Mass. College Football: Camping With MIT Football

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After capturing the program’s initial New England Football Conference (NEFC) crown last season, as well as advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division III Football Championship, the MIT football team has begun preparations for its upcoming season, which begins next Friday, September 4 against WPI.

The Engineers return a majority of its championship team, including a fast, athletic defense that maybe the best unit head coach Chad Martinovich has coached during his time in Cambridge.

MIT, however, will need to fill the voids of Peter WilliamsBrad Goldsberry and Justin Wallace, but luckily the Cardinal and Gray have depth at the quarterback and running back position, respectively.

Senior wide-out Seve Esparrago returns – he is very optimistic about the offensive unit (noted in the video above) – along with classmate Nathan Varady.

After the Engineers visit WPI in week one, they will travel to Becker College (Sat. Sept. 12) and RPI (Sept. 19) before competing in front of the home crowd on Saturday, September 26 against Maine Maritime Academy – MIT’s initial conference clash.

MIT was picked to capture the NEFC, garnering six first-place votes, while Western New England was picked to finish second – the Golden Bears collected a pair of first-place votes.

For more information on the Engineers’ football team — HOP HERE   

Mass. College Sports: Recapping An Exciting 2014-15 Year in Div. III

By Matt Noonan 

It has been an extremely exciting 10 months of Division III College sports.

Tufts University highlighted the school year by winning a trio of championships in men’s soccer, men’s lacrosse and softball. The Jumbos’ softball team accomplished a feat that had never occurred in Division III, winning three consecutive World Series crowns (2013, 2014 and 2015). The men’s lacrosse team captured its second straight title (and third since 2010) by defeating Lynchburg, 19-11, while the men’s soccer team earned its first national championship with a 4-2 win over Wheaton College (Ill.).

Babson College also appeared in the headlines following its amazing come-from-behind win against Trinity College in the Sectional Finals. Trailing the Bantams, 41-33, entering the second stanza, the Beavers rallied by outscoring their opponent, 33-25, which extended the content into overtime. In the extra session, Joey Flannery converted three free throws, John Wickey sank a jumper, Matthew Droney scored a three-pointer and Sam Bohmiller hit a pair of free throws to clinch the victory and send Babson to its first-ever semifinal.

For the second year in a row, the Tufts women’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals. Carla Berube was presented the Pat Summitt Trophy as the 2015 United States Marine Corps/ Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in April. Under Berube, the Jumbos won back-to-back New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) titles (2014 and 2015).

MIT made its initial appearance in the NCAA Tournament and won its first-ever postseason contest against Husson College. Trailing the Eagles, 20-17, Tucker Cheyne booted a 38-yard field goal at the end of regulation that evened the score at 20-20. In the extra session, the Engineers secured the victory when Peter Williams hooked up with Seve Esparrago for a 13-yard touchdown strike.

The Amherst College men’s ice hockey team came within one game of the national championship. The Jeffs earned a semifinal matchup with Wisconsin-Stevens Point following a dramatic 4-3 victory over Norwich University. Mike Rowbotham extended the Jeffs’ season with an overtime goal – his ninth of the season (at the time) – that helped Amherst edge the Cadets. Trinity would up winning the national title, defeating Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 5-2.

A 1-0 victory against Johns Hopkins University sent the Williams College women’s soccer team to the finals. The Ephs, however, fell to Lynchburg in penalty kicks following a scoreless tie after two full halves of soccer, along with a pair of overtime periods. Audrey Thomas scored the lone goal in Williams’ win over Johns Hopkins in the semifinal. Prior to their semifinal and final appearances, the Ephs claimed tournament wins over Lasell College, Ithaca College, Roger Williams University and TCNJ.

Mass. College Football: Harvard Captures ‘The Game,’ MIT Wins First Postseason Contest

By Matt Noonan 

A late touchdown pass from Conner Hempel to Andrew Fischer sealed a 31-24 victory for Harvard University against Yale University on Saturday afternoon at Harvard Stadium in the 131st meeting between the Crimson and Bulldogs.

Trailing 7-3 in the third quarter, Harvard responded with three consecutive touchdowns to earn a 24-7 advantage. Paul Stanton Jr.’s one-yard scamper with 10:06 remaining in the session provided the hosts with their second lead of the afternoon.

Yale’s Tyler Varga jumpstarted a fourth quarter rally with a one-yard TD run with 12:35 remaining. Varga located Morgan Roberts roughly four minutes after his rushing score for an eight-yard touchdown pass before Kyle Cazzetta tied the game at 24-24 with a 33-yard field goal.

With less than a minute remaining, Harvard responded for the final time as Fischer hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass with 55 seconds remaining. Fischer led all receivers with eight receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.

Harvard finished their 2014 campaign 10-0 and Ivy League champions.

MIT 27, Husson 20 (OT): The perfect season remains intact as the Engineers’ defense denied a potential game-tying touchdown in overtime to secure their initial postseason victory in program history.

Quarterback Peter Williams completed 20 of 29 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns, while Justin Wallace rushed for 144 yards and one score.

MIT trailed Husson, 14-10, in the third quarter, but Brad Goldsberry pushed the Engineers ahead, 17-14, with a six-yard touchdown reception with 3:54 remaining in the session.

The Eagles jumped ahead, 20-14, on a 14-yard touchdown reception from Joe Seccareccia to Cody Williams with 5:37 remaining. MIT evened the score at 20-20 with a 38-yard field goal by Tucker Cheyne, forcing an extra session.

In overtime, Williams hooked up with Seve Esparrago for a 13-yard touchdown strike, capping an 11-play, 49-yard drive. On the ensuing possession, Husson drove to the MIT nine-yard line, but came up short on a 4th-and-4 when Seccarecia’s pass fell incomplete.

MIT advances to the second round of the NCAA Div. III Tournament and will play Wesley College next Saturday, November 29.

Framingham State 42, RPI 36: Matthew Silva’s one-yard touchdown run in overtime proved to be the difference as the Rams defeated the Engineers in the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl.

Silva finished the afternoon completing 17 of 34 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 16 yards on three carries.

Framingham State’s Kevin Donahue was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player after making a game-saving tackle in overtime that secure the win for the Rams.

Mass. College Football: MIT, Salve Regina Earn Week 8 Victories

By Matt Noonan 

MIT and Salve Regina commenced the eighth week of the college football season with victories and below are their game summaries.

Salve Regina 43, Curry 10: The Seahawks soared to a two score lead and never looked back as they defeated the Colonels and extended their current winning streak to four games. Curry’s Kevin Fruwirth completed 22-of-43 passes for 268 yards, while Jordan Shairs rushed eight times for 44 yards and hauled in five catches for 57 yards.

Salve Regina’s Steven Wilken completed 14-of-27 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns, while Richie Edwards tallied 108 yards on the ground. Jiyon Ruffin led the visitors on defense with 10 total tackles, seven solo stops, which included two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards.

Salve Regina improves to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the New England Football Conference (NEFC), while Curry falls to 2-4 and 2-2.

MIT 48, Nichols 0: Justin Wallace rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Peter Williams completed 18-of-23 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns as the Engineers snapped their two-game losing streak and earned their first NEFC victory.

The Engineers, who concluded its first three drives with touchdowns finished the contest with a school record 563 total yards of offense.

Samuel Inman led all receivers with eight grabs for 86 yards, while teammate Seve Esparrago registered six catches for 81 yards and one score.

Nichols’ Devon Nelson led all defenders with 12 total tackles. Five of those tackles were solo stops. Orlando Vega finished with nine tackles, while Brian Camacho recorded six tackles, which included one tackles for a loss.

Jake Laux led MIT’s defense with nine total stops, three solo, one tackles for a loss and a forced fumble.

With the win, MIT improves to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play, while Nichols falls to 1-5 and 0-4.