved they’re going to provide some serious challenges for future opponents.

  14. Tufts University (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 14): The Jumbos were idle last week and will be this week, but an opening day clash with the Bantams of Trinity will be here soon.

  15. Springfield College (0-1, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 9): It wasn’t an ideal start for the Pride, which dropped their season-opener to Western New England — Jack Duignan and DJ Brown highlighted a defensive effort that limited the Golden Bears to just 24 points.

  16. Coast Guard Academy (1-0, 0-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 20): The Bears pitched a shutout in their season-opener, topping the University of New England by a score of 16-0. Sure, it wasn’t a flawless game, but we should learn more about the Bears over the next weeks when they face-off against Curry, Nichols, and Anna Maria.

  17. Bridgewater State (0-1, 0-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 10): The Ithaca College defense did not make things easy on the Bears, who slid down our poll seven spots following an opening day loss to the Bombers. Let’s see if they can bounce back on Saturday against UNE.

  18. Dean College (1-0, 0-0 ECFC | LW: No. 18): Quarterback David Curry tossed five touchdowns to Errol Breaux in an exciting opening day win against Fitchburg State. A big test awaits the Bulldogs this Saturday against UMass Dartmouth.

  19. Colby College (0-0, 0-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 19): Like their NESCAC foes, the Mules were idle this past weekend and will be so this weekend, but we’re anxious to watch their season-opener against Wesleyan on Saturday, September 18.

  20. University of New England (0-1, 0-0 CCC | LW: Not Ranked): Keegan Stanton-Meas led a Nor’easters defense that combined for eight tackles for a loss of 20 yards, two quarterback hurries, one interception, and one pass-breakup against the Bears of Coast Guard.

ON THE RISE: Amherst College, Anna Maria College, Castleton University, Framingham State, and Worcester State

The Early Outlook: Commonwealth Coast Football

Salve Regina University’s Joey Mauriello will be one of many players to watch on the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league this fall. PHOTO COURTESY: George Corrigan

By Matt Noonan

Our preseason New England college football coverage rolls on with some early-season thoughts on the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC).

In case you missed it, make sure to check out our recent “early outlook” posts on the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) and New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference(NEWMAC).

CCC Teams

  • Curry College
  • Endicott College
  • Husson University
  • Nichols College
  • Salve Regina University
  • University of New England
  • Western New England

2019 Conference Refresh: The Golden Bears of Western New England capped their 2019 campaign with a 9-2 record — the Blue and Gold won seven conference tilts, including a 42-31 victory over Endicott in early November before finishing the regular season with back-to-back wins over Becker College and Husson.

Western New England advanced to the NCAA Division III postseason, but were edged in the opening round by Brockport by a score of 33-28 in the opening round. The Golden Eagles would conclude its “second season” one week later against Muhlenberg College.

Despite missing the national postseason, the Gulls did play one more game — Endicott competed in its second New England Bowl and defeat Dean College, which captured the ECFC. Quarterback Joe Kalosky highlighted his team’s final win by tossing four touchdowns, including two to Shea McManaway, who led the Gulls receiving core with six receptions for 120 yards.

Nichols and Husson secured a two-way tie for third place — the Bison scored six wins in 2019, matching their win total from 2016 when they competed in the New England Football Conference (NEFC).

Finally, UNE doubled its win total from 2018 with four victories while Curry ended its 2019 campaign winning one of its final three contests.

Early-Season Excitement from Salve Regina, Western New England: Like many New England teams, the Western New England football team is “excited” for its 2021 campaign — the Golden Bears will face some unique challenges in the opening weeks against Salisbury University and Springfield College.

“I could not be more excited for the 2021 season,” WNE coach Jason Lebeau said via the team’s schedule release last month.

That excitement to return to the field was echoed by Salve Regina coach Kevin Gilmartin, who recently joined us for a brand new Noontime Sports Podcast (listen to the show on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, and Spotify).

“This whole season we’ve got ten games of teams that every game where we can go 0-10 or we could go 10-0, which is exciting, scary, and could put a couple of more gray hairs up there,” said Gilmartin.

Indeed, there is a great deal of excitement from both teams, as well as throughout the league as it does seem as if the CCC could be a real interesting conference to watch and follow this fall — maybe we’ll see Nichols, Husson or UNE challenge Endicott and Western New England for the top spot?

Husson announces its 2021 captains: The Golden Eagles recently announced their captains for the upcoming season.

And they are the following: Frank Curran (defensive line), Jake Cameron (offensive line), Tyler Halls (wide receiver), and Kaleb Caron (linebacker).

Halls will be one of many offensive players to watch on the Golden Eagles this fall — the Lisbon, Maine native recorded career-bests in 2019 in receptions (71), receiving yards (1,057), and touchdown receptions (10).

Curran ranked second on the defense behind Zach Connolly when it came to total tackles (60.0) while Caron finished third with 51.0 total stops. Both players tallied a team-high seven tackles for a loss.

Joey Mauriello’s final year with Salve Regina: The 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year will be one of many players to watch in the CCC — the Colts Neck, New Jersey native enjoyed a very impressive second season with the Seahawks, which saw him tally career-highs in rushing attempts (195), rushing yards (1,334), rushing yards per game (148.2), and rushing touchdowns (20).

I expected the senior tailback to be a focal part of the Seahawks’ offense this fall — fans of the Seahawks will have a chance to watch him and his teammates compete in the opening week on Friday, September 3 against Norwich University.

Early-Season Favorite(s): We’re still a few days and weeks away from the first week of the 2021 season, but my early-season favorite is Western New England based off their previous success.

However, I do think this might be the year that Paul McGonagle‘s Endicott Gulls capture the conference and make their first national postseason appearance since 2013. I have seen the Gulls a few times since McGonagle was named the head coach of the program ahead of the 2018 season and believe they have taken the steps to get closer to winning their first-ever CCC title.

A few others teams I expect to be in the mix: Husson, Nichols, and Salve Regina. I think all three squads will provide challenges for Endicott and Western New England this fall, and the same could be said for UNE.

Noontime’s Teams To Watch In NCAA D-III Region 1

MIT will be one of a few teams to watch in the NEWMAC this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of NCAA Division III football is quickly approaching. And we’re excited about the upcoming season. Are you?

As a part of our early preseason coverage, we will be producing a list of 10 to 12 teams we will be watching this fall in regions one and two — yes, the NCAA has divided 239 teams into six regions for the upcoming season compared to previous years, which saw programs listed in the North, South, East, and West. These changes were highlighted on D3Football.com earlier this month.

So, without further ado, let’s begin our early preseason watch with our teams to watch in Region 1 this fall!

Delaware Valley: As noted last week on our podcast — well, we need to give some credit to James Baker of In The D3FB Huddle — the Aggies will most likely be the top team this fall in this particular region. DelVal did not play last fall or earlier this spring, but posted an 11-2 record in 2019, which included eight conference wins in Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). The Aggies will begin their 2021 campaign at Kean University on Friday, September 3 at 6:30 p.m.

Endicott College: The Gulls improved from 2018 to 2019. And despite not appearing on the gridiron last fall, it is expected the trend will continue this season when coach Paul McGonagle leads the Blue and Green onto the field on Saturday, September 4 against St. Lawrence University.

Framingham State University: Aynsley Rosenbaum will make his head coaching debut on Labor Day Weekend — Saturday, September 4 at 12 p.m., to be exact — when the Rams welcome Brockport to Bowditch Field. Rosenbaum spent 12 seasons with the Black and Gold as the offensive coordinator, and has helped the Rams win nine conference championships.

Merchant Marine: The Mariners competed one last fall — they defeated their rival Coast Guard Academy in the Secretaries Cup. Quarterback Ian Blankenship highlighted his team’s lone win of the 2020 season and will certainly be a player to watch this fall.

Middlebury College: In 2019, the Panthers were perfect, winning all nine New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) matchups to become just the fourth team in league history to record an undefeated season.

Misericordia University: First-year coach John Davis and the Cougars will be a team you certainly will want to keep your eyes on this fall — Davis arrives in Dallas, Pennsylvania after three successful seasons with The Apprentice School in Newport News, Virginia. Under Davis, the Builders posted back-to-back winning seasons in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, Davis and the Builders beat Oakland University in the NCFA National Championship.

MIT: The Engineers have averaged 7.66 wins in their last three seasons — they have also represented the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. MIT’s previous success should continue this fall, but like previous years, they will face some challenges against two local conference foes: Springfield College and WPI.

Stevenson University: Similar to the Aggies, the Mustangs will also be a team to watch in this particular region — they open their season against Johns Hopkins, which finished its 2019 campaign with an 8-3 record, including a 6-3 mark in the Centennial Conference (CC). Their matchup with the Blue Jays will be followed by two VERY iroad trips at RPI and Delaware Valley.

Trinity College: Look for the Bantams to bounce back this fall after posting a 5-4 record in 2019. Prior to their five-win season, the Bantams produced three eight-win seasons, including a perfect 8-0 mark in 2016.

UMass Dartmouth: Quarterback Stephen Gacioch is back to quarterback the Corsairs for one more season — in 2019, he led the Blue and Gold to a 7-3 season. UMass Dartmouth last recorded seven wins in 2004 when they were a member of the New England Football Conference (NEFC).

Western New England: The Golden Bears have won eight games or more since 2014, and will once again be one of a few teams to watch in New England this fall. And like most teams, they did graduate some talent on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Alec Coleman, but expect Jason Lebeau‘s squad to be ready come week one when they host Springfield College on Saturday, September 4 at 1 p.m.

Wilkes University: Coach Jonathan Drach and the Colonels enjoyed a successful 2019 season, which saw the team post eight wins for the first time since finishing 8-3 in 2005. Despite losing to Susquehanna University in the Centennial/MAC Bowl, the Colonels should be able to continue to their momentum this fall when they kickoff their season at Schmidt Stadium against Keystone College on Saturday, September 4 at 1 p.m.

The Way Too Early New England D3 Football Top 20 Poll

By NoontimeSports.com

Sure, it is the 24th day of June, but football is on our minds. So, let’s keep with tradition from the past two years by unveiling our third annual Noontime Sports Way Too Early New England NCAA Division III Top 20 Poll.

Revisit our previous Way Too Early polls from 2019 and 2020.

This year’s Way Too Early Poll is based on last year’s poll (and somewhat our 2019 poll, too) — we know it will change as we get closer to the start of the 2021 season, so stay tuned for our first official poll at the end of August/early September.

Alright, without further ado, let’s get back to football with our 2021 Way Too Early New England D-III Top 20 Poll!


Noontime’s Way Too Early New England D-III Top 20 Poll (June 23, 2021)

  1. Williams College (2019 Record: 7-2, 7-2 NESCAC): The Ephs were our top team in this poll last year, so let’s see if they remain in this position in a few weeks.

  2. Western New England (2019 Record: 9-2, 7-0 CCC): It’s hard to pick against the Golden Bears, who continue to be the team to beat in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).

  3. Wesleyan University (2019 Record: 8-1, 8-1 NESCAC): Last year, the Cardinals were fourth on our list. This year, they move up one spot — they should be ready to contend with Williams and others once the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football season kicks off in mid-September.

  4. Endicott College (2019 Record: 9-2, 6-1 CCC): The Gulls seem primed for an exciting 2021 campaign under coach Paul McGonagle, who has a former signal-caller on his staff: Joe Kalosky.

  5. UMass Dartmouth (2019 Record: 7-3, 5-3 MASCAC): Quarterback Stephen Gacioch is back for one final season with the Corsairs after an impressive 2019 season.

  6. MIT (2019 Record: 7-3, 6-1 NEWMAC): The Engineers captured the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship in 2018 before sharing it with WPI one year later. They will once again be the team to watch in the NEWMAC.

  7. Framingham State (2019 Record: 8-3, 8-0 MASCAC): Aynsley Rosenbaum will finally guide the Rams for the first time this fall after being promoted to the team’s head coach on January 19, 2020.

  8. Trinity College (2019 Record: 5-4, 5-4 NESCAC): The Bantams will be in the mix for the top spot in the NESCAC this year. That’s a fact.

  9. Western Connecticut (2019 Record: 8-3, 6-2 MASCAC): The Colonials will once again be in the mix for the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) this fall, but will they be able to beat Framingham State and UMass Dartmouth to secure the top spot?

  10. Springfield College (2019 Record: 6-4, 5-2 NEWMAC): Look for the Pride to compete with the Engineers of MIT for the top spot in the conference this fall.

  11. Salve Regina University (2019 Record: 4-6, 3-4 CCC): Get ready for the Joey Mauriello show in Newport, Rhode Island.

  12. Tufts University (2019 Record: 4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): Look for the Jumbos to bounce back this fall after posting just four wins in 2019.

  13. Middlebury College (2019 Record: 9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): After posting the first-ever 9-0 record in NESCAC play, the Panthers will finally have a chance to defend their crown this fall.

  14. WPI (2019 Record: 10-1, 6-1 NEWMAC): The Engineers graduated a slew of talent from their 2019 squad, but have brought in some impressive recruits that should help them compete with MIT, Springfield, and Merchant Marine Academy.

  15. Bridgewater State University (2019 Record: 6-4, 6-2 MASCAC): The Bears won eight games in 2018, but just six one year later. They were competitive — they certainly provided challenges for their conference foes and should find a way to be in the mix for the top spot as their 2021 campaign progresses.

  16. Amherst College (2019 Record: 4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Mammoths may have taken a step back in 2019, but you can bet they’ll be ready to challenge the top teams in the NESCAC in a few months.

  17. Nichols College (2019 Record: 6-4, 4-3 CCC): Every year, this team takes a positive step forward.

  18. Coast Guard Academy (2019 Record: 5-5, 2-5 NEWMAC): The Bears did compete once last year — they lost to Merchant Marine Academy last November, but we were able to get a glimpse of some student-athletes to watch this fall.

  19. Husson University (2019 Record: 4-6, 2-5 CCC): Something tells us that these Eagles won’t be on the bottom of our list for long.

  20. Colby College (2-7, 2-7 NESCAC): Keep your eyes on the Mules — Jack Cosgrove will have the Blue and White ready to compete with the top teams in the conference this fall.

D3 Football: Endicott Enters The 2019 Season With Some Additional Motivation

Endicott FB ONE
Endicott College senior Andrew Tudino prepares to snap the ball in practice. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nicholas Grace/Endicott College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

In the words of coach Paul McGonagle, last season was “good, but not great” for the Endicott College football team.

The Gulls posted their first winning season since 2013 but struggled to maintain their mid-to-late season momentum down the stretch when they lost back-to-back contests to Merchant Marine and Salve Regina.

Both setbacks, according to McGonagle, provided the unit with some additional motivation heading into the offseason.

“It’s given us some good drive in the offseason, spring ball, winter, and for the guys in the summertime,” said McGonagle, who is entering his second season with the Endicott football program.

That extra motivation will be put to the test this Friday, September 6th when the Gulls entertain Framingham State in their season-opener at 7 p.m.

Endicott has high hopes for this season and hopes last year’s ending will provide the squad with the motivation it needs to capture its first conference crown en route to a national postseason appearance.


What you should know about the 2019 Endicott Gulls 

The Gulls’ schedule2019 will present some unique challenges for the Gulls, who are scheduled to compete against a trio of NCAA Tournament teams from last season, including Husson University and Western New England, two teams that compete against Endicott in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).

McGonagle considers the 2019 schedule “a challenge,” but also a “very competitive schedule” that will certainly test his returners and newcomers.

“We play three NCAA playoff teams (from a year ago),” said McGonagle when discussing the team’s schedule.

“We have Husson joining our conference this year, which will make it more competitive, and then we have Framingham and Wesley (College) coming up from Delaware, so it is a great challenge for our guys and hopefully they will be ready for it.”

Endicott FB 2
Senior quarterback Joe Kalosky will once again be a focal point of the Endicott College offense. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols Grace/Endicott College Athletics)

The second year of Endicott’s new offenseLast season, the Gulls implemented a new offense that seemed identical to what the Philadelphia Eagles ran during their 2017 march toward their first-ever Super Bowl championship in franchise history. And that was a run-pass option (RPO) offense, a scheme the Gulls used frequently with moving the ball up and down the field.

Operating an RPO offense was something quarterback Joe Kalosky seemed to like – he is excited to apply what he learned in the offseason from studying his team’s game film – but as McGonagle said, “we are a whatever it takes” offense.

“Football is a copycat (game), so we do RPO’s, but we also do other stuff, too,” said McGonagle.

“(Last season), there were three games where we rushed for over 300 yards and there were games where we threw for over 300 yards, so we are not one dimensional. There are RPO’s, there are regular old school dropbacks, play action, three-step drops (and much more), so I think it helps us out when it is a sunny game or a rainy game.”

McGonagle praised Kalosky’s effort to improve his game this past spring and summer and believes “the sky is the limit” for the Plymouth, Connecticut native, who did run some RPO plays in high school.

Kalosky enjoyed his best season with the Gulls last fall, recording career-bests in competition percentage (56.5%) and touchdown passes (24). He also rushed for a career-high 365 yards on 40 carries for two touchdowns.

Last season’s ending has motivated Endicott’s defenseFor junior linebacker Kevin O’Brien, last year’s final two contests against Merchant Marine and Salve Regina has become the motivation for this year’s defense.

“The defense would like to have those last two games back,” said O’Brien, who played high school football at Braintree High School.

“The two games were high-scoring and we were one or two stops away from a different outcome, so we’re going to focus on putting all four quarters together, putting the whole season together and having to not rely on Joe and this offense to put up big numbers for us to win.”

O’Brien will be one of many returners to lead a unit that limited opposing offenses to 27.5 points per game last season. Endicott graduated some key pieces from last year’s defense, including linebacker William Rivera, who recorded 114.0 total tackles in 11 contests.

Replicating Rivera’s production won’t be easy, but as O’Brien said of this year’s linebacking core, “it will be more of a group effort.”

In addition to O’Brien, Endicott will certainly rely on defensive back Steven Abbott, who recorded a career-high 61.0 total tackles last fall, as well as Tim Russell, who transferred from Hamilton College after posting 74.0 tackles in two seasons with the Continentals.

Sam Opont will also be a player to watch on defense, too – the Bridgeport, Connecticut native tallied a career-high 53.0 total tackles last fall as a defensive lineman, including 6.5 tackles for a loss.

Nick DiCairano is focused on “consistency” this fall: Heading into his second and final season with the Gulls, Nick DiCairano, who began his collegiate career kicking for Pace University in the Northeast-10 Conference, seems focused on being more consistent this fall after tallying 80 points on 44 extra points and 12 field goals.

“I think this year (I am) mostly focusing on cosistency, ” said DiCairano, who was tabbed our Noontime Sports Special Teamer of 2018.

“Whatever happened last year, happened last year. I am not even thinking about it. The coaches and even everyone on the team have really helped me get into the mindset of one kick at a time (and) focus on what I can control.

“I am fortunate enough to have an amazing snapper and holder, which takes the weight off my shoulders, and helps me be more consistent, too. But I think just going into the year I have been really focusing on being consistent and taking every kick one at a time.”

While DiCairano has certainly been a player to watch on extra points and field goals, he is also someone McGonagle can rely on for opening kickoffs, too.

“Nick is a very valuable player to this program,” said McGonagle.


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