Tag: Roanoke College

Noontime’s D-III Lacrosse Championship Predictions

Middlebury College’s Emma White and the Panthers defense has been a unit to watch this postseason. (PHOTO COURTESY: Will Costello)

By Matt Noonan

The time has come to crown not one, but two NCAA Division III lacrosse champions.

This weekend, six teams – four women’s and two men’s – will contend for the ultimate prize of a national championship.

But before the games commence, it is time to share my picks – well, more my thoughts, to exact, as to who I think will win this year’s titles.

Let’s begin with the four teams competing for the women’s national championship in Salem, Virginia.

NCAA D-III Women’s Semifinals & Championship Predictions

Middlebury College over Gettysburg College: It’s too bad this matchup had to occur in the semifinals – it would have been great to see both teams square off on Sunday in the championship.  

This weekend will be the last time Carol Cantele and Barb Jordan will pace the Gettysburg sidelines – the Bullets enter the last weekend of the season with a 13-game winning streak.

Cantele credits the opponents her team faced two months ago to prepare her squad for a challenging postseason run, which began with an extra session win over Roanoke College in the second round.

Jordan Basso is the player to watch on Gettysburg – the sophomore attack from Rye, New York leads the Orange and Blue in goals (65) and points (101).

Middlebury was idle last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but their championship momentum from 2019 has remained with the Navy Blue and White, which is seeking its eighth title in program history, as well as its third crown since 2016.

The Panthers’ defense has been a unit to watch this postseason. They have limited its three postseason foes to six goals or less, and have received a major boost from goalie Annie Enrietto, who has turned aside 21 shots in her team’s last three contests. She denied 11 shots on Sunday during her team’s second meeting of the season with Colby College.  

Jennifer LaRocca and the TCNJ women’s lacrosse team scored back-to-back wins last weekend over Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jimmy Alagna/TCNJ Athletics)

Tufts University over The College of New Jersey (TCNJ): TCNJ’s path to championship weekend wasn’t an easy one.

The Lions had to beat three teams, including Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland in back-to-back games last weekend, which is not an easy task. But perhaps their wins over the Red Dragons and Sea Gulls will provide TCNJ with enough momentum to beat Tufts, a squad that has ended the Lions’ last two postseason trips.

Like TCNJ, Tufts enters its semifinal matchup with a great deal of momentum, which began after the team’s last setback to Amherst College in April. After losing to the Mammoths in overtime, the Jumbos have been on a roll, winning their second-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament crown while scoring three impressive postseason wins.

Perhaps the Jumbos’ most impressive win of the postseason came on Sunday evening as Tufts converted seven of 12 free position goals against Franklin & Marshall to clinch its third trip to the semifinals since 2019.

Last season, the Jumbos came close to winning their first-ever national title but saw their hopes dashed by an extra Salisbury tally by Delaney Hill. Tufts would respond, netting three-straight goals in less than two minutes, but its final marker by Caroline Walter concluded the Jumbos’ comeback.

The loss to Salisbury, along with an extra session defeat to Amherst might be enough motivation for Tufts to find a way to beat TCNJ for the fourth time in the last three years.

Middlebury over Tufts in the 2022 NCAA D-III Title Game: Get ready for an all-NESCAC championship.

Middlebury and Tufts almost met in the title round three years ago when both teams appeared in the national semifinals. But Tufts saw its season conclude against Salisbury, which would then fall to Middlebury in the championship.

So, let’s try this again.

Middlebury beat Tufts earlier this spring by seven goals, thanks to a four-point (three goals, one assist) effort from Jane Earley, along with a hat trick by Susan Rowley.

Tufts would win the next meeting by one goal when the two teams met in the NESCAC Championship earlier this month. The Jumbos’ defense highlighted the win, especially at the very end as the unit denied a pair of free-position attempts by Hope Shue.

The Jumbos’ 9-8 win over the Panthers snapped Middlebury’s 42-game winning streak, which began with a 16-1 victory over Springfield College on March 8, 2019.

Since falling to Tufts, Middlebury has looked impressive. They tallied 22 goals in back-to-back games against SUNY Geneseo and the University of Chicago, before relying on its defense to slow down a Colby squad that had produced 33 goals in back-to-back postseason contests.  

While Tufts’ run to the national semifinals has been exciting – and yes, impressive, too – it just seems like their luck or momentum will disappear in the third meeting with Middlebury, which seems determined to conclude its current campaign with some hardware.


NCAA D-III Men’s Championship Predictions

Ryan Puglisi and the Union College defense shined last Sunday against York College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Clara Lodice)

Union College over Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT): Who doesn’t like an underdog story?

Union may not be the favorite, but it seems as if many within the D-III world are pulling for the Dutchmen to win their initial national championship.

The Dutchmen have enjoyed an impressive season, winning 18 of 20 contests with perhaps their most exciting wins occurring last weekend over Gettysburg College and York College. Both wins were exciting but also proved this year’s Dutchmen can win a championship.

For Union to complete its storybook season with a title, they will need to find a way to slow down an RIT squad that has produced 20 goals or more in four postseason contests this spring.

The Tigers won their first-ever championship last year by outlasting Salisbury in double-overtime.

RIT has beaten Union in its last 20 meetings, including an NCAA Tournament clash in 2019. The Tigers won both meetings last spring, including an 11-9 victory in the Liberty League (LL) semifinals.  

Marley Angus highlighted RIT’s one-goal win over Union last month as the senior midfielder concluded the game with four goals, two assists, and two ground balls. Keaton McCann led Union with five goals on eight shots.

McCann has been a player to watch on Union this postseason. The senior attack from Briarcliff, New York has recorded three goals or more in four contests while netting the game-winner last Saturday against Gettysburg.   


NCAA D-III Championship Weekend Schedule

WLAX D-III Semifinal: Middlebury vs Gettysburg on Saturday, May 28 at 12 p.m.

WLAX D-III Semifinal: Tufts vs. TCNJ on Saturday, May 28 at 3:00 p.m.

MLAX D-III Championship: RIT vs. Union on Sunday, May 29 at 1 p.m.

WLAX D-III Championship: Middlebury/Gettysburg vs. TCNJ/Tufts on Sunday, May 29 at 3:30 p.m.

All three women’s games will occur in Salem, Virginia while the men’s championship will take place in East Hartford, Connecticut.

D3 Lacrosse Notebook: Lynchburg Looks To Continue Its Early-Season Success

Nicki Santora netted five goals, including the game-winner in double-overtime in Lynchburg’s 13-12 win over Mary Washington last Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: University of Lynchburg Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

It’s been an exciting few days for the University of Lynchburg women’s lacrosse team, which scored an impressive double-overtime win last Saturday against the University of Mary Washington before securing the final spot in this week’s Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) D-III poll.

The Hornets’ win over the Eagles was their first in their last 13 attempts and should provide Lynchburg with some additional momentum heading into their next contest on Wednesday, March 24 against Christopher Newport.

Lynchburg’s 3-1 start is a testament to a trio of graduate students – Kelsi Trevisan, Carly Sandler, and Nicki Santora – who have combined for 44 points on 32 goals and 12 assists. Additionally, senior Leah Dumas has been a player to watch, especially last weekend when the Kennebunk, Maine native posted season-bests in points (five) and goals (four).

As a team, the Hornets are averaging 21.5 points per contest – they produced season-highs in goals (22), assists (11), and points (33) in their season-opener against Averett University last month before combining for 17 goals earlier this month against Meredith College.

Lynchburg is currently one of four teams in the Old Dominion Conference (ODAC) that has won at least three games thus far – Ferrum College has won four of seven matchups while Washington and Lee and Roanoke College each boast identical 3-0 records.

Washington and Lee, which is ranked third in the latest IWLCA poll, has also enjoyed a successful start to its 2021 campaign, as well, winning three-straight contests while averaging 22.00 goals per game.

The Generals, who are currently in first place in the ODAC, will look to extend their early-season winning streak to four games on Saturday when they visit Mary Washington for a 12 p.m. opening draw.

Allie Schwab is one of many players to watch on the Generals this season – she currently leads the Blue and White with 20 points on 10 goals and 10 assists, and is second in the ODAC in that same category behind Ferrum’s Erin Reynolds (16 goals and five assists).

Washington and Lee might be the favorite to win the conference crown later this spring, but Lynchburg is one of a few teams in the ODAC to watch over the next few weeks – the same could be said for Randolph-Macon College, Shenandoah University, and Roanoke College.


News and Notes from the NCAA D-III Lacrosse World

  • Franklin & Marshall is this week’s top team in the latest IWLCA Poll – the Diplomats, who were previously ranked second in the Top 25 coaches poll, will play their first game of the 2021 season next Saturday, March 27 against Ursinus College.

  • The Salisbury University women’s lacrosse team has enjoyed an impressive start to their 2021 season, winning five-straight contests, including back-to-back games against ranked opponents: Mary Washington and St. Mary’s (Md.). Salisbury will host The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on Saturday, March 20 with opening draw set for 1 p.m. TCNJ enters the game with a 1-0 record.

  • As of this afternoon, it appears as if just two members of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) will be playing games this spring. And they are the following: the University of Redlands and Chapman University. Both schools will play each other four times next month – it is possible we could see a fifth match-up on Saturday, May 1 – but as of now, the Bulldogs of Redlands will keep their focus on their initial foe of the 2021 season: Cal Lutheran University.

  • US Lacrosse Magazine republished a must-read from Lindsey Farrell, a former student-athlete with the McDaniel College women’s lacrosse team, about how the school made her who she is today.

  • Congrats to Kat Walton of Capital University, who recently recorded her 256th career point in the Crusaders’ recent win over Ohio Northern.