Tag: Rowan University

Five Teams That Could Win The CCC This Fall

Quarterback Mike Ingraffia will be a player to watch on offense this fall at Endicott College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway)

By Matt Noonan

Last fall, Endicott College captured its first conference crown in eight seasons by winning the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league with an 8-2 record.

The Gulls, which advanced to the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, saw their run toward a national title conclude with a 20-14 setback to RPI.

Despite ending their season with a six-point setback to the Engineers, Endicott should once again be in the mix for the conference crown. But the same could be said for a few other teams in the CCC, which will be ready to challenge the Gulls for some hardware.

Here are five teams that I believe can win the Commonwealth Coast Football league this year.

Endicott: I believe the Gulls can win their second-straight title, but their path to their fourth conference crown in program history won’t be easy.

For the Gulls to enjoy another successful campaign, they will need a similar effort this fall from quarterback Mike Ingraffia, who capped his sophomore season with career-highs in passing yards (1,531) and touchdowns (15).

Ingraffia is just one of many student-athletes to watch on the Gulls this fall, specifically its offense, but the same could be said for classmate and wide Shane Aylward, who ended the 2021 season as the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Aylward ranked fifth in the conference in receiving yards (712) while finishing tied for sixth with five touchdown receptions.

Colin Meropoulos was named the CCC Defensive Rookie of the Year and will be tasked with leading a defense that limited its opponents to 19.5 points per game.

Husson University: One should never count out coach Nat Clark’s Eagles, which concluded its 2021 campaign with a 7-3 record.

For the Eagles to enjoy another successful campaign, they will need some key members of last year’s squad to step up this year, including wide receiver Jon Bell, who concluded the 2021 season with career-bests in receptions (49), receiving yards (753), and touchdowns (four). Bell will most likely be targeted a few more times this fall by quarterback Nic Visser, who led the conference in passing yards (2,598).

Linebacker Tucker Buzzell will be the player to watch on defense after leading Husson with 85 total tackles last fall.  

Salve Regina University: For the first time since 2016, the Seahawks ended its season with eight wins, thanks to an impressive opening month that saw Salve Regina win four straight non-conference contests, including an epic come-from-behind win over Rowan University.

The team’s early-season momentum came to an end in early October with a 41-3 setback to Western New England.

Salve Regina would bounce back by winning four of their final five contests.

The biggest question facing this year’s squad is who will return this fall? Salve Regina’s roster featured eight graduate students last fall, along with 21 seniors, including halfback Joey Mauriello, but one player that will return this year – and is someone to watch – is linebacker Zachary Ludemann. The Howell, New Jersey native placed 11th in the conference in total tackles (69.0).

Western New England: For the second-straight season, the Golden Bears won five of six conference contests. But their lone setback to Endicott resulted in Western New England missing the national postseason for the first time in two years.

Will the loss to the Gulls be this year’s motivation for the Yellow and Blue?

Endicott and Western New England are scheduled to compete at the end of the season, so perhaps the final game could determine the conference’s winner.

The Golden Bears featured three different quarterbacks last fall, including Bryce Karstetter and Conrad Swanson, who will likely compete for the starting job this summer. But in addition to the team’s quarterback battle, keep an eye on the wide receivers and tight ends. Steven Fedorchak and Adam Razza have graduated, which means we could see Greg Perry and Ryan Larson become the squad’s top two receivers.  

No matter the make-up of this year’s Golden Bears, the expectation is coach Jason Lebeau’s squad will be ready to contend for its fourth CCC title.

University of New England: For the second-straight season, the Nor’easters won four games, including a pair of league tilts.

Can they double that win total this fall?

Perhaps they can, but for UNE to do that, they will need to play some of its best football early on.

UNE ended its 2021 season with a wild victory over Curry College, which highlighted a few players to watch this fall.

One of those players to watch in 2022 is quarterback Jarrett Henault, a Goffstown, New Hampshire native that threw for a career and season-high five touchdowns in his team’s win over the Colonels. Henault appeared in eight contests last season and will be tasked with leading an offense that will feature Mikey Brennan, Jakob Rivers, and Shane LaPorte this fall.

While the offense has a chance to improve from one year ago, the same could be said for the Nor’easter defense, which will be led by David Hutchison, a defensive lineman from St Johnsbury, Vermont.

UNE might be a longshot to win the CCC, but they certainly proved last season that they can contend with some of the best teams in the conference.

Rhodes Women’s Lacrosse Seeks Its Seventh-Straight SAA Title

Baylee Barker and the Rhodes College women’s lacrosse team will attempt to win its seventh-straight SAA crown on Sunday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rhodes College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Since their inaugural season in 2014, the Rhodes College women’s lacrosse team has been a squad to watch in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA).

Rhodes has captured six-straight league crowns and recently clinched its fifth-straight undefeated conference season when they defeated Berry College earlier this month by a score of 24-3.

The 21-goal victory over the Vikings was followed by an impressive 26-3 win this past weekend against Birmingham-Southern College, which provided Rhodes with a spot in Sunday’s SAA Finals.

Rhodes will meet Sewanee in this year’s SAA Championship with the winner advancing to next month’s NCAA Division III Tournament.

Sunday will mark the second time the Lynx and Tigers square off in the SAA Championship as Rhodes defeated Sewanee in 2015 to claim its initial title in program history. The three-goal (13-10) victory would be followed by Rhodes’ first-ever national postseason win against Meredith College.  

Franklin & Marshall defeated the Lynx in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Rhodes enters its seventh-straight conference championship riding a six-game winning streak, which began last month with a 19-8 victory over Transylvania University. Prior to their win over the Pioneers, Rhodes scored some impressive non-league wins against Colorado College (11-10 OT) and Illinois Wesleyan University (18-5). Additionally, Rhodes survived a shootout last month with Rowan University (17-15).

Emily Bruner is one of many players to watch on the Lynx – the junior attack from Gaithersburg, Maryland leads the team in points (103) and assists (90). Baylee Barker leads the squad in goals (62) while Payton Bennett has chipped in 51 goals and 21 assists.  

Bruner’s 103 points are the most recorded by any SAA student-athletes while Barker and Bennett are in the Top 10 goals scored.

Sewanee’s Hattie Fogarty is also in the SAA Top 10 in goals and points and will certainly be a player to watch on Sunday after leading her squad to a 14-9 victory over Centre College in the SAA semifinals.

Fogarty concluded her team’s contest with the Colonels by tallying five goals on 11 shots to go with a season-high six ground balls.

Fogarty and the Tigers rank second in the SAA in goals scored with 287 but will face a challenging test on Sunday against the league’s best defense, which has yielded 124 goals in 16 contests (that is an average of 7.75 goals per game). Rhodes’ defense held Sewanee to a season-low six goals in last month’s meeting with the Tigers being shut out in two frames (second and third quarters).  

In addition to Rhodes’ impressive attack and midfield, fans should certainly keep their eye on the squad’s goalies: Emma Bradley and Olivia Wood. The duo combined for nine saves in this previous meeting with Sewanee, and lead all SAA goalies in goals-against average.

Sunday’s championship, which will take place at Mason Field in Memphis, Tennessee, is scheduled to commence at 1 p.m. eastern.

D3 Lax Notebook: Lynchburg Enters March With Some Momentum

Dylan Wolfe and the Lynchburg men’s lacrosse team will test their momentum on Saturday against Salisbury. (PHOTO COURTESY: Erin Farina/LynchburgSports.com)

By Matt Noonan

The second month of the 2022 NCAA Division III lacrosse season arrived yesterday.

Today, we have a slew of must-see, must-follow matchups. But before we settle into watching these games, let’s revisit some news and outcomes from the past few days.

Let’s begin with the University of Lynchburg men’s lacrosse team.

The Hornets enter the second month with a great deal of momentum as they won all three matchups in February, including one this past weekend against Cabrini University.

Lynchburg’s 15-9 win against Cabrini was their first since March 1, 2015.

Dylan Wolfe and Ryan Kenney highlighted the six-goal win over the Cavaliers – the duo combined for eight goals and two assists while Patrick Moore picked up his third win between the pipes with eight saves.  

Lynchburg will face a challenging test on Saturday when they visit Salisbury University in what could be a potential NCAA Tournament preview in Maryland.

“We love playing Salisbury,” Wolfe said shortly after his team’s win over Cabrini.

“If we can play a full game against Salisbury – we’re going to play them super tough (and hopefully) come out with the win.”

Wolfe, Kenney, along with other members of the Hornets will need to play their best against the second-ranked Sea Gulls, who will be in action this afternoon against Stevens Institute of Technology.

Salisbury has won two games thus far, including an 11-6-win last Saturday against Gettysburg College.

Speaking of Salisbury, their women’s team has been a team to watch these last few weeks — the Sea Gulls picked up their fourth win of the season yesterday with a 15-7 win over Rowan University, thanks to Erin Scannell, who netted a season-high four goals.  

Scannell has enjoyed a successful start to her junior season by scoring 13 goals in four contests while dishing out two assists. She currently leads the team in goals and points (15).

Payton Bennett and the Rhodes women’s lacrosse team recently defeated Colorado College for the first time in program history. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rhodes Collge Athletics)

Rhodes College women’s lacrosse bounced back from an opening day loss last month to The University of Alabama in Huntsville with a pair of victories this past weekend.

The Lynx scored their first-ever win against the Tigers (11-10 OT) on Friday before capping the weekend with an 18-5 victory against Illinois Wesleyan University.

Rhodes is in action this afternoon when they welcome the University of Mary Washington to Memphis, Tennessee.

Fans of the Lynx should keep their eyes on Baylee Barker and Payton Bennett, who have combined for 16 goals and three assists in three contests. Goalie Emma Bradley, who is also a player to watch, has turned aside 39 shots thus far and was recently named the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Defensive Player of the Week.

Following Rhodes’ non-conference meeting with Mary Washington, the Lynx will visit Birmingham-Southern College on Saturday for their first league meeting of the season.

Finally, Abby Stoller enjoyed a successful debut with Simmons University as the Sharks topped UMass Dartmouth, 19-7, last night.

Stoller, a graduate student that previously competed for UMass Amherst, concluded her initial contest with the Navy Blue and Gold with a career-high six goals, including four in the opening session.

Simmons will welcome Salve Regina University to Daly Field on Friday.  

Inside The Matchup: RPI @ Endicott College

Joe Deptula and the RPI defense will be tasked with slowing down an Endicott College football team that is averaging 28.7 points per game. (PHOTO COURTESY: Perry Laskaris/RPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

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.

Team Schedules: Endicott College | RPI

Team Statistics: Endicott College | RPI


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).

Players to Watch on Endicott: Mike Ingraffia (QB), John Kenney (RB), Shane Aylward (WR | CCC Offensive Rookie of the Year), Colin Meropoulos (DL | CCC Defensive Rookie of the Week), Sam Opont (DL), Tim Russell (LB | CCC Defensive Player of the Week), Tyler Davis (DB) and Ryan Smith (K).

Four New England D3 Football Teams Are Headed To The NCAA Tournament

Endicott College will make its first appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament this week since 2013. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway Sports Photography)

By Matt Noonan

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 College (7-3, 6-0 NEWMAC): The Pride punched their ticket to the postseason with a 28-14 victory on Saturday over Catholic University.

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.