Tag: Plymouth State

Noontime’s New England D3 Football Conference Predictions

The early expectation is that Trinity College will begin the 2022 season as the de-facto favorite to win the NESCAC. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

We’re less than 30 days from the start of a brand-new New England NCAA Division III Football season.

Are you excited?

I am, which is why I am ready to share my early predictions for which team will win their respective conference this fall.

Like most of our early season content, these picks are educated guesses. It’s possible these picks will be right while some could be wrong.

Anywho, allow me to share my early predictions for all five New England D-III football conferences.

Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC): From top to bottom, this might be the most competitive conference in the region.

As of early August – and yes, a few weeks back – I was pretty sure Endicott College would be the favorite to win its second-straight title this fall. But from doing some additional research, I will change my mind and go with another team: Salve Regina University.

To me, the Seahawks might be the best team on paper in this conference heading into the upcoming season. They will return some key members of last year’s offense that averaged 199.2 rushing yards per game.

But while Salve Regina might be the squad receiving some early-season praise for its key returners, do not overlook Endicott, along with Husson University, Western New England, and the University of New England. All four squads, along with Curry College and Nichols College will provide the Seahawks with plenty of challenges this season.  

Noontime’s CCC Champion Prediction: Salve Regina University

Noontime’s Surprise CCC Team of 2022: University of New England

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC): A new chapter of Anna Maria College football will begin this fall with first-year coach Steve Croce.

Croce, who was on the staff last year, will be tasked with continuing the squad’s momentum, which saw the AMCATs win their first-ever conference crown, as well as appear in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Like Salve Regina, Anna Maria will return some key members of last year’s squad on both offense and defense, including quarterback Alex Cohen, who concluded the 2021 season with 23 touchdown passes.

While Anna Maria appears to be the team to beat in the ECFC, don’t overlook Alfred State College, a squad that appeared in its first-ever postseason contest last November. Additionally, the Pioneers set a new program record for wins with six victories. For the Blue and Yellow to continue its success this fall, they will need to do it without quarterback Aaron Jenkins, who will be competing for Adrian College this season.

One team to keep an eye on this fall is Keystone College, a squad that concluded its inaugural season winless but could pose problems for both its non-conference and conference foes.

Noontime’s ECFC Champion Prediction: Anna Maria College

Noontime’s Surprise ECFC Team of 2022: Keystone College

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC): Framingham State has been the team to beat over the last decade or so and should be the squad with a target on its back heading into training camp this month.

But don’t rule out the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth, which concluded the 2021 season with a league-best nine wins (that’s nine wins in 11 contests).

UMass Dartmouth earned some much-needed momentum heading into the postseason by capturing its first-ever New England Bowl Game last November – the Corsairs rolled past Alfred State, 42-16, thanks to a six-touchdown effort (four passing and two rushing scores) by Dante Aviles-Santos.

Aviles-Santos returns this fall hoping to lead the Corsairs to their first-ever conference crown. UMass Dartmouth has never won a MASCAC title and appears to be the team to beat on paper.

While UMass Dartmouth might be equipped to challenge the Rams for the top spot in the conference, don’t overlook Bridgewater State, which finished its 2021 campaign with six wins and a Cranberry Bowl victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Plymouth State, which ended its previous season with a 5-5 overall record, will also be in the mix for the conference crown.

Noontime’s MASCAC Champion Prediction: Framingham State  

Noontime’s Surprise MASCAC Team of 2022: Plymouth State  

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC): The Bantams of Trinity College won eight games last season. They also lost one contest to Williams College, which captured the NESCAC crown with a perfect 9-0 record.

The loss to the Ephs should fuel a conference championship run for the Bantams this fall – Trinity, like other New England squads, will welcome back some key members of its 2021 squad, including quarterback Spencer Fetter, halfback Will Kirby, and wide receiver DeVante Reid. Linebacker Brian Casagrande, who led the Bantams’ defense with 46.0 total tackles, is also expected to return.

While Trinity will be the squad to watch in the NESCAC heading into their initial contest, the same could be said for others such as Amherst College, Colby College, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University.

Williams College could also pose threats to Trinity’s title run with the Ephs representing the region on last month’s D3Football Preseason Poll. Williams is one of many teams receiving votes.

Noontime’s NESCAC Champion Prediction: Trinity College  

Noontime’s Surprise CCC Team of 2022: Tufts University  

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC): After starting their season with one win and three losses, Springfield College responded with a six-game winning streak that helped the Pride capture its second NEWMAC crown, as well as advance to the opening round of the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The early expectation is that Springfield will be the de-facto favorite to win the NEWMAC this fall, but don’t overlook Merchant Marine, which finished its 2021 season with a 9-1 overall record.

The Mariners won their final two contests against Coast Guard Academy and Western New England – the win over the Golden Bears provided Merchant Marine with its second New England Bowl victory since beating Endicott in 2018. Additionally, the team’s final win was an ideal sendoff for longtime head coach Mike Toop, who guided the Silver and Blue to 70 wins in 17 seasons.

Toop announced he would be retiring last November.

Merchant Marine should be able to compete for the top spot with Springfield – sure, both teams will need to fill some graduation holes, but the same could be said for every team in college football.

A few other teams to watch in the NEWMAC include Catholic University, MIT, and WPI.

Noontime’s NEWMAC Champion Prediction: Springfield College  

Noontime’s Surprise NEWMAC Team of 2022: WPI

Noontime’s Way Too Early New England D-III Football Top 20 Poll

Elijah Nichols and the Framingham State Rams will once again be a team to watch in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin Photography).

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s time to start thinking about football — well, more the upcoming NCAA Division III season, to be exact.

It’s time to share our ‘Way Too Early‘ New England D-III Top 20 Poll, which may look similar to our final Top 20 from last season. But the expectation is the poll will change ahead of the opening week of the season — be on the lookout for some preseason and camp coverage later this summer.

Enjoy our early-season — well, way-too-early-season poll and feel free to let us know your thoughts by sending us a message on Instagram (@NoontimeNation) and or tweet on Twitter (@NoontimeSports).

Noontime’s Way Too Early New England NCAA D-III Football Poll

  1. Endicott College (8-3, 5-1 CCC): The Gulls captured their first conference crown last fall since 2013 and will certainly be ready to defend it this season.

  2. Framingham State (8-3, 8-0 MASCAC): Coach Tom Kelley and the Rams will once again be a team to watch — maybe the team to beat? — in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) this fall.

  3. UMass Dartmouth (9-2, 6-2 MASCAC): The Corsairs capped their 2021 season with a New England Bowl victory. Expect their win over Alfred State to provide the squad with some additional momentum this season.

  4. Husson University (7-3, 4-2 CCC): Quarterback Nic Visser is just one of many student-athletes to watch this fall on the Eagles.

  5. Trinity College (8-1, 8-1 NESCAC): Look for a big year from halfback Will Kirby.

  6. Wesleyan University (6-3, 6-3 NESCAC): The Cardinals are going to surprise many New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football fans.

  7. Salve Regina University (8-2, 4-2 CCC): Last season, the Seahawks won eight games for the first time since 2016.

  8. Springfield College (7-4, 6-0 NEWMAC): The Pride should be the favorite to win the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) this fall.

  9. Western New England (7-4, 5-1 CCC): Members of the 2019 and 2021 squad have graduated, which means it’s time for some new Golden Bears to step up.

  10. Bridgewater State (6-4, 6-2 MASCAC): This could be a big year for halfback Adam Couch.

  11. Plymouth State (5-5, 5-3 MASCAC): Like the Cardinals of Wesleyan, the Panthers are going to surprise fans of the MASCAC.

  12. Anna Maria College (7-3, 5-1 ECFC): A new chapter of AMCATs football begins this fall with first-year coach Steve Croce.

  13. University of New England (4-5, 2-4 CCC): This Nor’easters squad proved they’re going to get better every season.

  14. Tufts University (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): Don’t sleep on the Jumbos this year.

  15. Amherst College (5-4, 5-4 NESCAC): A five-point setback to Williams at the end of last year will be the motivation for the Purple and White this fall.

  16. Williams College (9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): After producing its first-ever nine-win season in program history, these Ephs have some graduation holes to fill.

  17. MIT (5-4, 3-3 NEWMAC): One has to think “Bubna Magic” will return after a 5-4 season last fall.

  18. Western Conn. (5-5, 4-4 MASCAC): After posting just five wins for the first time since 2016, one should expect coach Joe Loth‘s squad to bounce back and be in the mix for a conference crown.

  19. Colby College (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): Expect the Mules to capture the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown again this fall.

  20. WPI (3-7, 2-4 NEWMAC): After a down year, expect the Engineers to bounce back with possibly one or two new signal-callers.

On the Rise: Coast Guard Academy, Curry College, Dean College, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Colby Heads Into April With A Great Deal Of Momentum

The Colby College women’s lacrosse team scored an impressive overtime win last Saturday against Salisbury University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Cole Burkhart/Colby College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

In case you missed it, the Colby College women’s lacrosse team scored a big win this past weekend against Salisbury University.

The win against the Sea Gulls, which came in overtime, should certainly provide the Royal Blue and White with a great deal of momentum heading into the final few weeks of the regular season.

In addition to snapping Salisbury’s 29-game winning streak, Colby scored a dramatic 10-9 victory last Thursday against Hamilton College. Eliza Dean netted the game-winner at the buzzer after Annie Eddy tied the game at 9 with 18 seconds remaining in the final session.  

Eddy was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Week after recording eight points on six goals and two assists in a 2-0 week for the Mules. The Cheshire, Connecticut native currently leads Colby in goals (22) and points (26) through seven contests.

Colby concludes the month of March with a five-game winning streak, which includes victories over Plymouth State, the University of New England, and Wesleyan University.

The Mules’ March momentum will certainly be tested over the next few weeks, including this weekend when they host Connecticut College on Saturday before visiting Endicott College on Sunday. Connecticut College has yet to win a conference game this spring while the Gulls are seeking their fifth non-conference win (Endicott has lost to three NESCAC teams this month).

While Colby is certainly a team to watch going forward, the same could be said for Middlebury College, which secured the top spot in this week’s Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Top 25 Poll today.

The Panthers have won seven contests this spring, including four NESCAC meetings. Additionally, Middlebury boasts a 32-game winning streak, which dates back to its initial victory in 2019 against Springfield College.

Middlebury hosts Plymouth State tomorrow before capping the week with a visit to Tufts University on Saturday. Tufts, which has won two of three league meetings, represented the NESCAC in the national championship last spring against Salisbury, which edged the Jumbos by a score of 14-13.

As a team, Middlebury ranks third in the NESCAC in goals scored with 108. They rank third in caused turnovers (81). Jane Earley and Hope Shue are two of the top goal scorers in the conference with the duo combining for 40 goals. Wesleyan’s Olivia Lai and Bowdoin College’s Sophia Sudano are tied for first in goals scored with 28.

Noontime’s Final D3 Football Top 20 Poll (Nov. 22, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s hard to believe, but another season of New England NCAA Division III football has officially concluded — that was fast, eh?

Luckily, we still have plenty of end-of-season wrap-up content coming your way, so stay tuned for future posts and podcasts. But in the meantime, enjoy our end-of-season poll, which finds Williams College, Endicott College, and Framingham State in the top three spots.

1. Williams College (9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): The only New England team to finish without a setback, the Ephs concluded the 2021 season as the first team in program history to win nine games in a single season.

2. Endicott College (8-3, 5-1 CCC): Despite seeing its season conclude in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Tournament, the future is very bright for a squad that features a slew of rising seniors and juniors.

3. Framingham State (8-3, 6-0 MASCAC): The Rams were a pleasant surprise this fall, rebounding from an 0-2 start to win their third outright conference crown.

4. Trinity College (8-1, 8-1 NESCAC): The Bantams could be the “team to beat” next fall in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) after ending its season with back-to-back wins over Amherst College and Wesleyan University.

5. Western New England (7-4, 5-1 CCC): The Golden Bears may have ended with a difficult setback to the United States Merchant Marine Academy, but this team was resilient, especially after a midseason loss to Endicott College.

6. UMass Dartmouth (9-2, 6-2 MASCAC): The Corsairs matched their win total from 2003 by winning their final six contests, including their first-ever New England Bowl.

7. Husson University (7-3, 4-2 CCC): These Eagles provided a lot of challenges for non-conference and conference foes this fall.

8. Salve Regina University (8-2, 4-2): The 2021 Seahawks looked somewhat like the 2016 Seahawks that won eight games.

9. Springfield College (7-4, 6-0 NEWMAC): “The Brotherhood” bounced back from a 1-3 start with a six-game winning streak that resulted in a conference crown, along with an impressive showing against SUNY Cortland in the opening round of the postseason.

10. Bridgewater State (6-4, 6-2): The Bears concluded their season with a Cranberry Bowl win over Massachusetts Maritime Academy, which should provide the Red and White with some much-needed momentum heading into the offseason.

11. Anna Maria College (7-3, 5-1 ECFC): The AMCATs were a tremendous story this fall as they not only captured their initial conference crown but also competed in their first national postseason.

12. Wesleyan University (6-3, 6-3 NESCAC): These Cardinals provided a great deal of excitement with some dramatic come-from-behind wins this fall.

13. Castleton University (6-4, 4-2 ECFC): The Spartans were a fun team to watch down the stretch as they finished with six wins for the first time since posting an identical 6-4 record in 2017.

14. Plymouth State (5-5, 5-3 MASCAC): These Panthers were a team to watch during the second half of the season, especially mid-October.

15. MIT (5-4, 3-3 NEWMAC): Coach Brian Bubna’s squad ended its 2021 campaign with a much-needed win over the Engineers of WPI.

16. Amherst College (5-4, 5-4 NESCAC): These Mammoths exceeded our expectations and will certainly be a team to keep an eye on next fall.

17. University of New England (4-5, 2-4 CCC): The future is very bright for the Nor’easters, who concluded their season early this month with a dramatic win over Curry College.

18. Western Connecticut (5-5, 4-4 MASCAC): The Colonials head into the offseason with some momentum after ending its campaign with back-to-back wins over Fitchburg State and Worcester State.

19. Tufts University (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Jumbos ended their season with a four-game winning streak – they were certainly competitive with some of the top teams in the NESCAC this fall.

20. Colby College (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Mules concluded their season with the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown.

Noontime’s 10 Games to Watch (Week 11)

Joel Nicholas and the Williams College football team will look to cap their 2021 campaign with a win over Amherst College on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s hard to believe, but somehow, we made it to the final week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III college football season – where did the time go?

The final week pits some real intriguing matchups that will determine conference winners. Others feature teams looking to gain some much-needed momentum heading into the offseason.

We’ll have plenty of time over the next few weeks to look back on the regular season, but for now, let’s get ready for the final jam-packed Saturday with 10 Games to Watch (and yes, our picks, too).

And just for those keeping track at home, we enter the final week with a 71-29 record when it comes to selecting games. Not bad, eh?

Catholic University (6-3, 4-1 NEWMAC) at Springfield College (6-3, 5-0 NEWMAC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: The Pride are on a roll and should be able to conclude their conference slate with a victory, along with a league crown. PREDICTION: Springfield 30, Catholic 22

Merchant Marine Academy (7-1, 4-1 NEWMAC) at Coast Guard Academy (2-7, 0-5 NEWMAC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: The Mariners will look to send coach Mike Toop off with one last win in the Secretaries Cup against the Bears.  PREDICTION: Merchant Marine 30, Coast Guard 20

Endicott College (7-2, 4-1 CCC) at Nichols College (2-7, 0-5 CCC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: A win for the Gulls over the Bison would most likely secure them a spot in the upcoming postseason. PREDICTION: Endicott 30, Nichols 16  

Williams College (8-0, 8-0 NESCAC) at Amherst College (5-3, 5-3) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: The Ephs can make history on Saturday by becoming the first team in program history to win nine games in a single season. PREDICTION: Williams 30, Amherst 14

Alfred State (5-4, 4-1 ECFC) at Dean College (2-7, 1-4 ECFC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: A win for the Pioneers and an AMCATs loss would provide the Blue and Yellow with their first-ever conference crown, so this is a must-win for Alfred State. PREDICTION: Alfred State 24, Dean 14

Bridgewater State (5-4, 5-2 MASCAC) at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (4-5, 3-4 MASCAC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: Mother Nature should cooperate for the 42nd Annual Cranberry Bowl in Buzzards Bay – the rain today should vanish by kickoff tomorrow. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 23, Mass. Maritime 20

Plymouth State (5-4, 5-2 MASCAC) at UMass Dartmouth (7-2, 5-2 MASCAC) Saturday, November 13 at 12 p.m.: Second place in the conference is on the line — of course, Bridgewater State is in the mix for second place, as well, but this outcome could determine who will represent the conference in the New England Bowl. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth 28, Plymouth State 20  

Christian Schiavone and the SUNY-Maritime football team will compete against Anna Maria College in a highly anticipated matchup on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Alan Schaefer)

Husson University (7-2, 4-1 CCC) at Western New England (6-3, 4-1 CCC) Saturday, November at 1 p.m.: The Eagles soar into Springfield with a great deal of end-of-season momentum. PREDICTION: Husson 28, WNE 24

SUNY-Maritime (3-5, 3-2 ECFC) at Anna Maria College (6-2, 4-1 ECFC) Saturday, November 13 at 1 p.m.: The AMCATs are one win away from capturing their first-ever conference crown. PREDICTION: Anna Maria 28, SUNY-Maritime 15

Bowdoin College (1-7, 1-7 NESCAC) at Colby College (3-5, 3-5 NESCAC) Saturday, November 13 at 5 p.m.: The Mules can secure their second-straight Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown on Saturday with a win over the Polar Bears. PREDICTION: Colby 24, Bowdoin 14